Peer Review I for the Persuasive Essay

Writer's name:

Workshop partner:

Dear workshop partner:

Carefully read my audience profile before reading my essay--a couple of times if necessary. Then, answer the following questions as thoroughly as you would like me to respond to your draft. Please be specific and concrete as often as you can; rather than tell me to do something, please show me how and where to do so whenever possible. Thanks for your help.


  1. Having read both my audience analysis and my essay, were you able to project yourself into the role of the target audience? Indicate (in the margins of my essay) passages with a strong sense of audience awareness and where/how I might need to do more of the same.
  2. Persuasive arguments must be based on careful inquiry and strategic case-making. Inspect my case first: begin by underlining my thesis (claim) and then marking my reasons/solutions in support of my thesis (Reason 1, Reason 2, etc.) in the margins. Circle any words that seem vague or need further definition.
  3. Evaluate my overall plan of organization. Are my arguments presented in a compelling and logical order? Does my argument build to a strong conclusion? Can you envision an alternative arrangement? Make suggestions for improvement in the space provided below, referring to paragraphs by number.
  4. Persuasion demands that the writer make an effort to present himself or herself as worthy of the reader's trust and respect. Do I strike you as someone sufficiently informed and genuinely concerned with the issue? Do you think I need to do more "homework?" Also, reread my draft with an eye for specific places where I make an effort to find common ground with my target audience. Please explain in detail (in the margins or at the end of my essay) where/why my efforts have succeeded--or not.
  5. Persuasion further requires that the writer make a conscious effort to gain emotional support through concrete examples and imagery, analogies and metaphors, first-person reporting, quotations, and so on. How many places can you find where a conscious emotional appeal is made? Should I do more of this--or have I gone too far? Please explain in the margins of my essay.
  6. Describe in the space provided below the general tone of my essay. Does it change from section to section? How appropriate and effective is the tone in general--and in specific sections?
  7. I will add conscious stylistic appeal later, in the editing stage, because style also involves refinements in word choice and sentence patterns. However, look now to see if my draft exhibits an appropriate style for the target audience. Mark any instances of the following in the margins of my essay:
    --poor transitions between sentences or paragraphs.
    --wordy passages, especially those containing passive voice and over-use of the verb "to be."
    --punctuation or spelling errors.
  8. After studying my argument, are you sure what I want or expect from my audience? Have I succeeded in persuading my audience? Why or why not? Please give me some specific ideas on how to fix this on the back page of my paper.
  9. What do you consider my essay's major strength so far?
  10. What do you suggest should be the first thing I work on for revision?