Prof. McMahand


English Composition


Peer Edit Sheet for Fiction Analysis


Heading and Title/Formatting

1.      Has the writer included his or her name, Prof. McMahand, course title, and date?

2.      Is there too much space between items, not enough?

3.      Does the title contain all the needed parts—author, source title, and thesis idea? For a two story analysis, check to see if the writer has included the authors’ names and the thesis idea.

4.      Is the title too wordy?  Does it clearly indicate the essay’s focus?

5.      Check the spacing of the title (and of the entire essay).   The entire paper should be double spaced and have one-inch margins.

6.      Has the writer mistakenly emboldened the title or underlined it?  Are the proper parts of the title in quotes?  Offer suggestions.



1.      Does the writer construct a clearly developed framework, relating the story (its subject, structure, theme, etc.) to a social issue or reality?  Where and how should the writer expand his framing remarks?  Where may the writer make cuts?  Most important, is the framework closely connected to the analysis?

2.      Does the writer smoothly introduce the author and title in the opening paragraph?  For example:  In Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis … OR: Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” captures….

3.      Examine the thesis carefully.  Has the writer assembled a forceful, argumentative statement(s) that lends clarity and dimension to the story’s theme, structure, imagery, voice, etc.?  How might the writer improve the content and the phrasing?


Argument and Analysis

1.      Does the writer offer an intimate (and convincing) discussion of characters and themes?  

2.      Do the claims gesture back to the thesis, or do some of these seem unnecessarily divergent?

3.      Where could the writer better improve her analysis?  Does she overlook certain passages in the text?  Does she ignore provocative images, gloss over powerful bits of dialogue which would illustrate or complicate her claims?

4.      How repetitive is the analysis?  Are there noticeable gaps in the argument, in its

clarity, flow, logic, stability?  In other words, does the writer explain all of his ideas clearly?  And does the writer fully appreciate the complexity of the story—its subtle tonal shifts and contradictions, its structural unity?

5.      Does the writer quote too often from the text?  Should the writer quote the story more?




1.      Suggest ways to improve any restatements of thesis and focus.

2.      Offer points of improvement to the writer’s transition from the body to the conclusion.

3.      Suggest a new, related point to “brighten up” the conclusion.


General Concerns

1.      Does the writer remember to write consistently in present tense

2.      Does the writer avoid passive voice sentences and phrases like “This is shown…”?

3.      Does the writer slip into a use of “you” or “your”?

4.      Does the writer introduce and cite all quotations?

5.      Suggest changes for awkward phrasing, grammar, and mechanics (putting all punctuation inside quotation marks, for example).

6.      Point out places for improving transitions within and between paragraphs.

7.      Check the writer’s use of MLA in citing, building a Works Cited page, creating a proper heading and title. 

8.      Good titles briefly comment on theme and include the title of the literary work.

Example:  Familial Demise in John Updike’s “Separating” 

Example:  The Beloved as Body and Earth in Neruda’s Cien Sonetos de amor

Example:  Horror and the Loss of Innocence in Stories by Kafka and O’Connor