First, let me apologize to my fellow bloggers at PEA Soup for taking so long to break my silence. I agreed to join a couple of days before leaving for an extended vacation on the East Coast, and upon my return, the great weather we have had here made several home improvement projects shoot to the top of my priority list. But now that fall quarter has begun, my mind is back to philosophy and all that it has to offer.
Specifically, I have been thinking about my courses and the assignments I give to my students. I believe that a philosophy course must have an argumentative paper at its core, but I have been frustrated in the past with the papers I receive from students. So last winter, in an effort to improve student writing, I assigned a peer editing project to my students. Students were required to write a rough draft of their paper, and exchange these drafts on a specific date with other students in the class. They were then required to edit the papers they received from their classmates, return them to the authors, and make changes to their papers based on these comments.