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OBC Review Editing

(Formerly the "Support, Feedback and Forum Announcements" forum.)
Please help us make Online Book Club even better! Please post suggestions, feedback and ideas for new features. Wild brainstorming and potentially 'crazy ideas' are super-strongly encouraged! :)

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Re: OBC Review Editing

Post Number:#46 by MsMartha
» 05 Jan 2016, 09:55

Hey, as a newbie I just want to thank all of you for these posts. I got my first Official Review edited this past weekend. The editor made some good points and I found that very helpful. There was one thing mentioned that I don't agree with. I didn't find that annoying--all in all, this process has been very interesting.

Since some good books have been mentioned for reference, I'd like to add Garner's Modern American Usage, by Bryan A. Garner. Much as I love to write, I haven't had a writing class of any kind in something like a million years, so I do try to look things up if I'm not sure what I should be doing.
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Re: OBC Review Editing

Post Number:#47 by bookowlie
» 05 Jan 2016, 12:44

MsMartha wrote:Hey, as a newbie I just want to thank all of you for these posts. I got my first Official Review edited this past weekend. The editor made some good points and I found that very helpful. There was one thing mentioned that I don't agree with. I didn't find that annoying--all in all, this process has been very interesting.

Since some good books have been mentioned for reference, I'd like to add Garner's Modern American Usage, by Bryan A. Garner. Much as I love to write, I haven't had a writing class of any kind in something like a million years, so I do try to look things up if I'm not sure what I should be doing.


Keep in mind that, as per the guidelines, the editors have the right to consider the overall quality of the review when scoring. A review may have the minimum word count and number of paragraphs, as well as a summary and opinions which relate to the rating given. However, there are other things that are taken into account - for example, the opinion section might be two or three quick sentences or overly general; the review might not be written well or be in a school book report style (the book is about x, this was a good book, I couldn't put it down, the end). I am just throwing out a few thoughts just to give you an idea. I am certainly not saying this happened in your case or anyone else that previously commented here. I just wanted to point out that, as per the guidelines, reviewers don't automatically get the highest score just because they wrote a 400+ word count, 5 paragraph review with a summary, critique, and no grammatical errors.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing
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Re: OBC Review Editing

Post Number:#48 by kandscreeley
» 08 Feb 2017, 19:13

I was going to start a new topic but this seems to be a good place to post my question. How objective are the editorial scores? When should I question them? I have recieved several editors comments stating that it was a good review, but there were a few mistakes here and there. Then I get a 46. Is there a way to make these more subjective? Can I get a second opinion? Is there a way to get one of the editors to help me figure out how to inrease the score?
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Re: OBC Review Editing

Post Number:#49 by Jennifer Allsbrook
» 08 Feb 2017, 22:17

One thing I would like to suggest is a scoring rubric so that reviewers and editors of reviews have a guideline that is easily followed. I have used the guidelines for all of my reviews thus far and have meticulously read and re-read my reviews before submitting them in an attempt to raise my score. I also employ a website called paperrater.com to "grade" my paper based on spelling, grammar, word choice, use of transitional phrases, sentence length, use of passive voice, and use of simple sentence beginnings. I always try to make sure my review is graded above a 90%/A level before submitting it. My latest reviews rated a 92% and a 93% on this site but were given 65% and 77% by the editors. Out of curiosity, I copied and pasted one of today's "featured" reviews into the site and it was graded an 85%/B. I have also been asking an English teacher friend to check my reviews for grammatical and other errors. A sample rubric is below:

Rubric/Criterion Met/Points
Length - Minimum 5 paragraphs (400 words) /Yes ________ No ________/ 10
Paragraph separation - two-line breaks/ Yes ________ No ________/ 5
Spelling / Yes ________ No ________/ 10
Grammar/ Yes ________ No ________ / 10
Brief Book Summary / Yes ________ No ________ / 10
No Spoilers / Yes ________ No ________ / 10
Likes / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Dislikes / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Liked the most/why / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Liked the least/why / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Rating format (X out of 4 stars and in bold print) / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Why this rating / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Audience for book (most/least) / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Title italicized / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Original / Yes ________ No ________ 5

