What's The Difference Between A Description, Review And An Overview?

© Carolee D. Samuda, All Rights Reserved


Are you a freelancer? Are you ready to start earning money online? Here is a very important writing lesson that you will need to make it online. Do you know the difference between a description, a review and an overview? At times clients will request you do any of the three. Many writers get confused with things like this so it's no shame. It's a learning process for all of us. In this article I will tell you the difference between a description, review and an overview so you wont make mistakes that could cost you potential earnings.

The idea for this hub came to me while I worked on a project for writing descriptions, a lot of descriptions. While making corrections to those descriptions written by my colleagues I came to realize that maybe the way the descriptions were written was because descriptions are similar to reviews and they just got their ideas crossed.

My former colleague’s descriptions were very drastic and often reflected poorly on the items we were describing. Today the thought hit me “Wow, they are getting descriptions and reviews mixed up, I wonder how many people get them mixed up?”

What is a Description?

A description is a representation of the subject whether it be a person, object or event, even a place. A description is void of opinion and must tell as you see. A description must state what is and NOT what it isn't. So when describing a product for example a phone, that description must state the look, feel and features of the phone. A description does not compare or criticize, it's neither negative nor positive.

Sample description of my Samsung BlackJack1

“It comes with a qwerty keyboard, windows mobile 6 and internet access features. There is a built in camera with camcorder and sound recording.”

What is a review?

According to dictionary.com, a review is an examination or assessment of a subject. That subject could be a person, place, thing or event. A review can be objective but it is usually written from the author's perspective. The same product can have two different reviews based on two different outcomes from the assessments. However, when writing reviews, authors should be careful to base their reviews on the facts. Thoroughly examine the facts before giving your review. A review can be negative, positive or anywhere in between.

A sample review of my blackjack smart phone using the description above

“The qwerty keyboard is pretty easy to use and the windows mobile 6 is easy to navigate. Internet is not easily accessible through my home wireless device but I am not sure if I am doing it right. The camera and camcorder takes great pictures and videos but the sound recorder could do with a bit of tweaking for clearer recording.”

What is an Overview?

An overview comes in two formats. It can be a review or a summary. According to dictionary.com a summary is: “A brief statement or account of the main points of something”, or “Dispensing with needless details or formalities; brief: eg."summary financial statements"

Because we are differentiating between each point, we will be elaborating on overview as a summary. The overview or summary is, as the above definition states, the key points of the review. So after examining the fact and putting them together, one can write a summary and that is where you point out the negatives and positives of the subject. An example of a summary of a product review is below.

This is a simple summary of my Samsung BlackJack 1

“While the blackjack 1 comes with most modern features of a smart phone, the blackjack 2 might be a better option. The features are okay but need to be updated for better functionality”

An Overview of this hub

Now that you understand the difference between a description, a review and an overview you are now better equipped to service clients in the freelancing world. Take care to remember these points because they are very important. contractors can lose potential income from simple mistakes so do your research well and you will be fine.

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Comments 37 comments

mljdgulley354 profile image

mljdgulley354 4 years ago

Thank you for that information. It is not something I was paying much attention to.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Mljdgulley354, many of us never gave it a second thought, but I realized that freelancers need to know these things because clients are not always patient and understanding when spending money.


thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 4 years ago from Northern Ireland

Well done girlfriend for another awesome informative hub. I am going to rename you the Professor of Hub Land, and I take my hat off to all the things that you research on our behalf. Net:)


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Hi Annette, I am so happy to see you and I do hope you enjoyed your holidays!

Thanks for the compliment but I am sure there are other Professors here in Hub Land too! lol

Thanks for stopping by.

HUGS~~


hazelwood4 profile image

hazelwood4 4 years ago from Owensboro, Kentucky

Cardisa,

Thank you sharing another very useful article.:) I enjoy reading each and everyone that I come across.:)


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Thank you Hazelwood4, I really appreciate that. Thank you for being a fan and reading my hubs. Have a great day!


Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image

Ian Dabasori Hetr 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

Another great piece of hub. I never pay much attention to the description and over view. Maybe because I don't do them often. But for the review, yes I do it often. i mostly book review for a local book club call PNGBook club. Its in facebook. The website is www.pngbookclub.com.

I do book reviews but there are other areas one can do review. I have a list now after reading your hub..So maybe my next hub would be on that. What do you recorn? I just think that if one person concentrates alone on doing reviews in the areas below, he can be earning some extra money right here...I am not ready for that yet..lolz. Just a though.

I see many hubbers doing book and movie reviews. Some concentrate on doing product reviews and earn substantial amount of money with the add programs in hub pages. So I recorn doing review of movies, books or other product is a good way of earning with HP.

Great hub. voted up.

Regards


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 4 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

I liked this Hub, both for the useful information and for the fact that you managed to use the string 'qwerty' as a noun rather than an adjective. And then I googled qwerty and found it had its' own Wikipedia blog. Dvorak is a thing of history.

Welcome to the new world, where our vocabulary has been redefined for the modern age. Do you remember when googling got you slapped?


