Reviews: Purpose

Reviews: Purpose

Overall Objective

  • A review aims to critically analyse and evaluate a work or product such as a book, film, play, gadget, etc.
  • The main goal is to provide an informed opinion to help the reader make a decision.

Informing the Reader

  • Reviews must provide essential details about the work or product under review without revealing spoilers.
  • Information could include the author’s/director’s/manufacturer’s name, publication/release date, genre, main characters, storyline, or product features.
  • It’s also common to contextualise the product within the wider field, for example, comparing it to similar works or models.

Evaluating the Work/Product

  • Beyond the basic details, reviewers also assess the quality of the work/product.
  • They may consider criteria such as originality, craftsmanship, performance, usability, or value for money.
  • Their assessment should provide a balanced view, pointing out both strengths and weaknesses.

Expressing an Opinion

  • A review is more than just an analysis; it’s also an intentional expression of the reviewer’s personal view.
  • The opinion should be backed up with justification and evidence, although it may also reflect personal preference.
  • The opinion component differentiates a review from a simple summary or product description.

Influencing the Reader

  • A review has the latent objective of influencing the reader’s decision or opinion about the work/product.
  • It can either encourage or discourage them to buy, watch, read, or avoid the work/product.
  • The conclusion often summarises the review’s key points and can offer a recommendation, adding a direct element of persuasion.

Developing Reader’s Critical Thinking

  • A well-written review can help improve the reader’s own critical skills by demonstrating how to evaluate a work or product in a thoughtful manner.
  • By reading and reflecting on reviews, audiences can develop more discerning tastes and make more informed choices.

Overall Writing Style

  • Reviews typically have an engaging, conversational style and can use first-person point of view.
  • Good reviews often mix factual appraisal with subjective opinion, appealing to both reason and emotion.
  • They can employ different rhetorical and literary techniques, such as humour, hyperbole, metaphors, and similes, to make points more vividly.