Product Review Essay

Writing a product review can be a helpful way to communicate your experience with a recently purchased product. These reviews are often used by other consumers to guide future purchasing decisions and determine product expectations. It is therefore important for the product reviewer to create a clear and understandable message for future visitors seeking product information. In this blog post we will cover the steps of writing a product review on the Digilent Store, which you are welcome to practice on a chosen Digilent product page while following along!

Opening a New Product Review

The first stage in beginning a product review is searching for the tab on the specified product page. After scrolling past the product description and product videos (if applicable), you will find a tab that says “Product Reviews”. In the video above we show our process for opening or expanding this tab, which can be done by clicking on the “^” on the righthand side of your screen. Once you have expanded the product review tab you may find other customer reviews and the option to begin your own. Clicking “Write a Review” will open the product review form that we will cover in the following steps.

Rating the Product

When reviewing the product it’s helpful to choose an accurate rating to express your product experience. Giving the product a clear rating can help readers search for your review (ex. if they are interested in learning what people loved about the product, or found frustrating during use) and greatly aid their decision making process prior to purchasing. To make this process simpler for the reviewer, we provided a five star scale with value meanings to differentiate the best (5 stars = best) and worst (1 star = worst) ends of the scale. With this knowledge, you can reflect on your experience with the product in question and designate the star that is the most accurate expression of this experience.

Giving Your Review a Headline

The second most important part of any product review is the headline. When thinking about a headline for your review, consider what message you want others to takeaway from your experience while using the product. This may depend on your given rating but should be fairly concise. Some examples of product review headings from the Analog Discovery 2 product page are given above to provide direction and spark your imagination.

Writing the Review

While some reviewers enjoy writing a substantial, almost essay-like review of their experience, others may write nothing at all! The actual review portion of the product review is therefore largely left up to the author to decide. Arguments can also be made for both short or long writing styles, as short reviews can be read quickly at a greater quantity while long reviews generally provide more information and assist with high involvement purchases (i.e. products that are considered expensive or high risk by the consumer). Whatever style you prefer, a great general list of possible topics is included below:

  • Your personal experience with the product and its supporting materials
  • Positive outcomes of the product use
  • Problems you experienced during use
  • What you accomplished (i.e. links to projects you referenced in the review)
  • A little background information about your experience with the type of product (i.e. are you a student using FPGA for the first time?)
  • Possible projects or uses you see for this product in your future

Identifying as a Customer and Declaring Authorship

The final two steps for filling out the online product review include identifying as a customer and providing your name (optional). In order to identify you as a valid customer (and eliminate you from our bot pool), we ask that you provide your email. Providing this information will never result in spamming you, and will only help identify you as human.

Deciding how you wish to claim authorship can be completed by providing a name or leaving this section blank. It is common for readers to use one’s name as they determine the credibility of a review, associating greater credibility with reviews that appear to be honest or at least created by real people. Providing your name or a variation of your name (i.e. first name and last initial) can help humanize your review and improve its credibility among curious readers. Another option for choosing your product review name is providing a pseudonym, such as your username as listed on the Digilent Forum. Using a name associated with relevant online product communities (i.e. Digilent Forum, a popular blog, a YouTube series documenting your hobbyist projects) may help readers identify your expertise and consequentially empower your review. Finally, after filling out the information you wish to provide, all that remains is clicking the “Save My Review” button and you’re done!

Now that you have the tools to review a product, we hope you will take the time and let us know how our products have been treating you. And don’t forget, you can always send us your technical questions on the Digilent Forum!

In order to evaluate something, you need to compare it with the best example of that particular thing. So, to help you develop your topic into an essay, there are two important questions to ask when you are choosing your topic to evaluate:

  • First question: What category of a thing is it?
  • Second question: What is the ideal example of something in that category?

Example: McDonald's

What category is it?For the best evaluation essay, you want to compare your topic with things that are very similar, so try to narrow the category as much as possible. To get there, you want to keep on asking the question, "What kind is it?" What category does McDonald's fit into?

Answer to first question: Restaurant. (What kind of restaurant?) Fast food restaurant. (Better, but what kind of fast food?) Hamburger-serving fast food restaurant. (This is what you want!)

So if you were evaluating McDonald's, you would want to compare it to other fast food restaurants that mostly serve hamburgers.

Now the second question: What is the ideal example of something in that category? What makes that example better than others? Thinking about what you consider to be the very best example of something in the category of what you are reviewing can help you decide what criteria you will use, and also what judgement you can make. For example, here is a list of criteria my students have come up with for an ideal burger fast food restaurant:

  • looks clean
  • serves food fast
  • makes it easy to order
  • has great fries
  • has options on the menu
  • offers large drinks with free refills
  • serves juicy burgers with lots of grease
  • doesn't cost a lot of money

No two people will come up with exactly the same list, but most restaurant reviews look at the following criteria:

  1. service
  2. atmosphere
  3. food
  4. value

Answer to second question: A great fast food burger joint offers great service, atmosphere, and food at a fair cost.

Now you know what your paper is going to be about how close McDonald's comes to this ideal.

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