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The Art of Reviewing

How many times have you seen a movie or listened to a new album and thought that you could write a review for it that would help others decide if they want to see the movie or buy the album? It seems easy when you are considering it but writing a review for anything can be a difficult task if you do not have the basic tools necessary to pull off a good review.

When you open up the Sunday paper and you see all of the columns of reviews you start to wonder how you can get your opinion heard on the topics you care about and that is when it starts to occur to you that there is more to writing a good review than just liking or disliking Al Pacino’s newest movie. Writing a good and credible review requires a wealth of knowledge that most people fail to appreciate.

Some people will read reviews in the paper or on the internet and think that it must be a wonderful thing to be paid to just simply give your opinion but a detailed reading of any review should tell you that there is much more to it than just putting your opinions down for everyone to read. Any good review understands the deep complexities of the subject being reviewed and the reviewer has a vast internal catalog of information to draw upon to create a point that the reader can understand.

What the average reader sees as an effortless comparison to make a point in a review is actually a point made only because of the incredible breadth of knowledge the reviewer has to draw from and their many years of experience and tireless research on the subject. Learning how to write a good review can be very difficult but with a little effort you can learn how to get your point across and let the world know what you think.

The first thing you need to get your reviews out is a platform and a blog is an excellent platform for reviews. Many people start a blog with the sole purpose of reviewing subjects that they are familiar with and on which they have some level of expertise. Blogs are perfect for starting your own series of reviews because you can post pretty much anything you want in a blog site and you can make your blog site part of a blog community so that you can share your opinions with others that review the same subjects that you do. By offering comments on other people’s reviews you can offer yourself as an expert on a topic and gain credibility for your reviews.

In order to be able to properly review a subject you need to have a broad understanding of the subject in order to be able to create a worthwhile review. For example, in order to review movies it is not enough to have seen every movie Tom Cruise has ever been in, you also need to have an understanding of how a movie is made and how those Tom Cruise movies are affected by other movies made throughout history. It is difficult for people to take your movie reviews seriously when you fail to display any understanding at all of how to actually make a movie and when you fail to show that you have seen a wide enough variety of movies to understand the differences between the new movies that are being released. Understanding the subtle differences in approach, writing, lighting and anything that has to do with movie making lends credibility to the opinions you express in your review.

In the world of reviewing it also helps to be some sort of insider in the subject that you are reviewing. Using movies as an example again it can be said that the reviewer who writes about their opinions of Tom Cruise’s performance does not have nearly the inside track as the reviewer who writes about their personal discussion with Tom Cruise about his performance. As a reviewer you need to be on the inside of your subject in order to have a sense of credibility so you want to spend a great deal of time trying to find out as much inside information as you possibly can.

Many bloggers and reviewers prefer to not read too much of other people’s reviews for fear that their own opinion would be affected and this is good advice. Always try and make sure that your opinion is your own and that you are not just following the herd when it comes to how you feel about a subject. Readers are going to take your reviews seriously if it feels to them as though you are giving your own opinion and not just following the rest of the crowd.


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