Writing Reviews

Writing Reviews:

There are four key elements to a review

  1. Introduction
  2. Details
  3. Evaluation
  4. Recommendation

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.)

Some Guidelines

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.

Add Facts

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.

Be Detailed

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.

Give Suggestions

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.

Sample Film Review




An advertisement is all about persuasion, trying to persuade us that we want or need what is being advertised. A number of techniques are employed in advertising and vary depending on the ad itself. All advertisements are aimed at specific ‘Target Audiences’ and it is important to be able to identify these.

All advertisements seek to:

  • Grab our attention
  • Create a link between us and a product or service
  • Leave a memorable impression
  • Adverts rely on the power of suggestion & may contain subliminal messages.
  • They can play on psychological  needs and often prey on negative feelings we have towards ourselves/our lifestyles


  • Bright, colourful graphics
  • Alliteration
  • Music / voice-overs / jingles- memorable rhymes
  • Emotive language
  • Statistics/Expert reports
  • Attractive lifestyles
  • Promise of fun / value for money
  • Logos/Brand awareness
  • Slogans
  • Humour
  • Repetition
  • Personal pronouns
  • Scientific jargon (sometimes employing what is known as ‘pseudo-science’)
  • Informal, friendly language- sometimes in the form of dialogue
  • Positive buzz words / phrases…. ‘Fresh’….’Clean’….’Germ free’…’Youthful’… Etc
  • Celebrity/ expert endorsements
  • Recognisable characters
  • Models
  • Etc….