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Writing a Review
How good are you at writing reviews?

Writing a Review

Writing a review is an evaluation of something. Writing a review puts you in a privileged position - your readers really want to know what you think about something. Whether they decide to read the book, watch the film, or buy the product is dependent on the overall impression you give. To write a review well, you need to sound like someone people can trust - you only have to read some of the badly-written book reviews on some websites to see how important the writer's tone is.

Test yourself on the genre by trying this quiz.

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1.
Which of the following would be out of place in a restaurant review?
A list of instructions for cooking the food served in the restaurant
Factual information
The reviewer's opinions
A recommendation - either encouraging the reader to visit or not to visit the restaurant
Reviews are a mixture of factual information, a recount of the reviewer's own experience, the reviewer's opinions and a recommendation to the reader
2.
Which of the following is true?
Reviews should include a mix of positive comments and negative comments
Reviews should only include positive comments
Reviews should only include negative comments
Reviews should only say what the reader wants to hear
The reader is more likely to trust a review which is neither 100% positive nor 100% negative
3.
Which of the following best describes the style of a review?
Extremely formal
Quite formal and distant
Somewhat informal, but authoritative
Completely informal, novice-like
A good review balances the need to sound like someone whose opinion should be trusted (authoritative), while also sounding like someone whose opinion matters, like that of a friend (informal)
4.
A review of an animated film based on a children's television programme would be likely to address which audience?
Young children
Teens and young adults
Parents
Film directors
Although the audience for animated films is children, the reviews are aimed at the parents who will be more likely to read them before choosing a film to see with their children
5.
A review will use which of the following?
First person only
Second person only
Third person only
A mixture of first, second and third person
A review will include sentences such as:  'I was utterly disappointed in the mushroom risotto - you would do better to avoid it' or 'The chef prepared her trademark chocolate roulade, which the waiter recommended I try accompanied by a double espresso.'  Most reviews use first and third person; many use second person, as well
6.
What would a reviewer be implying by calling a film a 'supposed comedy'?
The reviewer would mean that the film was an excellent comedy
The reviewer would mean that the film was a tragedy
The reviewer would mean that the film is meant to be a comedy, but is not very funny
It is unclear what the reviewer means
7.
Which factual information would be included in a film review?
A list of all the films showing at the same cinema, where to buy the soundtrack, director
A description of the entire plot, how long the trailers are, the names of the actors
A description of the entire plot only
Names of actors, length of film, director, where the film is showing, certificate details
Film and book reviews should never describe the ending!
8.
A review of a video game would most likely be aimed at which audience?
Young children
Teens and young adults
Professionals who travel frequently on business
Those who have recently retired
Although any of these people might buy a video game, the style, tone and language used in game reviews shows them to be aimed at teens and young adults
9.
What is the purpose of a film review?
To persuade people to see the film
To write from the film director's point of view
To give people the information they need in order to decide if they should see the film
To praise the film
10.
Reviews are NOT written about which of the following?
Hotels
Restaurants
Books
Newspapers
New products, holidays, airlines, games, theatre performances and exhibitions all have reviews written about them
Author:  Sheri Smith

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