Wendy Kolmar, Drew University 2016.


The goal of this workshop is to give students several different kinds of feedback from different readers to use as they work on a revision of the  over the weekend.


For each of these three exercises you will trade papers with a different person.  After you complete each review, take time to discuss what you found with your reader.  All comments should be written on the draft, so you have three people’s comments collected on one draft.

  1.  Opening Paragraph & Paper Structure.  Trade essays with your partner.  Read the first paragraph of the essay ONLY.  List the three or four points you expect the essay to develop based on the first paragraph.  If you can, number these points in the order in which the paragraph suggests they will appear in the paper. i.e.  How does the first paragraph predict the paper’s structure?
  2.   Summary – Before trading papers each person should mark the places in the paper where they feel they used summary.   Trade papers and read each other’s summaries using the criteria on the back of this sheet and the guidance in Chapter 2 of They Say/I Say.  Make specific suggestions by referencing the list on the back; write the numbers of the issues you think the writer needs to work on next to the relevant paragraph.
  3.   Reader Response — Reader reads the paper and puts an X in the margin every place they find it rough, hard to understand, lacking a connection – every place your reading process is interrupted or you have to pause.  When you finish, discuss with each other one or two of the major spots you found and explain to each other what the issue is with the sentence or paragraph.

How to use this feedback in revision.

  1. If your reader has been unable to deduce from your first paragraph what your paper will cover and how it will be structured, you need to revise the first paragraph to do a better job of introducing and setting up your discussion.
  2. Use your reader’s feedback to make revisions to your summary following the guidance on the back as indicated by your reader.
  3. Look at each spot your reader has marked. What do you think caused your reader to pause?  Is the sentence unclear?  Is a transition missing?  Is there a word misused or a grammatical problem with the sentence?


Guidelines for Writing Summaries (Also use chapter 2 of They Say/I Say)

  1. Sequence: Points in your summary should be in order of their important than the order in which they appear in the article.  Verbs like “starts,” “concludes,” “continues” are signals that you’re following the order of the article.
  2. Avoid Description. Don’t say what the article is “about,” describing it’s content.  Instead, summarize the article’s argument is.  “In this essay, Judith Lorber argues that . . . .”
  3. Pay attention to paragraph structure.  how are ideas connected? How do we get from one idea to the next?
  4. Author.  Attach ideas to their source and author.  The author’s name and the title of the text should appear in the summary. e sure we can tell throughout the paragraph that you are still talking about the author’s argument.  In your paper, you’ll want to signal when you switch back to your own ideas.
  5. Word Choice.  Use the language of the article or essay, especially for key words and terms.  “claiming an education” “social construction” “oppression.”  Be careful that in substituting a word of your own, you aren’t distorting the meaning of a term.
  6.  Specificity.  Give enough detail about the argument that we can tell them apart and can tell what are the salient components of each argument?
  7.  Your Opinion.  Your opinion should not be in the summary but it absolutely belongs in this paper. It may begin or end the paragraph which has your summary in it, because you will tell your reader how the text your summarizing contributed to your overall thinking about gender.


Title of article or any short work is in quotation marks: “There is no Hierarchy of Oppression”

Title of Full Length Work is italicized or underlined; e.g: The Color Purple

In general, we write about what’s happening in any text in the present tense (e.g: “argues”) except perhaps when something is in the past in a novel.