Magdalena Ball The Art of Assessment Reviews

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“Review of 'The Art of Assessment: How to Review Anything'”


written by gotanenvoy on 30/04/2006

Review of 'The Art of Assessment: How to Review Anything'
Author: Magdalena Ball
Publisher: Mountain Mist Productions

When conducting a review, whether it is for a book, car, house, film or theatre there are principles one must keep in mind. Who it is going to read the review and what will their expectations of the evaluation be. Like all good writers the reviewer must decide who their audience will be, and aim their writing at that audience.

The Art of Assessment sets out to provide practical guidelines to prospective reviewers, on how to perfect the techniques required of the craft. Set out in thirteen chapters the book takes the reader step by step through the process of reviewing. Each step is highly detailed and backed up with examples of what is required. There is also a wide listing of potential reviews markets detailed throughout the book.

What makes this book stand out from others of its type? It is in the simplicity of the presentation both verbally and visually. The book is not cluttered to look at and does not talk down to the reader, or lecture at them through an academic format.

All the information about what a review, types of reviews, formatting, research and interviews are presented with great clarity. It is reflected in the book's construction that the author has a great wealth and experience in the field of reviewing. The book does not ignore the pitfalls of reviewing if one is seeking to make a full-time living from the exercise. It does emphasize that for reviews to be taken seriously, they must be well crafted and researched like any other form of published work.

Overall the book gives excellent guidance for a person contemplating traveling down the reviewing path. It is a journey that needs patience, dedication, grammatical skills and a thick skin. Not all those who you write reviews for will appreciate your views and will not hesitate to tell you. Financial reward will not be great in most cases, but the pleasure of completing a well-written review is a true reward in itself.

The Art of Assessment is a very useful tool to guide potential and practicing reviewers to greater heights of excellence in their chosen field. Until recently I ran a book review service for authors, and having access to a book such as Magdalena Ball has written, would have made my reviewing tasks so much easier. For those wishing to try their luck at reviewing they could buy no better text on the subject.

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