Questions: Workshop Guidelines

Here are some questions to guide you as you help your classmates with their papers. It is also helpful to ask these questions of yourself as you read over your drafts. Answer all questions in complete sentences in the margin of the essay. Do not write on this piece of paper.

  1. What do you think the controlling purpose/main idea of this paper is?  Is there a clear thesis statement?  If so, what is it?  If not, what could it be? Does it have 2-3 reasons why they believe what they believe?
  2. Does this paper have a point?  Why is it important? What is their argument? Underline it and reiterate it the margins.
  3. Does the author use specific examples?
  4. What are these examples? Make note of them in the essays and say why they are good.
  5. Does the author overuse 2nd person (you)? Circle all instances of you.
  6. Is the introduction exciting?  Does it make you want to keep reading? Give the author a comment about his/her intro.
  7. Where could the author add more description or make things clearer?  Make note of these places in the essay and let them know what they could add.
  8. Is there any information that is irrelevant or just doesn’t seem to fit?  Can it be eliminated?  Make note of these sections in the essay.
  9. What did you find particularly effective or successful in this draft?  Let the author know in your end note.
  10. Do you have a favorite part?  What is it? Put this in the end note or mark the places in the margins.
  11. Is there a paragraph addressing each point in the thesis? If not, what parts have the left out. If there is, which paragraph is developed the best. Which one needs more work?  Make notations in the margins.
  12. Which area of this paper needs the most work and revision? Make notations in the margins.
  13. Underline all in-text citations. If there are none, make a note to the author where they should be added.
  14. Other comments or suggestions?—Write this in the end note.
  15. Is there a works cited page? If so, check the format. If not, remind them to add in one.


A handout of this resource is available here.