It is either ironic or absolutely unsurprising that while instructors love peer-review sessions for student writing, students mostly do not.
Having undergrads read and respond to each others' drafts is such a promising pedagogical idea: Students receive feedback on their writing, they get to see how others have tackled the same writing project, and the instructor doesn't have to do all the heavy lifting for once.
An in-class peer-review workshop is a part of the process for every major essay I assign. But I've made it a habit to ask my students about their previous experiences with such workshops, and their answers are almost uniformly negative. My students tell me these workshops are never useful and are a waste of time for both reader and writer. Through some combination of trial and error, dumb luck, and doing some reading on the subject, I think I've evolved some ways to ensure that peer-review sessions are helpful to students. I thought I'd share my advice here.