We usually associate reviews with restaurants and services we rate. Shops also ask us to provide this form of feedback regarding the items we have purchased. I personally also use this form to learn feedback – i.e. I ask students to review a course book once we are about to choose a new one. Follow the article to learn more about it!
When something new is coming
In terms of my classes, a good opportunity to ask for feedback is the time of discovering new course books. There are plenty of demo versions on-line that we always try to study before buying the full version. The students have the opportunity to tell if the book seems OK to them. Instead of asking them quickly for their opinion, I prefer to encourage them to write a professional review. This way, they practise writing and have a possibility to share their detailed opinion on a proper book.
Key points while writing a review
1. It all should start with a thesis. Generally, there are a few strategies concerning writing a review; however, the message should be clear to a reader. You shouldn’t play with a reader’s mind by writing some riddles. Either you like something, or you don’t. Can you imagine writing a Google review of a restaurant and you don’t specify if you actually liked the food or not? This is why a thesis is important.
2. Now comes the time to support your thesis. You should find arguments that explain your way of thinking in terms of giving a note.
- What is your goal in learning English? If the answer is – speaking improvement – you’ll probably not like a book with grammar only. If your goal is mixed, check if the book contains all aspects of a language.
- Then, tell if the book's layout is OK to you. Some books are designed for a specific group of people (eg. children) and adults may not find it encouraging.
- You should also consider if the book corresponds to your level of English. You don’t want to be stuck on a lower level yet taking on the highest one may not be the best idea, too. Try to jump one level more as you’ll benefit the most from this solution.
- Remember to indicate pluses and minuses of the book so the tutor knows what kind of books should be avoided in the future. Feedback in this form is really helpful.
3. Then, finally - do you recommend the book or not? Now it’s time to tell openly if you’re willing to buy it or you’re still open for some other options. You can be frank; this feedback will never reach the editors…
Other ways to encourage writing reviews
As previously mentioned, reviews are mainly associated with food and films and it is also a useful form of written exercise. People travel and visit restaurants all over the whole world. We forget that leaving reviews (positive ones) is precious for entrepreneurs and our tendency is to leave negative comments; the positive one equals no review. Leaving a short message is a kind way of saying ‘thank you’, so consider that once you leave a restaurant with a smile on your face.
The other part is a film review. People definitely watch a movie or a series during a week, so they always have some productions on their mind. Review writing may be an opportunity for a student and a teacher to find a common topic or to broaden their horizons in cinematography!
Besides that, you will find numerous reasons to practise review writing. Are there any on your mind? Share the post and share your ideas!