Hear from Peer Review Group Members
Peer Review Groups (PRGs) bring students working on complementary research areas together across departments and programs so they can benefit from a variety of perspectives on their work. PRG members have found this beneficial saying, “it helps to have people with a different skill set, not just people in your field and major or lab group, review your work.” PRGs have been called by a participating member “a great experience to get your work critically reviewed as well as to learn how to give constructive critical feedback,” and “the best way to improve writing skills and abilities.” Students have also remarked that “it is very useful to become comfortable sharing your work with others and that it is a good motivator for continuing to make progress on your work.”
"The PRGs are a great way to receive constructive feedback in a supportive environment. After receiving and providing feedback to others in disciplines different than my own, the readability of my writing improved, my arguments were strengthened, and my confidence in my writing skills increased. Along with the group accountability, these benefits helped me make more progress in my dissertation than I would have without the weekly PRG. I believe that any graduate student would find this experience rewarding and a way to learn and grow as a writer and researcher."
Naomi, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences PRG
"PRGs are a place where one can bring their work for feedback, receive absolutely no judgment, but leave the meeting with very much improved work and a boost of confidence! In the Applied Linguistics group, even though we essentially come from the same program, our areas of specialization are mostly quite different, and this really helped me get a different perspective on my research. Also, by giving feedback to others, I immensely improved my own skillset. Whether it is research writeup, job application materials, or even just brainstorming ideas, PRG is an extremely useful addition to any grad student's schedule, and I plan on being a part of it throughout my time at ISU."
Ivana, Applied Linguistics & Technology, Applied Linguistics PRG
"The PRGs give us a chance to communicate with each other by writing. My peers in the group gave me the feedback I wanted and helped me to improve my writing. What surprised me is that I learned how to organize and improve my own writing by leaving comments on other's papers. My papers have also been significantly improved by the group and I really appreciate it."
Group member from Science + Engineering PRG
"Online summer PRGs have helped me stay focused on my research. During the pandemic, it was really valuable to get together with others in my discipline and give each other feedback on our work. I should add the fact that participating in the sessions from the comfort of my home made it very convenient!"
Nergis, Applied Linguistics & Technology, Applied Linguistics PRG
"I really enjoyed my time participating in the Peer Review Group! Being a part of this group has helped increase my writing and reviewing ability not just through receiving feedback and explaining my own writing, but also through helping review everyone else’s work. It was very useful getting exposed to different writing styles and people’s thought processes. It was almost more enlightening if the presenter’s work was out of my field of study because it helped me focus more on the fundamentals of writing and the basics of writing structure."
Tim, Ag & Bio-systems Engineering, Science + Engineering PRG
"I did not have any expectations when I joined the PRG group in the Summer. However, after a couple of sessions, I was very impressed with the kind of comments I received. The entire group not only helped me with my writing but attending PRGs regularly motivated me to work faster! You get great feedback and support from other graduate students! I would definitely recommend my friends to attend these sessions."
Malvika, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences PRG
"The PRGs are a hidden gem in the CCE. I have received tremendous help from my group members. It goes without saying that receiving feedback from a group of people with different perspectives and academic experience can always be helpful. However, even when I didn't have a complete written draft, the PRG was always a good place to start for brainstorming or outlining. The PRG also helped me to set my own deadlines for projects that are important, but not urgent, like the final project in a class for example. Even on the days when I was not receiving feedback on my work, giving productive and respectful feedback is a skill needed in our profession. I've also learned a lot from my peers' work and their experiences. Finally, I loved the sense of small community PRG has provided."
Sondoss, Applied Linguistics PRG
"Presenting work to graduate students outside of my subject area helped me find places in my writing where I was assuming too much about what the reader would know. I think feedback like this is extremely helpful in converting my writing from the kinds of things I would say to another member of my lab to the kinds of things that communicate my ideas clearly to a larger audience."
Allison, Chemistry Department
"PRG was a really useful experience. I was very impressed with my peers in the group. They could jump into a very complicated paper and help me write more logically. They made a real effort to understand, what is the point of this paper and if I was effectively stating that. In general, they were very knowledgeable. It is also very helpful to review other people's work so that you can see what mistakes are usually made and what is effective. The moderator also did a really good job with her knowledge of grammar and all the rules attached to difference writing styles. I think that my thesis was significantly improved by this group and I really enjoyed the experience."
Catherine DeLong, Soil Science, Agronomy Department
"Peer Review Groups are a valuable tool that help graduate students learn how to communicate their research clearly through writing."
"PRG is a good opportunity for all kinds of students to prepare themselves for writing an academic paper, share helpful comments and operate feedback."
Davood, Industrial Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department
"A great way to gain critical feedback on your work and to learn how to give constructive feedback to others."
Michael, Chemical Engineering, Chemical & Biological Engineering Department
"PRGs made research writing much less intimidating for me."
Mat, Wind Energy Science, Engineering, and Policy, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
"Do you still have questions about writing articles, reviews...? Come and join our PRG ASAP!"
Group Member from Animal Science