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Editing Reviews
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Author:  Iron Wizard [ Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Editing Reviews

As it turns out, many of my reviews express abysmal grammatical continuity. Apparently, a song can be "guitar fun to listen to" and an album can be "caught on between black and groove metal". I type my reviews on a touchscreen based tablet, and never proofread them, hence why I make these mistakes.

I noticed that there is an edit button in the review composition window. When I submit a revised version of the review, it puts it back in the submission queue, presumably the main one. I was concerned that this get me banned or my review deleted or something for spamming the queue. I wasn't sure if this was a feature actually meant to be used, or if it's down for the time being or something.

Sorry to create another useless thread.

Author:  Diamhea [ Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Editing Reviews

You can freely edit past subs), but since you aren't a scribe it puts the review back in the queue.

Author:  Azmodes [ Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Editing Reviews

Yeah, this is perfectly normal and you won't get banned for it. :) Also, edits are clearly marked as such in the review queue, so the mods know that it's not a fresh submission.

Author:  flexodus [ Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Editing Reviews

Another question: I'm interested in editing some of my old reviews, but some of them I only want to change the percentage score a minor amount (to more accurately reflect recent and future reviews). If I resubmit a review without actually changing the word content of the review itself, does it still have to go through the queue? Don't want to put mods through unnecessary work of reading a review that hasn't been changed beyond the score. I suppose a "notes" field visible only to them could accomplish this?

Author:  Diamhea [ Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Editing Reviews

Make sure you edit the score itself by clicking the tiny icon next to it to save. That shouldn't send the review back to the queue.

Author:  The_Black_Priest [ Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Editing Reviews

Hi Guys,
I am not sure if this the right thread to ask this.
But, I have a question regarding reviews?
How do we go about writing a review? I mean are there any parameters to be followed while writing a review?
I have only one accepted review in 8 years of my time in MA. I have had 7-8 reviews rejected. Kindly help me out.
Your suggestions will be of huge help.


Author:  Diamhea [ Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Editing Reviews

The basic guidelines are laid out in the review submission form (i.e. the header present while you are writing). Make sure your reviews are long enough, and avoid track-by-track reviews.

Author:  Derigin [ Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Editing Reviews

On top of what Diamhea stated, the guidelines we tend to follow are fairly straightforward. I can break them down a bit, at least as far as what I'm looking for when I judge reviews for acceptance.

First, we require that reviews describe, above all, the music of the album. There isn't really a threshold as far as what "describe" in that context means, but it usually implies that the reviewer spends the majority of the review explaining their opinion on how the album sounds, and that the opinion they give is backed up and contextualized. I find that reviews typically tend to be rejected for one of two reasons, or both:

(1) the review is short on musical description, and ends up reiterating basic facts about the album (eg. the album has 6 tracks and is named X; these tracks are good; the lyrics are about fantasy creatures; production is solid; I like turtles, and this album too). It's not bad mentioning these things, obviously, but if that's what constitutes the entire review then it's not really a review - it's just restating stuff you can already find on the album's page. A good rule of thumb is as follows. If the reader of the review is going to sit there and think "why" or "in what way" to any of the statements you make, then it's worth elaborating on those statements. For instance, if you simply claim something on the album is "good," inevitably the person reading will want to know why it was good. The same is true if you make a blanket statement about something on the album being "solid" or telling us what the lyrics are all about. The inevitable questions asked in response would be "in what way" and "why does this matter?"

(2) the review may have musical description, but the vast majority of the review is not about the music of the album. This is a bit more tricky than the situation described in (1). Reviews come in many shapes and sizes, but one of the biggest fallacies a reviewer of an album can make is making the review about the band, or about the genre, or something else, and not so much about the album itself. A classic example of this would be a review on Pantera's "Metal Magic" album that is instead primarily an essay-long rant about "Glamtera," "Glam Metal" and the state of heavy metal in general in the 1980s. It's absolutely, 100% OK to provide context to your review - in fact that is what makes many of our best reviewers so great. It is not OK when a review for an album is simply used as an excuse to review the band, a genre, or something else entirely. People who read your review will want to know about the album; what it sounds like, what your opinion on it is, and even where it might fit in the context of the band's work or even the genre. However, the latter should never outweigh a focus on the album. Many reviewers, novice and "expert" suffer from this fallacy. It's a habit that can be hard to break, especially when you as a reviewer have a point you want to make about a bigger issue you think is important about the band as a whole. The key - and it's a challenging one - is being able to link that bigger issue with the music of the album you're reviewing. In other words, being able to describe the forest through its trees.

