There are four key elements to a review
You can be asked to review anything from a book, cd, gig, play to a place (restaurant, venue etc.) or even a thing (game console, computer, mp3 player etc.)
Have strong opinions
(…but avoid saying ‘I felt…I thought…etc.)
First and foremost, be bold and strong. begin with a dramatic statement. Never begin a review by telling the reader that you are writing a review. “The eagerly anticipated sequel to the best-selling [name of book/CD/film/video game] is finally here and let me tell you it does not disappoint“. Or “Let me offer you fair warning dear readers – [name of book/CD/film/video game] offers a dark, intense, disturbing glimpse of the human condition“.If you hate a character in a film describe in detail exactly why (“the acting was too subtle they had no real identity”) do not say “He was rubbish”. However if you enjoyed the beginning scene say so. Remember that you aren’t writing your review to make friends; your mission is to fairly inform the public of your experiences, positive or negative.
Most reviews mix facts with the basic opinions. Information could include the running time of a film or the name of an author of a book. Without some facts your review will be too short of substance and leave the reader without the opportunity to find out for themselves whether they agree with you.
If you don’t like a novel, explain why. Don’t just say, “This book was dull.” Instead, describe what made boring. Was it too long? Was the writing unexciting? Was it hard to read? Was the plot confusing? You want your audience to understand why you had the reaction you did.
Add Some Humour
Sometimes, you can spice up a review with a little humour. If something occurs to you that is funny use it, but do not waste time trying to think up something amusing.
Finally, it’s appropriate to make some suggestions. If you’re reviewing the latest book by J. K. Rowling but were unmoved, you might want to suggest that readers go to their local library to borrow the book rather than buying it.
In the end, your audience is looking for you to give them some direction, so don’t hold back. Be fair, be honest, and you should end up with a good review.