Note: for spelling and grammar there should be point deductions based on numbers of errors
Ex) error free (taking into account multiple styles) – 0 deductions
1-2 errors – 5 point deduction
3 or more – 10 point deduction
Jennifer Allsbrook's Latest Review: "Thorns and Roses" by Amaka Azie
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Re: OBC Review Editing

Post Number:#50 by kandscreeley
» 09 Feb 2017, 08:37

Jennifer Allsbrook wrote:One thing I would like to suggest is a scoring rubric so that reviewers and editors of reviews have a guideline that is easily followed. I have used the guidelines for all of my reviews thus far and have meticulously read and re-read my reviews before submitting them in an attempt to raise my score. I also employ a website called paperrater.com to "grade" my paper based on spelling, grammar, word choice, use of transitional phrases, sentence length, use of passive voice, and use of simple sentence beginnings. I always try to make sure my review is graded above a 90%/A level before submitting it. My latest reviews rated a 92% and a 93% on this site but were given 65% and 77% by the editors. Out of curiosity, I copied and pasted one of today's "featured" reviews into the site and it was graded an 85%/B. I have also been asking an English teacher friend to check my reviews for grammatical and other errors. A sample rubric is below:

Rubric/Criterion Met/Points
Length - Minimum 5 paragraphs (400 words) /Yes ________ No ________/ 10
Paragraph separation - two-line breaks/ Yes ________ No ________/ 5
Spelling / Yes ________ No ________/ 10
Grammar/ Yes ________ No ________ / 10
Brief Book Summary / Yes ________ No ________ / 10
No Spoilers / Yes ________ No ________ / 10
Likes / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Dislikes / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Liked the most/why / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Liked the least/why / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Rating format (X out of 4 stars and in bold print) / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Why this rating / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Audience for book (most/least) / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Title italicized / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Original / Yes ________ No ________ 5

Note: for spelling and grammar there should be point deductions based on numbers of errors
Ex) error free (taking into account multiple styles) – 0 deductions
1-2 errors – 5 point deduction
3 or more – 10 point deduction


Exactly, my last two reviews have been rated as 46s when my first two were both much, much higher. Nothing changed in my writing style, and according to the editors there were only a few mistakes. So, how can I get a higher rating when I don't know why they are rating low?

-- 09 Feb 2017, 12:24 --

Jennifer Allsbrook: Thanks for that paperrater.com website! I love tips like that. I think that will be useful going forward.
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Re: OBC Review Editing

Post Number:#51 by bookowlie
» 10 Feb 2017, 12:02

Jennifer Allsbrook wrote:One thing I would like to suggest is a scoring rubric so that reviewers and editors of reviews have a guideline that is easily followed. I have used the guidelines for all of my reviews thus far and have meticulously read and re-read my reviews before submitting them in an attempt to raise my score. I also employ a website called paperrater.com to "grade" my paper based on spelling, grammar, word choice, use of transitional phrases, sentence length, use of passive voice, and use of simple sentence beginnings. I always try to make sure my review is graded above a 90%/A level before submitting it. My latest reviews rated a 92% and a 93% on this site but were given 65% and 77% by the editors. Out of curiosity, I copied and pasted one of today's "featured" reviews into the site and it was graded an 85%/B. I have also been asking an English teacher friend to check my reviews for grammatical and other errors. A sample rubric is below:

Rubric/Criterion Met/Points
Length - Minimum 5 paragraphs (400 words) /Yes ________ No ________/ 10
Paragraph separation - two-line breaks/ Yes ________ No ________/ 5
Spelling / Yes ________ No ________/ 10
Grammar/ Yes ________ No ________ / 10
Brief Book Summary / Yes ________ No ________ / 10
No Spoilers / Yes ________ No ________ / 10
Likes / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Dislikes / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Liked the most/why / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Liked the least/why / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Rating format (X out of 4 stars and in bold print) / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Why this rating / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Audience for book (most/least) / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Title italicized / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Original / Yes ________ No ________ 5

