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Why YOUR review was rejected, and how to FIX it!

#1Sailor Bacon(Admin)Posted 4/19/2005 5:15:50 PMmessage detail
In order to clarify what various rejection messages mean, here's a list of all of the most common rejection reasons, how you get them, and how you go about fixing them.

Before asking on this forum why a review was rejected, take the time to read this entire topic through (not just the first post) as things may be added or clarified here.

Also remember that these are the reasons that YOUR review was rejected. Just because you see one or two examples in an already posted review has nothing to do with YOUR review, especially if the review in question has been up for several years. Reviews can get posted with one or two line breaks or a few misspelled words.

Line_Breaks

The problem: Line_Breaks is actually used to cover a set of problems which are as follows:

-The author continually enters manual line breaks (ie hits enter) at the end of every line instead of allowing the words to wrap to the next line.

-The author enters manual line breaks at the end of sentences. Sometimes every sentence but sometimes only a few sentences in a paragraph.

The solution: Don't hit enter until you are completely done with your paragraph! Unlike FAQs (which are displayed in .txt format), reviews are in HTML. Like any webpage, the words will manually wrap to the next line. The easiest thing to do is just to type directly into the box. If you do use a word processing program, ensure that word wrap is turned on. Also be sure that when you save your review that you don't save the line breaks (I know that Word has an option for saving with line breaks, don't do it).

Paragraph_Spacing

The problem: After you finish a paragraph or a section of your review, you hit enter and move on to the next section. However, when you do, you only hit enter once. This results in a giant WALL OF TEXT'd review that is unpleasent to look at and read.

The solution: Much like this post, you should leave a blank line between EACH paragraph. In a sectioned review, if a section is two or more paragraphs instead of just one, leave a blank line between the paragraphs and not just between each section. It's very simple to fix and your writing is that much easier to look at and enjoy.

Lack_of_Content

The problem: "The graphics are good. The music's amazing. The gameplay is fun."

The solution: WHY are the graphics good? WHY is the music amazing? WHY is the gameplay fun? Don't generalize, give us some input as to why you came up with this decision. Be sure not to just mindlessly add filler though, add real content.

Grammar/Spelling

The problem: Spelling is pretty self-explanatory. Grammar on the other hand seems to throw people off. The most common problems are capitalization, punctuation, commonly confused words, and shorthand "slang".

The solution: Use a spell checker. If you preview your review you get this for free. For grammar, be sure to capitalize EVERY sentence and all proper nouns. For the love of all that is good in life, capitalize "i"! End your sentences with periods and don't try to turn four sentences into one with a comma. Be careful to use the right word in the right place (ie your vs you're). Don't write things like "u" instead of "you".

No_gameplay_discussion

The problem: You've told us all about the amazing graphics and sound for a game. The problem is that after reading your review the reader has no clue whatsoever what the game IS. Is it a shooter? An RPG? A beat 'em up?

The solution: Discuss the gameplay. Pretend you have never heard of or played a game or any of the older games in the franchise. Now read your review. Do YOU have any idea what the game is now? You should discuss what the game is about and the basics of how it works.

Note that just writing the controls of a game is NOT gameplay discussion. Telling us that up makes your person walk north doesn't tell us what happens after he gets there.

Tech_Filler

The problem: The most common examples of tech filler are lists of heroes, enemies, weapons, etc in a review. This also comes up with PC games or console reviews that contain too much technical information.

The solution: Don't make these types of lists. If someone wants to read about every character in an RPG or every weapon in a first person shooter, they will read a FAQ. For a review, just summarize these categories and discuss one or maybe two of your favourite examples in more detail. For PC games, no one cares about your personal setup. For consoles, again a FAQ is the place for technical specs.

Troll

The problem: While a "bash review" can be helpful, your review has gone beyond "constructive criticism" and is just plain trolling the game.

The solution: Chill out. Stating that a game "totally sucks" or anything worse (and I've seen a lot worse) is completely uncalled for. If you hate a game, just let your descriptions of the problems do the talking.

Random_Filler

The problem: Instead of focusing on just the review, you feel the need to write an excessive amount about things that aren't relevant. The worst case is when random filler is written specifically to meet the minimum word requirements.

The solution: Out with the filler, in with the content. Don't try to "cheat" your way past the minimum word count. Elaborate more on the content of the game.

Self-Promotion

The problem: You have signed your review with your email address, website URL, other reviews for GameFAQs that you have written, and more.

The solution: Don't. This information is available in your profile. While it is okay to have a signature on your reviews (though generally frowned upon), it should be basic and not have any contact information in it.

