Peer Engagement Posts
Peer Engagement Posts require you to think further about a reading assignment after some of your peers have posted initial responses to it. In your post, you must quote both your peer and a text from the same reading assignment, and the passage you quote from the text must be different from any that your peer has quoted. As always, you must set quotations up substantively, not just with a phrase like You said. Setting them up substantively also does not mean setting them up with an evaluative statement, such as You make a great point. Avoid evaluative statements in general. Whether you think a post makes a good point or you disagree with it should be clear without those kinds of overt statements.
Whenever quoting a passage from another post, do not include the whole original message in your post: always cut everything except the passage you want to quote.
Your goal is to engage with your peer’s response thoughtfully. That means you cannot simply agree with it. You must respond in one of the following four ways:
1) Extension: This means you think your peer makes a valid point, and you build on their comment logically as the foundation for deeper analysis of the same issue. Think of this as mentally inserting the phrase (note that I say mentally — you shouldn’t write this) If this is true, then I would go further and argue that between the quotation and your own commentary. You then should bring in more textual evidence to support your point.
2) Application: This means that you think your peer makes a valid point, and you use their comment as a way to analyze a different portion of the text. You may find a similarity or a difference between the passage you quote and the one your peer quoted; either way, you still agree with your peer, because any differences result from the passage itself.
3) Rebuttal: This means you find a flaw in your peer’s analysis. This flaw may result from a problem in the logic of the analysis itself, or it may result from your peer ignoring evidence from the reading that contradicts their point. In either case, keep your criticism focused on the analysis, not the writer.
Peer Engagement Posts should be between 200 and 250 words long, not including quotations. As with Reading Response Posts, the key is working effectively with quotations. Always set up and comment on quotations, which means you should never present two quotations back-to-back. Also, do not quote your peer quoting the text: quote peers for their ideas, not their evidence.