The University of Sydney



The peer review process

Peer review

Your teacher may set up a peer-review system using the WriteSite as a basis for feedback on the writing (non-content) component of assignments.

You may also independently consider asking fellow students to peer review your work. Peer review networks can be valuable academic and social tools. Tell your reviewer the sort of feedback you want from them. The WriteSite can be a valuable resource for peer reviewers to base their academic writing feedback on. Note that the WriteSite does not provide a framework for critiqueing discipline-specific content.

Mention your peer-review initiative to your teachers and seek their opinion. They may offer useful input, especially in the area of feedback on discipline-specific content.

Purpose of peer review

The purpose of peer review is to:

  • get independent feedback and a fresh view
  • identify strengths and weaknesses of the assignment
  • encourage awareness of academic writing requirements
  • encourage reflective writing processes
  • improve your writing prior to submission.

Plan the process:

  • agree on guidelines about how and when peer review feedback will be given
  • use the WriteSite as a reference for the academic writing aspects of feedback
  • identify key areas for improvement - don't try to find every mistake
  • keep comments neutral - avoid judgemental language
  • think carefully about the value of your peer reviewers feedback.

Evaluate the process:

Structure an informal feedback process to gauge how much value you and your fellow peer reviewers got from the peer review process. If the participants find it valuable, maintain the network for future assignments.

Think about these suggestions

  • Come back tomorrow or sometime soon, and try the exercises again - especially if you didn't do so well.
  • Use the Links to other grammar sites to get more information, examples or practice.
  • Print out the summary and the strategies on screen X and Y. Have them handy to help you edit your next piece of writing.
  • Revisit the strategies you can apply with your next piece of writing. Make a note of the strategies you intend to use.
  • Start your own checklist. Enter your strategies for all the grammar errors you are making. Keep it beside your computer or visible while you are writing. Use it to edit as you go along and when you have finished your writing.
  • Use peer editing next time round. Swap your completed piece of writing with a friend for comment. Talk about the changes you have each suggested and make them if necessary.

Don't forget The Learning Centre. The Learning Centre offers workshops for all interested students on writing, reading, study, time-management and oral presentation skills. Contact them on:


Camperdown/Darlington campus:

Tel: (02) 9351 3853
Fax: (02) 9351 4865
Email: Camperdown/Darlington Learning Centre

Cumberland campus:

Tel: (02) 9351 9638
Fax: (02) 9351 9635
Email: Cumberland Learning Centre