This week students worked tirelessly on their informational essays. After several lessons and examples, they finally completed their rough drafts. These drafts were submitted to turnitin.com. One of the things I love about this site is that it allows students to read and evaluate one another's essays using questions that I personally write. In addition, the person evaluating the essay can comment directly on the writer's rough draft.
I gave the students a long talk before we began and made sure that they all understood to comment in a respectful, kind manner. I also encouraged them to give the quality of feedback that they would like to receive on their own writing. Most students did an outstanding job. I was so pleased with how serious they took this task. In addition, students were required to complete a self-evaluation which forced them to take another look at their draft.
I am hoping that students received some valuable feedback. Of course, I told them that it is up to them whether or not they take they advice of their peers. In addition, I feel that reading other student's essays provides students with the opportunity to read some outstanding work, as well as essays that need work!
Finally, students do not know whose essay they are evaluating (unless the writer put his or her name on it). However, I can read the feedback that each person provided. Just thought you might like to know a little bit more about why I use turnitin.com and love it so much!
Below is a screen shot of some of the questions students were required to answer, as well as one student's answers.
Here is another screen shot. It shows how students can write a suggestion directly on the essay.
This is an example of the comments I made on a student's final draft.