How do I set up a Writer's Workshop for the purposes of creating a peer review assignment?

Document created by Vishal Sharma on Jan 12, 2017Last modified by Vishal Sharma on Jan 12, 2017
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In this article you will learn how to create a Writer's Workshop peer review assignment from scratch. Please read "How can I add a Writer's Workshop for purposes of peer review to an already existing assignment?" for more information on adding peer review to a pre-existing assignment.

Click "Add New" and select "Writer's Workshop"


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Give your workshop a title

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Choose your Rhetorical Genre

  • Argument/analysis: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • Informative/explanatory: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • Narratives: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
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Add a description

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Choose the class and a due date

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Click "Save"

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Click to activate the Workshop for all students

You can also skip this step if you prefer to activate your Workshop when it's on the Dashboard.

Note that your peer assignment defaults to allowing the students to define their own peer review groups.

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To make peer responses anonymous:

Peer responses are by default visible to students. To make peer responses anonymous click "Assignment Options"

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Click the toggle switch to "yes" to make the peer review responses anonymous.

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To change Response Topics:


Click "Response Topics."

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Select the 'Argument/analysis' response topics (up to six)

  1. Click "Lock" to prevent students from changing the topics. NOTE: Genre must be locked before you can lock the topics. Please read "How can I lock the assignment genre for a Writer's Workshop peer assignment?" to see how to do this.

  2. Select topics for the reader to respond to the writing by clicking in the box next to the topic. Selected topics will be the featured response areas that readers will be highlighting and commenting on as they read. To assist them as they respond to your writing, sentence starters appear in the comment box for the reader to explain their response. Both features are important to the task. Writers are able to have up to six areas for feedback.

  3. Writers can also add a custom topic.

Click "Save Topics" when you're ready.

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To change Summary Questions:

Click "Summary Questions"

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Edit and Select Student Summary Questions


Summary questions are for the writer/student to solicit specific areas of general feedback about their writing. These questions should focus the reader feedback on areas they would notice after finishing the reading. Students are able to modify the content of any unlocked question.
  1. Edit the WriterKey pre-filled reflection questions if you wish;
  2. Uncheck the box to remove a question;
  3. Click the lock to prevent students from editing this question.
Click "Save Questions" when you're done editing questions.

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Click "Done, return to Dashboard"


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Click "Activate your Writer's Workshop" when you're ready to make it available to your students


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