Peer editing form

An important way to help students understand the demands of the assessment rubrics is to have students peer edit each others' work prior to submission.  The problem, however, with this strategy is that often students like to focus on grammar and spelling, rather than on the more relevant aspects of the essay. 

Here is a Google Doc version of a peer editing form that I use with my students.  You may make a copy and adapt it to your needs. Explanations are outlined below.

Word version

Deconstructing the peer editing form

The "question" is simply the ERQ prompt - for example, Discuss the enculturation of one behaviour.

Introduction

 

1. The introduction clearly states the focus of the essay.  Key terms are clearly defined and the way the argument will be made is clearly explained.

Does not meet the standard

Attempts, but incomplete

Satisfactory but could be improved

Good, but I noticed...

Excellent.  No editing required

Comments: It is important that students know which terms they should define. Some students feel that every term needs to be defined in the essay - and that is a bit much.  Have them define the terms that are relevant to the question and the thesis statement (position) of the essay. They should also outline how they are going to make their argument.  

 

The supporting paragraphs

 

2. The topic sentences clearly develop the argument.  Could I read just your introduction and topic sentences and understand your argument?

Does not meet the standard

Attempts, but incomplete

Satisfactory but could be improved

Good, but I noticed...

Excellent.  No editing required

Comments: Many students like to start a paragraph with "One study was done by Crane."  This does not help to build an argument.  A better topic sentence would be, "Crane's study shows that social cognitive theory can be used to explain enculturation." 

 

3. The studies used in paragraphs 2 and 3 are appropriate and well explained.  The aim, procedure and findings are clearly stated - and there is not too little or too much detail with regard to the procedure. It is explained how the study is linked to the demands of the question.

Does not meet the standard

Attempts, but incomplete

Satisfactory but could be improved

Good, but I noticed...

Excellent.  No editing required

Comments: I advise students that they may want to "strike-through" any details in a description of a study that are not necessary.  Many complex studies end up taking a lot of time to explain and provide unnecessary detail - e.g. Milgram, Zimbardo, Bandura and Sherif, just to name a few.  Often when students do this, there is a clear imbalance in the essay between the description of studies and actual critical thinking. Also, by using clear topic sentences, students can easily link a study to the question.  This is a way to produce more "efficient writing", rather than trying to link the study back to the question at the end of the paragraph.

 

4. There is clear evidence of critical thinking in paragraphs 2 and 3.  The critical thinking is correct and it is explained. The strategies for critical thinking are relevant to the question and are not formulaic.

Does not meet the standard

Attempts, but incomplete

Satisfactory but could be improved

Good, but I noticed...

Excellent.  No editing required

Comments: There are several important points here.  First, the critical thinking must be correct.  If the student writes that the study has low ecological validity and, in fact, it does not - then this is incorrect and is as if there is no critical thinking. In addition, the critical thinking needs unpacking.  Simply saying that it lacks ecological validity is not enough; it needs to be clear why it lacks ecological validity.  Critical thinking should be explained in the context of the study, and not just in a generic manner.  Critical thinking also has to be relevant to the question.  If the question is asking for a discussion of enculturation of one behaviour, the ethical considerations of a study would only be of marginal relevance to a discussion of the question.  And finally, students should avoid a formulaic approach - as this often leads to the inclusion of information that is not highly relevant or is superficial in its approach.

 

The discussion

 

5. The discussion paragraph has a clearly written topic sentence.  The discussion looks at general methodological considerations, areas of uncertainty and/or implications.  There is well explained critical thinking.

Does not meet the standard

Attempts, but incomplete

Satisfactory but could be improved

Good, but I noticed...

Excellent.  No editing required

Comments: The discussion should directly address the question.  If it is a question about enculturation, students could discuss general methodological considerations: the difficulty of carrying out effective prospective studies; the inability to carry out experiments; the nature of the research which is to show aspects of enculturation, but the inability to see the whole process.  They could also discuss areas of uncertainty: the role of biological factors in gender role development, the way that different variables may interact; why some people do not become enculturated to follow a society's gender roles.  And finally, they could address implications: why gender roles change over time; the importance of media in a child's development; the role of parents vs peers. This paragraph is how students may meet the demands of the "discuss" command term.

 

The conclusion

 

6. The conclusion clearly answers the question and summarizes the argument.

Does not meet the standard

Attempts, but incomplete

Satisfactory but could be improved

Good, but I noticed...

Excellent.  No editing required

Comments: The IB assessment does not put a lot of weight on the conclusion, but it should be there.  This may simply be a summary of the argument.

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