Situation: Imagine the editor of a print publication or website has contacted you. This editor needs a review to run in the next edition and has heard that you’re a smart, entertaining, and ethical reviewer.
Your task is to write an evaluation/review. Here is the first question to ask: What do you want to review? That’s your choice. You might select a TV show/series, film, album, music video, book, restaurant, video game, television show, technological gadget, car, or other “product…” or anything else you think readers will be interested in. Wait—what readers? Well, you choose those, too. The audience for the review is up to you. It can help to imagine where your review would be published. Are you writing for a general audience (subscribers to the Orlando Sentinel, for example) or are you writing for a narrower, better-informed readership (poetry readers, iPhone users, teen girls who have attended at least three Taylor Swift concerts). You decide—and write your review in a way that reflects this decision.
The review/evaluation should take a clear position on the topic and be directed towards a specific identifiable audience. The writing should be organized around 3-4 clearly stated criteria and be supported by evidence, details, descriptions, and observations from firsthand experience.
Begin the evaluation with an introduction paragraph that builds context and necessary background for the reader. End the evaluation with a conclusion paragraph that offers a summary and clear takeaway for the reader and answers the invisible question “so what?” or “what now?”