Difficulty of not using the word "I" in descriptive reviews...

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Difficulty of not using the word "I" in descriptive reviews...

~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
I decided to make this a poll and discussion. I have done two descriptive reviews now. I was a little in the dark the first time around, but didn't have to edit my review after submitting it, so I knew I did my job well enough but knew I could improve after reading the guidelines a second time (and other forum topics here).

This second time around I decided to improve and make it as objective as I could. I decided to see if I could not use the word "I" at all (excluding personal and experience sections). This would make the review much more like it says in the guidelines-a product overview and explanation/descriptio n.

I used the word "I" in my first one. In my second one I didn't use it at all (excluding personal and experience sections). It was kinda hard but not as hard as I thought! I wrote the review with my goal in mind and was surprised that after reading it when I was finished, I didn't include "I". I feel I now have a complete grasp on what a descriptive review is supposed to be like.

Here is a link to my last one: (link)

Q:

How hard is it for you to make your descriptive reviews objective, and exclude things like the words "I"?
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
Extremely hard-I can't do it
cutecoed
1  (1%)
Hard but possible
~LaUr3n~ , ArmyWife Kira , SexyTigerX , Passionate Pastor , ~Miss Jess~ , fatesrelease , Love Buzz , Dusk , Fanny , Airekah , Sbear89 , Porfiriato , Darkestraven , KnK , Eyesonfire , D&&JForever , tits only , sweet seduction , Alura Une , zeebot , StrapOnStud , MJ1337 , wetone123 , slynch , JE011 , Kimmie1980ca , P'Gell , hot lil momma , RomanticGoth , MidnightB , AHubbyof2SexualMinds , padmeamidala , Bignuf , debo , Nacht Stern
35  (45%)
Fairly easy
Kynky Kytty , El-Jaro , Sammi , NuMe , LikeSunshineDust , Sir , giggled , Jimbo Jones , sophie2229 , Victoria , MuffysPinguLove , Alan & Michele , LicentiouslyYours , Airen Wolf , Liz2 , Jul!a , Darling Dove , Splendwhore , Pleasure Piratess , sexyhellokitty , Sanjay , kck , PassionQT , smartbabi92 , ToyTimeTim , Hannah Savage , Danielle915 , cherryredhead88 , Xavier7 , DeliciousSurprise , Kayla , Stujen , celibacysucks , sydney106 , Noira , Rossie , AOutrajus , Beck , Princess-Kayla ♥ , XxFallenAngelxX , FallFire
41  (53%)
Total votes: 77
Poll is closed
01/19/2010
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Kynky Kytty Kynky Kytty
I know I did not do descriptive reviews, but I am used to never really using the 'I' in the text I write. I have a scientific training of some kind and sometimes it's hard for me to actually be subjective and personal.
01/19/2010
NuMe NuMe
For the most part it's pretty easy. Though I think it's a lot more fun to do it with all the personal stuff, like in regular reviews.
01/19/2010
LikeSunshineDust LikeSunshineDust
I've been writing papers and reports since high school and even if it was an opinion paper, the word "I" was not allowed. (If it's an opinion paper, there's no need to say "I think"..You're writing it, it's a given that it's what you think.) So I'm pretty used to the idea and have had a lot of practice.
01/19/2010
Red Red
I don't wanna answer because my answer would be somewhere between hard and fairly easy.

I do a lot of technical type writing in my life, so avoiding I is pretty easy from that standpoint. However, the way I creative write is different from how I technical write (including being a heck of a lot more fun!!) and when I'm in "creative writing" mode, I am way more likely to start throwing I into the mix.

A tip though, that I picked up after getting a "this is too personal" back on one of my first descriptive reviews: Whatever you're saying that has I involved, you can say it without. There are a million ways and it doesn't take much effort to edit your work to remove "I" statements, without compromising your message/tone.
01/19/2010
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Quote:
Originally posted by Red
I don't wanna answer because my answer would be somewhere between hard and fairly easy.

I do a lot of technical type writing in my life, so avoiding I is pretty easy from that standpoint. However, the way I creative write is different ...
I totally agree.

