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Parts of a review


Students will learn about key features of a review. After the teacher presents vocabulary and characteristics related to reviews, students will read reviews in groups and diagram the parts. Then the class will discuss how those features can affect how readers respond to reviews.


  • Students will learn the parts of a review.
  • Students will read reviews and recognize those parts.
  • Students will about using description and comparison as evidence in writing.

Common Core State Standards 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.5 Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of the text.


50 minutes


Handout: Parts of a review assignment

Two reviews (see examples)

Slideshow: Parts of a review

Copies of idea diagrams

Review rubric

Lesson step-by-step

Day 1

1. Building background — 15 minutes

Review the differences between columns, editorials and reviews. Use the slideshow to explain how reviewers use description and comparison more in reviews to give readers a better idea of what they can expect from the subject of the review.

2. Reading reviews as a class — 20 minutes

Distribute copies of the review, instructing students to read through it once. Ask whether anyone has experience with the subject of the review and what students thought of the review overall. Have students draw a box around the main opinion at the beginning of the review, then look to the bottom to do the same with the recommendation. Next they can look at the reasons for the opinions and put boxes around those as well. Have students underline passages with description and circle comparisons.

Ask the class which parts of the reviews were most helpful. Did the review give enough information to allow them to make up their own minds, too.

3. Reading reviews in groups — 20 minutes

Distribute copies of the next review example and the assignment to go with it. This time, have students look at the reviews in small groups and write what the different parts of the review are.

When groups finish, ask them how they would compare the first review to the second one. What was effective in the second one? Were there things the first one was better at?  Ask students to explain in more detail their preferences — this will get them to start using more detail in their reviews.

4. Take home

Have students complete the back side of the worksheet at home so they can be ready to write their reviews during the next class.

Day 2

1. Review — 10 minutes

Ask everyone in the class to share their review topic. Briefly connect to the previous lesson and review the main ideas: reviews state the main opinion in their introductions, use opinions on different aspects of the subject as reasons, description and comparisons as evidence and the a recommendation to readers in the conclusion.

2. Outline reviews — 15 minutes

Make copies of idea diagrams available. Have students outline their own reviews based on their completed homework from the previous lesson. What reasons will they have for their opinions, and how will they use descriptions or comparisons to back up those reasons? As students outline, check their work and keep an eye out for students who are stuck. Watch for students who want to review movies or books with just a plot summary, and have an idea ready for students who don’t know what to review.

3. Write reviews — 25 minutes

Take a quick break to ask a few students to share what they’ve done so far. Have a couple of students who are doing well share to give the class an example. Then have the class get back to work, transitioning from outlining to writing when they are ready.