Self-Assessment Handout

Self-assessment: one of the most important reading tasks in the writing process.

On the rough draft with peer comments on it:

Ø      Read through your rough draft (the one with your peer’s comments on it).

Ø      Using a different color ink (if possible), mark your strongest point (“thesis”—it may not be in just one sentence; it may not be in your introduction or on the first page, yet).

Ø      Evaluate your paragraphs:

o       Mark the topic sentences with T.S.

o       Placement of the paragraphs in the document: are they in the most useful place?

o       Do they carry one main idea?

o       Do they contain repetition that distracts from your ideas, rather than develops them?

Ø      Evaluate transitions between paragraphs.

Ø      Assess your peer’s comments [where they are on the page]: which suggestions would you follow, which suggestions would you not follow?

Ø      Any comments or questions you would like to add, directly to me: write them on the page, at the point in the paper you are asking about; put your initials in a box or circle so that I can easily find your question.

Ø      On the back of the peer revision handout sheet (the one stapled to the front of your rough draft), write a paragraph explaining your revision plan.

Remember that there is a significant difference between the idea of revision and the idea of editing. Revision addresses issues of content (ideas, critical thinking and analysis); attention to textual quotations and ideas within those quotations; structure; definition of keywords or terms.


 Comments on using this handout--Katherine Lynes

I use this handout in tandem with the peer revision handout; it can also be used by itself, if the references to the peer comments are removed.

I have found that it’s important to remind them that some of the bulleted points refer to general guidelines, not hard and fast rules that they must follow in a dogmatic fashion. We have much discussion of these issues in class, using student writing as models (anonymously, with permission), and using the texts we’re reading for class as models as well.

Later in the term, I revise this handout a bit and have the students work carefully with the Grading Criteria. Essentially, for later papers, they assess their final paper and write up a paragraph in which they tell me what grade they think their paper would earn.