In order to do interview peer response,

1) you pair the students up when they come into class. 

2) You give each of them a handout of interview questions that you have designed (What key parts do you want to see in their papers? can see what Buzz Wheeler wanted in the example below).

3) Students must then interview each other and write down answers.  They should NOT look at their papers.  The trick here is to get them to talk out their ideas in response.  For example, Bob and Tuan are paired together

Bob:  "What were the results of your survey?" (reading from interview questions)
Tuan: "I found that more women than men had used the library." (Bob writes down what Tuan says)
Bob: "How many more?"
Tuan: "20% more, but mainly they were older women."
Bob: "What is your interpretation of these results?" (reading from interview questions)
Tuan (realizing he left this part out of his draft): "Well, I think that this shows..."

After they are done interviewing each other, Bob gives Tuan notes on what she said, and Tuan gives Bob the notes on what he said.  They can they use the notes to add to what they missed writing in their papers.  The example below asks students to read their own paper out loud to their partner after they are done with the interview. This helps students catch surface errors.

Interview Peer Response
(sample is from a peer response done for a preliminary draft in Buzz Wheeler's Elder Law paralegal class.)

In your pair, you will interview your partner about his or her paper.  Each writer should answer the questions without looking at his/her paper.  

 The theory behind this type of peer response: 

         Sometimes writers can explain out loud what they are trying to do in a paper better than they can write it. This helps them clarify what they might want to do with a draft.

         Sometimes writers get lost in the words of their paper and lose perspective on what they were supposed to do in the assignment.  Talking about what is in your draft (or should be in your draft) can help you take a step back and get an overview of what you need to do in the paper.

You will each serve as an interviewer for your partner.  As the interviewer, youíll need to ask your partner the following questions and write down his/her response.  When you are done, give your partner this written record of what he/she said.  If, while talking, your partner realized that he/she left something out of the draft, he or she will have your notes to assist in revision.


1.      Whom did you interview and how do you know this person?



2.      What are key aspects of this personís current family situation?



3.      What is the highest educational level the person you interviewed achieved?



  4.      What are the key aspects of this personís current living situation?



5.      What other aspects would be important to give a clear picture of this personís life right now? (Interviewers: if you want to ask more specific questions based on what youíve heard or what youíve experienced in your own draftwork, ask them now!)



6.      The section you have just written should be a ďsynopsis of interesting facts and factors about a specific person that will give your reader some insight into the realm of getting older.ď   





7.   If you finish the above, each person should read his/her draft out loud to her partner.  Studies have shown that students can correct up to 60% of their own grammar errors if they take the time to pay attention and edit!!  Reading your draft out loud is one of the best ways to do this.  As you read out loud, listen for places where the sentences or ideas donít flow clearly and watch for spelling errors.