The Basis of Critiques

Posted: August 15, 2010 in Articles, The Sidebar Review

So, I must set some ground rules for myself for grading each magazine. Here are the ideas I have so far:

  • overall editorial
  • overall design
  • cover design and blurbs
  • editor’s note
  • department pages
  • columns
  • features
  • use of photography
  • use of illustrations
  • relevance to intended audience
  • integration with website
  • flow, story hierarchy
  • paper quality

What would you like to see in addition to those? Also, I will make an effort with each magazine to learn something about it — circulation, mission, time in existence, etc. I hope I can find out most of that stuff pretty easily.

Additionally, I have a rule for each review. After each review is posted, I must make my best effort to contact the magazine’s staff members and let them know the review has been posted. It keeps me honest: I have to be willing to defend whatever I write to people who may be completely unreceptive to my critique and unhappy with what I have to say. For every review on this blog, be assured that I have e-mailed and contacted via Twitter or Facebook the editor or editorial staff at that publication.

–Tyler Reed

Editor, The Sidebar Review


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