In English class, we are learning how to write reviews, which is why we’ve been watching movies and alongside reading their reviews. This week we are reading a few more examples of reviews that critics write.
I’m not one of a video game player myself, but I realized that I don’t need to be a fanatic to read a review of such a game. Jonah Jackson’s review of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind gave an overall positive feedback of the game, but also had some negative criticism intermingled within. These highlighted imperfections didn’t take away from its constructive vibe. In fact, the admission of the flaws made the review more believable because nothing is one-sided, just simply black or white. I was more likely to accept the author’s expert advice on the game because his appraisal was multi-dimensional. The interesting and unusual thing about this review is that it was written more as a bulleted list of observations rather than the traditional prose writing. Jackson has mentioned the key names and subdivided the review into categories upon which he had judged the game, and even provided a brief summary at the end.
The second article I read was a review by Christine Romano. This was also a unique piece because it critiqued another author’s argument. In her essay, Romano pointed out the weaknesses of Jessica Starsky’s article “Children Need to Play, Not Compete.” While the main point of the review was to counter Starsky’s argument, Romano was sure to remark upon the strengths of it as well. She recognized the validity and consistency of the article up front, commending its depth and breadth of reliable sources cited. In order to bring forth the weaknesses of however, Romano doesn’t even need to come up with an effective counter argument. All she needs to do is to reference the places in Starsky’s article that don’t have enough proof or are incomplete otherwise. Since Starsky doesn’t take other points of view into account, her line of reasoning is less believable because of its one-sidedness. Romano’s review brings these discrepancies to the readers’ attention, thus achieving her means.