Peer Editing the Personal Experience Feature

To the Editor(s): Please write your name in the table. Please consider what kind of feedback you would like to receive and try to offer the same quality of feedback to your classmates.  Don’t limit yourself to these boxes: write in the body of the essay! Read the work slowly, putting checks by the more effective parts of it and putting question marks by the parts that are unclear to you.  Circle any spelling or capitalization errors, and note any other mechanical problems by underlining or circling. Help them out!



Editor  Name


TITLE: Does the story have a catchy title? What might be a better title? [The title should catch our interest and also cover the glue of the piece.]


General Reaction -- Read your classmate's piece quickly to understand its ideas. Write a few sentences addressing your first impressions about it. Is it well organized? Has it fulfilled the assignment of focusing on a personal experience or accomplishment, or has the author gone to research a topic and made themselves part of the story? The primary purpose of a feature is to entertain, usually to read in leisure moments. Was the story entertaining? The story should be in first person throughout, with an eye to incorporate outside interviews to enforce the central message. Has the author succeeded in this task?


Is this a human interest story?  How? In other words, what types of emotions has the author achieved in eliciting from you, the reader? [Does it appeal to the emotions? What are they?]


The feature lead. Does the feature story begin with an interest-arousing lead? What type is it? (Biographical sketches of people, Historical places and events, Unusual events, News Feature – focus in on a human interest angle of a news event.) What device does it employ? (Contrast, Shocker, Question, Quotation, One Word, Descriptive, Narrative)

Does the piece read like a feature or does it sound like a school essay? What suggestion can you offer to IMPROVE it?



Does the reporter make the purpose clear early in the story? What is the purpose of this story? In other words, what is the main point of this feature? How has the author been impacted or how has s/he changed?

How can this be made more effective? What could be added to make it clearer?



A feature should use plenty of quotes from interviews and vivid descriptive words. As the reader, you should be able to “see” and “hear” the author’s world vividly. Comment on the authors use of:

Interviews, Sensory imagery, Description

How could the reporter add more life to this story?



Organization: Does the story have a lead, a body, and conclusion? What area is the strongest part of the story? The weakest? Explain why for each.


Does the body add to the total facts and help carry the idea along logically? How could it be IMPROVED?



Which parts of the paper detract from the purpose? What is unnecessary?






Suggestions: Offer the writer at least two specific suggestions that might help him or her to improve the feature. Think of questions you had while reading: did it make sense? Were you able to follow along? Were you entertained? Did you feel something? Were there enough outside interviews? These may be questions that your classmate will want to answer in the next draft.