Analysis of a Peer's Essay

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This essay is a detailed report of a peer-reviewed exercise conducted on a peer's essay. The analysis of the essay involved five members whose analysis was guided by a marking rubric. The essay was first read out then scrutinized further using the marking rubric given. The essay that was analyzed is titled ‘The Discovery of Evolution' and contains a detailed description of the discovery and the progress of evolution. The essay explains the discovery of human evolutions, with a focus on; the main actors responsible for the discovery, the significant milestones of the discovery, how the discovery conflicted with worldviews and beliefs, as well as the importance of the discovery. From our analysis, the essay followed most of the assignment instructions but the quality of the writing was average, with the writer omitting some important elements or failing to give enough detail of the same.

2.  Method

The peer review process first started with an understanding of the requirements of the exercise. To do this, we went through the requirements and the marking rubric. We studied the making rubric to ensure that we understood what was expected of us and what we had to be conscious about as we read the essay assigned to us. Once we understood the rubric, we then all read the essay first, without a deep analysis, which most of us only elicited few mistakes. However, we then used the marking rubric and re-read the essay with a critical eye, to ensure we did not miss anything. We analyzed the essay as a whole, checking to see whether it met all the requirements expected in the essay. During this stage of analysis, the emphasis was on the content of the essay. Each of us then gave an opinion on what they thought of the essay, basing our opinions on the marking rubric. After that, we discussed and came up with a general opinion.

We started with the introduction, reading it aloud, and then criticizing it together, with each individual giving an opinion of what they thought of the introduction and what was lacking. After everyone gave an opinion, we then analyzed the specific section and agreed upon how the section was. After the introduction was done, we then went through each of the paragraphs and criticized them, paying attention to the argument, quality of writing, referencing and citation, use of peer-reviewed evidence and research.

3. Results

After analyzing the essay, we gave marks, basing our awarding on the rubric assigned. We all decided to award the essay a grade of 67%. This grade was arrived at, through awarding specific marks for each of the sections of the essay as shown in the rubric. Each criterion had a certain mark that needed to be awarded based on the degree to which the essay adhered to the instructions and requirements. The essay had a clear and concise introduction that met all the requirements but a conclusion that was too short, which failed to reference the introduction and did not highlight important points of the essay. The essay had peer-reviewed references to support the essay but which were not well-cited in the essay. Most of the paragraphs did not have in-text citations within them, failing to indicate where some of the information and quotes were obtained from. However, the work was well proof-read with little grammatical errors and an argument well presented but lacking in some details. The organization was poor, with some paragraphs not well outlined,

While the structure of the essay can be termed as good, the content is also good. The essay makes a good argument for the discovery of evolution; first explaining what it means then it gives basic facts on it. It also clearly explains the discovery in a logical manner, while describing the context in which the discovery was made. The essay helps the reader understand how the evolution process started and its progress so far. Also, it explains how the process shook up societal and religious beliefs and the criticism. After explaining the obstacles, it elicits the progress made thus far with regards to acceptance of the discovery and how it has changed human beliefs. The essay, however, failed to discuss in detail the change in beliefs the discovery brought. It also fails to give a detailed view of the modes of investigations that were used for the discovery of evolution and fails to explain how the discovery has superseded previous knowledge.

  The essay, however, explains the roles of several actors, detailing how each of them made a contribution to the discovery. What is missing, however, is the description of players and a connection of how each of the players helped enlighten other players. Overall, the essay gives sufficient and logical information on the discovery of evolution. However, some critical details are missing. It also has good organization and formatting, with few grammatical errors.

Written Assignment 1 – Option A: Marking Rubric


                    Very Good



Needs work

Follows all of the assignment instructions precisely and in an engaging and very readable style


                     nearly all of

the    assignment instructions, or follows them all but the quality of writing could be better

Follows most of the assignment instructions carefully, AND/OR the quality of writing was average

Follows most of the assignment instructions somewhat carelessly,  AND/OR the quality of writing was poor

Does not follow most of the assignment instructions,  AND/OR the quality of writing is poor overall

Person 1


Person 3

Person 4

Person 5

40% in total:

Each row = 5%


Very good, Great introduction, states purpose of the essay and provides some background information.

Very good, clear and concise. States the purpose of the essay whilst providing important key information. 

Very good, interesting and aims are clearly discussed.

Excellent, states the topic points and the aims of the essay. Very interesting and has a good brief outline of background info (but a few grammatical errors)

Excellent – the intro is interesting and easily read while also outlining clearly what is going to be discussed.


Adequate, very small conclusion, does conclude the essay, however does not conclude the argument or summarizes.

Adequate, Quite small, Does not reference back to the introduction and the key points said.

Adequate, little information discussed. Summary of essay was minimal. 

Adequate, a bit too short, doesn’t summaries the points just summaries the essay itself

Adequate – does not mention the argument, does not, slight discussion of the findings.

Referencing and Citation

Needs work, very few in-text citations used, paraphrasing could use some work.

Needs work, Paragraphs are quite large without many references.

Needs work, Only included one or no references in an entire paragraph.

Needs Work, Hardly any references in text, limited amount of references

Needs work - Quotes and paraphrasing not referenced correctly, very few in text references when there clearly should be

Proof reading and editing (grammar, spelling & punctuation)

Very good,  very few grammatical mistakes overall

Very good, Needs some slight work with some sentence structure to make it flow. Overall very good.    

Excellent, very few mistakes.

Very Good, hardly any mistakes, just need to be slightly adjusted for the 'flow' of reading

Excellent – very few mistakes, present mistakes can be easily picked up by proof reading again

Quality of writing (paragraph structure and presentation)

Good, paragraphs are confusingly spaced, however the presentation is nice

Very good, Paragraphs are defined but may need to be spaced apart more. 

