Friday, November 09, 2007

Peer, parent, relative review sheet for your philosophical paper:
(This sheet is also available for download here:

Two reviews must be completed and turned in with your paper. You should revise and improve your paper in light of your reviewers’ comments!

Student’s name: __________________________________________________________________________Paper iTitle:_______________________________________________________________________________Reviewer’s name:_________________________________________________________________________

Dear Reviewer: Please answer these questions on a separate piece of paper. Your responses will help the author write a clearer, more organized, more understandable and better reasoned and argued paper!

1. Thesis: What is the paper’s thesis? Can it be stated in a simpler and more straightforward way? If so, re-write the thesis.

2. Based on reading the whole paper, can you identify the reasons he or she gives in support of her thesis or conclusion? You should be able to fill in this blank: “In this paper, the author argues that (state the thesis) BECAUSE (state the reasons and arguments).”

3. Each paragraph should focus on one main idea AND should work to support the thesis. For each paragraph, identify and write down that main idea AND explain how it helps support the thesis. If any paragraphs don’t do this and/or lack focus, help the author identify this and suggest what can be done to make the paragraphs more focused and organized, as well as support his or her thesis.

Example: “In the second paragraph the author explains ____ . This paragraph helps support the thesis and/or “make the argument of the paper”) because it ______________

4. Does the author accurately and adequately present and explain the views and arguments that he or she discusses? How could the presentation be improved?

5. Does the author raise and respond to an objection(s) to his or her view? How could the author’s response be improved?

6. What questions do you have for the author? What would you be confused about? About what would you ask, “I’m not sure what you mean here, can you please explain this more clearly?” Do you find any problems with organization? Are the arguments not convincing? Are the replies to objections weak?

7. Are there spelling and grammatical errors that the author needs to correct?

7. Final considerations: Help the author identify and omit all needless sentences and words. Eliminate passive voice. Cut out all everything that is not immediately relevant (and necessary) to support your thesis. Make sure that all your sentences are clearly understandable to the reader.