Writing A Review: A Persuasive Argument
As consumers in a global marketplace, we like to know that we are getting a good deal. A great way to navigate the playing field is to read reviews about the product you will be purchasing, place you might be visiting, restaurant you might frequent, movie you might see, ad infinitum...
As a crafty educator, I also see this an opportunity to teach students about a persuasive argument. It is an enjoyable way to engage students in the process because they get to see a movie, go to a favorite restaurant, go to GameStop, read a good book, see a show, try out an instrument or any other fun activity ---a new amusement park perhaps?????? MMM, how could writing be this much fun????? Well, it clearly can be !
So what is this thing called a review?
• A review is a critical evaluation of a text, event, object, or phenomenon.
• Reviews include: food, movie, theater, games, books, restaurants, fashion, and many other forms.
• Reviews are published in magazines, newspapers, online, or they can even be aired on the radio and television.
Description and Introduction to Writing a Review
• Remember that the reader knows nothing
• You, the writer, must tell the reader everything
• Describe the object of the review so the reader can experience it through your words
• Pizza is a favored fare by many people. Its history is rooted in ancient civilizations. Pizza is comprised of a crust, tomato sauce, cheese, seasonings and toppings. It is a food that appeals to many people because there are so many ways to eat it.
• This is the part that includes the commentary called the opinion piece.
• Here is your chance to be effective and persuasive.
• Give the reader the positives and the negatives here.
A credible review gives the audience both sides while being very clear about the position it takes in persuading its audience.
• Remember –be believable
Opinion Example: Back to Our Pizza Review
• When entering a pizza establishment like Pizza Hut, you are immediately consumed (taken in by) with the fragrant scent (great smelling) of hot pizza coming out of brick ovens. The spices are aromatic (strong smell). The tangy sauce with cheese enters your mouth and awakens your taste buds as it passes down the digestive tract. Pizza isn’t just a food; it’s an experience.
• Pizza can be served in many different ways in order to satisfy many people.
• For instance, if you are watching your weight, you can have a veggie pizza and still eat healthy. If you like meat, you can add meat on top of the pizza. Pizza is a great food because you can serve it in a variety of ways.
How did you like my example?
Did it sound believable?
Would you buy pizza based on my review?
• I forgot to tell the reader that if they eat a lot of pizza with cheese on it, it might cause their cholesterol to go up.
While I offered alternatives, I should have also included the following:
Pizza can be both healthy and unhealthy. A healthier alternative to eating cheese pizza is……
Maybe the service wasn't so great, so don't forget to mention that too.
Evaluation & Analysis
• A good review includes careful thought about the object of your review.
• That means: the good, the bad, and the ugly
• Break it all down
• Please give some thought about the chef who made the best cake.
Some Essential Questions:
• Why is a novel divided up into named chapters?
• . What makes one genre more interesting than another?
• What is the best part about eating that piece of food?
A Gastronomic Personal Experience Set the Tone of This Lesson
KiranPalace (My Exemplar)
2934 Hemstead Turnpike
I have always been fascinated by the Indian culture. India is home to the Taj Mahal, the regalia of the sari and Nehru collar, yoga and meditation practice, ayurvedic medicine and so many other rich cultural traditions. It is a mystical place inhabited by very industrious and spiritual people, and the food from this culture has been greatly influenced by religiosity and other civilizations that have contributed to this region of the world. Indian cuisine is known for its intense spices and captivating aroma. It is one of the quintessential gastronomic experiences that can be had.
So, while out and about, I stumbled upon a true gem of a restaurant tucked away in an obscure strip mall. Because I love Indian food so much, I am forever on the lookout for a new eating establishment.
This restaurant was out of its cultural milieu and this definitely intrigued me, so, I quickly took mental note of the restaurant and decided to try it out that same week.
I returned that week to the restaurant site, parked the car and observed the restaurant's facade. It looked like a hole in the wall and was dressed with very unimpressive features, albeit, it was adorned with some cultural markings in the window as I peered into the building, but other than that, it wasn't very noteworthy.
I walked in and was greeted by the "Maitre D" who escorted me to a table and handed me a menu. I looked around and was not impressed by the furnishings, but the aroma of the place had me instantly. It was early in the evening and the restaurant was empty; however, little by little it filled in as I sat and ate my meal.
As I opened the menu, I was delighted in finding that there were so many interesting choices, particularly in the appetizer section. Sampling appetizers is a great way to familiarize yourself with new cultural delicacies without a huge commitment. Kudos to the chef!
I poured over the menu with delight, noting the favorites that beckoned my attention. I was immediately drawn to a Basmati rice favorite, the Byrani. At Kiran Palace there were several to choose from which sets this establishment apart from other Indian eateries. I chose the, Kiran Palace Special Byrani, that wedded shrimp, chicken, lamb and vegetables to a tantalizing blend of spices. I also opted for the Lamb Pasanda, which united in harmony, tender and succulent chunks of lamb, bathed it in a savory coconut sauce and infusing it with rich Indian spices. Both dishes did not disappoint me.
A garlic Naan bread was served as an intermezzo leading to a climax of a treat called, Kulfi, an ice-cream made from the fruit of a mango. The bread with its seeding of garlic on top melted away in my mouth, while the Kulfi cooled my palette and served as a harmonious way to celebrate the culmination of a great meal.
A side bar, my only challenge was that the waiter didn't have a grasp of the English language and had difficulty relaying some information about the ingredients in the dishes and some explanations of same. However, upon calling the established after that date, I was told that diners can ask for the owner, Kala, who is also the chef and he will gladly answer any questions you may have.
That said, I would give this establishment my highest rating.
A Tasty Way to Learn How to Write
In sum, it is my fervent belief that learning should be joyous and tasty. So, try and cajole your students to write, be the "Pied Piper" by offering up fun ways to accomplish a familiar goal.