The State of Reviewing (An Essay)

The Farmington Review

By Curtis Cole

(An essay I wrote for a directed study undertaken in the 2017 spring term.)

Reviewing is all around us: it is on our favorite websites, we hear classmates talk about it after a particularly harsh class, and we see it in the newspapers. Some reviews are product reviews, other professor reviews, while others yet the short and sweet classic newspaper review, so condensed and small that only the bare bones is allowed. Reviews are like the ultimate celebrity, they are everywhere yet seemingly nowhere; people talk about it without really knowing about them.

In such an atmosphere, what can we really know about reviews? Are all reviews the same? Is reading an eighteen-year old’s Meninist screed against his Womens Study professor on RateMyProfessor.com, the same as reading a couple thousand word piece in the nation’s leading literary magazine? Probably not, but we could argue that a couple…

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