Maybe I should have added more answers to the poll. I would have chosen between fairly easy and hard but possible too. Because I even said it wasn't THAT hard. i just had to be in the right mindset.
01/20/2010
Heartthrob Heartthrob
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
I decided to make this a poll and discussion. I have done two descriptive reviews now. I was a little in the dark the first time around, but didn't have to edit my review after submitting it, so I knew I did my job well enough but knew I could ...
I have written a lot of papers relating to experience without using the word I. I have yet to do a DR review but am in the program. I don't anticipate a problem.
01/20/2010
sophie2229 sophie2229
This is one of the only places where I use the word "I." While I don't edit them out of my personal reviews, it might be easier to omit them.
01/20/2010
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Quote:
Originally posted by Heartthrob
I have written a lot of papers relating to experience without using the word I. I have yet to do a DR review but am in the program. I don't anticipate a problem.
It's just a weird change is all. And like other reviewers said here...not as fun. But the challenge was fun for me. After this last one I anticipate it being a breeze also.
01/20/2010
~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Quote:
Originally posted by sophie2229
This is one of the only places where I use the word "I." While I don't edit them out of my personal reviews, it might be easier to omit them.
Where is the one place? The forums, the DRs?
01/20/2010
Victoria Victoria
You can use the word "I" while still being objective - the point in the guidelines was for people to not say things like "Oh, I love it. It's great for me." etc. The point is to cover all aspects of the product and talk about how it might work for anyone. I said this in an older thread, (when I used to run the Description Review Program before I handed it over to Gary): One of the nuances to writing these reviews is not so much 'what' you say, but 'how' you say it. If you frame something in a general sense, it is more objective.

AND don't discount the 'Experience' section - where you can openly talk about how the product worked for *you*.
01/20/2010
Alan & Michele Alan & Michele
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
You can use the word "I" while still being objective - the point in the guidelines was for people to not say things like "Oh, I love it. It's great for me." etc. The point is to cover all aspects of the product and talk about ...
For us it's obviously a "we" thing, but what Victoria said is totally true. For example, it's still objective to say something like "We did notice that the material had a strong scent" (or whatever). It's just stating a non-personal fact.

We found out early on that in the main areas of the review it's actually easier for us never to write "I", because if one of us does then how would the reader know if it was his point of view or mine? We save that for the Experience section.
01/20/2010
Miss Cinnamon Miss Cinnamon
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
You can use the word "I" while still being objective - the point in the guidelines was for people to not say things like "Oh, I love it. It's great for me." etc. The point is to cover all aspects of the product and talk about ...
Perfectly put!

I remember in my first months of being in the DR program that I was really overzealous about keeping out the "I"s. Then I saw some very well-written description reviews that used "I" but still kept it objective, and it just flowed so much better to me. It's totally possible to do a good review without "I"s, but I now prefer to keep in the personal pronouns.
01/20/2010
LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours
It's a mindset I definitely have to make sure I am in, before writing a DR. A regular review is nice to do because I can write all opinion all the time.

And anyone who has read anything I have posted to Eden Cafe knows I have opinions.

But once I get my mind set, it's pretty automatic. Mostly this is because I've got that pesky journalism degree. They spend years beating you over the head with "No Editorializing!" when you are learning the journalistic writing process.

What a shame so many members of the media have abandoned this standard in favor of what passes as journalism today...

...but that's a whole different thread in a whole different forum.
01/20/2010
SexyTigerX SexyTigerX
I'm going to try not to use "I" in my next review.
01/21/2010
PassionQT PassionQT
Quote:
Originally posted by LikeSunshineDust
I've been writing papers and reports since high school and even if it was an opinion paper, the word "I" was not allowed. (If it's an opinion paper, there's no need to say "I think"..You're writing it, it's a ...
Same here, but since it's allowed on here, I will add "I" here and there. Many readers seem to enjoy the personal comments because they can probably relate better. But if necessary, yes I could do a descriptive one.
08/09/2010
Fanny Fanny
This is the same problem I had with writing cover letters/resumes!
08/29/2010
ScottA ScottA
Quote:
Originally posted by PassionQT
Same here, but since it's allowed on here, I will add "I" here and there. Many readers seem to enjoy the personal comments because they can probably relate better. But if necessary, yes I could do a descriptive one.
I will use "I" when it is something that I experienced/noted. You can be objective and impersonal with the basic description part of the review, but readers do want to know a bit about how it functions, and that by necessity is a bit personal. You definitely shouldn't dwell on the personal aspect, but the description review does count towards the review limit, so I try to make it useful. Having the "personal comments" and "experience" section to limit those to does help, but I do find "I statements" occasionally help clarify the review in other sections.
08/29/2010
Owl Identified Owl Identified
Agreeing with Victoria, and putting it out there that it's a huge mistake to conflate the third person with objectivity. I use the first person in description reviews because, well, it's a review, people! We have to consider as writers the appropriateness of using third person for our purposes. The fact is, we are in reality always speaking from a first person perspective, and switching to another perspective is a device that needs to be used pointedly and consciously. Otherwise, it usually just sounds stilted and awkward. Narrative perspective necessarily impacts tone, and some narrative perspectives are just sort of at odds with some kinds of writing. A review for a vibrator probably shouldn't sound like a legal document, but the third person inexpertly invoked with almost certainly make it sound like one!

