Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Peer-Review Groups

Peer-review groups provide a supportive, collegial environment to share work in progress and receive feedback at any stage of writing. Joining a peer review group can boost your progress by providing structure and motivation for your writing. In this small community of other writers, you’ll learn from the writing strategies of your peers and draw on their responses to improve the clarity and nuance of your work.

Types of groups

The Graduate Writing Lab offers peer-review groups on

  • dissertation writing
  • fellowship applications
  • prospectus writing
  • writing for job searches
  • research paper writing

Our Writing Specialist also offers groups in specialized genres for Law School students.

How to Join a Peer-Review Group

Peer-review groups typically form during the first few weeks of each semester and meet weekly throughout the term. Groups that would like to continue meeting may typically carry over to the following term—possibly with a few changes in membership. Groups are advertised through the Graduate Writing Lab newsletter sent to all registered GSAS students. You may also email grad.writing@yale.edu for more information.

What to Expect

5- to 7-member groups are facilitated by the Graduate Writing Lab Fellows, who organize and plan meetings, create the schedule of presentations, monitor attendance, and guide the discussion. At the first meeting, group members will discuss their goals for the group and agree on a schedule and way of working together that aligns with the goals of each participant. 

At each weekly meeting, two or three members present written work for detailed feedback. The members of the group have reciprocal obligations—you give me feedback this week, and I will respond to your paper next week.

Benefits of Joining a Peer-Review Group

In addition to the helpful feedback you receive on your work in progress, peer-review groups offer a sense of community to energize your writing and provide emotional support when you need it. The diverse specialties of the group members foster innovative thinking and can broaden your sense of the scope and impact of your research.

Peer-review groups are built around enhancing your productivity and keeping you on track with your project. Near-term goal setting is closely linked to motivation, and peer-review groups offer a structured space to set writing goals and hold yourself accountable to those goals through regular check-ins.

In contrast to an academic setting that can feel impersonal and anonymous, group members become colleagues you can turn to for the kind of advice, encouragement, and sympathy that can only be given by scholars undertaking an ambitious writing project similar to yours.