M360M/396C, Fall 04


Please note: These steps don't necessarily have to be done in the order presented, but are provided as guidelines for what needs to be included.

When you are critiquing another student's paper:

A. Read the paper slowly, for comprehension. Check the following points:

    1. Is the mathematics correct?
    2. Does the writer give proof, rather than just examples, that something claimed to be true in general is indeed true in general?
    3.Is the writing appropriate for the intended audience (entire class plus instructor)?
    4. Is reasoning correct and well explained?
    5. Is the write-up well-organized, so as to aid rather than hinder understanding?
    6.Are motivation and examples included if needed to help explain the ideas of the solution?
    7. Is the explanation overly terse or wordy?
    8. Does the writer introduce any notation or terminology that is not clearly defined?
    9. Is logical (therefore, thus, since, etc)  and other mathematical vocabulary used, spelled, and punctuated correctly?

B. Ask the writer any questions needed to understand points that are not clear.

C.  Discuss your comments with the writer. Point out what is well done as well as what needs improvement. Phrase criticism courteously. Remember that the purpose of this exercise is for everyone to learn. A balance of support and criticism works best. If you can make suggestions for improvements, fine, but mention weak points even if you don't know how to improve them.

D. As you critique, note for your own benefit good ideas you can use in your own writing, or pitfalls to watch out for in your writing.

After your paper has been critiqued: As homework revise your write-up as needed to hand in Tuesday Thursday. Consider seriously all points brought up by your critiquer, but do not feel obligated to incorporate all suggestions they make.