(I searched in the history but didn't seem to find similar question/discussion. But I'm also guessing I may not be the first person to ask about this question. Would appreciate if anyone could point me to an earlier discussion post or decision.)
This site, English Language Learners (ELL), has many tags for focused areas of learning English. However, being an English learner myself, oftentimes I hope someone could review not just a sentence or two but a whole essay/passage that I write.
I'm aware of the tags such as
sentence-structure that aim at improving learners' ability to construct better sentences. However, writing a whole essay is quite different from writing a sentence: the former needs more attention to, for example, thinking logically, avoiding repetitive thus boring sentence structures and word/phrase choices, as well as using the appropriate word to deliver the exact meaning in the author's mind.
So I'm thinking about whether it's appropriate to create a new tag (e.g.,
essay-review) on ELL for this purpose, or maybe a whole new site proposal is a better fit.
At the first glance, such reviews may not fit the purpose of Stack Exchange: Even an essay is usually much longer than a sentence, so there can be potentially many places to improve. One review may not cover all such places. But when there are multiple reviews, how could the OP pick one and accept it as the "answer" to the question?
For this kind of concerns, I'm thinking about the following points:
- Refer to the site Code Review on which programmers post their code for peer reviews. Usually, one review can give a quite good coverage of all the major issues in the code which is usually accepted as the answer to the question, while the other answers provide additional suggestions and the OP can just up-vote the answers to give credits.
- We can limit the length of the essays to be reviewed. It should be at least a paragraph that describes a particular thing so it has a focus. Meanwhile, it should not be so long that exhaust the reviewers. I want to refer to the length of a piece of GRE analytical writing which is roughly 500 words (see How Long Should Your GRE Essay Be?).
- We need to ask the authors to provide their topics that the essays are written about so the reviewers can evaluate more effectively whether the authors have succeeded in achieving the writing goals. The essays are not limited to analytical writing. They could also tell a simple story or be artistic to describe a scene that the authors want to share with others (e.g., a scene in a tranquil forest).