Peer Review for Literacy Narrative

Remember, a story is shaped by characters experiencing conflict or tension, who take a series of actions in scenes (often with dialogue), working towards a climax in which they experience a moment of insight or revelation.

As you read your peer’s literacy narrative drafts, write comments to help the writer improve these global dimensions of their writing:

  • How well does the opening work to introduce a main character experiencing conflict and to initiate a series of actions?
  • What is the main conflict or tension in the narrative?  Do all the scenes in the story contribute to developing or resolving that conflict or tension?
  • What moment of insight or revelation does the character have in this story?  Do the scenes that precede it prepare readers to understand that moment of insight?
  • What parts of the story could use more detail or development?
  • How well does the ending work to connect the story to the writer’s present self?
  • If the writer has included a text-to-self connection to Sherman Alexei or Mike Rose, is the connection well-integrated into the story the writer is telling about his or her own literacy experiences?

A good comment will:

  • Be generous and considerate in tone;
  • Describe what you see or think as a reader, leading to a diagnosis of a problem or description of an improvement to be made;
  • Suggest a specific strategy for improvement;
  • Provide additional insight by: asking leading questions, providing  further detail, suggesting specific materials for inclusion, or engaging in dialogue with the writer.
  • Indicate whether this is a high-, medium-, or low-priority issue.

Aim for no more than two comments per page.

In an end comment, write some sentences that give the writer an idea of your overall impression or general effect of the paper.  If you can, explain the central insight you have gotten from the paper as a careful reader.  Consider making a text-to-self connection here as well.