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Instructions for reciprocal critiquing

By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

For both the essay/review as a whole, and separately for each section:
  for each of the three marking criteria:
    say both what is good, and what could be improved and if possible how.

=> so for a CR with 4 sections that will be 5 times 3 times 2 (= 30) comments to attempt to make if you can.

The three criteria for critical reviews are: (these are on the marking sheet staff use, and in the course handbook)

Answer any specific questions that the author asked for feedback on.

Mark the essay itself for any spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, sentences or paragraphs you cannot understand; and hand back the marked document as well as the higher level comments.

Two sided benefits

In general, remember, there are benefits from this for both sides (author and commentator):
  • The authors actually want to hear comments, and sometimes students are not only less anxious about, but in fact more attentive to comments from peers.
  • Even if the author were indifferent to the comments, there is a big benefit for the commentator in having to reason about the assessment criteria, and so the learning objectives, of the original activity of writing a critical review or essay. In fact, we can only write by continually making judgements in our head about what is good. This exercise allows you to focus on and practise those judgements without also having to write at the same time. It also requires you not just to make judgements but to articulate and perhaps justify them: and so to reason more explicitly about the criteria. This is easier of course on someone else's work, where the reasons are not already in your head from doing the writing.

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