8 Tips and Tricks How To Write a Review – 2024 Guide

If you’re reading this, you’re probably about to write a review – one of the most popular academic papers. You ask, what can be easier than sharing your honest feedback? Shaping your ideas according to the academic standards! And how different academic reviews are from the blog ones? To get the answers, start from reading our article – an ultimate guide to cover all the tips and tricks for the most engaging reviews. 

1. Prepare your reader by presenting your initial thoughts

When reading a book or watching a movie you have to later describe, you experience a precious feeling called “ the first impression”. Stop reading for a second or put the video on pause to record a thought or emotion popped up in your head.

To all the skeptics: yes, you have to pay attention to the first impression (without underestimating the further analysis, of course). What role these lines will play for your reader?

Sharing your first impression works as a psychological link. You prepare your reader to experience particular emotions by setting a tone to the entire movie, book, or performance.

2. Use a score system in the end (if relevant)


Lately, many people have been arguing about scoring systems not carrying that much sense since being subjective and, at some point, manipulative. At the same time, you can go to SkyWriter and check how these guys applied this concept to their reviews. 

Let’s all just agree, everyone loves score systems! We like rating and checking the rates of the books and movies not even taking a glance at the comments below. Either you prefer the stars or the classic 10 or 100-point system, your review (if you’re writing for a blog) should definitely include your final score in the end.

3. Wear your reader’s shoes

Before systematizing all of your notes, take a minute to imagine a portrait of your average reader. Is it a teenage girl sympathizing with a protagonist or an experienced professor, who’d rather concentrate on your wording and vocabulary? 

Here we come to the dilemma of using (or skipping) all the academic standards you’ve learned about at school. A teenage girl will probably want you to use many epithets; reading your review should remind her of a dialogue with another fan of this book/movie/performance. On the other hand, you are less likely to impress your professor with the same things because of their endless academic criteria list. 

4. Remember about the academic format if needed

Even if you’re working on such a creative paper as a review, you still have to survive another bloody academic nightmare to get a satisfying grade. It’s time to realize, even the most genius writers had to deal with the monotonous instructions from their teachers!

You can literally find a book on the topic of applying academic standards to writing reviews. Let’s see some of the crucial points you can’t skip:

  • Excellent punctuation, grammar, and spelling;
  • Strict formatting (MLA, APA, Chicago, or Harvard);
  • Accurate structure (Introduction, Body, Conclusion);
  • Perfect citation & 0 plagiarism level;
  • Suitable transition words.

It sounds scary, doesn’t it? If you’re not sure about your writing skills, try using some services to automate your checking procedures. For more details, check Grammarly website. 

5. Juggle with the examples


Writing a coherent review implies supporting all the opinions you share with your reader. You better avoid thinking about it as spoilers – otherwise, you might misinterpret the whole thing.  Follow the formula – every opinion should be followed by an accurate explanatory situation.

If uncovering a major issue that will take a central part of your review, you can also dive deep into the world of assumptions. For instance, you demonstrated 2-3 cases when the antagonist was fighting against his friend, refer to the previous experiences they had together, and then wrap up the paragraph with the hypothetical reasons behind his/her deviant behavior. In this case, the formula will have one more component:

Personal opinion -> Real example -> Personal suggestion

Obviously, their order can vary depending on your muse.

6. Take notes about everything you can!

If you don’t have a hard copy of a book or a recorded video, you might face some difficulties remembering all the details. Don’t be afraid to take notes in any possible way! By writing out the keywords or drawing a sketch, you’ll improve your memories and make them brighter. 

If you’re not a fan of a classic journalist set – a pen and a notebook – look up the latest article about the best 2024 note-taking apps and choose the most suitable option for your smartphone. 

7. Don’t forget about both likes and dislikes


When writing a review, being objective might seem a challenge for some of us. Let’s say, you did enjoy reading a novel and even got a notebook with the quote by the main character. And, out of the blue, you’re to describe the negative features this novel has. How unfair! Let’s picture the opposite scenario when you cannot stand the subject of your review. What can you do to avoid writing on behalf of all the haters?

Remember the score systems we discussed above? Try applying the same approach to every aspect you have to describe. Be as precise as possible and rate all the factors you’ve noticed. There’s a little chance that all of them will deserve either 10 or 0, so make sure you were attentive enough!

8. Having trouble rating? Compare!

Comparison is a universal solution for every review. Undeniably, you cannot build your essay on just revealing similarities and differences; still, this method may generate another creative sparkle you desperately needed!

Choose a related plot (or product) and briefly analyze the same aspects you initially included in your review. How can you select a proper “competitor”? Look for the recognized artworks in the same genre, by the same author, or from a similar historic period. It’s nearly possible to deal with something that has no analogs now, in the 21st century!

The review is the most balanced paper, which allows you to embrace all the theoretical knowledge in your own manner. You’re welcome to voice your sincere opinion without being judged. Finally, you exercise in impartiality by bringing up both positive and negative facts in your essay. Isn’t that an exclusive combination comparing to the other papers you dealt with? 

About Michael Farmiga