Mary K. Stewart, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Published Nov 18, 2019
Peer review is a cornerstone of writing pedagogy, and, as such, has received considerable attention in the literature. Nevertheless, peer review remains challenging to design, in part because there are multiple potential goals for peer review. This article draws on existing literature to describe the ways we talk about the purpose of peer review in composition scholarship, and then presents interview data to illustrate first-year composition instructors’ and students’ perceptions of the goals of peer review. Across the literature and within the qualitative data, three goals of peer review emerged: constructing quality feedback, evaluating writing features, and facilitating peer trust. The data also revealed a disconnect between student and instructor expectations for peer review. This article recommends more narrowly defining the goals of peer review and deliberately articulating those goals to students as a way to bridge the gap between instructor intentions and student experiences.