Peer Review of the literature

Out-of-Class Peer Review:

Summary of the Literature

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Author’s Name: ___________________________ Reviewer’s Name: ___________________________


  • Exchange paper with your assigned partner
  • When sending the paper over email, say briefly what you struggled with the most in writing this section of the paper and what feedback you would most like on the paper assignment, in addition to what is listed below.
  • Read your partner’s paper. Give feedback on the questions listed below and on the areas they noted they would like feedback.
  • Bring completed worksheet to class on November 10th

Overall Summary of the Literature

  1. Does the author make it clear, at the beginning of this section, what types of articles will be summarized, the main research questions, and the main findings?
  2. After reading the paper, write a paragraph that gives your overall summary of the literature based on what the author presented.

Themes in the Literature

  1. Does the paper group the articles into themes?
  2. If so, list the main themes used by the author to synthesize the articles.
  3. If not, after reading the summaries of the articles presented, can you identify any possible themes that the author could use to group the articles together?

Summary Content

  1. What research questions are examined in the various papers summarized by the author?
  2. What data sets do the papers use? Do some data sets appear to be more useful than others (e.g., large panel data set preferred to small cross-sectional data set)?
  3. What methods do the papers use? Do some of the methods appear to be more credible than others (e.g., quasi-experimental preferred to cross-sectional regression)?
  4. What are the main findings of these papers? Do the papers appear to come to a consensus (i.e., all find positive effects or all find negative effects) or are the results contradictory (i.e., some find positive effects and others find negative effects)?


  1. Comment on the grammar in the paper. Is the paper easy to read?
  2. Does the structure of the paper have a logical flow? Would the paper benefit from being structured in a different way and, if so, how?


  1. How many sources does the paper cite? Are they a majority from economics journals?
  2. Is it clear in the summaries, what content is cited from the articles and what content is the authors own insights?

Overall impressions

  1. What are the best qualities about this paper?
  2. What are some areas in which the paper could be improved?
  3. Additional comments to help the author improve the paper

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