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Rated: E · Critique · Educational · #2109450
I'm storing my reviews for Rising Stars reviewers here.
Hi, Naveed! I’m so excited about this new program. How lucky am I to be able to review one of my students? I find it so much easier to evaluate and make comments using Word. I hope that’s alright with you. It’s a new project, and we are all fumbling around to see what format and style works for us. So expect some changes as I work these things out.

I pasted a copy of the poem you reviewed at the bottom so we can refer to it more easily. Just below you will find a copy of your review. My comments will be in purple under each of your categories.

Review of The Cabin in the Woods
Review by Naveedsk (12)
In affiliation with Rising Stars Member-to-Member ...
Rated: E | (4.5)
Access: Public
Given: Jan 19, 2017 at 11:52am
Length: 960 Characters | 874 w/o WritingML

Hey, I'm Naveed and I shall be reviewing this gem of yours, fellow rising star
This starts your review off on a positive note and also explains why you are reviewing this poem. I like that it sounds personal and encouraging from the start.

Please bear in mind that these comments, although honest, are in no way 'the word'. They may be wrong.

Gabriella discourages us from apologizing for our reviews. I think, according to her guidelines, you might reword it like this:
Please bear in mind that these comments are my own honest opinions. Please use whatever makes sense and discard the rest, as you are the author and know what you want the reader to see. Do keep in mind, though, that if I misunderstood what you were trying to say that other readers might too.

First Impression:
I was sitting on a comfortable chair wearing a hoodie and warm socks while reading this and well...it hit the spot. A wonderful description that made me feel even colder that I'm already feeling.

I really like your easy, conversational tone. The image of you snuggled up in a comfy chair shows that you truly enjoyed this poem and that it evoked wintry images for you.

What I liked:
The imagery was certainly wonderful. I could see all the words forming an image at the back of my mind. Kind of tells why this piece got third place. It was, definitely, well deserved. (No comma is needed, but a hyphen needs to go between well and deserved.)

You have a few technical errors that I marked in red. Always be sure to review and edit your reviews before submitting them. We can’t catch every error, but we can cut down on them.
This is a wonderful poem. It must have had some stiff competition to only rank at Third Place. I like your conversational tone. It lessens the tension that a writer might feel when reading a review.

I think your comments are good, but you need to add some specific reasons the imagery was wonderful. For instance, I noticed the great job the writer did using metaphors. The poem is filled with metaphors that evoke strong images and help us to see, feel, hear, and taste winter. Maybe you can give some of your favorite metaphors as examples. Here are two of mine:

Footprints on earth's sequined dress
Geometry classes held

On outside windows--

Writers benefit more when the review includes some details. Whether the comments are in praise of the author’s skill, or whether the comments are to encourage the writer to consider some editing, providing some specific examples is a way to help the author understand what you mean.

What can be improved:
Nothing, to be honest. I've got no suggestions to give.
I tend to agree with you on this assessment. It’s rare, though, to not find anything, so be sure you spend enough time to really be able to truthfully say that.

What I'll remember:
The ending! It was out of this world. It taught me a thing or two about writing poetry, too.
I agree that the ending is really splendid. I wonder, though, what you learned from this poem that might help you as a poet. As I said earlier, you need to be able to back up what you say so that it means something concrete to the author.
Keep on writing! All the best!


Naveed, I really enjoyed reading your review. You have a great style. I like the categories you use in order to cover the areas that are important to you. The overall effect is a neat, honest, helpful, and encouraging review. You might not have thought of this, but your enthusiastic review may encourage other members to read this poem. You might consider using a bit larger font for those of us with senior citizen vision.

I’ll get to your other reviews as soon as possible. 



Hi, Naveed. I’m back again to look at your next review. My comments will be in purple, as usual. I’m glad you chose to review a classmate. Reviewing is a good way to get to know someone.

Review of I'm a Benevolent Ruler
Review by Naveedsk (12)
In affiliation with Rising Stars Member-to-Member ...
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Access: Public
Given: Jan 19, 2017 at 11:25am
Length: 1,611 Characters | 1,501 w/o WritingML

Hey, I'm Naveed and I shall be reviewing this gem of yours, fellow rising star

Please bear in mind that these comments, although honest, are in no way 'the word'. They may be wrong.

Did you know that in American English we always use double quotation marks except for when we are using quotation marks around material that is already inside another set of quotation marks? British English has different rules. There are so many fascinating things about grammar and punctuation. Just a brief reminder to reword your disclaimer.

First Impression:
Wonderful, funny, optimistic, lovely, poetic, lighthearted, enviable- I could go on. Funny, life lessons from a veteran. I love it.

You let the writer know right away that you think her item was a real delight. I love those descriptors. It will also encourage those who read your review to check it out.

What I liked:
The poetic and witty highlighting of the world's problems was a very unique idea. The title was a good enough hook and the content didn't disappoint.

You did better in this review at being specific. The writer will know that you liked it because it was an unusual idea and that it worked for you.

What can be improved:
But who shall be running them, we’ll that will have to be decided then...

I think that the we'll should be replaced with a well. A small typo, I guess.
Good catch! In writing my curriculum for Punctuation Inc., I discovered that we should italicize terms in a sentence. In your sentence, it would be better if you italicized we’ll and well.

Also, this piece, although great, is placed in the wrong genre for me. The first thing that I learned about short stories was that they MUST have a plot. This piece didn't have one so it can't be called a short story, I think. I might be wrong. Take a look at it if you wish.

