Clark, Deborah J. “The Use of Peer Evaluations to Foster Critical Analysis of Writing in Biology.” Writing across the Curriculum. Ed. Mary T. Segall, and Robert A. Smart. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 2005. 28-43.
Deborah J. Clark writes, “Learning to write in a discipline-specific style, such as that used in the sciences, must be approached using scaffolded writing exercises, beginning with lab reports and other writing exercises in the first year and continuing throughout all four years of the undergraduate experience. The process of peer evaluating, followed by rewriting, and perhaps a second revision after instructor evaluation, is important. It is during this process that students derive many chances for reconstructing their knowledge of how to write—that is, losing high school habits and replacing them with appropriate skills for a college science major” (41). Clark also notes that students at different levels may need slightly different approaches. For example, peer editing didn’t work as well with first year students since the students were still learning the basics of scientific writing, so they couldn’t help their classmates as much while critiquing their writing (40-42).