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Reviews. Definition. A review is an article in a newspaper or magazine in which someone gives their views on a book, play, film, TV programme, etc. Purpose. Factual information about the subject . Opinion to help the reader . Structure. Structure.

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A review is an article in a newspaper or magazine in which someone gives their views on a book, play, film, TV programme, etc.



  • Factual informationaboutthesubject.

  • Opiniontohelpthereader.





  • Overview (factual infosuch as author/director, plot, parts of thework, etc).

  • Pros and Cons.

  • Verdict.



Some factual details that could be included:

  • The title of the book, film, CD, concert…

  • The author, director, main actors, singer, group…

  • Publishing/ Release date

  • The type of book/genre, film, CD, etc.: love story, thriller, Rock ‘n’ Roll…

  • The intended audience: adults, teenagers…

  • The publisher, the cinema, channel, label, venue…

  • The price.

Structure overview

Structure: Overview

Some other opinion details that could be included:

  • A rating based on the star system.

Structure pros and cons

Structure: Pros and Cons

  • Detailed comments on the strengths and weaknesses.

  • Objective views (based on facts).

  • Subjective views (based on personal feelings).

  • WRITING TIPS: Give clear reasons for your comments and try to be balanced and not completely one-sided.

Structure verdict

Structure: Verdict

  • Summing-up and recommendations.

  • Make it clear whether you:

    • Recommend the subject without any reservations.

    • Recommend the subject with 1 or 2 reservations.

    • Don’t recommend the subject at all.

  • Readers often look at the last paragraph.

Paragraph planning a book film review

Paragraph Planning (a book/film review)

  • A brief introduction and background, including the genre (type) and reasons you chose to review this particular title.

  • A description of the main characters and their relationships to one another.

  • A summary of the plot

  • Comments on the strengths and weaknesses.

  • A personal opinion and summary of who else might like to read, see or play it.

Useful language

Useful Language

  • Overview (1):

Useful language1

Useful Language

  • Pros and Cons (1):

Useful language structure

Useful Language: Structure


    • It is published by…

    • It is illustrated by…

    • It tells the story of…

    • The plot centres on…

    • This is a love story / a thriller / a classic…

    • The story is set in…

    • The book is about…

Useful language structure book review

Useful Language: Structure (book review)

  • Pros and Cons (2):

    • It is extremely readable/rather heavy

    • It is a beautifully written novel

    • It is extremely well-written.

    • It is really imaginative / full of suspense / thought-provoking…

    • Parts of the book are very funny / sad / exciting..

    • The characters are very life-like / not very convincing…

    • The ending is really unexpected / surprising / spine-chilling / funny…

    • I found the ending a bit boring / predictable / disappointing…

Useful language structure1

Useful Language: Structure

  • Verdict:

    • On balance,

    • In conclusion

    • To sum up

    • I really recommend it.

    • It is well-worth reading!

Useful language2

Useful Language

  • Comparing and contrasting:

    • X is a bit / considerably more original than…

    • X isn’t quite as good as…

    • While / Whereas X is…, Y is…

    • Neither… / Both…

Useful language content music review

Useful Language: Content(music review)

  • Balancing an opinion:

    • I found the lyrics incomprehensible at times , but… / However, …

    • Although (the lead singer has a great voice / the show is a big hit with the public), …

    • Even so, (her performance will stay in the memory for a long time / the show makes great family viewing).

    • Despite this / In spite of this / And yet I enjoyed nearly every track on it .

    • On the other hand, (I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it / the concept doesn’t really work).

Useful language content

Useful Language: Content

  • Summarising:

    • So, (two different artists but)…

    • All in all, if you’re going to buy one book / watch one programme this week…

    • Quite simply, (this is the best…)

Useful language film reviews

Useful Language: Film Reviews

  • The film is directed / produced by…

  • It is set in…

  • It stars…

  • The role of X is played by…

  • It portrays / shows…

  • It conveys a sense of…

  • X gives a superb / thrilling / disappointing performance…

  • I can thoroughly recommend…

  • I found the plot rather weak / unconvincing

Exercise 1 basic vocabulary book play or film

Exercise #1 – Basic Vocabulary:Book, Play or Film?

Extrascharactersa classica scene

The author a stara performance

A thrillerthe plota flopa chapter

A rolea scripta masterpiecean act

A box-office hitthe stage

Exercise 1 basic vocabulary book play or film1

Exercise #1 – Basic Vocabulary: Book, Play or Film?

Exercise 1 basic vocabulary book play or film2

Exercise #1 – Basic Vocabulary: Book, Play or Film?

Exercise 2 evaluation positive or negative phrases

Exercise #2 - Evaluation:Positive or Negative phrases?

(particularly) memorable(entirely) predictable (truly) original

(really) lively(excruciatingly) boring(totally) unconvincing

over the top(extremely) popular

(almost) inaudible(incredibly) stylish(vastly) overrated

entertaining(profoundly) moving (quite) sophisticated(absolutely) hilarious(refreshingly) different

(a bit) flat(beautifully) recorded

Exercise 2 evaluation positive or negative phrases1

Exercise #2 - Evaluation:Positive or Negative phrases?

Exercise 2 evaluation positive or negative phrases2

Exercise #2 - Evaluation:Positive or Negative phrases?

Exercise 3 analysis five reviews

Exercise #3 - Analysis:Five Reviews

Which review contains the most factual information?

Which one expresses strong personal opinions?

Which one do you think is the most balanced?

Which review is the most formal?

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