During a guest lecture at University College Falmouth, Kingsley, a BA Honours Film lecturer at the University, and freelance film reviewer for a number of publications, informed first-year journalism students of the ‘do’s&don’ts for writing a successful review.
As an aspiring reviews journalist, this guide will hopefully allow myself and others to get the best results out of the work we all produce.
- Make sure you get your copy in on time – you want to keep your job right?
- Stick to the word count you have been given – nothing more, nothing less.
- Conform to the house style guide – read it if you haven’t already!
- Be able to string a sentence together.
- Have a thorough knowledge of the subject.
- Write in an entertaining and lively style.
- Use inaccurate spelling or grammar.
- Avoid reputation – it doesn’t persuade anyone!
- Avoid irrelevant description.
- Avoid flowery language.
- Words such as ‘however’, ‘seems to’ and ‘almost’ often signal a get out – avoid these!
- Watch out for concluding, then adding an opt out.
- Don’t sit on the fence – you either like it or you don’t.
Sticking to these simple rules will help to boost the quality of your reviews, developing your reviewing skills also.