Response to Straub’s “Responding–Really Responding–to Other Students’ Writing

Straub’s advice on critiquing peers’ papers is very much aimed at the student, as if he is directly talking to you.  Straub’s piece is similar to Elbow & Belanoff’s in that they both suggest for early drafts to find the focus of the paper and the writer’s voice. The format of Straub’s advice is more informal than Elbow & Belanoff’s (which provides suggestions of different responses one could give).  Straub also advises where you should insert comments, which Elbow & Belanoff did not do.  If anything Straub told the reader to constructively critique a peer’s paper without sounding overly authoritative or too nice.  Straub also placed emphasis on making sure you don’t try to change the writer’s paper–but to appropriately respond to it.  Straub spelled out for the reader how to effectively respond to a paper, because the tone & quality of your comments are just as important.


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