peer review 235

Final Draft Peer Review

Please use this sheet to offer your peer comments on his or her draft. You may also leave comments

about writing style or structure.

Title

1. After reading the title, do you know what key issue the policy brief will address?

Abstract

1. After reading the abstract, do you know what problem the paper will be addressing? If so, what

is the problem?

Please note that the problem should not be about which state controls the

disputed territory or how to resolve the territorial dispute.

2. After reading the abstract, do you know what policy options the writer will explore? If so, what

are they?

3. After reading the abstract, do you know what course of action the writer will recommend? If so,

what is it and why does the writer recommend this course of action?

Introduction

1. What background information does the writer provide to help contextualize the problem

discussed in the policy brief? What other sorts of background details (if any) would help you

better understand the problem at hand?

2. Are there irrelevant background details described in the introduction? If so, what are they?

3. What is the specific problem described in the introduction and why is it important?

4. What is the paper’s purpose?

5. What policy options are explored in the paper?

6. What is the recommended course of action, and why does the writer prefer this course of

action?

7. How does the paper progress? What is the paper’s road map?

8. Is the language in the introduction too similar to the language in the abstract (such that

sentences are clearly copied and pasted)?

Problem Description Section

1. What is the subheading for the problem description (it should not be “Problem Description”)?

Does it give a clear understanding of what is addressed in the section?

2. Summarize important details about the problem addressed in the paper. Does the writer

address the problem of statehood (the problem should not be statehood)?

3. What caused the problem that the writer addresses?

4. Are there any irrelevant details about what caused the problem? If so, what are they?

5. Why is the problem described important?

6. Is it clear that the writer thoroughly researched the problem? Are there sufficient sources cited

to convince you that the writer clearly understands the problem?

Policy Options Section

1. What is the subheading for the policy options section (it should not be “Policy Options”)? Is it

descriptive?

2. Does the first policy option clearly aim to resolve the problem described? If so, how?

3. Are the pros and cons of the first option clearly described? If so, what are they?

4. Does the second policy option clearly aim to resolve the problem described? If so, how?

5. Are the pros and cons of the second option clearly described? If so, what are they?

6. If there is a third option presented, does it clearly aim to resolve the problem described? If so,

how?

7. If there is a third option presented, are the pros and cons clearly described? If so, what are

they?

8. Which policy option is the best? Why is this one the best?

9. Are there subheadings throughout this section of the paper to differentiate the policy options

from each other?

Conclusion

1. What are the main take-home points from the paper? Are they clearly described?

2. What course of action does the writer recommend? Why?

3. How might resolving the particular problem at hand help move the conflict case toward

resolution? How might resolving the particular problem reduce the conflict’s intractability?

Writing Quality

1. Did you frequently have to re-read sentences to understand their meaning? This is usually an

indication of poor sentence structure. Please offer some comments for how the writer could

improve on sentence structure.

2. Did you ever ask yourself, “Where is this paragraph going?” If so, this is usually an indication of

poor paragraph structure. Please offer some comments for how the writer could improve on

paragraph structure and flow.

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