Note: for spelling and grammar there should be point deductions based on numbers of errors
Ex) error free (taking into account multiple styles) – 0 deductions
1-2 errors – 5 point deduction
3 or more – 10 point deduction


Having such a detailed checklist can certainly be a double-edged sword. It would likely make the editors look at every little thing in a review, and I suspect some members' scores would suffer. A checklist like this doesn't allow for the flexibility there is now to adjust a score if the review is particularly interesting or insightful. I fear a checklist would result in less interesting reviews because the reviewers, especially the newbies, would start churning out cookie-cutter, boring reviews. I don't think we want to become a site like that. On a related note, it might be helpful to read Pasharu's recent post in the "Update after Editorial Analysis" topic.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing
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Re: OBC Review Editing

Post Number:#52 by Jennifer Allsbrook
» 10 Feb 2017, 18:38

bookowlie wrote:Having such a detailed checklist can certainly be a double-edged sword. It would likely make the editors look at every little thing in a review, and I suspect some members' scores would suffer. A checklist like this doesn't allow for the flexibility there is now to adjust a score if the review is particularly interesting or insightful. I fear a checklist would result in less interesting reviews because the reviewers, especially the newbies, would start churning out cookie-cutter, boring reviews. I don't think we want to become a site like that. On a related note, it might be helpful to read Pasharu's recent post in the "Update after Editorial Analysis" topic.


I agree that a check list may not allow for flexibility but it provides a level playing field for all reviewers because they would know how they are being scored. The subjectivity seems extreme to me. I am not an editor but I assume you are given "guidelines" for providing editorial scores just like all reviewers are given the guidelines set out for the review team. I used these guidelines to develop the rubric. Point totals could be lowered for objective and technical parts of the review, and a category called writing style/insight could be included which carried a significant point total. This way reviewers could check off the required components and leave the editors their flexibility. If a reviewer has followed the RT Review Guidelines exactly for a review, their score would be no lower than a 60% unless there were spelling or grammatical errors. The additional 40 points would be added for overall review quality, writing style, insight, etc. as you stated above. I am a teacher and rubrics usually increase the quality of work not the opposite. The modified rubric is shown below:

Rubric/Criterion Met/Points
Writing style/insight / Yes ________ No ________/ 40
Length - Minimum 5 paragraphs (400 words) /Yes ________ No ________/ 5
Paragraph separation - two-line breaks/ Yes ________ No ________/ 1
Spelling / Yes ________ No ________/ 10
Grammar/ Yes ________ No ________ / 10
Brief Book Summary / Yes ________ No ________ / 10
No Spoilers / Yes ________ No ________ / 5
Likes / Yes ________ No ________ / 2
Dislikes / Yes ________ No ________ / 2
Liked the most/why / Yes ________ No ________ / 2
Liked the least/why / Yes ________ No ________ / 2
Rating format (X out of 4 stars and in bold print) / Yes ________ No ________ / 1
Why this rating / Yes ________ No ________ / 2
Audience for book (most/least) / Yes ________ No ________ / 2
Title italicized / Yes ________ No ________ / 1
Original / Yes ________ No ________ 5

Note: for spelling and grammar there should be point deductions based on numbers of errors
Ex) error free (taking into account multiple styles) – 0 deductions
1-2 errors – 5 point deduction
3 or more – 10 point deduction
Jennifer Allsbrook's Latest Review: "Thorns and Roses" by Amaka Azie
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Re: OBC Review Editing

Post Number:#53 by gali
» 12 Feb 2017, 23:21

If anyone has any issues about the process, he/she should privately contact Scott about it. Thank you. I"m closing this thread.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
gali's Latest Review: "Enough Rope" by P.L. Doss
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