Peer reviewing is the practice of critically evaluating a fellow SPEWer's reviews in order to help that reviewer improve the quality of their work. However, this goes both ways, as spotting weaker points in others' reviewing helps one identify one's own potential areas of improvement. This are a valuable tool for improvement for both peers, but there are things to do and things NOT to do in order for this to happen.
Things to do in Peer Reviews:
- Note grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, and Potterwords mistakes in reviews
- Point out areas in the review that could be expanded on, such as plot discussion, character development, writing style, or criticisms pointed out with no explanation of why the reviewer felt it was incorrect
- Helpful comments about organising review themes
- Make suggestions that could help the reviewer ascend to the next ranking
- Follow the same care and respect protocols expected from SPEW Reviews
- Try to evaluate a range of different kinds of reviewers and reviews
- Praise what is being done right!
Things NOT to do in Peer Reviews:
- Insult or belittle the reviewer's skill level or mistakes
- Rewrite the review for the reviewer
- Suggest fiddly corrections that won't affect the overall quality of the review
- Be patronising if you are at a higher reviewing level
- Focus ad nauseum on one subject and ignore other issues that might require attention in order to pad your peer review for length
- Evaluate a review which has already been evaluated by two other reviewers
One good organisational tool for peer reviewing is working through the review paragraph by paragraph, and then a summary paragraph or two about overall quality. This helps give a fair and balanced analysis of the review, as well as an easy way for the reviewer to follow along with what you have to say.
Peer reviews will vary greatly in length, determining both on the skill of the reviewer and the evaluator, so there is no predetermined minimum or maximum length. However, how much effort and thought you put into your evaluation can easily be identified. What is important is that you are willing to put in the work to both improve your SPEW brethren and yourself at the same time.
Please direct any questions about peer reviewing to this thread, and I will answer as quickly as I can.