Review and commentary writing tends to be a piece of writing in which you offer your personal opinion. Your own personal knowledge will make your conclusions count. To demonstrate how much you do know about a topic, you will need to support your points with valid reasons.
Like all text types, review writing has certain fairly fixed conventions (called 'genre conventions'). A good way to get used to these is to analyse an existing review and to use it as a 'style model' or example for your own writing.
Below is an extract from an example of a review of the book The Darkest Realm by fictional novelist John Paul Grimeson. This particular reviewer did not like what they read. What techniques do you see being used?
These are some of the typical conventions that are being used in this review:
You can also ask some questions about the language the writer uses to learn from this style:
Does the writer sound formal and use Standard English?
The tone is mainly formal with a few informal choices; the writer uses Standard English.
Does the writer address (talk to) the reader directly?
The writer uses the direct address pronoun 'you' to help engage the reader.
What are the vocabulary choices like?
The vocabulary is straightforward and everyday. A use of some technical language (jargon) such as 'scripts' and 'screenplay' add a sense of education and authority.
What are the sentences like?
The writer uses a variety of sentences in both length and type. This helps to create a lively engaging tone but also allows sufficient information and detail to be given.
An analysis of a professional example ('style model') like this can tell you a great deal about how to write your own review – about what kind of ingredients you might include in your own.
You could turn this into a recipe for your own review: