Select one or more of the following student essays, read their paper carefully, and answer the following eight questions, in at least one full page of response (250 words or more). Be sure to number your responses, and give the kind of feedback you’d like to receive as a writer to help you effectively and successfully improve your own paper.

Please note: Each question should be described clearly and specifically explained; simple “yes” or “no” answers are insufficient.


  1. Which specific ideas, words, phrases, or images struck you as particularly memorable and effective?
  2. Which specific things struck you as confusing or needing elaboration?
  3. Where does the writer use descriptions to tell rather than show? Where would more sensory description, dialogue, or detail help readers engage more with the narrative?
  4. As a reader, what do you want to hear more about?
  5. In your own words, what would you say is the meaning of your peer’s essay?
  6. Is the meaning significant and clear, and does it have a strong connection to the narrative? Is the reflection on the idea discussed at least 25% of the essay?
  7. What does this draft do especially well?
  8. What two or three things would most improve the draft in revision?


Select one of the following essays for your student response (see attachments below for student essays. Please note that “My First Time” includes mild violence that some may find unsettling; if this might bother you, please select a different essay.):