Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation (Access Restricted)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Applied Linguistics

Committee Chair

Emily A. Thrush

Committee Member

Tersa Dalle

Committee Member

Joseph Jones

Committee Member

Angela Thevenot


Peer review has been increasingly adopted by writing teachers in L2 classrooms; however, the nature of peer review in Saudi writing contexts has not been sufficiently explored. Informed by Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory and the notion of the zone of proximal development (ZPD), this study explores how students perceive the efficacy of guided peer review activities in EFL writing classes and whether students’ perceptions change over time. More specifically, this study investigates students’ experiences in five consecutive peer sessions over one academic semester, targeting any changes in participant attitudes, perceptions of certain techniques, level of acceptance of peer feedback, and the factors influencing performance and their overall perceptions.A total of 34 EFL Saudi undergraduate students voluntarily participated in this study. Data collection instruments included online surveys, students’ written drafts and checklists, and guided reflective reports. Students responded to two different online surveys (a 5-item pre-/post-survey and a 16-item post-survey), write five different argumentative essays, and respond to three open-ended questions to write reflective reports about their experiences with the five peer sessions. A triangulation mixed-methods approach was used to analyze the data and seek answers to the research questions.Overall, the analysis revealed positive attitudes positive attitudes toward the effectiveness of the peer review. An in-depth analysis with a comparison of quantitative and qualitative data revealed a significant relationship between having positive attitudes of peer review and participating repeatedly in multiple peer sessions over time. The more EFL students engage in peer sessions, the more positive attitudes they perceive toward the efficacy of the peer review process. Moreover, findings show a number of factors influencing performance and the students’ overall perceptions. A checklist, written and oral feedback, collaborative discussion, and providing in addition to receiving feedback are all leading factors in producing beneficial peer review sessions. Three salient factors, including lack of experience reviewing global issues, time constraints, and passive partners, form challenges to productive peer review. This study also suggests several pedagogical implications for EFL undergraduate teachers to maximize the usefulness of peer review and proposes directions for future research.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.