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Hi Ian, the thing about product reviews is that people buy more products than book or go to the movies so you find that it a person did a product review and place the product on the hub, not only do they get a view, they might get a sale, especially a good review. I don't like reviews much, I prefer writing a description of a product but if it's something you like and you are good at it then I would say, make it your niche.

Thanks for stopping by.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Hi FitnezzJim, nice to see you.

You made me chuckle, I don't remember being slapped for Googling but maybe I didn't know I was being slapped...lol

Thanks for the positive comment, oh, and I just wrote that qwerty thing without researching.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

I have a friend who makes big money writing things like this so I am sure it would be very important to the people who hire these writings done. Very good my very smart friend!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Thanks Jackie. I hope your friend found it useful.


surefire profile image

surefire 4 years ago

I liked your differentiation between review and overview.

I read somewhere that when you review some object specially for promoting it, you should keep your opinions as objective as possible and not just push it for the sake of a sale. You have shown this by giving an example.

Very helpful hub.

Thanks


Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image

Ian Dabasori Hetr 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

Cardisa

Thanks for the bit of information on the niche thing. Will have a look at it.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Thank you Surefire! I really appreciate the comment. Have a wonderful day!


thesingernurse profile image

thesingernurse 4 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

Thank you very much for the clarification. Now I know the concrete differences among the three. :D


csheal6249 4 years ago

I'm glad such a great writer has written about this topic. This list of expressions, explanations and lists will help lots of people. Nice write up, Cardisa.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

..well first of all my most dear and talented CARDISA congratulations on 500 plus followers - you certainly deserve it - big time - although it's true I want you all to myself - lol - so here is the epi breakdown:

DESCRIPTION: You're so hot Carolee you melt all of my snow ....and my heart.

REVIEW: I always see 'your beautiful heart' and fine mind in all of your writing

OVERVIEW: What more can I say people - please follow this good woman - and listen and learn and become enlightened like I did

lake erie time 7:18am home from work and having a ginger beer with you ........


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Thesingernurse, thank you for reading and commenting. Glad you found it useful.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Csheal6249, thank you for the compliment. Thanks for reading and leaving such a wonderful comment.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Hello Mr. Bombastic. When you leave a comment like that how can I concentrate for the rest of the day!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

.....well that's because I concentrate on you - for the rest of 'my day' - and off to bed now for more sweet dreams of my dear Miss C ..... lake erie timeless for you


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Sweet Dreams!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

.....look to your Facebook page for proof ......


csheal6249 4 years ago

Your description of these three topics are useful. They will help guide me in my first few days at HubPages. Thanks for sharing. Voted Up.


KDuBarry03 4 years ago

This is definitely insightful and very good to know, definitely for a website like hubpages. Thank you very much for the information!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Thank you KDu Barry03, I really appreciate the visit and comment. I realized that maybe we get the three items mixed up at some points and thought it a good idea to clarify.

Have a wonderful evening.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

Cardisa, this is a wonderful writing lesson. I have seen many writers, not only online but also on print easily mix up with description, review and overview. Perhaps, I'm one of them.

Thank you very much

Regards


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Hi Vinaya, I have been guilty of mixing them up also, it's a common practice. When you have to write for clients you must learn the difference as I am still learning..lol..

I wrote a review on my other account and was told it was an advertisement so I had to make some changes to make it sound more like a review so I am still in the learning process.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

..well the description of my review sweet Carolee is one very sad overview ..... I miss youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu - no Irie in Colin's life these days ......I sincerely hope all is well with you and sending warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 11:19am


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica Author

Hi Epi, I haven't been too good but hanging in there. Thank you so much for thinking of me and sending such wonderfully warm energy.

BIG HIGS ~~


Ceres Schwarz profile image

Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

This is a very useful hub especially because sometimes people might just forget or get things mixed up and end up confusing descriptions, reviews and overviews, mistaking one for the other. It's great that you included examples for each because that just makes things clearer and even easier to understand. I've been writing reviews lately and even overviews and description of the product so it was helpful for me to check with your examples if I was doing things correctly or not.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 3 years ago from Jamaica Author

Hi Ceres, this hub caused a couple of people much discomfort when I originally wrote it. I had a project working on where I had to take on two people. We were asked to write descriptions for two thousand schools across the US for a particular program. One of the persons kept writing how bad the school was or she would write what the program or school did not have. I had to tell her that descriptions were what is there. You can't describe what is not there. If you review something then you can add the pros and cons.


Ceres Schwarz profile image

Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

Yeah, that makes sense. Say, is it okay for a review not to have cons? Aren't positive reviews more preferable? Or would that make you biased? What if you can't find anything to fault in a product or item? Or you just don't want to mention it or something?


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 3 years ago from Jamaica Author

I believe the best reviews should have both. I once wrote a positive review on Hubpages and was told by many readers that my hub was an advertisement...lol. When I do my research I find that the best always tells the customers of the weaknesses of the product/service as well as the strengths.


Ceres Schwarz profile image

Ceres Schwarz 3 years ago

Oh, yeah. I guess that does make sense. And it would be more believable. I'll be sure to keep that in mind when reviewing stuff. Thanks for the clarifications.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 3 years ago from Jamaica Author

You are so welcome!

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