The trick to the DR is keeping yourself entirely out of the summary/product description and then, as Victoria said, framing the rest generally. I don't see why you couldn't say in a dildo review "I don't care for texture, so this one was not for me, but if you enjoy heavy stimulation this will be an excellent toy for you." It's not positive or negative; it offers my experience as a gauge of how you may experience the toy. It's those tidbits that I usually find most helpful in reviews. There's an odd misconception that by pretending to be a third person that you will be able to erase you, the individual that is very much given to bias and opinion, behind the keyboard. It's misguided and doesn't really make any sense; I'm not sure how people have gotten to this conclusion.

By simply using "one" instead of "I" your review isn't going to become magically unbiased, and likewise a review doesn't become more biased if you swap the pronouns. In my opinion, the real test of your writerly talents comes in the form of actually choosing which parts of your experience with the product are essential, and finding a way to word those little bits in as impartial a manner as possible. In the end, there is no such thing as true objectivity because we do all ultimately write from our subjective experience. However, as I understand it, the idea of the DR program is to be as aware of that subjective experience as possible and to actively neutralize it, not erase it.
08/29/2010
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Most important part, in my eyes, is the summary. We HAVE to remember it's a summary of the toy, the very description customers will see when they pull up the product page, the ONLY description.

Summarize the toy, not your opinion of the toy! Make it so shoppers know what they're looking at, not how you felt about it.
11/24/2010
cherryredhead88 cherryredhead88
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
I decided to make this a poll and discussion. I have done two descriptive reviews now. I was a little in the dark the first time around, but didn't have to edit my review after submitting it, so I knew I did my job well enough but knew I could ...
It is fairly easy for not to include "I" in the descriptive reviews, but it is much harder to write the whole thing without saying "it" or "the toy/this toy" or "insert toy name here" a lot.

I hate doing that because it sounds too repetitive.
11/24/2010
Porfiriato Porfiriato
I work in a field in which the use of 'I' in writing is not generally accepted, and I will admit that it does take some work to initially cast off that way of writing. Descriptive reviews are held to a higher standard of objectivity, so it might be best save the type of subjective judgements you might express with 'I' for second review of the same toy, where your writing is freed of these restrictions.

Much of the process of reviewing a sex toy, however, is inherently subjective--aspects of a toy that can drive one user wild might hardly excite another. Frankly, I enjoy the use of I in non-descriptive user reviews, if a writer is really enthusiastic about a toy, these feelings can easily rub off on the reader.

Using these reviews is a type of partnership between the writer and reader. The writer should do their best to accurately describe the toy to as broad an audience as possible, and the reader should make an attempt to explore their own body, as knowing what sensations they enjoy will help them make a more accurate judgement.
11/24/2010
ToyGeek ToyGeek
Quote:
Originally posted by cherryredhead88
It is fairly easy for not to include "I" in the descriptive reviews, but it is much harder to write the whole thing without saying "it" or "the toy/this toy" or "insert toy name here" a lot.

I hate doing that because it sounds too repetitive.
There are certain words that are exempted from the 'too repetitive' rule in most types of writing. The name of a product, in this context, would certainly be one of those words. While it will read better if you avoid starting out multiple sentences in a row with the same word or phrase, it's okay to use the name of the toy repeatedly in its review, just like it's okay to use a fictional character's name repeatedly in a story.
12/04/2010
Shellz31 Shellz31
I don't think I could write that type!
12/05/2010
Xavier7 Xavier7
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
I decided to make this a poll and discussion. I have done two descriptive reviews now. I was a little in the dark the first time around, but didn't have to edit my review after submitting it, so I knew I did my job well enough but knew I could ...
It's easy for me. I always talk in first person. It's hard not to talk in first person.
12/09/2010
ToyTimeTim ToyTimeTim
I have done four so far and did not find it that hard to do. I just save it for the Personal and Experience sections.
12/18/2010
ScottA ScottA
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
Most important part, in my eyes, is the summary. We HAVE to remember it's a summary of the toy, the very description customers will see when they pull up the product page, the ONLY description.

Summarize the toy, not your opinion of the ...
Yep, that was the big difference when I started doing the DRs. For "normal" reviews you summarize the review, for DRs you summarize the toy. I had my first one sent back to me, but once I figured out the style they get easy.

Not using "I" is probably a good idea when you're starting out, but once you get the feel of the program you can sneak in a few "I" statements when they make the review more useful.
12/18/2010
ToyGeek ToyGeek
My first descriptive review is winging its way through the postal system right now, so I definitely need to bookmark this thread.
12/18/2010
tits only tits only
I am working on it so I write my review on paper first
01/23/2011
sweet seduction sweet seduction
I would have a lot of difficulty with that.
01/24/2011
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