Peer Review Sample

This is a sample peer review for Connor McCole’s  draft blogpost “Better options than fracking“.  You should read Connor’s post before reading this review. I also would like to thank Connor for allowing me to post this review as an example.

Hi Connor,

Thank you for making a post on fracking. I think it is a timely topic of direct concern to Pennsylvania.

The first thing that I noticed about your post is that two of your sources are about fracking in Great Britain. I think it would be more effective to focus your post on the impacts to Pennsylvania. An online search turned up this recent article in the New York Times discussing a study about impacts to drinking water in Pennsylvania. It appears to contain links to primary sources that may be useful for your post.

In your topic statement, and in your conclusion, you’ve mentioned the need for alternatives to fracking. I think there should be a paragraph in your post about potential alternatives. Are you referring to alternative methods for recovering shale gas, or are you referring to alternative energy sources to replace the use of natural gas entirely?

In your draft you present three mathematical questions. You could focus your post on one aspect of fracking, instead of trying to address three different types of impacts in one post. You might be able to make the impact of fracking more tangible to me by putting the water use in human terms. For example, how much fracking fluid is involved in recovering enough gas to heat my home for one year? Is this impact significant when viewed on this scale?

You could also expand on the impact of transporting water to fracking sites as  mentioned in your second mathematical question. How many truck loads of water are needed for one well?

Finally, in your conclusion you state that fracking is ‘one of the most environmentally destructive acts we can partake in’. I think this claim warrants additional support in your post. It’s not clear to me how to directly compare the different trade-offs most of our energy sources seem to involve.  How does the impact of coal-fired power plants compare with the impacts of fracking, for example?

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