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Linux Knowledge Base and Tutorial FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)



Category: Main -> Submitting Reviews

Question
·  What can I review for the Linux Tutorial?
·  What should the review contain?
·  Is there anything not to include?
·  Are there any other tips?

Answer
·  What can I review for the Linux Tutorial?

Within the Reviews sections there are categories to review all kinds of books and web sites. Because you (hopefully) have some free time, there is also a section to review books that are not related to computers. Most of what I talk about in the following sections applies to both books and web sites.

Although most of the categories are Linux or computer-related, there is a category "Non-Computer Related" which you can use for basically anything. If you read a good book or find a cool web site, by all means let us know about it.

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·  What should the review contain?

You should try to always try to start with an overview of the book or site, what general topic it covers, the target audience and so forth. Often with titles today, you cannot always figure out what it is about until you start reading. Your review should give the reader enough information to determine whether or not the rest of the review is really of interest.

Let the reader know what benefit they can gain from reading the book or visiting the site. You might mention the fact that it is only useful for newbies to the topics or that it is much too complicated for newbie and to need to have a fair bit of previous experience to get something out of it. If you would recommend it, be sure to mention which group you are speaking to. It does not do the reader any good if you recommend a newbie book or site, when they are at an advanced level.

At the very least you should also discuss the high and low points of the book or site. What aspects did you find most useful? Were they any problems understanding what was being discussed? Did you find any technical errors? If the book provides instructions on completing different tasks, were the instructions understandable? We you able to complete the task?

Although one can go overboard, the longer the review the better. It is sometimes useful, if not necessary to review each individual chapter. This provides the reader a better insight into the quality of the book and is particularly useful when some chapters are better than others. That is, when the quality of the book varies significantly from chapter to chapter. Here you can also mentioned which chapters or sections you particularly liked and which you didn't.

Some reviewers like to write a mini-review for each chapter. Keep in mind, that is a fair bit of work, but it would definitely be useful to your readers.

Be sure to mention things that are out of the ordinary. For example, if the book contains a CD and what is on the CD, or if there is an accompanying web site. Some books provide questions and answers, sometimes just questions and you are expected to find the answers yourself. If the site has a large download section, this is something you should talk about.

When talking about web sites, be sure to mention things like navigation, the interface, overall appearance, and so forth. Whereas books have the same basic structure, web sites can vary a lot. Therefore, you need to go into more detail about the usability of a web site as compared to a book.

Some readers place a lot of value on the professional credentials of the author(s). Although professional credentials do not necessarily mean the author is able to write coherently, you might want to include this kind of information. If you have read anything else by that author or the author is well-known, you should consider include it as well.

With books, be sure to include the author, format (hardback, paperback, etc), number of pages, publisher, date published and the ISBN number. Obviously include the URL for web sites.

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·  Is there anything not to include?

Please feel free to be honest with your review, but keep in mind that the book or web site was developed by a person with feelings, even if you may never meet them personally. For example, if you find that the book was a waste of money, you do not necessarily need to phrase it exactly like that. Simply stating the fact that you would not recommend people buying it might be enough. Still, if you feel very strongly about it being a waste of money, you are free to express your opinion.

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·  Are there any other tips?

If you have never written a review before, consider visiting amazon.com and look through some of the reviews there. Obviously, you shouldn't copy reviews you find, but see what other people include is a good starting point.

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