• What is a site partner?
  • Finding a site partner
  • Communicating with your site partner
  • Timelines and organizations
  • What constitutes proper attire and manners when working with site partners?
  • Tips for writing to non-scientific audiences
  • How to conduct yourself in peer reviews

    Handing over your work to a peer for editing can be daunting, but it is a valuable method by which to improve your writing. For peer review to be most effective you and your reviewer must communicate effectively.

    The following are some pointers to make this partnership most effective:

    • Come to the workshop with as complete of a draft as possible.

      • If you are working on more than one piece for your site partner, make certain you come with a complete draft of the piece. If you are working on a single piece, come to the workshop with a minimum of the next five pages drafted. The more you have drafted, the more helpful the workshop will be.

      • Express any concerns or problem areas to your reviewer in advance. This way the reviewer can pay special attention to these areas and give you pointed and useful feedback.

    • Do not take criticism personally. The reviewer’s comments are not an attack on your writing ability. Taking criticism personally and becoming defensive won’t be helpful in any way. Listen, be open minded, take what you can away from the experience and disregard the rest.

    • Listen fully to what your reviewer has to say and carefully read the comments he/she leaves on your draft. Thoroughly consider the reviewer's comments on both the draft and on the workshop worksheet. Determine whether the suggestions are in keeping with the goal you had in mind and the target audience. If the comments are effective and appropriate, make the appropriate corrections.

    • Ask questions to clarify and obtain more information. Read over the comments you receive and ask questions about any comments where you do not understand the reviewer's intention. If the comments or the shorthand the reviewer uses are not clear, don’t be afraid to ask. Peer-reviewing is an exercise to give you pointed advice and will help you later on when editing your draft.

    • Make certain to implement the useful comments and criticism. It is far too easy to go to class, take part in the workshop, shove the sheet into your bag or leave it languishing in your email inbox. When doing primary revisions or final revisions, go over these comments and see if and where they can be implemented.

    • Remember: Peer workshops are an exercise to help you and improve your writing. You may not agree with the reviewer's suggestions/comments. There is no obligation to change your piece, only to listen to the reviewer’s suggestions. Merely take what you can from the comments you receive. Make certain to thank your reviewer for their work on your text.