Good, paragraphs may be more effective if spaced further apart. 

Good, every paragraph has evidence and its interpretation, spacing was a bit strange and some paragraphs could have been combined to be made longer

Very good – paragraphs are somewhat well defined, each point of the assignment should have its own paragraph, grouping together points from the same part of the assignment

Clear and logical argument

Good, valid points are summarized, but could use some more editing

Good, The arguments are summaruzed well but is lacking some detail.

Good, argument is clearly stated but could include a little more information.

Good, states the argument and evidence well valid points but not much detail

Good – the argument is clear, but it’s lacking in the details

Support from peer-reviewed evidence

Good, several peer reviewed articles have been used

Adequate, not a lot of support seen with large paragraphs. Most of the essay is not referenced.  

Adequate, peer reviewed references have been used but most of the essay does not appear to be referenced.

Adequate, well supported by good sources, just needs to be more of them

Good – some peer reviewed references were used but could use more

Amount of  overall research

Good, more references should be used, but all sources used are peer reviewed

Good, A good amount of research but could use more detail as well as more references.

Good, a little more information could be used.

Good, all the basic information was there just need to research a bit more for more detail

Good –  clearly lots of research was done but more references could be used to back up some of the larger points

Person 1


Person 3

Person 4

Person 5

60% in total:

Each row = 10%

Makes a discernible argument about the importance of the scientific discovery in question

Good, okay argument regarding the importance of the discovery.

Good,  A good presentation  of arguments with regards to the importance of the discovery.

Good, argument is presented well but more information could have made in more effective.

Good, presented well and outlines what evolution is an important discovery

Good – decent argument as to why its important, more research into the benefits of the discovery would help

Describes the scientific discovery and the context in which it was made.

Very good, context in which discovery was made was clear and precise

Very good, Clearly describes the discovery in a logical format.  

Very good, clearly discussed the discovery and the context in which it was made.

Very Good, good amount of information would have been useful to know where the scientist made their discoveries and more information on how

Good – discovery was well defined throughout each new addition to the human evolutionary pathway, was described well how it contrasted existing ‘facts’

Describes the roles of the main actors responsible for the discovery

Good, describes brief introductions to the actors involved in the discovery.

Good, briefly describes the main actors but requires more information in regards to how they played their parts.  

Good, actors appear to be discussed.

Good, acknowledges the key players but needed more description on the players themselves

Good – vague descriptions of each actors’ role throughout the discovery, more description on how each part played a role

Discusses the significant milestones of the discovery

Good, milestones stated and briefly explained

Very good, Milestones are stated in a logical format and are discussed well.  

Very good, appeared to discuss milestone well.

Very Good, very important milestones all discussed but needs more detail

Very good - the different parts of the discovery were described but could use some more detail (exact dates)

Discusses the modes of investigation used and how the discovery superseded previous knowledge

Adequate, a few modes were introduced, however lacking how it superseded knowledge.

Adequate, Vaguely mentioned and need to be expanded with more detailed information.

Adequate, couldn’t see much about how the discovery superseded previous knowledge.

Adequate, a but vague, needs more detail in how they went about the research

Adequate – not a lot of discussion on how it superseded previous knowledge, very little on how the discoveries were made (Methods used for finding the fossils, how they were found to be of     human-ish origin)

Discusses how the discovery changed humanity’s prevailing concepts and beliefs

Good, small discussion of the change of beliefs in humanity.

Good, could use more information in regards to beliefs. More about religion can be included. 

Good, this is discussed briefly.

Good, only talks of one or two societal concepts but more so focuses on the scientific community

Good – there is little but descriptive discussion on how the discovery has challenged humanities beliefs (religion)

4. Discussion

From this exercise, I gained several lessons on written communication and the dynamics of teamwork. I learnt that written information is important in passing a message since I learnt a lot concerning the discovery of evolution and how it has changed over time. Also, I learnt that for written communication, it is important to have an order in the presentation of content and in the formatting of the writing. Writing down information in a concise, detailed and eligible manner is important in understanding any written information. The order with which information is presented is important to help a reader follow through and get a better understanding of what is written. Also, a good command of grammar and spelling is also vital.

For our group, working together was not as challenging as would be expected. We had a successful exercise, with few disagreements. What helped us was the presence of a guiding rubric which guided out analysis. Therefore, every member gave opinions as per the rubric. Also, the rubric provided an opportunity for every member to contribute, without anyone being left out. I learnt that it is important for everyone to have a voice during teamwork. When every person's voice is heard, the team proceeds well since everyone feels welcomed. I also learnt that it is important for a team to have guiding principles and policies to avoid collision and tension.

5. Conclusion

The essay ‘The Discovery of Evolution' was good, with the writer having to adhered to most of the instructions that were laid down. Also, the writer presented information in a clear and concise manner, with understandable vocabulary. The organization was average, having a poor arrangement of paragraphs. The essay did not have some important details and was not well cited, which leaves some information unreferenced. The content was sufficient but could have been more detailed hence the quality of the writing was average.

From this assignment, I have learnt lots of information on the discovery of evolution. Also, I have learnt the importance of detailed research and the assembling of references before writing an essay. I have also learnt the importance of citing any work borrowed since lack of citing makes it look plagiarized. In addition, I have learnt that proper arrangement of content and the essay is important in successful written communication.


Horowitz, R. a. S. S., 1987. Comprehending Oral and Written Language. s.l.:Academic Press, Inc.,1250 Sixth Ave. San Diego, CA 92101.

August 09, 2023


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