My college composition students have been giving feedback to their colleagues’ arguments the past few days. One thing I always remind them before each new round of peer reviews is that we don’t do this just to provide feedback, though that’s nice.

What’s just as important is what they’re learning from others’ writing and applying to their own.

So I give them a tool to help them remember things they want to check in their own papers.

The magical Post-It Note.

As they read others’ papers and gave feedback, I asked them to write themselves notes about their own papers. Are their transitions working? Do they need more direct quotes? Is there a section that needs strengthening?

At the end of the period, they stuck their note next to their name on easel paper (plus this doubles as a quick accountability of who met these expectations.) When they return back to their own papers to do revisions, they’ll not only have the feedback others gave them but also their own post-it notes about what they wanted to work on more.