Constructive Peer Editing: Free Handout Included!

Posted by Emily Guthrie on Oct 21, 2014 7:28:26 AM

Essay writing is such a powerful, necessary skill for students and such a arduous and draining requirement for teachers.  A while ago, I shared a post with tips for getting through the essay stacksand today I want to share another process for peer editing that I use with students during the early part of the school year.  I find it helps improve student writing and saves me time not writing the same comments over and over again!

Constructive Peer Editing improve student writing and saves me time not writing the same comments over and over again!


  • Create a list of specific items that students can correct in peer papers.  Start with rubric items and personal pet peeves. You can create one for each student or have pairs working together to find and correct the same standard.  I usually join in on the fun looking for a difficult concept or overall quality. You can download my list for students below:
  • On draft due date, arrange student desks in a circle.
  • Go through each standard with all students and assign each student to a standard. Make sure students understand their role.  It helps if you know the strengths and areas of growth for your students so you can assign them to appropriate roles.
  • Set a timer (I use my iPad timer) for 2-5 minutes depending on your class level, number of students, and time allotted. Then have students pass papers to the left, checking only for the specific assigned item.  When the timer goes off, students pass to the left again.
  • Repeat until  papers have gone all the way around the room.
  • If you are limited in time, you can cut the standards in half and create 2 circles.  The draw back there is that you can't be in both circles at the same time!

Feel free to download and edit this checklist to make it work for your assignment, class, and grade level! We'd love to hear what you think about this tool in the comment section below!

 SmartFlip Common Core Reference Guides

Topics: Essays, peer editing, Writing

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