Reviews: Audience

Reviews: Audience

Understanding your Audience in Review Writing

Defining the Audience

  • Audiences for reviews can vary widely. They might include regular patrons of a restaurant, viewers of a certain type of film, or readers of a specific genre of books.
  • When writing a review, keep in mind the expected level of knowledge, interests, and expectations of your audience.
  • The tone, vocabulary, and amount of detail used in your review will be dictated by your audience.

Engaging the Audience

  • It’s important to hook your reader’s interest early on in a review. This way, they’re likely to continue reading and take your opinions seriously.
  • Use colourful, engaging and precise language to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Use your own experience and perspective to provide a unique viewpoint that will catch and hold your audience’s attention.

Audience Expectations

  • Your audience will expect a fair, balanced, and detailed analysis of the item being reviewed.
  • Be sure to cover all aspects that are important to the audience. For example, food reviews should cover taste, nutrition, service, and value.
  • Stay true to your audience’s interests, language level, and prior knowledge. A video game review for young children will be very different to one intended for adult gamers.

Adapting Tone and Style for the Audience

  • The tone and style of writing should mirror the style and level of the piece being reviewed.
  • A review for a sophisticated and complex novel might use a more formal, literary style, while a review of a family movie might adopt a more casual, engaging tone.
  • The audience’s preferences, understanding, and expectations should shape the tone and register of your review.

Connecting with the Audience

  • Treat readers as though they are intelligent but uninformed about the subject of your review - explain thoroughly and anticipate queries they might have.
  • Be respectful of differing opinions. Remember that not all readers will agree with your review. Express your thoughts as your own perspective, not absolute facts.
  • Make use of personal pronouns like ‘you’ to speak directly to the reader, creating a more conversational and immediate style.

Review Conventions for Specific Audiences

  • Different publication platforms will have different audience expectations. For example, a theatre review for a local newspaper may be more straightforward and less critical than one for a specialist theatre magazine.
  • Use relevant vocabulary and industry terms, but ensure they are likely to be familiar to your audience or take time to explain them.
  • Some audiences may expect scoring or grading in reviews, so consider using a star or points system. This provides a quick and easily understandable indication of your overall opinion.