Composition Writing Studio

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Review

A review is an essay that describes and evaluates something readers may wish to buy, see, or visit: a movie, book, restaurant, concert, CD, or consumer product, for example.  Reviews can vary widely in tone or emphasis depending on their intended audience or the publication in which they appear. But all successful reviews establish and apply specific criteria for evaluating their subject. A movie review, for instance, might concentrate on the actors’ performances, the screenplay, and the special effects; a review of a new smartphone might compare the current model to earlier versions of the same product and focus on screen clarity, browser speed, and available apps.   Description of the subject (the songs on a CD, say, or the specifications of a car, or the menu items in a restaurant) or, for film and book reviews, summary of the story are important in a review but should not dominate it. Readers of reviews should come away with an understanding of the subject’s significance and particular strengths and weaknesses, as well as an overall estimation of its merit.

The following are a list of helpful resources (both online and print) to help you get started on writing a film,book.

Handouts (From the Writing Studio Webpage)

Websites

Books

The Writer’s Portfolio, Part Four (downloadable from the Writing Studio website); “Movie Reviews,” p. 274; “Consumer Reports,” p. 291

 

Last Updated: 6/26/15