Social interaction during peer editing: does it make a difference?

This comparative study between two fourth grade classes examines the effects of social interactions during peer editing. A convenient sample of ten students from each class peer edited their writings. One class socially interacted during the editing session, the other class silently corrected errors. In addition to an error analysis on rough and final drafts, teachers and students were observed and interviewed. Findings showed Classroom A had significantly better rough and final drafts because of the teacher's and students' attitudes, expectations and training. Social peer editing also showed positive benefits when students were allowed to choose their own partners. Based on the error analysis, no significant difference was found between writings. Approximately the same amount of errors were found whether the students interacted during peer editing, or quietly make corrections. This is mainly because the types of errors students were looking for didn't necessarily need to be heard out loud to be identified. In future studies the use of social interaction may prove beneficial during the revision process or in other stages of writing.