Reviewer’s guide and checklist

Content should always be reviewed by someone other than the writer. We recommend a peer review by a colleague. Here’s a quick guide and a checklist you can use.

How to do a review

Determine if you’re editing or just providing feedback

Talk to the writer about what they’d prefer you to do.

If you’re editing, make sure you agree on how you’ll do this. Will you use ‘track changes’ in a document, or edit directly in your web content management system.

If you’re providing feedback, will you write notes on a printed version of the content, or add comments in an electronic version?

Check the writer’s plan

Before you can start, you need to know what the writer is trying to achieve. They may not have a written plan, but you should ask about the:

  • purpose of the content
  • main message or most important information it must convey
  • target audience.

Check on screen and review from print

You should check that the works well on screens (desktop and phone, if you can). However, it’s easy to miss some problems if you don’t review from a printed version too.

What to check

Peer reviews will be faster and more thorough if you use a checklist. Your list should include checks for the same things the writer has checked:

  • meets content plan (purpose, main message, target audience)
  • passes basic quality check (spelling, grammar and punctuation; readability statistics; links)
  • complies with style guide (brand voice/images, house style for spelling/punctuation, correct template)
  • content is usable (easy to find, easy to scan-read, easy to read)
  • content is accessible (images, links, properly tagged headings, lists, quotations, tables).

Download our content reviewer’s checklist to get you started.