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An important drawback of peer response in L2 writing classes is a reluctance to be sufficiently critical of a classmate’s writing, particularly with students from cultures that value group harmony. Anonymization of peer response is commonly proposed as a means of overcoming this problem. The current research project examined the effect of anonymizing the peer response process on the number of proposed revisions made by students from eight undergraduate writing classes at a private university in Tokyo. It also examined the students’ attitudes towards the peer response process. The findings revealed that the anonymization of the process had significant impact on the less proficient students’ propensity to recommend revision; however, this was not the case for students of a higher proficiency level. Students at both levels felt more comfortable with the peer response process when it was anonymized. The pedagogical implications of anonymizing the peer review process are discussed.
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