Part I: First Impressions (15 Minutes)
On separate devices (laptops/tablets) read each other’s articles once. This first read is important as it simulates how out audience is going to interact with this article. Once you have read the article, consider the following questions:
1. Can you explain in a sentence or two what this article is about? Write these sentences down. If you are struggling to summarize the article easily, this is important information for your writer. Write down as clearly as you can what you find difficult to understand about the purpose of the article. The article is about the hardships and benefits of a dancer. There is a lot of sacrifice and injury involved in the life of a dancer, but it can be really rewarding if it’s something you enjoy.
2. Is the author successfully targeting our audience (first year students at JMU)? The purpose of the article may be clear, but is the author making rhetorical choices that will convince our audience to keep reading? If the purpose of the article isn’t clear, is part of the reason because the author doesn’t have our target audience fully in view? Explain your answers as clearly as possible with reference to the article where possible. She is successful at targeting the first year audience at JMU, because not only is it targeted at dancers, it can be targeted at anyone who has a passion and wills to follow it.
Part II: Reading with Media (20 minutes)
Read the article again, this time looking for flow between the various media elements. At this stage, your partner should have drafts of the media they are using. For photographs and other kinds of images:
- do they complement the writing? Yes, the videos are appropriately placed between the paragraphs in order to help the audience get a visual feel for the story instead of just trying to imagine it all on their own.
- Has the author effectively used the caption function in WordPress to explain the image or present additional writing on the subject? She hasn’t really used any of the WordPress functions for describing any images at this point.
- Has the author been thoughtful about image size and the placement of the image within the post? The videos are appropriately placed within the story to help parallel the journey.
If the author has used embedded media such as videos, maps, timelines, prezis etc, the consider the following questions:
- Has the author properly introduced the media so the reader knows what to expect from it, or understand how to use it? Yes, as stated earlier she appropriately placed the video within the story where it should be placed. There is a play button so instructions for the video are self-explanatory.
- Does the author refer to the media afterwards? Does s/he analyze the media, summarize it, or draw the reader’s attention to particular aspects of it? If so, is the author’s approach effective? Explain how their analysis and/or summary of the media might be improved. She does not refer to the media afterwards, but I think it’s appropriate the way she presents it. It’s a break from the reading and pretty much continues the story with the video, then switches back to writing carrying on from where the video left off.
- Does the media enhance your experience of the author’s topic? If so, how? If not, how does the media distract you? In either case, highlight what you liked about the media and how might be improved. Yes because as stated earlier it helps the audience to understand and be able to visualize what Darian talks about in her piece rather than try to envision it with imagination for those who are unfamiliar with the dance experience.
- If the reader interacts with the media by clicking “play”, then consider the following:
- Is the media an appropriate length? (Did it go by too quickly or slowly?) It is just the right length, each one is about 3 minutes so it’s long enough to get good information and short enough that the audience does not lose attention.
- If there is sound, is it of good quality? Yes, every video has good quality overall.
Explain your answers to the above questions as clearly as you can.
Part III: The Devil’s in the Details (15 minutes)
- Read your partner’s piece once more, this time looking for paragraphs and sentences that do not cohere. Does the author have a clear point for each paragraph? Each paragraph has a topic sentence which helps lead to the clear point for each paragraph.
- Are there sentences that are too long, or that do not make sense? Not really, the majority of the paper flows well from sentence to sentence.
Copy and paste examples into your post (including paragraphs), asking your author specific questions about these problematic sentences or passages. Offer advice on how to fix them where possible.
Part IV: Let’s have a chat (20 Minutes)
Finish up your post and publish. Ask your peer review partner to look at your notes. As you are reading together, be as constructive as possible: praise your partner for things they have done well, and give constructive advice on the things that need to be fixed. You have ten minutes to do this. Once you are done, swap over, and let your partner guide you through his/her ideas on your article.
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