How to Write a Helpful Negative Review

We all know that poorly written online reviews are of no use to anyone other than the people who type them angrily. But from time to time, you may find yourself in a situation that requires constructive criticism. Whether you’re reviewing a purchase on Amazon, at a restaurant, or from a former employer, your basic review strategy should remain the same: make it readable and useful. Here’s how to do it.

Describe what happened – and what should have happened.

If you are thinking of writing a bad review, you are probably motivated by at least one particular experience. This should be your goal. First, be clear and objective about the bad that happened and stick to the facts – in other words, don’t make up shit. If you’re still excited about your experience, keep it a secret. Then describe what should have happened at the moment, not what you want to do in response or what you think you should. This is an important distinction because it is essentially a test to make sure your complaint is correct. In the case of legitimate complaints, it will be very easy to tell what should have happened: your ex-boss should have kept his rude comments to himself, Amazon should have charged you once, not twice for the same item, the server and the chef should have left. peanut sauce off the plate after you know you are allergic, and so on. But for the little beefs that boil down to feeling underserved, the “right” way of doing things will either not exist outright, or be so outrageous that you could start your review with “Please don’t take nothing that I say. seriously! I’m working on some personal issues in an unhealthy and ultimately unproductive way! “

Get to the point

Verbose, overly long reviews are useless, so keep yours short and to the point. This will enable the person to read and assimilate what you are saying, which is the whole point of writing any review. As a bonus, if you stick to short, declarative sentences, you won’t be able to rant, so you won’t act like a despicable narcissist trying to get his way at any cost. (Even in situations where emotional outbursts are a perfectly reasonable reaction, they can refute your point of view.)

Bottom line: If you really want your review to matter, it needs to be as clear and easy to read as possible. Speak the truth, argue, and complete; Anyone who reads it will appreciate the effort.

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