Music or Movie Review

For this assignment, you are a reviewer in the entertainment department of a local newspaper. Your job is to write a review of a movie or music CD. You can choose any movie or CD you’d like — it doesn’t have to be recent.

Before you get started, we recommend you look over some reviews in your local paper, on the web, or in a magazine. If you are choosing a movie, notice how much attention is given to the story-line in a review. Most young writers make the mistake of spending too much time summarizing the movie’s plot. Don’t fall into that trap. A review will only mention the basic conflict and give some details of the story, but good reviewers are careful not to give away too much and spoil the viewing experience for the reader.

If you do some research like this, do not review the same movie or recording you read about — the temptation to plagiarize will be too great. We want your thoughts and your words, not some professional reviewer’s.

Whether you choose a movie or a musical recording, focus on those things that make the movie or album particularly enjoyable or unpleasant (it can be a negative review). Point to specific parts of the movie or particular song lyrics to make your points. Avoid talking in generalities. Good reviews illustrate their ideas with excerpts and examples.

Note: We recommend you look over reviews to get an idea about how to write them. Do not copy them. This is an assignment in which students are sometimes tempted to plagiarize because it is so easy to find reviews online. We urge you to review a movie or album other than any you look at as examples. Do your own work.

Suggested Length: Typically, these reviews run two or three pages. Be sure to keep it under five.

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