Peer Editing

Using Peer Editing activities to facilitate the development of strong writing skills
Time and Effort
Student Activity Time Medium
Instructor Prep Time High
Instructor Response Time High
Complexity of Activity High
Classroom Considerations Additional support staff


Peer editing has student pairs critically review and provide editorial feedback on each other’s essay, report, argument, research paper, or other writing assignments. The activity helps teach students how to identify good and poor writing in the work of others and develops critical evaluation skills they can apply to their writing.


Use it when you want...

  • To help students develop critical evaluation skills, they can apply to their writing,
  • To show students how to identify good and poor writing through the review of other student's work, or
  • To provide students a chance to receive constructive criticism that can improve their papers before submitting them for a grade.

What students will need

  • There are no special requirements for this approach


The following workflow is meant to guide you on how you can facilitate a peer editing learning activity within a classroom.


  • Identify ways of preparing students to develop the necessary skills for effective peer editing.
  • Create a peer review form that lists the elements students should look for when critiquing each other’s work.


  • Students work in pairs and take turns describing ideas for the paper that each individual intends to write. As each student describes his or her ideas, a partner takes notes, asks questions, and makes suggestions.
  • Outside of class, each student conducts research and writes their papers individually.
  • Within each pair, students exchange drafts for peer editing. Student editors make proofing marks and comments directly on the paper and score or rate the paper with a peer review form. Student editors also complete and sign the peer review form and indicate their ratings of each of these areas.
  • Each student revises his/her paper by considering peer feedback.
  • Students attach the peer review form to the final draft and submit it to the professor for evaluation.


  • Provide feedback/grade based on the quality of the paper and feedback provided.
  • Provide feedback to students on ways to improve feedback for future assignments.

Accessibility and Room Considerations

  • None

Technical Documentation

  • None


Example 1

An Introduction to Psychobiology professor decided to use class time to have students conduct an empirical study. Their final project was to write the results in a formal research paper. He assigned students to Peer Editing groups so they could give each other advice and feedback on their writing. He used a Peer Review Form from a top-tier journal to guide student feedback. In particular, students looked for items related to the form of the research article, such as the significance of the problem, research design and methodology, significant results, and adequate conclusions, and to provide advice about writing mechanics and style (Barkley 309).

Example 2

In the Introduction to Philosophy course, the professor wanted to use Peer Editing with his assigned paper as a final class project. He formed pairs and asked students to consider the question, “What is the difference between appearance and reality? He asked student partners to discuss and then select one of the philosophers they have studied during the semester and write a paper on how that philosopher has addressed that topic. The professor set aside fifteen minutes during class each week for student pairs to review each other’s progress and provide feedback. A week before the papers were due, he set aside an entire class session for students to edit and rate each other’s work. Students were to revise their paper based on the feedback; when they handed in the final paper, they were to attach the earlier version that included the peer editing and a statement of how useful they felt the feedback was to improve the paper (Barkley 308-309).


Barkley, Elizabeth F. et al. Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook For College Faculty. Wiley, 2014. pp. 307-311.

Keywordswriting, group, collaborative, revise, formal, paperDoc ID119855
OwnerTimmo D.GroupInstructional Resources
Created2022-07-21 14:16:47Updated2024-04-16 12:50:47
SitesCenter for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
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