Your grade for the peer-review exercise depends on the quantity and
quality of the constructive feedback you provide to your peer. (So
smile at the good and frown at the bad, but don’t make your peer feel very sad.)
the process, you will get specific, concrete peer feedback,
which you can use to revise your paper (and perhaps raise your final
grade). But for me, the real value of the exercise is that the
experience of hunting for and fixing problems in a peer’s paper will
help you develop self-editing skills that you can apply to any
writing situation. (“Newswriting Peer Review Guidelines.”)
After I teach a subject for the third time, I know enough of what to expect that I can start writing a detailed handout that encapsulates the lesson, so that when I teach the classes in future years, I can reduce the amount of class time I spend lecturing on a subject, and instead refer students to the handout as part of the preparation for a workshop. I don’t generally use handouts as a replacement for classroom instruction, but when the handout is a detailed checklist, that can really help students as they revise.
I feel a sense of accomplishment getting this handout posted, since I
managed to get it to the students in time for it to be useful. The revision of the first full-length news article is due Friday, so I’ll have something substantial to evaluate before midterm grades are due next week; students will be able to revise again (if they wish) after the break.
The stress level always goes up before midterms, but I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in weeks — the pneumonia that laid me flat is finally tolerable, to the point where I’m well enough to feel guilty about all the tasks I permitted myself to put off while I was sick. Tomorrow I’ll turn 39, and I’ll spend most of the day grading papers. Such is life.