A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.

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Why Use Common Comments?

For Peer Reviews: Provide helpful critiques by pasting the Common Comments (see navigation bar to your right) on your peer's drafts.

For Teacher Feedback: Paste these helpful comments on students' papers, and they can follow the hyperlinks to learn more about your comments and even take quizzes to help them better understand core concepts.

Focus, Organization, Evidence, Style, and Format--these are important rhetorical and contextual concerns for academic writers. Without attending to these matters, writers cannot successfully communicate. When teachers respond to student writing, they often address these concerns. Likewise, when students conduct peer reviews, they also address these concerns in their feedback.

To aid students and teachers, faculty and graduate students at the University of South Florida analyzed teachers' comments on over 26,000 student essays. After consulting their own expertise, as well as this corpus of texts and teacher commentary, they developed the following common comments. These common comments hyperlink to articles at Writing Commons that elaborate on the comment; some articles also have quizzes that you can be taken to check comprehension.

Instructions: Click on the headers (Focus, Organization, Evidence, Style, MLA, APA) to expand the Common Comments for each section. Copy and paste common comments as desired.

Rhetorical situation

Assignment requirements




Supporting Sources

Supporting details




Organizational structure


Sentence organization

Paragraph organization

Transitions and Segues




Point of View


Sentence construction

Spelling, Capitalization, and Italics

Tone and Voice

Word choice

Word order

General format

First-page format 


In-text citations

Works Cited

Annotated Bibliography

Document Format

Title Page


Main Body

In-text Citations