Second, we require that the review is written well and formatted correctly in English. We can be pretty anal on this one, but the underlying belief with this requirement is that the review must be easy to read and that the way it is written shouldn't take away from what is being written - one reason why track-by-tracks are generally discouraged (on top of those type of reviews also usually lacking description). Over the years I've figured out three major problems people typically have when it comes to this point:

(2) Number one are track-by-track reviews. The elephant in the room is track-by-track reviews, so I'll just get that out of the way. They're not prohibited outright, and with short albums are perfectly fine, but they're a sign of a novice reviewer and indicate less of a review of the album, and more just a survey of the album's tracks. Such reviews tend to be awkward to read, and lack an overarching sense of what the album is all about.

(1) Number two is spelling and issues with syntax. Maybe out of laziness, a lack of proper education, or just issues with the English language (something we have empathy for, especially given how so many of us are not native anglophones), reviewers suffer from sometimes basic problems with writing in English. If this is a shortcoming, we don't want to dissuade you from reviewing. We do highly recommend - and this is true for anyone - to have someone else proofread your review before you submit it. Generally, this is a good lesson to have with anything you write; your brain and your eyes will often play tricks and may force you to overlook egregious errors. Likewise, if you know you have issues with English don't try to overdo it and include fancy words and synonyms for the sake of it. This is a huge problem generally, even in predominantly anglophone societies. It's often seen as smart and sneaky to go into a thesaurus and find a fancier sounding synonym for a word that you've used, and it's true that English has many, many synonyms for words. However, the English language is nuanced, and some of these synonyms wont flow, sound right, or even be properly used in the context you might place them in. For example, "the guitars were terrible," has a slightly different understanding than "the guitars were offensive," "the guitars were shocking," "the guitars were awesome." All synonyms. All with varying meanings that change in context.

(3) Number three is format. Format, really, is all about the way an album flows. In other words, how a reader should be able to read the review. As a reviewer that publicizes your work, you should want to make it easier for the reader to read your review. You should want to make it clear to them what your point is - you wouldn't want to lose whatever message you're trying to convey simply because of the way your review is shaped. Generally, a good rule of thumb for format is 2-3 sentences split up into paragraphs, with a space given between paragraphs - although there's obvious creative license to this "rule of thumb" of course. Ideally, a paragraph should have a familiar structure to it, too. Like a mini-essay, a paragraph should introduce the topic of the paragraph, it should elaborate on the topic in the body of the paragraph, and it should conclude the topic of the paragraph and provide a bridge to the topic of the next paragraph. As a whole, the paragraph should have a singular, overarching theme: whether that's a specific element of the music, for example, or even just a more general aspect like "production." The key is that you shouldn't bungle a bunch of ideas into a mess of unrelated ideas.

Lastly we require the review to be a genuine opinion. We'll generally judge reviews as genuine unless proven otherwise. This one is a tough one to crack down on too hard; what is one person's genuine opinion might be outrageous (ie. "bait") to another person. Generally, we usually only aim for glaring examples where reviews are not genuine (eg. obvious trolls, gimmicks, jokes, etc). I can't elaborate too much on this, because it's something you know when you see it; a troll or gimmick review will more often than not do things to purposefully rile people up, or to be edgy and go against the grain. This doesn't mean that negative reviews or edgy statements are prohibited or at all frowned upon - we love negative reviews - but it does mean that the sole purpose of a review isn't just to be negative or edgy for the sake of being negative or edgy. Reviewers that do this don't tend to be all that committed to the review, or to show any indication that they really care about what they're writing down. For this reason, these reviewers often fail to have their reviews accepted for other reasons already covered, mainly a lack of musical description and a lack of proper spelling and format (as a result of the lack of time committed to writing the review). It also is pretty apparent when the reviewer has a personal grudge against a band, or wants to "correct the record" for their favorite band because whatever description is in their review is often about the band, or what they want to correct against, and not so much about the music of the album itself. All these cases are apparent and obvious, and if I could show them to you then you could easily pick them out for lacking a genuine opinion. That said, we don't police genuine opinions, and we do give the benefit of the doubt to the reviewer that their opinion is genuine, and real, and isn't just an opinion held in a review for nefarious purposes.

In any case, I hope this elaboration helps a bit. All review mods are different in what they do look for, but the guidelines are the same. I've been doing this job now for about 10 years. This is the type of stuff I've figured out over the last decade, and I'm always here to help and give advice (even if it might seem that my rejection messages aren't too elaborate at first).

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