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Ask Me Anything: 7 Answers to Your Questions About Writing Reviews

Different writing styles call for different approaches. When you are learning to write a review, you might have a lot of questions. Here, we are going to answer some of those questions to help you create the best piece possible.


1. How Do I Make Sure To Build Credibility?


When writing a review, it’s first important to establish credibility. After all, no one wants a paper in which the writer seems at all unfamiliar with the source material.


The best way to make sure that credibility is possible is to become as familiar with the topic as you can. If it’s about a book, for example, read the book more than once before putting pen to paper. This will prevent any amateur mistakes such as recalling facts incorrectly.


2. How Do I Cater to My Readers?


For any type of writing, grabbing a reader’s attention is key. To do this, though, it’s first necessary to know who the reader is. This is one of the basics. Think about a student struggling on an assignment who looks for help with essay writing. One of their first questions is what type of writing you are working on. This gives a hint as to the tone (i.e. formal or informal) of the content.


Another important consideration is where the content is going to go. A book review for a professor will have a different style than one about a restaurant for the local paper.


3. What Information Should I Provide?


A review is, in part, an opinion piece but there are a few key descriptions you’ll want to give the audience. First, they need to know exactly what you’re discussing and experience it themselves. So, if it is about a book, be sure to provide the title, author’s name, and even the publisher and publication date if possible.


Second, it’s crucial to back up any claims made with proof. For example, if one was to point out a logical fallacy in a piece of literature, they should cite a specific example. This comes back to building the author’s credibility.


4. How Can I Make a Point About Flaws or Excellence?


In the case of constructing a review, it can be difficult to determine exactly how to point out flaws or excellence. The best way to tackle this is to use comparisons to other similar works. An additional tip is to look at what conventions does the style carry.


To take a look at an example, consider a horror novel. Does it offer the suspense it should? Will it put the reader on the edge of their seat or make them uneasy? How does it compare to titans in the genre such as Stephen King novels? Take the time to become intimately familiar with not only the work itself but the genre it exists in.


5. Should I Explain the Plot of a Book or Film?


Absolutely not. Offering some background and drawing on evidence is perfect but you need to find a balance. Most readers don’t turn to reviews to have the entirety of something explained to them but rather just generally summarized.


On the contrary, they usually go to a review to find out if something is worth their time. If the author explains important plot points or gives away secrets, it can be more frustrating than helpful.


6. How Can I Offer Worthy Criticism?


We’ve already taken a look at how to compare and contrast works but there are some rules worth covering when it comes to criticizing a piece.


Here’s the most important one: keep negative comments focused on the work. In other words, don’t attack the creator. If a book’s plot is confusing, phrase your response carefully. Try something like this;


“The plot was interesting. However, it was occasionally lost in being so complicated it was hard to follow.”


That is genuine criticism. The last thing you want to do is to ruin the trust a reader has placed in you by being unnecessarily vicious. If you spend time insulting the creator rather than evaluating their work, you look that trust very quickly.


7. What Should I Do In My Conclusion?


The wrap-up here is extremely important. It should contain two main things. To start, you’ll want to go back over the points made. Then, close off the paper with an opinion. Should others read the book? Is it worthwhile?




By using these tips, you can make sure the next review you write is a perfect one!


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