I love reviewing as much as the next guy. (If, well, he likes reviewing too.) But as a writer, reader, and reviewer, sometimes I find that a good bit of the reviews on this site are utterly unhelpful. Now, believe me, I am not talking about myself here. (Auto-biographical posts aren't really my thing anyways) I've only published one short story so far, and I thought the feedback was on a scale of one to ten: gray. Here is my reasoning: I love this site because of its policy of reviewing. I think it is an utterly fantastic idea. However, I think a lot of people are going about reviewing the wrong way. I don't think my way is right by any means, but I still know enough about editing to understand what is wrong. Now to my point-- THE WRONG Far too many reviews I've seen are primarily concerned with grammar issues/sentence structure/word placement and (maybe) 10-20% content. Usually not even that. Is this a bad thing? Hell yes. Improving grammatically on a piece of writing is a must. No one will be able to make it as a writer with bad grammar, so it's good to correct that. However, an editor does not only seek to correct one aspect of a piece of writing. They seek to correct it as a whole. They are actually more focused on making the writer improve. Its sort of like that old saying--"If you feed a man a fish he'll be full for a day, teach him to fish and he'll be full for a lifetime." If all you do is correct random grammar mistakes, the author will only get better for that piece of writing. Sure, he may not make the same grammar mistake again, but you could be doing so much more. When reviewing, it is essential to examine the writing itself. What is the piece saying, what is the author trying to say, could they be explaining it better? Those are all questions good editors ask. It is then up to you to first examine the piece yourself, for content. Does it speak to you, does it hit you on an emotional, mental, or spiritual level. If so, why? If not, why? What would you say in their shoes? Would it impact someone else moreso than you? You should also be aware that the writer's audience may find their work more appealing than you. Consider that. Consider their audience. Do you think they hit the target? I'm being very long winded. That happens when I'm frustrated. All I'm trying to say is that a lot of reviewers don't spend the amount of time they should on a piece of literature. An editor should first check for purpose, then content, then grammar. The latter is far less important than the rest. Anybody could tell you that "mythological" only has one c. Anyone can say that the last comma is misplaced. But does that help the writer grow? Does it contribute to the feeling and purpose of the piece? No. It's just a waste of time. A lot of people already do this. I was just feeling a little irritated at those that didn't.