Peer editing and revising can be a difficult task for high school students because they often do not want to offend the other student. There are correct forms of etiquette and proper communication when it comes to editing that will eliminate this problem.
The Editing Process
Peer editing and revising can be a difficult task for many students because there is the chance of offending the other student if there are many corrections to be made. The editing process can be made easier if proper etiquette and clear communication techniques are used during the process. Emphasize the importance of constructive criticism and goal of the class to improve everyone's writing skills and techniques.
When critiquing another student’s paper positive remarks are an important aspect of editing and communicating with the other student. Discuss the positive areas of the paper and which parts were written well. Provide examples showing how and why you liked the paper even if there are quite a few corrections to be made. If the paper has many sentence structure errors but has accurate spelling or organization, you can discuss with them how well their spelling is done and how well the paper is organized. Let the other student know where the sentence structure problems are and give examples of how he can improve in those areas.
The purpose of criticism is to help the other student learn from their mistakes and improve, not to tear them down and make them feel bad. It is not necessary to point out every single error. Instead, if there are many of the same mistakes throughout the paper, mark the mistakes and then show the writer a couple of examples and show them how they can be fixed. For example, if the writer forgets to capitalize letters at the beginning of every sentence, it is not necessary to point out every single lowercase letter. Instead just show them a couple and explain how words at the beginning of new sentences need to be capitalized.
Point of View
When peer editing a paper it is vital to keep in mind the thoughts, opinions, and ideas in the paper are those of the writers. Therefore, you cannot make changes in the paper because of the point of view; there must be actual problems with the paper. Trying to edit the paper to form it into another point of view is not proper editing. An example of this would be if the writer were supporting Republican views but you happened to be a Democrat, you could not revise the paper according to Democratic opinion.
Maintaining proper editing etiquette is part of the editing and revising process, Therefore it is important to understand correct techniques to use during peer editing.