Writer’s Choice

I’m attaching a sample of a peer viewed paper as a guide. The one without any feedback is the one I have to give feedback one.

Peer Review of Childhood Obesity

Author: (removed), Walden University

Reviewer: Kelly Wesp, Walden University

Psych 8700-03

May 7, 2007



            This was a well written and scholarly paper.  It clearly addressed each of the required sections of the assignment.   The author used references that were reflective of current research and from credible sources.  The model proposed by the author to address the issue of childhood obesity was based on existing programs that would be adapted to meet the needs of the targeted community.  The author provided sufficient information about the targeted population and how the model would be implemented.  Additionally, a perspective of social change theory was offered that highlighted the importance of addressing childhood obesity as a health and wellness issue.


            The content of the paper was filled with numerous statistics about the number of students and children that are overweight in the United States.  It also provided information about the differences among various ethnicities.  The focus on factors that may contribute to childhood obesity was also nicely presented.  Additionally, the linkage between obesity and other health issues was well done.  This was then used to provide a strong argument as to why the program at Sharon Springs needed to focus on healthier lifestyles, not just obesity.

The paper also provided a great overview of the Sharon Springs Central School and the prevalence of obesity among the student body.  Examples of other successful programs were provided and described how the programs were to be used within the school.  The proposal for change clearly addressed how students, families, teachers, school nurses, and community providers would be involved in the process.  It was helpful to learn that the school was located in a rather small community and that the community strongly supported and valued the school system.  This information led the reader to believe that the proposal would have community “buy-in” and would be well promoted.  Finally, the paper describes the ethical concerns related to the proposal, the evaluation process, and the projected outcomes.

Throughout the paper, citations were used appropriately and formatted correctly.  The paper contains very few grammatical and spelling errors.  The writing flows well and is easy to read.  The paper follows APA guidelines (2001) in reference to font size, spacing, and margins.  The reference section is also in compliance with APA guidelines.

Lack of Effectiveness

            As stated earlier, this paper covers all specifications of the assignment.  For content and organizational purposes, it would be helpful to have headings that address the different areas that were covered.  In this reviewer’s opinion, it would help with the flow of the paper as some paragraphs seemed to stand alone and it was unclear how they were tied to other information being presented.  For further clarification, please refer to reviewer’s comments on edited version of the paper.

At times, the use of quotations became distracting for the reviewer.  For example, in the second paragraph of the first page, obesity is defined with the use of a quotation.  This quotation contains more than 40 words.  According to APA (2001) guidelines, any quotation over 40 words should be placed in a double-spaced block with no quotation marks.  The use of proper formatting may assist with readability, however in some instances, rephrasing the original author’s content and providing a citation would suffice.  For more specific notes, please refer to the revised document.

Finally, no abstract was provided.  Failure to provide an abstract in the final version of the paper may result in point deduction.  Also, the title of the paper appears to be too general given the specificity that is provided regarding the targeted population and the emphasis on holistic health.  The author may want to consider revising the title to be more reflective of the content and purpose of the paper.


            This paper was well written and clearly identified the problem, why it is a problem, and offered a series of solutions for a specific population.  The following are suggestions that may enhance the organization and confluency of what is a well thought out proposal.  The first suggestion is to use headings for each section of the document.  For example, the first several paragraphs address the prevalence of obesity among children and statistics related to reduced physical activity and other behaviors that may contribute to excessive weight gain.  A heading, such as, “Introduction” or “Prevalence of Childhood Obesity” might better inform the reader why all of this information is being offered.  The next section discusses the problem from a social change theory perspective and describes why it would be in society’s best interest to address the problem.  A heading like “Analysis of the Problem” might clarify better why the next several sections describe a model to address the problem in one community.

Another suggestion is to introduce the statistics regarding the students of Sharon Springs during the introduction of the paper.  The information that is provided in the beginning of the paper is very detailed.  The school system is not mentioned until more than half way through the paper.  There is discussion about a planning group and establishing goals and policies before the paper addresses the target of the intervention.  The paper might have a better flow if the school system is mentioned from the beginning as it would provide a context for the purpose of forming and planning group or committee.

The paper does an excellent job of addressing the improvement of overall health and wellness rather than just tackling a weight management issue.  The ideas presented were on target with this goal, however, the evaluation component of the model only addressed BMI.  A stronger evaluation component may use a measure that assesses overall quality of life.  The monitoring of journal entries would be an effective tool to observe any behavioral changes, but there might be another pre- and post-assessment that evaluates goal setting around healthy decision-making.

Finally, if the goal is to support the students in their healthy lifestyle, is there something beyond the school system that the community could do?  Perhaps a community health fair, or a 5K run/walk event that could also be a fundraiser for a program in the community should be suggested.  This would go a long way in getting everyone involved.  While the focus is on children and their health issues, it may be helpful to take a look at the number of teachers, administrators, and other professionals who are working in the school system.  What is the prevalence of obesity among this group? Is there a way that the faculty and students could work on these issues together?  The children might feel less intimidated if they thought there was a campaign that emphasized “we’re all in this together”.

Overall Evaluation and Summary

            Overall, there are many strengths in this paper and its attention to detail lays a strong foundation as to why communities must behave responsibly regarding the health and well-being of its youth.  There has been a lot of emphasis placed on obesity in childhood and the increase in health related problems associated with this.  The momentum seems to be rolling toward health promotion and prevention as was illustrated in this paper through the Go Healthy Challenge.  The proposed model in the Sharon Springs School may be well received by a community that places a lot of value in its education system and the children.  The model may lend itself to a thesis or dissertation with a stronger emphasis on the evaluation component related to overall changes toward healthier behaviors.

Based on the grading rubric provided by the course instructor, I would offer this draft a score of 63 points.  This score is reflective of the missing abstract as I subtracted five points for its omission.  The overall writing and formatting of the paper was well done and it addressed all components of the required assignment.



American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.




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