The method I attempt to adhere to for my reviews and ratings
| What is my method of giving reviews and ratings? Let me explain...
I do each review independent of any other item, I don't hold any expectations, and I focus on how you wrote, not how I write. I follow a specific pattern I learned years ago when, as part of our college literature course, we were required to review each others assignments. We were informed, "A good review isn't just pointing out what's wrong, it's also acknowledging what's right. It shouldn't matter if we agree with what's written, but on how it's written and presented."
We were instructed to look past errors, and to focus our attention on content. Mechanics should only be a small part of the assessment. The reason is, content is the foundation. Errors and typos can be easily fixed, but if the content is poor, these corrections will do nothing. I firmly believe this to be true; I follow this principle when I write as well as when I review.
To understand this, let's dissect a review: First, I have an introduction, followed by the main body, and then end with some personal items.
The introduction, "This review is intended for positive feedback, to give another point of perspective and to offer suggestions", is given so you will understand my intent is for positive feedback; I will not give a negative review. However, we all perceive things differently and no matter how much I try to instill positiveness, it could be taken as negativity. Also, if I see something I believe to be in error, I will point it out. Please understand, I'm no expert on usage, and I may be wrong; I give my professional opinion, not expert advise. If I am wrong, let me know, chances are I'm making this mistake in my personal writing.
The main body of my review is divided into four sections as follows:
Overview: Here I tell you what I expect, based on the title and description. This is what I anticipate as I read, and the base for my review and rating.
Strengths: Here I point out areas that build the content of your piece. I try not to focus on individual items, but on the overall form and structure.
Questions: Here I point out anything I questioned. If I find errors I will list them for you to look over and determine if they are errors or if I misunderstood your usage. I also point out things I questioned that are not a matter of right or wrong, but of clarity and understanding. These are suggestions based on my judgement, meant to give another point of perspective.
Summary: Here I give a brief conclusion of what I thought and felt about your work. I may state I enjoyed it, I may list a particular point that touched me, and I may even share thoughts and ideas this item invoked in me.
Below this I display my signatures and quote.
My review is not intended as a fix it manual. I only see what you present, and don't know anything more. My point of reference is my life and events I have experienced. They could be, and often are, different from yours, making my perspective different. Therefore, take my suggestions as consideration then do what you know is best. If your'e unsure, research it, ask others, or even ask me, I'll try my best to explain. Even if you don't have any questions, write back anyway, I love getting feedback, even on reviews.
My system of rating is pretty simple. I rarely give out a 5, and doubt I would give anything lower than 2. If someone is motivated to write, they should be credited for trying. Writing isn't easy, it takes effort to change thoughts into words, and words into text. In addition, there are different levels of education and ability, but when we read something, we don't see what these are.
If something is really written poorly and I have a difficult time reading and understanding, I will give it a lower rating because I want to indicate that it needs some work. If it is easy to read and understand, I will rate it higher. In other words, I rate by how it reads, by how many times I find myself going back over things, and by how much sense it makes. Simply put, a 2 or 2.5 indicates you have something, but it needs some work to bring it out. A 3 or 3.5 indicates you are doing good with content, but it's difficult to read and understand. When I read something that doesn't elicit many questions, I rate it high. Usually an item like this will get 4 or 4.5. I rarely give out 5's, as it takes something exceptional to be perfect. If you get a 5, consider yourself very honored, I'm comparing you to the authors I'm inspired by; your item reflects the kind of writing I aspire to achieve.
I hope this helps you understand how I give reviews, and assists you with your writing. I believe positive feedback is one of the best teachers we have. Both receiving and writing a good review is a great way to improve and grow as an author.