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ISSS Course Guide

What is a Peer Critique?

In a peer critique students read each other’s papers and give constructive and critical feedback on each other’s work.

To Criticize or to Critique?

Criticize Critique
To indicate the faults of something, or indicate your disapproval. A detailed analysis, evaluation or assessment.

Why Peer Critique?

Peer critique can be used to improve your work, and the work of your peers. Critiquing the work of others can also help you learn to express yourself more clearly.

The Challenges of Peer Critique

1. Unknown content: Sometimes when reading over the work of others we are faced with concepts, theories and terms that are unfamiliar to us.

Solution: Ask for clarification.


2. Being kind: We worry we will hurt the feelings of our peers if we express disagreement with an idea, a structural choice, or suggest improvements to their work.

Solution: Start with a constructive / positive comment, follow with suggestions for improvement.


3. Being constructive: Some peers will not give enough feedback for an effective peer critique.

Solution: If your in-class peer critique was less helpful than you’d hoped, go to the writing center or the learning center (2nd floor of the library) and sign up for extra peer help.