Page name: What makes a good review? [Logged in view] [RSS]
2011-05-06 21:52:06
Last author: Akayume
Owner: Chimes
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What makes a good review?

And other helpful tips.


General things to consider:

Are you writing about the works of someone else? Are they on Elftown? Could they get offended by something you write? If the answer is yes to each of those questions you have to be careful. Putting a bad review of something made by another member may upset or offend them. That's where constructive criticism and hedging come in handy. If you are going to criticise something, try to have something nice to say as well. If you think something needs improving, or if you simply don’t like part of their work, pick out something nice to say before and after you criticise.

For example:

'I thought that anon used imagery very effectively. However, they need to work on their grammar. Despite the grammar issues their plot was very enjoyable.'

You do not have to be an amazing writer to be able to write a good review. Anyone can review. It doesn't matter whether you can write that high-class short story, or that intriguing article - all you need is an opinion.

Don't try to write an unbiased review. Reviews are all about opinions and it is very hard to write a decent, unbiased review. You have an opinion - now is your chance to let it show! Remember, just because you're reviewing it, you don't have to like it.

Avoid tasteless insults. They won't help the credibility or likeability of your review and people may be offended by it depending on what you are reviewing.


When reviewing member-created pieces (Wikis, Art, Prose, Poetry etc):

Try not to make the review a personal attack towards the pieces' creator. Focus on the thing you are reviewing rather than the person who created it; a personal attack on a member through a review will not be tolerated.

Be helpful. There really is no point in reviewing the work of another member unless you are going to suggest how they can improve (unless, of course, you absolutely love what they have created and see no way that they can improve it). If you are reviewing/critiquing Art please see: How to critique and Art Creation Help. The latter is also helpful for those of you searching for constructive criticism for your art.

Justify your points. People may not like you criticising them if you don't back up your criticisms; justifying them prevents any misunderstandings.


When reviewing films, books, games etc:

Include a brief synopsis. Don't give away the whole plot. It may deter people from looking into what you are reviewing but it is helpful if you give the reader an idea about what they are reading about.

Although it is highly recommended that you avoid including spoilers in your review (as this is a review and not a synopsis), if you are going to write spoilers include a spoiler warning at the top of your review. This prevents people from blaming you for spoiling their first viewing/reading/playing of your chosen subject.

An example of a spoiler warning is as follows:

'This review will contain spoilers. If you do not wish to see them, stop reading.'


Using the review feature:

Using the feature is simple. If you don't know where to find it, look at the row of buttons on your house that contain the 'change personal data' button. It is the third along. Or, if you're anxious and just itching to write a review, click this link! <URI:review.html>

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2008-11-10 [Linderel]: Poked it a bit. 'Tis good. :3

2008-11-10 [Chimes]: Thank you!

2008-11-13 [SilverFire]: Do you really want to allow spoilers in a review at all? It seems well, y'know, to defeat the point. If they don't read it because it has a spoiler warning then it's just failed as a review - they're *supposed* to be things you can read before to see if it's worth your time to read/watch/go/whatever.

2008-11-13 [Chimes]: Well, some people do it by accident so it's best to have a warning just in case. Some people choose to write about EVERYTHING in whatever they are reviewing (those people... are strange, granted) it's provisional really. Most sites I've read reviews on include spoiler warnings. It's not necessarily needed but it's good to have. At least, I think so.

2008-11-13 [SilverFire]: If they've done it by accident it means they haven't realised, so they're not going to realise they should stick up a warning, either, right? :P If they do that, they should be asked to edit the review to get rid of the spoilers, imo. <.<

Some people choose to write about EVERYTHING in whatever they are reviewing

That's because they are fucktards and don't know what a review is.

2008-11-13 [Chimes]: You make a good point. :P With both of your points. XD

2008-11-13 [SilverFire]: The point that starts "Try not to make the review personal." sounds kind of contradictory until you read the whole thing - but lots of people won't read the whole thing, they'll just read the bold parts and go "eh? they told me to write my opinion, but now I can't make it personal?' perhaps the bolded sentence should read 'Don't make your review a personal attack on the creator'. And at that likewise, it's equally stuppid to writ a review that just mindlessly praises the creator.

2008-11-13 [Chimes]: I put too much faith in people reading things. :P

2008-11-13 [SilverFire]: Most of us just put too much faith in people full stop.

2008-11-13 [Chimes]: True. I am especially guilty of that.

2009-04-16 [Alexi Ice]: I do think this helps ^^ Nicly put as well.

2011-04-29 [Alexi Ice]: I wanna' faff this page

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