Template method empowers you. Drive Knol quality higher, promote the meritocracy
By trial and error, the Knol experiment is discovering new ways to reward quality articles with a simple star-based rating bolstered by a short question survey for subscribed users. We’ve prepared this Knol to bolster the system by presenting a structured method that encourages readers to thoroughly review Knols out in the open.
It’s our second “paint by the numbers” approach. Both our basic and advanced procedurals use a template to build each review. If reviews proliferate, they should motivate authors to improve their work (which in turn bolsters everyone’s reading and learning experience). An extension of our basic template (a top pick/top viewed Knol), this advanced version is more involved. And it’s worth it.
The Value of Advanced Reviews
We’re targeting novice and experienced article review writers. Although specifically developed for review of user content in online article communities like Knol, students and book reviewers in traditional roles will also discover benefits from this article.
- The steps toward understanding the message and messenger
- How to describe the impact of an article
- How to compile a review for presentation
What other values characterize reviews?
By showing you how to write your first serious review, you’ll be introduced to a world you might have thought falls outside of your skill set. Many people underestimate themselves and overestimate others. Becoming an effective review writer increases your value as a member of online user content communities and provides new avenues to build your reputation, even to link back to goods and services for improved monetization. The citizenship you gain by reviewing the work of others fits the adage “what goes around, comes around.” And on the Internet, it can happen quickly. If you are a student of Malcolm Gladwell, you know it can happen in a blink. If you Twitter, it can happen in a tweet.
How this article is set up
Three sections guide you towards completion of your first advanced reviews:
- Steps toward understanding the message and messenger.
- Describing the impact of an article
- Compiling and publishing your review
- Quality Knols are not always going to be to your liking
- Next to presenting your point-of-view in a challenge Knol, a challenge review can be an effective countermeasure that improves the system
Article Review Example
In summary, I believe that the author’s position — a Small Business Coach can add value to small businesses — has been effectively supported. Small business owners and intenders may be encouraged to engage the services of a small business coach after reading and understanding this article. Lisa has provided her own contact details for those so motivated, and gives insight on how to find a coach in your locale.
What’s needed to proceed?
Time to begin preparing an advanced article review. Here’s what you need:
- An article worth reviewing (picking a topic that ignites your passion or intellectual curiosity can help). Be sure that the article offers a Review This Knol button (Knol authors have the option of hiding the button, thus turning off unsolicited reviews)
- An open blank document in a word processor like Word, Google Docs or OpenOffice.
PART 1 – Understanding the message and messenger
|#1 Image – flickr.com|
Primary Review Questions
Record the full title of the Knol and name of the author. “Anonymous” is a name.
OUTQUOTE: Are there text quotation(s) from the article that captured the key essence of the author’s message or a point you wish to challenge? Write them down exactly when you find them during the first reading, or make a note to record them during the next reading.
- In what field of study does this article fall? i.e. business, management, entrepreneurial, life, education, health, religion, auto maintenance, marriage, dating, technology etc.). Sometimes this is hard to pin down. A useful way is the high altitude method: from 30,000 feet, what does this Knol seem to be about?
- What is the author’s stated occupation or point-of-view? (You may need to visit the author’s Knol page and bio, if available, to get this). Another version of this question: Where is the author coming from? If not available, the answer to the question is “not available.” (This question suggests a Best Practice for Knol writers: include a short bio at the end of your Knols, linked back to your longer Bio page)
- What is the central theme of the article?
- Who is the primary target audience of this article?
- What is the author trying to convey to this target audience?
- What activity of the target audience will the information in this article effect?
- Out of the central theme (#3), what are the chief point(s) of the article?
- What research or experience has the author relied upon in this article?
- Who or what else in the article supports the author’s position?
- What is the major finding or conclusion that the author reaches in this article?
- What changes or actions will the primary target audience take or do better after reading this article?
- Who else could benefit from this article?
- If you sense a secondary audience, what change or actions will the secondary group take or do better after reading this article? (for example, an article about child behavior directed at parents has grandparents as a secondary audience even if the author does not acknowledge this).
- What are the article’s major weaknesses? (for example, failure to acknowledge the role of grandparents and close friends in the prior question).
