This is just the prompt. You’ll submit peer review at the actual Vignette (Draft #2) and Style Memo (Draft #1) (Links to an external site.)assignment as an attachment to your partner’s submission (as usual). You can also find this same prompt by scrolling down to the bottom of the prompt for Vignette (Draft #2) and Style Memo (Draft #1).
Peer Review Instructions: For this peer review session, I’d like us to take on a slightly more personal tone. Therefore, instead of answering a questionnaire about your partner’s vignette, you’re going to write them a personalized letter.
Critique letters are common practice in creative writing circles. When I was a writer in graduate school here at UCI, I wrote no fewer than two a week, sometimes three, and usually about stories that were 20-30 pages long. Letter-writing is also just a great skill to have, as, whether you plan to apply for graduate school or enter the job market after you graduate from UCI, you’ll be writing lots of letters: letters of admission, letters of interest to potential employers. Since text-messaging has gotten a hold of us, sometimes, our more long form letter-writing skills are forgotten. So use this as your first practice letter-writing opportunity this quarter. There will be more.
How to format your letter: Letter-formatting is easy, but it’s also easy to forget. There are lots of rules when it comes to writing a business letter (see here (Links to an external site.) for some tips); however, when writing a personal letter (like we’re doing in this assignment), not all of those rules apply. Therefore, when you format your critique letter to your partner, make sure you include the following: the date, a salutation (Dear so and so), a polished and correctly capitalized and punctuated body, and a closing. In personal letters, closings can be anything from “Your Friend,” to “Sincerely,” depending on the level of formality you’d like you invoke, ie: if this is someone you know well, a more casual closing is probably okay. But if you’re not sure, best to go with the more formal “Sincerely.”
How to give your letter to your partner: Easy. Type up and save your letter as a Microsoft word document. When you enter peer review, click to Upload a File. Here, you may upload your letter straight to the comments box. This is much easier than typing or copy/pasting a full letter into the comments box.
What to include in your letter:
- First: Margin Notes. Before beginning your letter, read your peer partner’s vignette on Canvas at least TWICE, making good notes for them in the margins noting anywhere their writing is unclear or confusing, or anywhere the writing seems to veer from its stylistic or thematic goal. Give them praise where deserved.
- Second: The letter. Write your partner a half-page minimum SINGLE-SPACED letter providing your personalized, critical response to their vignette AND to their style memo. As previously stated, this letter is called a critique letter. For the Vignette, focus on the author’s use of details (first and foremost), use of duality (Does the writer seem to understand the concept? Are they illustrating that understanding here?), and clarity (Does the writing “flow” well? Is it easy to read?). For the Style Memo, does the author use ample concrete evidence (i.e., quotations) from BOTH their vignette and from Steinbeck? Do they analyze the evidence fully in their own words (i.e., not summarizing what it says, but explaining how it creates effects)? Is it compelling and convincing? Is it well organized?
- Do give the author deserved praise, but do not spend your entire letter on only positive aspects. The goal here is to be respectfully honest and to practice acknowledging problems in your partner’s writing so that you may become better at acknowledging them in your own.
Due SUNDAY at 11:59pm (PST)