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Peer Review Recap

October 6, 2011

I’ll start this off with the biggest pain with the peer review thus far — I hate GoogleDocs. I’m very accustomed to Word, and I like using the Track Changes option. With my paper, I received somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 e-mail alerts. It’s annoying and I don’t like it.

Now that I got that off my chest, the biggest trend I saw in comments on mine were that it wasn’t thorough enough. I know this because it’s a draft — of course it’s not going to be thorough, of course things are going to be missing. Some people have their whole papers as a draft, but I do not. I like to have a basic overlay of what I want to do, then go from there. That’s just how I do it.

As far as comments I dished out, I tried to keep it strictly grammatical. These papers are so opinion and “I think that…”-oriented that I like to leave people’s ideas alone. I’ve noticed a lot of other peer editors doing that, and I don’t like it. Someone’s opinion in a peer edit isn’t necessarily correct, so the writer shouldn’t feel obligated to make an edit.

I see more cons than pros with peer editing these types of papers. People have their own opinions, and a lot of the times they, as a peer editor, try to influence what they would prefer in the paper. As a writer and editor, I try my best to leave those types of situations alone. It’s okay to make a suggestion, but not to say something is wrong because you’d like it a different way. I’ve seen too much of that, in my opinion.

I like peer editing for things like research papers. Not papers where your opinions matter, mainly because I don’t trust the people reading them. While this is a high-level English class, I know that not all of my classmates are professionals or are going to be a professional editor some day. While I find it beneficial for things like grammar — you can’t have enough eyes on your work — I find it sometimes ineffective when peer editors try to institute their own ideas into someone else’s work.



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