An idea of how I rate and what I expect for a rating of 5.0 stars.
My Reasons for Giving a 5 Star Rating
(and other ideas for rating my way)
by Vivian Gilbert Zabel
Basically I consider content as being worth about sixty percent of the value of the rating. Understanding, believability (meaning motivation for behavior is given), support are necessary components of content. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation, which tie in with understanding, are worth about forty percent. If the content is overwhelmingly good, even with a few grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation errors, I may rate higher.
To rate a piece as the best, I look for the following:
5.0 Stars - Perfect:
Stories, novel chapters, and fiction must be enjoyable, believable (meaning that given the boundaries of the story, what is written could happen), and understandable. They must have a strong plausible plot with realistic (meaning believable) characters and dialog (yes, dialog, which is one of the components of a story, of anything fiction). The author needs to have chosen language and words that make the story live. The story is shown through the action, dialogue, and necessary details. The plot should flow smoothly, without any questionable mishaps, jumps, changes, unexplained happenings. Action and words should have reason and motivation. Correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling are used.
Poetry should flow with its own rhythm, whether a rhyme scheme is used or not. The finished product should look and sound like poetry; although I don’t think a rhyme scheme is necessary, if one is used, the wording should not be awkward or contrived. Poetic devices are used to enhance the poetic experience. Correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar are used so that the reader can follow the writer’s meaning. Concise wording and language is necessary. I expect a mental picture of the emotion through the words used and in the way they are used.
Articles, essays, and any documented writing must have support, organization, and comprehension as well as the necessary correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. As a reader, I should not be left with questions that should be but are not answered in the piece. Leaving me with the desire to know more is definitely acceptable. The material should be easily understood.
Journals don’t necessarily have to be perfect as far as spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation are concerned, but the few errors found should not detract from the material. I need to want to read each and every entry and check for new ones as they are posted because I want to read more. The words must create such vivid pictures that they interest me, draw me into their frame.
Other types of writings and images are rated on their content and clarity.
I hope that this information provides an understandable basis of what I expect when I rate material. I tend not to post a rating below a 3; for those pieces that are poorly written, I will e-mail the authors with suggestions that hopefully will help them improve their work. I always want to encourage writers to continue writing and improving. I have learned more from the professional evaluations highlighting my errors and suggesting ways for me to improve than I have from any that say I did a good job without any constructive criticism (but with a rejection slip).
Ratings below 5 Stars are based on the sixty percent/forty percent formula, deducting for problems and errors found.