What is a journalistic review?
It is a brief non-literary text in which a criticism, point of view or examination of an event or work is presented to an audience. In this sense, the review presents information about the content of the work, in addition to a panoramic description, a summary of it and later an analysis, although we will see this later in the parts of the review.
We can frequently find reviews in different formats and media, since it is a type of text that is part of journalistic texts and, at the same time, of non-literary texts in this field. It is distinguished from other types of text because it is considered a format that is part of the opinion area, since it evidences the position of the writer.
Main characteristics of the review
Let us now review the most important characteristics of this type of text, which is part of the format of journalistic texts and has stood out as one of the most important in the various fields in which it is used. Its most important features are:
Purpose of the review
The purpose of this type of text is to inform the public about the event or work from the author’s point of view. In this way, the public can have access to an overview expressed by a specialist and thus generate a first impression about elements that caught the author’s attention, pointing out the most important points about it, its strengths, weaknesses, among other aspects.
Variety of topics
Another important element of the review has to do with the fact that the work or event in question can be of different fields, among them we find the scientific field, cinema, music, stage performances, book launches, commercial product, video games, electrical articles, social events and other great variety of contents that are of interest to a certain public that also wants to know the perception of this to question and even to decide whether or not to access the event.
The reviews, according to the format in which they are developed, can appear in different media for their diffusion. Frequently, their spaces correspond to magazines and newspapers, although it is also possible to find them nowadays in other spaces, such as virtual spaces, among which are social networks, blogs, mass communication platforms, among others.
Parts of a review
This type of text can add or dispense with several of the elements that we will show in a moment, according to the purpose to which it is addressed, the medium or the specific topic it is dealing with. However, mentioning these aspects allows us to have an overview of how it is developed from a generalized scheme:
Title of the review
In this first part, the title consists of a short phrase that summarizes the content of the text. It is recommended that the title be as short as possible and, at the same time, capable of generating an impact on the reader in order to arouse his or her interest and make him or her interested in reading it.
On the other hand, since the review is based on an event or work, it is recommended that the title not only be the title of the work or event, but also a complementary one, even just the term -review-.
Also known as technical data, this is the second section in which the author includes aspects directly related to the work or event to present what the review will be about. Thus, these data should include: author, products, the title of the work or event, the publisher, the record company or the source, the number of pages, the place and year in which it was produced, the value, among other data.
Summary of the work
In the third section, the author makes a summary or a kind of synopsis in which he/she describes the work or event in a general way and thus synthesizes all that it gathers. In this space it is possible to add elements and data such as some background of the author, the purpose of the work, the sources, the content, the techniques that were implemented, the structure, among others.
Each author can define the order in which he/she mentions each of the elements within the summary of the review, and can even add other aspects that he/she considers relevant to the reader within the work.
The review is distinguished by the presence of a critical commentary on the event or the work, so in this section the author, based on a series of arguments, builds his vision and assessment of the topic. In this sense, since it is a point of view, his explanations may be oriented to the defense of the work, criticism or be against it.
To arrive at this, the author must analyze the work in a critical and objective manner, which will allow him, subsequently, to expose the arguments and his interpretation to consolidate his point of view. This is because each of the arguments that he/she points out must have solid bases developed in a clear and concise manner. This can highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of the work or event.
Conclusions of the review
In this section will be all the information presented in a synthesized way as a closure of the author’s ideas. In this section the author can begin to present the most important ideas of the review from comments or complementary ideas that are extracted in conclusion according to the process of analysis previously worked. Here the judgment of the writer is clearly evidenced and the position of the work or event is pointed out.
Some reviews may include a section of recommendations in which the writer determines whether or not to recommend the work, in addition to mentioning the reasons why he/she does or does not recommend it. This is a highly personal area that explains in synthesized form your position on whether to recommend it or to pass on it.
Finally, this part shows important information about the person who is in charge of writing the review. Thus, in addition to information such as the author’s full name, information about his or her professional career, experience in the field, other reviews he or she has written, as well as his or her contact information, such as social networks, is also added, as authorized by the author.
How to write a journalistic review
The review is one of the most important formats in the media and in the journalistic world in general, which is why it is very important to have knowledge about the key points for its preparation. That is why we present below the elements to be considered when writing a review of this type. These are:
Choosing the target audience
Knowing for whom you are writing determines to a great extent how the information is structured so that it can be read without problems, as well as facilitating the comprehension of the content. That is why one of the most important points is the choice and definition of the audience, since it gives us the first guideline on the structuring that the text should have, as well as identifying the type of channel through which it will be disseminated.
Far from summarizing the information in the review, the author should make the introduction eye-catching. This section should include substantial data in the development of the text, so that the reader can be placed in the fact and thus contextualize to improve the understanding of the text. This implies a somewhat discrete presentation of the work, in which central ideas are presented but not necessarily summarizing what has happened.
For different reasons, it is possible that the writing space may be more or less in length, which is why in many cases the reduction of the development space may imply greater precision of the information. In this type of specific situations, but in general in the review, all the information that is really relevant to the development of the fact should be considered. The author should avoid diverting attention from the main topic if it does not enrich or complement it, as this generates confusion in the reader.
Writing the critique
The writing of the critique-oriented assessment is one of the most important parts of the review, which is why the author must take great care in designing it. A good way to start is by using the summary of the review through which you can begin to detail the opinion by referring to the sections you discussed, so that the reader can more easily identify the areas you are referring to and can ascertain the information.
Care should be taken to omit any type of assessment that is not directly related to the topic, as this hinders the linearity and connection in the text; instead, the critique should be based on the article, situation or topic that has been chosen as the central axis.
Accuracy of the conclusion
In this section we summarize all the key points of the review, as well as the direct opinions of them. It is important that the elaboration is supported by an easily understandable language that gives rise to all the most important ideas of the text, as well as following a structure that allows the reader to close the review in its reading in a precise way with the completion of the follow-up of the aspects pointed out during the course of the writing.
Review of the review
To close the process, it is necessary to submit the review to an objective revision, although if possible, more readings should be made with a judicious observation of the whole writing, in which possible writing and information cohesion flaws are identified.
Here it is also convenient to verify if the objectives of the review were met, so it is recommended to check if the purpose is indeed given, if the conclusion connects adequately with the content of the work, if all the most important points were made known, among others.
Reviews are one of the most consulted types of text due to the information they provide about events or works of interest to a large number of people, since they can be used as the basis for some initial decisions or have a general overview about it. If you want to know more about other types of journalistic texts or non-literary texts and other formats, remember that in our Literature section you can find much more information.