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Please complete the checklist below, add comments (both constructive and commendatory) for each of the criteria, and answer the questions at the end of the sheet. Be as specific as possible, giving page or paragraph references when appropriate. Mark specific points needing improvement on the draft when appropriate. Remember to comment on positive aspects of the report, in addition to providing constructive comments for revisions that will improve the overall quality of the paper.





Reviewer’s Comments


  • Follows expected organization (Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Literature Cited)
  • Section headings present


  • Accurately follows APA, Chicago, Turabian, or other academically appropriate writing style.


  • Concise, informative, and specific
  • Not in question form


  • No more than one paragraph in length (~250 words)
  • Includes information from intro, methods, results, and discussion (approx. 1-2 sentence summary of each major section) in correct order; no literature citations
  • Accurately summarizes paper


  • Provides at least 1 paragraph context and background information for specific concepts/topics
  • Provides at least 1 paragraph connection between “big picture” and specific objectives
  • Objectives, Hypotheses and predictions clearly stated
  • Logical reasoning provided
  • References for background information provided in text

Materials and Methods (if applicable)

  • Well organized and concise; accurately describes only methods and variables pertinent to objectives and hypotheses
  • Provides enough detail for someone to repeat study if applicable


  • Narrative used to present key results.  Patterns and/or trends stated and summarized without explaining or interpreting meaning
  • Well organized and specific
  • Data presented, if applicable, is summarized (i.e., averages) and NOT raw data
  • If applicable, uses tables and figures to present results when appropriate (at least one of each present)

Figures and Tables (if applicable)

  • Clearly labeled and professional looking
  • Figure/table caption clear and complete
  • Numbered sequentially (figures and tables each numbered independently, i.e., Table 1, 2, etc. and Figure 1, 2, etc.)
  • Appropriate for data presentation (i.e., line graph for continuous data, bar graph for categorical data, scatterplot with trendline for associations between continuous variables)


  • Discusses results in context of hypothesis – supported or refuted?
  • Uses specific results to support conclusions
  • Clearly explains any discrepancies from expected results
  • Clearly explains and interprets meaning of results, mechanisms responsible for understanding WHY results were obtained (using literature citations)
  • For unexplained and/or unexpected patterns, mechanisms are speculated (using literature citations)
  • Responds to predictions made in intro
  • Provides in text citations for references cited in correct format
  • Provides suggestions for future research and conservation/ management implications

Literature Cited

  • References correctly cited in both text and lit cited section at end of paper
  • All refs from text citations present here, all refs here included as in text citations
  • References alphabetized, but not numbered
  • At least 3 references cited from scholarly publications (additional citations from web or textbook OK)

  1. List and describe the three most important improvements the author needs to make. Be sure to suggest constructive changes to resolve any problems you point out.

  1. List and describe three major strengths of the report that the author should not lose in the process of revision.

  1. Please comment on whether the paper provides a clear and accurate description of the study completed. Provide a specific example of a clearly written section and indicate a section in need of improvement using brackets in the text, and comment below.
  2. Please comment on the overall writing style: clarity, succinctness, and organization. Please give at least one specific suggestion that would improve the overall writing style and presentation of the paper.
  3. Final conclusion (please highlight one):
  1. Approve
  2. Revise and resubmit
  3. Deny