Bad_HTML

The problem: Again, this is a collection of problems...

-A word processing program was used to write your review and used unsupported characters. This is usually with quotation marks, apostrophies and the like.

-You decided to use bold or italics in your review but did not properly close your tag (ie something like <b/>), resulting in a large chunk of the review being in bold or italics.

-Abuse of the bold and italics tags to an extreme that they make the review unreadable.

The solution: Be careful with your bold and italics tags. If you use them, be sure to properly close them. Don't use them constantly throughout your review. Also if you use a word processor to type your review, be sure to save it as common ASCII (.txt) format so you don't introduce bad characters into the review.

Spoilers

The problem: Whether they are labelled in your review or not, major plot spoilers should NEVER be in a review. Ever.

The solution: Leave them out. 99% of the people reading your review are doing so because they haven't played the game. Don't spoil the plot for them. Even labelled spoilers are just unnecessary.

Content

The problem: Your review has inappropriate material in it. The most common ones are profanity and insults based on sexual preference or handicap or race.

The solution: Follow the message boards Terms of Service! They give you a good guideline of what should NOT be found in reviews.

Paragraphs

The problem: Your entire review is one huge paragraph or perhaps two or three giant paragraphs.

The solution: It's easy, just break your review up into smaller paragraphs. No one is going to read WALL OF TEXT'd reviews, so don't write them.

Gimmick

The problem: Instead of writing a normal review, you decided to write an interview or some other disruptive thing instead. Or perhaps you just decided that numerical ratings aren't good enough and instead rate the graphics a "watermelon/10" or some such nonsense.

The solution: Keep it basic. It's cute that you can come up with these silly gimmicks, but please don't submit them to the site.

Unreleased

The problem: You've written an amazingly perfect review for the hot new game... however, the hot new game is not out yet so your copy is extra "hot".

The solution: Be smart. Don't submit your review until the game is actually out. If it's a deep immersive game, wait another day or two after the game came out so you have "time to play it". I can't force you to not pirate games, but I will not post your reviews that were obviously made with an illegal copy.

Formatting

The problem: Unlike FAQs where you have tons of sections and dividers can be nice, you have included them in your little review.

The solution: Don't do it. You don't need huge dividers between your sections.

Tagline

The problem: Your tagline violates something above.

The solution: Figure it out and fix it. Probably isn't hard to figure out.

A few notes

Just a few more things to remember about reviews:

-Don't plagiarize. You'll probably be able to sneak it through the first time, but you will eventually get caught and most likely your accounts will all be banned and any legitimate submissions you may have had in the past will be removed from the site.

-URLs are not allowed in reviews. Links die all the time, and most likely you didn't have permission to link to whatever it was in the first place.
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#2Banana Cream PiePosted 4/19/2005 8:28:25 PMmessage detail
thank you!
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hi
#3JakylRebornPosted 4/19/2005 8:33:23 PMmessage detail
Will I get banned for opining that you're a more useful admin than CJay?
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#4Sashanan(Moderator)Posted 4/20/2005 6:51:05 AMmessage detail
Added information on line_breaks

If you are using Notepad to type your review in (and then copy/paste it to the submission box), make sure you turn Word Wrap off before you copy/paste. If you do not, the artificial line breaks Notepad inserts with the word wrap option carry over and your review will be full of unnecessary line breaks. You'll be able to see this problem occuring in the preview screen already, though.

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#5Sashanan(Moderator)Posted 4/20/2005 6:52:39 AMmessage detail
And one semi-related piece of advice: always keep a copy of what you submit. That way, if your review is rejected, it's just a matter of correcting whatever was wrong and resubmitting it. If you do not keep a copy, your review is gone if it is rejected; that can never be your intention.

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Queue stomper - 12 weeks running
http://www.mastagus.com/sash/collection/collection.html
#6PresenterPosted 4/20/2005 2:24:20 PMmessage detail
Notepad is trash. Using Wordpad or one of the various Notepad replacements floating about makes line wrapping a non-issue.
#7bigshotdonkeyPosted 4/20/2005 8:04:11 PMmessage detail
will gameFAQs accept another halo 2 secrets FAQ?
#8PresenterPosted 4/20/2005 8:05:08 PMmessage detail
It'll never happen. Never ever.
#9tranmerefanPosted 4/22/2005 7:36:51 AMmessage detail
Typing it out in word with a simple copy and paste always works for me.

I've never met the infamous Line_Breaks rejection reason.
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#10Golden_VortexPosted 4/22/2005 8:11:52 AMmessage detail
I write reviews in Word as well. No problem with line breaks or crap like that. I hate using notepad for reviews.
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