Individual Topics Critique and response


(Week #2 of the individual project)



You will have submitted an electronic copy of your paper.  You receive electronic copies of two papers from your classmates (plus your paper) [If you are in a group of 4 you will also receive instructions of whose papers to review.]  You need to read their papers and make helpful comments both on the content and the style.  You may have a tendency to just correct the grammar and spelling. If you feel compelled, you may do this, but your real job is to do more than a computer spell checker.  If a section of the paper is not clear you need to ask the author to make it clear.  If the material seems to jump around and not have a coherent flow, say so. Ask at least one question about science material that needs to be added to (or subtracted from) the paper. Your goal is to help your classmate improve his or her paper.

Before class, send your group and me the comments electronically being sure to identify the author and title (and yourself).  Bring your comments to class (electronically is ok.)


In class you will get in your group. One by one each of you will orally tell the others what you were trying to convey and how you had hoped to convey it. Your intention is to get peer help to judge your paper. The group needs to address:

  1. How accurate is the science?
  2. Is the paper interesting?
  3. Does the paper communicate the ideas well?


DON'T just reiterate the grammar and syntax corrections you will have those in writing anyway. Say something new.

Each person needs to speak to those issues about your own paper. After you have talked about your own paper. Let each critic have his or her say. DONŐT become defensive.  If you donŐt understand what your classmates are telling you, ask questions. This is a give and take to help you improve your paper. You can discuss the ideas in your paper, but concentrate on getting help to improve it.  I will have read your first drafts and the critiques and so I expect the final draft and class presentation to be twice as good as your first draft. I want you to learn the astronomy, but more importantly I want you to see how a first draft can be improved through criticism and editing.


When you critique, both in the electronic version that is sent to me and in the oral session, be thorough and candid, but be positive. You are all here to help each other do better.


Your journal on review day needs to be much longer than usual and have some detail about how the review process worked.  At the same time you turn in the final draft of your paper, turn in an electronic version of what you learned in the critique to me. Use what you learned to improve your paper.


Turn your final paper in at last 20 hours before your oral class presentation.