The Secret To Creating Outstanding Article Reviews
These days the sheer quantity of both professionals and everyday folks wanting to tell you what they think is overwhelming. Subscribed readers can submit opinion pieces to any publication, anyone can start a blog, and social networking sites are a never-ending platform from which anyone with a keyboard can spew his thoughts.
So how do you make your review--a more in-depth, well thought out piece--stand out from the oceans of opinion spew?
- Know what you think
- Do some research
- Address opposing views
- Consider the article’s contribution to public discourse
Of course that seems simple, but if you’re not solidly positive of what you think and what your opinion is, that will most certainly reflect in your writing, no matter the subject. Brainstorm before you even start writing to identify your thoughts and stance on your subject matter.
Consider, too, what it is that qualifies you to write a review in the first place. That may sound like you have to be a timeworn professional, but it could be as simple as your interests. Are you a big heavy metal fan? Then you are qualified to write a review of a heavy metal album. Those things are worth mentioning once you actually sit down to write your review.
This is the most sure-fire way to set your review apart from the masses. Most people who write “reviews” (which are really just disguised OpEd pieces) really are just pulling thoughts from their minds and plopping them down on paper, with absolutely nothing to back them up. Take the time to find out more about what you’re reviewing. Research the topic first. Just because it’s a review doesn’t mean you should be afraid to cite sources -- quite the contrary. By demonstrating that you took the time to make an informed decision rather than accepting whichever thought formed in your head first, you capture a reader’s attention. You prove that your presented stances have a valid opinion beyond, “Well that’s what I think.”
By acknowledging other opinion, you both show your reader that you have considered many angles, and also give yourself an opportunity right there in your review to debunk opposing views. This is a one-two punch that will add layers of depth oft lacking in reviews.
Was the article worth writing in the first place, or is it, too, just a spew of information? At its most basic level, the only reason anyone writes is to get a message out. Is the message worth hearing? This is perhaps the most important question to address in your review.