Critically Acclaimed

critically-acclaimedGiving a review of someone’s writing should follow certain guidelines and etiquette. You are being critical and stating your opinion. Here are some tips for writing a great review.

Reading other critics will give you some bearing on understanding how to properly word and structure your review. Learning by example can help you gain experience quickly in explaining why you feel the way you do about the subject you a reviewing. A great author becomes great by reading other author’s work. Analyze what they do and learn from them.

“In my opinion” should be avoided. The reader knows you are writing about your opinion. Novice mistake and is not necessary. “I think” is also a no, no.

Knowing your readers will go a long way in getting information to them. A review written for other writers may contain specific terminology that they would understand. A broader audience may be bored quickly with this approach. This is not to say that you can’t educate your readers with well rounded words during the course of your review. Always keep them in mind as you write.

Don’t attack the author on a personal level. A person may take offense to a review about his work. Let’s face it, most of us do, but we learn to accept it as writers. Criticizing the author is rude and unacceptable. Stick to the subject, review the writing not the writer, unless you are giving factual information such as previous books or other relative information.

Discuss topics that you have some knowledge about. You don’t have to be a professor, although it wouldn’t hurt, but perhaps a layman of sorts. If you want your review to carry some authority, then you need to learn everything you can.

Don’t be shy about giving strong opinions. Wishy-washy statements show you are not confident in your opinion and may result in the reader not believing you. New reviewers will tend to hem-and-haw in fear of being challenged. It’s your opinion don’t be afraid to state it.

Give evidence that supports your opinion. This won’t be too hard as the evidence should be there in writing. Give an example of the text from the writer’s own words. Like any good argument, you’ll need to back up your claims with evidence.

Your skills as a writer will help in creating a great review. Being able to tell someone about a problem with their work can take a little finesse. When you say something negative, be sure to offer solutions. Try to balance out the review with the good and bad points if this is possible. Reviews can serve as an edit for a writer to gain insight to the improvements that can be made to their work. Give them a summary close the piece and reiterate your ideas. Keep these ideas in mind when you put on your critic’s hat a begin writing a review.

About The Author

Robert Hatfield hails from mid-western Ohio. Comedy and Adventure stories are his passion. Editing and Reviewing are the fields of work he enjoys. Writing has been an interest for the past 25 years and he now has the time to pursue it. As a Moderator on, he welcomes any questions or requests for help.

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1 reply
  1. Killerelite
    Killerelite says:

    So I guess droppin the F bomb on someone’s poem is a big no no huh Forge?
    Quietly- Forge, TLhopkinson always says “in my opinion” or “it’s just my opinion.” But just don’t say I said so K Forge?
    I personally can’t bang on anyone’s poetry, having gotten my critiquing license from Nordstroms prohibits negative feedback of any sorts and also prohibits the old booger trick at black tie dinners…………………..

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