Peer-Review — It Doesn’t Have to Be Scary!


So what is peer-review, anyway? Put simply, a peer-review is the evaluation of one’s work by other people of similar competency.

The dreaded peer-review is something many students simply brush off. However, if done right, a peer-review can do more than correct spelling and punctuation errors.

General guidelines to follow when peer-reviewing:

  1. Try to identify the writer’s purpose and intended audience.

  2. Is there a thesis statement? Can you identify it?

  3. Does each paragraph address a separate issue and also relate back to the thesis (or main idea)? Does the paper flow well?

  4. Check for grammatical and spelling errors after ensuring all organizational criteria are met.  

  5. Most importantly… be sure to READ the paper. Does it make sense? Does it feel complete?

For those of you brave enough to peer-review citations please ensure you have up-to-date APA/MLA/etc. rules and guidelines. These can be found online at

Be objective and honest in your feedback. Do not allow your personal views on the content matter to influence your review of a peer’s work.

Finally, be sure to self-reflect when reviewing another person’s paper! A good way to improve one’s own writing is to review the writing of others!


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