- How does the article cover or make up for this weakness?
- Is there a major positive outcome from this article? What is it?
- Does the author advance a primary position in the article? What is it?
- What key understanding, insight or improvement has the author introduced in this article?
- What could or should this article lead to in terms of future research, other articles or author contact?
PART 2 – Describe the impact of the Knol?
|Image source #2 – flickr.com|
Take a moment to reflect on the two readings and try to characterize the impact. This is YOUR review so there is no wrong or right in relation to your impressions. If others don’t agree, they are free to write their own review.
Meta Review Questions
1 – What type of article or Knol are you reviewing? (List A)
2 – What is the significance of the topic in your opinion? (List B)
3 – What words best describe the area covered by the Knol? (List C)
4 – What does the article attempt to do? (List D)
5 – What line of reasoning does the author seem to take? (List E)
6 – How successful is the author’s argument? (List B)
7 – From your overall impression – what has the author achieved? (List F)
8 – What word(s) describe the author presentation of the case or chief argument (List A)
9 – Select up to three words that best describe this author’s effort (List H)
10 – What voice has the author used? (List I)
11 – How has the author presented the argument (List A, adding ly to form an adverb)
34 – How would you characterize the author’s success with the Knol? (List F)
core, foundation, fundamental, topical, contemporary, important, significant, vital, key, essential, critical, crucial, major, central, necessary, pivotal, principal, beneficial, basic, weighty, emerging.
area, subject, competency, topic, field, matter, theme, issue, speciality, focus, discipline, sphere, domain, problem, affair, question, realm, topic
Questions, probes, queries, explores, looks into, investigates, searches for, surveys, seeks, examines, delves into, researches, enquires into, interrogates, argues that, confronts, scrutinises, casts doubt on, reviews, assesses, analyses, considers, appraises, charts, maps out, offers advice,
Argument, case, line of reasoning, claim, contention, defence, rationale, basis, an explanation, the grounds, the motivation, belief, opinion, line of argument, view, assertion, declaration, statement, allegation, principle.
Developed, explained, fleshed out, advanced, progressed, expanded, described, defended, rationalised, validated, explained, justified, supported, interpreted, clarified, represented.
Employing, using, exercising, utilising, applying, invoking, expressing it
Clear, concise, relevant, tidy, lucid, plain, unambiguous, understandable, logical, comprehensible, intelligible, eloquent, coherent, simple, well-structured, sound, convincing, succinct, pertinent, apt, appropriate.
Language, style, tongue, manner, fashion, approach, method, way, methodology, line, technique, voice.
PART 3 – Compile your article review
|Image #3 – flickr.com|
Article Review Template
Pre-publish your Review.
Get back to a palliative mode and slip into the job of editor. Now you want to read and burnish the review, making it pleasant for others. If you have access to a trusted companion, get a pre-publish opinion. When satisfied, go ahead and copy and paste the review into the Knol’s review window by clicking Review this Knol. This produces a standard Knol creation window.
Publish your review. The process is like writing a new Knol. The tools invite you to desktop publish your review using available fonts, text sizes, bold and italic — the full features set. You can even import YouTube videos. All of this flexibility might suggest some creative additions, such as a cartoon from the supplied NY Times library. When complete, you click the Publish button.
Also provided is a unique Beta set of Google questions. These appear after the editing window. We recommend answering these by adjusting the slider under each. This information may prove useful in the future as Google develops metrics around the slider positions for articles that receive several reviews.
Here we took the answers from Part 1 and Part 2 to compile an article review and then reworked it to ensure a smooth reader experience. Your review should now be published! Congratulations.
1 – For an introduction to providing a review for the Knol Project see: Knol Review
Conclusion – How to Write a Powerful Advanced Article Review
- The answers required to understand the message and the messenger.
- Ways to describe the impact an article has.
- The method used to create an article review
Image source #1 by takomabibelot Attribution 2.0 Generic – 28 Feb 09 http://www.flickr.com/photos/takomabibelot/309130731/
Image source #2 by Sudhamshu Attribution 2.0 Generic – 28 Feb 09 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudhamshu/2778728708/