1. CobaltLion

    CobaltLion Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    Likes Received:

    Where do I start?

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by CobaltLion, Aug 27, 2008.

    I'm going to be out of town doing a first aid standby at a convention over the weekend, and i'm going to have some time on my hands. During that time I'd like to do some reviews if I may.

    I have a few questions about getting started with the reviewing process, since I havn't seen a lot of information on the "getting started" for site reviews.

    -- How do I find matierials to review? To I just select one of them off the proper subsection? Does it have to be under the sidebar list of "unreviewed matierials?"

    -- Do I simply read them/print them off the site? Do I need to have material submitted to be via PM/email?

    -- Am I supposed to report a completed review to anyone?

    --Is it okay to simply post my review ublicly on the board, or must it come back in the form of a PM/Email?

    I relize this sounds very newbie-like, but I'd like to review some of the work around here as a lot of it catches my interest, but I want to make sure I'm doing it right, and within expected guidelines for the website.

    I look forward to seeing peoples work.
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Anyone can post reviews, of any submission in the Review Room. The Unreviewed Writing box is a good starting point, but you can choose any piece of writing that strikes you in some way - eitgher because you can identify something you really liked about it, or because you can identify something that makes it notr work for you.

    Generally, reviews should be posted in the same thread as the piece of writing.is posted in. The only times I have given review responses via PM were:
    1. Preliminary comments on a requested review before posting a more complete review.
    2. A requested review for which I can only deliver bad news. I havd only done this a couple times.

    Some people find it easier to print out a piece and take notes before replying on the thread. Others prefer to just respond with the stiry before them on the screen. Whatever approach you take is a personal preference.

    The important thing is ro be specific, Try to point out specific words, sentences, or paragrah that either illustrate a general point or contain a specific part you are referring to.

    You don't have to try to pick up on every single issue. I usually prefer to read a piece through and decide on the three to five most important things to comment on.

    If you do have a lot of comments to make, you don't have to take it all on in one sitting. Use a Notepad document (text file) to save your comments between sessions, or just post what you have and edit it later to add the next part of your comments.

    You don't have to report a completed review. The mods often look at new works submitted for review, and look at the writer's posting history to see if they have made a reasonable attempt at posting the required number of reviews (two constructive reviews for ever submitted piece).

    Of course, if someone complains about the reviewing rule, the moderators are even more likely to enforce it strictly. The moral: put in a sincere effort, and you'll have no problems. Put in an extra effort, and it WILL be noticed and appreciated. But just try to "meet the frakking requirement", and expect no mercy! :)

    Handing out bad news is not a bad thing. You are trying to find the best places for the writer to focus in order to make the writing better. As long as everyone is taking (and showing) a helful attitude, bad news can be great news ("Ah HAH! I KNEW something wasn't quite right, but I couldn't pin iot down. Many thanks!"

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