Monday, April 12, 2010

Please give my draft a meaning

I often find myself reviewing drafts of manuscripts and presentations for my colleagues. Usually I end up reviewing the direct results of a first draft. Consequently, the writing is almost always incoherent and does not feel like a "whole" document. I  fix many grammatical and mechanical flaws but find myself unable to critique the most important part of the document, that being the overall message itself. I believe that it is because of the fact that I am reviewing a first draft that I cannot perform this essential review function.

A major emphasis of my composition classes in college was that writing is a long process with many steps. A document will go through a large number of changes and will only superficially resemble any drafts that led to its completion. Proper placement of peer review in the writing process is essential to maximizing its effectiveness; if utilized too early, it reduces the quality of a finished work and costs valuable time.