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Rated: 13+ · Essay · Contest Entry · #2231812
An essay on "Reviewing"
Write an essay about reviewing
Requirement: Non-fiction, 500 < words < 1,000

Write for Review; Review to Write

         I chose to be a writer. So did you. If not, why are you here reading this?

         I joined Writing dot Com (WdC) to become a better writer, and I pay good money to do it. Somewhere I learned that reviewing the work of others helps me improve my own writing. I found that to be true — thus, this essay.

         I find WdC to be the best site to learn and practice the craft of reviewing literary works. If you know of another, please send me the link. I’m always searching.

         Education is a significant part of the WdC mission, and on the matter of ‘Reviewing,’ they do it quite well. Within Writing.Com 101, their online school on tradecraft, I count 22 separate pages related to Reviewing; I may not have found them all yet.

         Staff and veteran site participants have created many posts to provide education on the subject — my quick search on the word ‘reviewing’ turned up 436 results.

         If you are at a loss on how to start, WdC furnishes templates for you to use to construct your reviews. I chose to begin with their canned templates, then modify them to reflect my experience and the particular situation.

         As with any special interest or expertise, a community of Reviewers has grown up within WdC. If you are a joiner or one who seeks the counsel of others, opportunities abound. By my count, there are 33 groups devoted to some part of the subject of reviewing. I did not check every one, but I suspect most of these groups have a discussion forum that provides a place to ask questions and trade ideas. Amongst them, they have given 2,397 reviews.

         Finding individuals active in reviewing is a simple task, actually performed for you by WdC. Two pages: Most Credited Reviewers (100) and Most Active Reviewers (250) provide an inexhaustible list of talented souls who know the subject. You can contact them directly from these pages.

         Any place where you learn and practice something is a Laboratory of sorts. Laboratories need specimens and volunteers, lab rats to be grossly blunt. WdC has plenty, including you and me.

         The Please Review page and the Shameless Plug page are populated by folks actively seeking reviews of their work, like the guy on the street corner waving a sign for ‘Joe’s Carwash.’ Each entry provides enough information to let you pick and choose what you want to review.

         The multitude of contests conducted both by WdC and individual members attract participants showing their best work for judging. Those running the competition must pick the winners, but you can review any of the works submitted. Here you can practice reviewing work written against certain limits and constraints.

         You can make yourself available (hang out your own shingle) as a reviewer. This way, other members can find you to ask for reviews. Within the “My Account > Reviews and Feedback” tab, you can set yourself up to be available as a reviewer.

         It would not be fair to pass over the Mechanisms of the site, which make all this possible, even easy. The Item Number tag {Item:xxxxxxx} assigned to every post is the lynchpin, and the Feedback box attached to every post gives you instant entry into the reviewing community. The search function lets you quickly locate any item.

         To summarize, I find WdC to be the best site available to learn and practice the craft of reviewing literary works. They offer education, peer group association, and a practice laboratory, all collected and connected in a smoothly operating website that facilitates easy discovery and use.

         Jump in. Be a better writer by becoming a reviewer. Use Writing dot Com to help you get there.


Word Count: 620

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