Write a Overview – Recommendations on Formatting Overview Weblog Posts

Too often, blog reviews come across as biased, mean, or seem to have no real purpose. Writing a review of a product, service, or event isn’t as easy as giving your opinion. One has to be complete, thorough, and honest, both about oneself and about their opinions.

Fortunately, there is a formula that you can use to make sure your review is complete and useful. As well as blogging, it’s great for reviews that you post anywhere, including online stores and auction sites. It is also a flexible format that can be used for short reviews of less than 200 words to longer reviews, as Ars Technica sometimes does for major new products.

The best thing is that learning only takes a few minutes and is hard to forget after mastering it.

The basics

A basic review has five parts which, when used in the correct order, will give a complete picture of the subject of the review.

  1. Introduction: The introduction is more about yourself and how you got around to reviewing the article and telling a story you have to. This is a place where you can address your personal prejudices and problems. (IE: I’m usually a Mac user but decided to give Windows 7 a try). Not only does this reveal your prejudices, it also establishes where you are from and helps like-minded readers connect with you.
  2. Background: Next, talk about the topic itself, but only discuss facts. Who makes it, what is its story, what is it for, etc. Not only does this give you the opportunity to expand your knowledge and do some research, but it also gives you the ability to determine what to follow by talking about the expectations that are set creates the topic for yourself.
  3. The good: Next, talk about what’s good with the topic. This can be very difficult when you are dealing with a bad review, but it is important to talk about what you liked. Even if it’s not a lot. If you can’t find anything, it is best to ditch the review format and write a rant or opinion instead.
  4. The bad:After you’ve talked about the good, talk about what went wrong. If the rating is “bad hard”, you can flip this with the item above, but these need to be separate and at least somewhat balanced. This can be difficult, but it can help make a review feel balanced while also making your point of view clear.
  5. Conclusions: Once you’ve done all of this, you need to bring it all together. This is where you tie everything up, get to the heart of the matter and make sure that you orient yourself on what was above. This is what the reader is supposed to go with and you should try to speak to them by listing cases where the topic could be better or worse.

In short, the goal is to fill the story with information about the reviewer and information on the subject, provide details on good and bad elements, and then link those to well-supported conclusions.

If you can do this, you should give a rating that people find balanced and fair, even if they disagree with the conclusions.

Rating

Another element that many, if not most, of the reviews have is a score type. Thumbs up / down, five stars, ten, or a hundred, most reviews try to link their opinion to something that can be understood at a glance.

Doing this is dangerous as it can be very difficult to sum up a complicated opinion into one simple number. To make matters worse, you may not like a product but find it useful to others. A weak numerical verification, therefore, can lead others to wrongly ignore it.

When giving a numerical rating, it’s important that you get your average. For example, for video games, the average rating score of ten is between 6 and 8, even though five is the mathematical average.

When giving a score, start with the average and work forward or backward trying to avoid getting perfect scores, good or bad. It can get you into a real bond if something better or worse happens later.

There is nothing wrong with giving (or not giving) a score, but make sure you use it well and don’t put too much emphasis on it.

Bottom line

Writing a good review can be difficult. However, if you are willing to follow the structure above, it will become a lot easier to ensure that your review is complete, balanced, and useful.

While it’s not the only formula for a review, it’s the simplest one that I can follow and remember. Best of all, although it does allow you to write much shorter reviews, like the ones you might post on Amazon, you have to be pretty complete and thorough.

In fact, you will find that many websites that accept user reviews, including Cnet websites, urge both their reviewers and the public to use a similar structure (pros, cons, and summary).

It’s simple and effective, and reason enough to give it a try at least once.

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