Equipment Review Writer's Guidelines

Here are some simple guidelines to help you write a solid, concise equipment review for the EVAC Web site.

  1. Know your audience. When someone comes to the review page, they are looking for solid information on a product and how it performs. They are probably less interested in specifications (which can be obtained from the manufacturer) and hype (which can also be obtained from the manufacturer) than in someone's real-world experience with the product. Exactly how well did the product work? Were there any gotchas?
  2. Keep it short and to the point. Avoid long, rambling discussions and sidebars. Give only enough background information to allow the reader to understand your points. Keep in mind your work will be viewed on a computer monitor, not a sheet of paper. Try to be as objective as possible - a review should not be an article that justifies your purchase. The tone of the article should be factual, impartial, fair and unbiased.
  3. Avoid the temptation to lambaste the manufacturer. If your review is not favorable, first be sure that the product is not defective. Second, make sure you are using the product in the correct application. For example, some eyepieces may not work with your telescope because it may not have enough in or out focus. This is not the eyepiece manufacturer's fault. Please don't assume that every accessory will work with every telescope. Finally, be sure to do your homework. Contact the manufacturer to discuss the situation with them. If all else fails and you have no alternative but to write an unfavorable review, give solid reasons why the product is poor. Avoid references to the manufacturer's integrity. Your goal should be to gently direct people away from buying a poorly designed product, not to make enemies.
  4. Include some pictures of the product if possible.
  5. Include prices, availability, and contact information for the manufacturer.
  6. Include your email address. If you are willing to entertain questions about the product from potential buyers, give them a means of contacting you.
  7. Once your article is complete, please forward the text and photos to the EVAC Webmaster, for publication.