Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead: An Exploration of the “Art” of Living

By Caroline Kranick

Instructor Resources

Peer-Review Workshop Guidelines

Draft reader’s name:

Read your classmate’s draft carefully before answering the following questions.

Your goal is to provide thoughtful, specific, and respectful comments about your classmate’s work, including what needs improvement and what promises to work well. The more specific your feedback, the more useful it is likely to be. It is up to the writer of the draft how much he/she decides to follow, but you are providing a fresh perspective at a key stage of composition.

Thesis

  • Is the thesis specific both in its wording and in its claim about the text? If not, what words/elements might the writer reconsider?
  • Is the thesis debatable? That is, could you potentially argue productively with it? Does it offer more than a general observation, statement of fact, or value judgment? If not, what words/elements might the writer reconsider?
  • Does the thesis demonstrate genuine thought about the text and topic? Does it truly illuminate them in some way? Does it answer the chosen prompt?

Body Paragraphs

Answer the following questions for each body paragraph in the draft. If it lists more than five projected body paragraphs, add your remarks for the additional ones at the end:

  1. Does each paragraph (excluding any potentially focused on necessary background) state a topic sentence, that is, make an argumentative claim about the text? Make a note of any that are insufficiently argumentative or specific. In particular, be on the lookout for any that offer an example rather than a claim.
  2. Are the major claims/topic sentences all related to distinct facets of the thesis? Are any merely repetitive of previous claims/topic sentences? Does any try to address the whole thesis at once (i.e., in a single paragraph)?

  3. Is the paper structured logically, paragraph by paragraph? That is, does each topic sentence connect logically with the previous paragraph and with the overarching thesis, whether by repeating key terms from the thesis or by using transitional words or phrases? Make note of any that do not. Make note also of any abrupt shifts of focus.
  4. Are any facets of the thesis left unaddressed? In other words, are there any logical gaps in the argument?

  5. The most important question for today: Does the writer give you adequate evidence to accept the major claims/topic sentences? Consider both the quality of evidence (what the writer is saying about given passages or other elements of the text) and the amount of evidence (is there enough of it given the magnitude of the claim?). Note any places where the evidence seems inadequate.


Body para. 1

Body para. 2

Body para. 3

Body para. 4

Body para. 5

Finally…

Do you have any further feedback for the draft writer?