I see where you’re coming from, but I don’t know what genre it would be. Perhaps, a monologue? It would be helpful to the writer if we could tell her what genre she should put it into. I’ve sent an email to Ms. Winnie asking her about this. If she replies to me with a better answer, I’ll let you know. I’m curious about it, myself. It’s probably a good idea to think twice about making a suggestion if you don’t really know the correct way to solve it. This is not an ALWAYS rule, merely a cautionary observation.

Another observation is that you refrained from noting several grammar and punctuation errors that I saw. My philosophy on that is that we needn’t point out every single error. That tends to overwhelm the writer and discourage him or her from writing another story or poem.

On the other hand, we can look at something we know about her (she is taking a grammar class because good grammar is important to her) and allow ourselves a little more leeway. Of course, it may be that you didn’t recognize them as errors. That’s fine too. If you aren’t sure about a rule, it is best not to critique it. We just want to avoid pointing out errors because we are trying to finish the review in a hurry.

By the way, it’s a good idea to read the writer’s bio page before we review a piece. It may tell us some important things we need to know so we’ll know what kind of review we want to give. If he or she is an ESL writer who doesn’t have a good grasp yet on English, we might point out a couple of examples and encourage him or her to get some help learning English grammar. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t compliment her style of writing and whatever other things we need to comment on.

What I'll remember:

"And once married, always married"

"Sugar shall be banned except for those who medically need it. And you’ll be on death’s door before it’s proven that it’s medically necessary."

"As for truth and honesty…there shall be times when they aren’t needed."

"Those who love to learn will learn. Those who don’t, well, we’ll weed them out one way or another (like my brother)."

These are good, specific examples of things that worked for you. Just a side note, there should be a space after the third dot in the suspension points above.

I could go on and on and on.

Keep on writing! All the best!

This is a positive way to end the review. 

All in all, Naveed, I think you are a good reviewer who will become a great reviewer with a few pointers to guide you. You have a good base to work from. Your grammar and punctuation are adequate. Your style is comfortable. You give a lot of praise and encouragement. You include words that show your enthusiasm for the piece. You really have a lot going for you. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to assist you! I enjoy this project a lot!

If you ever have questions, I’m right here to try and answer them for you.


Review of One Last Visit
Review by Naveedsk (12)
In affiliation with Rising Stars Member-to-Member ...
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Given: Dec 31, 2016 at 11:20am
Length: 979 Characters | 893 w/o WritingML
Hey, I'm Naveed and I shall be reviewing this gem of yours, fellow rising star

Please bear in mind that these comments, although honest, are in no way 'the word'. They may be wrong.

First Impression:
Dark and emotional. I really love this genre.
Good description of this item’s genre.

What I liked:
This story makes you feel stuff. The imagery is good, plus the words used are pin-point accurate on most occasions. It does its job of arousing emotions and sympathy.
“feel stuff”? What stuff did you feel? Include more details so that the writer knows what emotions the piece evoked. Give some specific examples of lines that stood out to you as being most descriptive and evoking the stronger emotions. Good reviewers spend enough time reading the piece to figure out exactly what you liked and why you liked it. If you find yourself unable to provide specific answers and examples, most likely you have not read through it enough or carefully enough.

What can be improved:
You should've given some backstory to Janson. She's a sensitive person-- we get it. But why exactly? She could connect to the victim in an unusual and profound way, but why? It'd have been better, I guess, if you could've given some backstory to Janson and shown how the case was similar or relevant to it.
These are good, specific questions to help the writer figure out why and how the character needs to be developed. 

What I'll remember:
The emotions, certainly.
Here again, you need some specific examples of lines where the emotions were particularly well described. I can’t overemphasize the benefit of being concise and giving specific examples in your reviews.

My Own Concerns about the story:
I can’t criticize you for not commenting on the things you might not have noticed. However, I can provide some guidance on some things you might want to consider when reviewing a story.

The first thing I noticed is that the opening paragraph did not set the stage for the piece. The first paragraph should tell the reader what the story will be about. The story was not centered on the abusive brother, but rather on her life with all her bad experiences. It was not only about abuse either. She needs to work on pulling it all together in a concise story. Some things probably need to be left out of the story. She tries to cover too much in this one piece. It left me wondering what the story was meant to get across to the reader.

I had a BIG problem following the story. The writer goes back and forth in time. At one point she’s talking about abuse, then goes backward and talks about her father’s death. Sometimes she talks about her sister with her drug addiction. Then she backs up and talks about when her sister was younger.

She really jumps around a lot, and it caused me to have to reread passages just to understand what she was talking about. She covers a lot of things twice. If she were to organize the events logically, it would help her make her story more concise and easier to read.

And just my personal opinion, it would have been nice to hear some positive things coming from all the horror or her experiences. Of course, there may not yet be anything positive in her life. She may still be stuck there in that gloomy place. Perhaps, writing will help her exorcise her demons from the past.

I hope my own comments about the story will help you learn more about the things you can include in your review. You can feel empathy for the writer and give her encouragement while still pointing out some ways she can help the reader see those terrible experiences and the aftermath of them.

Keep on writing! All the best!


Naveed, this is my last review of your reviews. Next month, you will have a different reviewer. I hope my comments have been helpful. I plan to take a peek at your future reviews to see how much you improve. I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews and interacting with you. I think the next reviewer will be blessed to review your reviews.


© Copyright 2017 Pat ~ Rejoice always! (mimi1214 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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