Providing Meaningful Feedback to Your Peers
Peer editing can be a touchy subject if not approached correctly. If done correctly it can benefit the author as well as the one editing the assignment. When approaching peer editing it is best to start out on a positive note, maybe a complement on the work, and then proceed to your editing. Saying things like, "this sentence does not make ANY sense!" could offend or discourage your fellow classmate. Instead you could tell your peer "try and reword this to say..." or just rewrite the sentence and add your changes to the sentence. Keep in mind that you need to be choosy with your words, but still manage to get your point across to help your peer reach their full writing potential. You also have to keep in mind where you put these corrections for your peer to read. If something might be embarrassing to your fellow peer, then approach them individually or shoot them an email telling them where they could improve or make changes. Treat your fellow peer the same way you would want to be treated!
We also need to keep in mind that everyone does not have the same writing style. We can not be to picky and totally change what the writer is trying to say. You really want to make changes to spelling, grammatical errors, run-on sentences, and confusing sentences. Also when editing you do not want to be vague about where you think corrections need to be made. Be specific and be able to back-up what you say. Telling someone to change something in their writing just because you say so does not help your fellow peers confidence in your editing. Watch Writing Peer Reviews Top 10 Mistakes for more real life examples of what not to do when peer editing.