From books and movies to plumbers and hotels, reviewing a product or service can be a useful skill. Reviews allow the consumer to share their opinions of a product or service, so that others can obtain the information from that review and make an informed decision about whether or not to try the product or service.
Part 1 of 4: Test the product or service
Step 1. Test the product or service
To write a review, you need to test the product. It seems obvious, but many people still write reviews without much first-hand information on the product. Give it a try, take your time and know the product or service properly so that you can speak with authority about it.
Step 2. Take notes
Gather details of what you will need to write the review. For example, if you write a restaurant review, get the names and ingredients of the dishes you try. Take note of the scenery. Write the waiter's name.
Step 3. Take pictures
In some cases, photos will enhance your review. Document your experience by taking photos so readers know what you mean when you say it: "There was a huge stain on the ceiling of my hotel room."
Part 2 of 4: Organize your review
Step 1. Find out the parameters of the review
If you plan to submit your review to a particular website, blog, or magazine, be sure to find out any specifications for the review. For example, there may be a word limit or a specific format.
Also ask about the deadline, especially if the review is for something specific, like a movie, an album, or a book. Your review should coincide with the launch of these types of products
Step 2. Find out what your angle is
Each review has a particular perspective. After all, you are making an argument in your review. Determine how you want to talk about the product or service. Will this be a positive or negative review? What will you focus on?
This works especially well for a book or movie review, where you can choose a particular topic and write your review around that topic
Step 3. You must know your audience
Think about who will read the review. If you write for a heavy metal blog, do your readers know the bands and songs in advance? If you write a more technical review, do your readers understand the jargon you use?
If you are writing for a more general audience, assume that some readers will need more explanation about some of the references or terms you use
Part 3 of 4: Write the Review
Step 1. Briefly describe the product or service
In a couple of sentences or less, describe the product you are reviewing about. You will reveal details to other people through the review, but the initial description will give the reader an idea of what you are talking about.
If it's a movie or a book, don't summarize the plot throughout your review. There is no need to reveal the whole story. A brief review of 1 or 2 sentences will suffice
Step 2. Write in detail
Write lots of details and evidence for the argument you write. If you are writing a review for a music album, talk about the instruments or the voice of a particular song. If you are writing a movie review, talk about why cinematography is groundbreaking and give examples from the movie.
Step 3. Use complete sentences
Your review will carry much more weight if you write full sentences rather than snippets that leave the reader wanting more. Don't write things like "Food is good, service is lousy." This does not tell the reader anything specific and is therefore not an effective review.
Step 4. Include helpful descriptive words
Avoid words like "normal" and "okay." These words are not very useful in terms of describing a product. If you want to write a compelling review that gives the reader an idea of what you're experiencing, choose more descriptive words.
Step 5. Customize your review
Relate your review directly to your personal experience. Don't use vague statements and generalities. People who read your review will want to know about your experience, so this can determine if they would like to use that service as well. Tell a story about why you like going to a particular club or why you find the yard service so reliable.
Step 6. Position this product or service among its peers
Think about where this product fits among similar products. You certainly should judge the product on its own merits, but people who read your reviews will find it helpful to have a reference to a restaurant they are familiar with. This makes comparison (and therefore evaluation when testing a product or service) easier for your review readers.
Step 7. Include a sample
If possible, give the reader a taste of what you have experienced. This can be a photo of the food you ate, it can be a link to a trailer for the movie, or it can be a snippet of a song from the album you are reviewing about.
Step 8. Keep the review true
Be honest in the review. Don't modify the truth to fit your argument one way or another. Don't make things up or exaggerate to prove your point. If you don't have enough evidence to back up your point, drop it.
Step 9. Give a fair review
You may have had a terrible experience with a particular plumber, but balance your review with what the plumber did right. If a meal was excellent except for the dirt in your glass of water, mention the downside. People find reviews more credible if they admit both good and bad.
Step 10. Be creative and interesting
The best reviews are the ones that engage and attract the reader. Write in a way that is imaginative and captures the essence of the product or service you are reviewing.
Some of the reviews are written in different formats, even in the form of poems or haikus. Other reviews are ironic, conveying the facts in a humorous way
Step 11. Add the inside information to your review
It includes the information that a reader would not have when reviewing the web page or when viewing an advertisement for the service. Provide the information or details that can only be obtained by using the service.
Part 4 of 4: Finalize the review
Step 1. Make your review clear and concise
Don't go overboard with praise or criticism. Eliminate extraneous words to make the review message clear.
Step 2. Review the review
Take some time to read the review carefully, checking for proper spelling and grammar. People will not consider the review if it is full of grammatical errors that do not allow easy reading.
Step 3. Ask someone else to read it
Ask someone to read your review before posting it online or through another medium. It is a good rule of thumb to ask someone else to read your work to ensure that it is clear and that the main points are adequately supported.
Step 4. Submit your review
If you plan to publish the review in a magazine, blog or other source, send it. Your review will likely need to go through an editor, and printing or publishing online may take a while.