Study Materials

Peer Review Workshop: Writing for the Public

Follow the steps below as you discuss the documents of your group members, one at a time:

  1. Before you read anything, decide whether the document’s appearance welcomes the non-specialist reader.
    • Is there a catchy or informative title?
    • Is the format reader-friendly? (paragraphs, topic sentences, sentence length, space)
    • Does the format reflect the conventions of the genre, whether an Op-Ed piece, a news release or an essay for Ashdown Newsletter?
  2. After reading the document, do you understand the concept?
    • Is the language accessible?
    • Is the use of jargon purposeful?
    • Can you answer the question “Why should I care about this topic?”?
  3. How did the author help you in your understanding of the concept and its importance?
    • Are the original sources for data or information provided where needed?
  4. What suggestions do you have for the author to make the document more reader-friendly?
    • Add examples, analogies, word pictures?
    • Create a better “hook” in the title or in the first paragraph?
    • Include diagrams or photos?
    • Reduce jargon or complex data?
    • Improve readability by modifying writing style and word choice?
  5. Have you noticed any problems with coherence, word choice, tone or punctuation?
    • Provide concrete examples.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2016