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The Motors category tends not to receive the reviews it could do. Bearing in mind the dooyoo site has been quieter until recently, it only receives 1.5 reviews a day. That is the average over the last month.... before you dive in to see if there are lots of half-finished ops. Yet there is so much scope for the writer here, even for those who still think that Top Gear is a millinery programme. From your first £200 much-prized banger, through the company Mondeo to the nifty little sports number that you have waited all your life for, the motor car is an important part of most of our lives. Could it be that -as I am with music reviews - you think that this is not a subject you can write about competently? As Motors guide I see a reasonable proportion of crowns awarded; not necessarily to writers who spend their spare time between changing gear boxes for the fun of it and reading Auto Trader from cover to cover. Parked on your drive, in your garage or on the road outside your home is the object of a wealth of useful information for others who are looking for a car or motor bike. All the ingredients for an opinion that will help someone else make up their mind about a replacement vehicle. So what makes a good Motors review? You won't need to be knowledgeable about the mechanics, but do tell us what size engine you have and how many miles per gallon of fuel it runs on. It is nice that you wax lyrical about the alloy wheels, the dashboard cup holder and the cigar lighter in the back; but how comfortable are you when driving any distance and do you find the controls and display easy to use? Is there something particularly attractive about them or otherwise? If you feel happy or worried when cornering or you find the rear vision impossible for parking, let us know. Have a look around the car and you will remember if it has air conditioning, electric windows and a sunroof. What are the things which you like or not about the luggag
e space, does it have power assisted steering and ABS and do these matter to you? Ask yourself if you have any little niggles which may, or may not, matter to the reader. Perhaps the lovely big boot has a spare wheel in the wrong place, or is so high that you have difficulty lifting heavy shopping into it. These are not necessary items of information, but give you an idea how much there is of use to talk about. Have a think about what is important to you when thinking of your car. We all look for different aspects when buying something which, however much or little it costs, takes a fair proportion of our income or savings. Since I no longer have a tame and enthusiastic mechanic at home, it doesn't matter how lovable a car is if the owner is on his 3rd head gasket. I just need something unsophisticated which starts in the morning, makes me feel happy driving it and keeps going for a few years with a regular basic service. Others are looking for a petrol-driven partner which they can spend their sunday mornings tinkering with. If yours is just used for shopping, there is still a great deal you can say about it. Honestly! An opinion does not have to have length to be a good informative read. However, the Motors category gives you a chance to let rip. Cars (and motor bikes) have so much potential personal information behind them. You can tell us why you chose this make/model, how it makes you feel driving it and that the room in the back is so tight that Aunt Bessie and her shopping needed to be jemmied out again. If this is your first diesel-engined motor tell us whether you find it noisy or whether it has been a pleasant surprise. Perhaps you like the shape so much you have to keep going out to look at it. We would like to know if you find the car reliable, expensive or not to maintain and if you have found the bodywork prone to rust. Is your beloved motor a make that most people think is crap, but you disagree
? I will just touch here on the appearance of an opinion which is enjoyable to read as well as informative. Keep an eye on the spelling and spaces between paragraphs. For the many dooyooers who spend a lot of time reading others' reviews, that lack of spacing becomes weary on the eyes after a while. Most of us wouldn't downrate an opinion for the odd spelling mistake or typo, but consistent mistakes break the flow and become hard work to read. If you write your review in Word or on MS Wordpad you can relax and tittivate to your heart's content, before copying and pasting into dooyoo. Of course the above is not a mandatory list, but hopefully a guide to which you can add some imagination. Whether you are a Jeremy Clarkson fan, a boy racer or just use your car for the school run, there are great possibilities for a good review. Go sit in your car, take it for a run round the block and wonder why you haven't written about it before. Ask yourself what you would want to know before you parted with your hard saved cash, add a little of yourself and I promise I shall read your op.
WHAT?? No one has written anything in here yet????? Wow, I am in shock, usually these categories get filled up with hundreds of opinions all saying the same thing. Well, since no one has, I will stick my name in this section. Hmm writing good motor opinions, well, I am by no means an expert when it comes to writing opinions, but I been around for a while, and written a fair few opinions on cars which have done fairly well. If you read back over my opinions on cars, which I recommend you do, to get an idea about what I am talking about, you will notice, they all follow a similar pattern. So, this is how I do it, and it seems to work quite well. First, find out about the car you are writing about. Just seeing one parked in a car park doesn't make you clued up enough write an informative opinion on it. You should know a fair bit about it. And actually drive it, be in one, and ideally own one. Now I don't mean you need to be some expert car mechanic and know all the technical terms. What I mean is, find out background information on the car, when were they introduced, what other models are in the range, what engines did they come with, etc etc, so you can lay it all out and people know what is what and what car you are talking about. Most of my opinions start off with a brief explanation on how I came about knowing about this car, be it from ownership, access to one, test drives, whatever. And then I usually go into general information about the car and its range. An example would be this extract from an opinion I wrote about the Vauxhall Calibra: "Well the Vauxhall Calibra was introduced in 1990, as a coupe, and was taken out of production in 1998. It offered a fast, powerful car, with nearly no practical uses other than driving fast. Being only 2 door, and the low roofline that slopes rapidly towards the rear of the car, made it useless as a family car. Although people can sit in the back, it
doesn?t make for a very comfortable ride, but in all said and done, it's possible. It came with a 2.0litre engine, either in 8valve SOHC, or 16 valve DOHC which was updated in 1995 to be replaced by the "Ecotec" engine both were straight 4 engines. A V6 and a 4x4 Turbo was also produced which was a beast! That's all that can be said. Capable of giving most cars on the roads today a run for their money." It's easy to find out the background of a car, and it is worth researching them I feel. Once you have given a basic introduction on the car, you can then set about writing about the particular car you have an opinion on. Now the layout I use is as follows: Engine. Talk about the engine, what is it, how good is it. You don't have to start using technical terms and fancy mechanic talk, try and keep it simple, remember not everyone reading will be clued up on cars. Next get into performance, as this follows engines well. How does it perform, and BE HONEST!!, it's obvious when someone is lying trying to make out a Ford Escort does 170mph and 0-60 in 2 seconds. So keep it honest, if you aren't really sure, you can find out the performance figures from places like parkers.co.uk or something. I wouldn't use the manufacturers hype as it is often over exaggerated. As well as 0-60 times and top speeds, how does it perform in the mid range, what's it like at low revs, high revs, its not all about how fast it goes flat out. Next follow on with handling. How does it handle? Does it slide easy? (don't test this one, just say if you have found it does) how does it corner? Soft, hard etc. and again be honest. Brakes? What the brakes like? ABS? Discs all round or drum on the rear? These are all things that ok, maybe some people don?t care about, but others do. Not everyone just cares about what colour it is and how many drinks holders it has. ;o) Next you ca
n go into the exterior. Talk about what it looks like, anything really good about its body, or anything that just has to go? Does that roofline flow out of the windscreen? Or is it more a box on wheels? Interior is up next. What's it like inside? Nice seats? Comfort, headroom, leg room, material quality. Good dash view or poor rear view? Safety. What safety features do they come with, ABS, Airbags, etc. and is it a safe car to drive for everyone, who wouldn't be safe in a car like this? Security, what security does it have, as standard though, don't talk about aftermarket ones as most others wont have the same system. Reliability. Have you had any bad reliability problems from it, if not, see if it is prone to them, you will be surprised what you find out sometimes. Then give an overall conclusion to the car, just to wrap it up. That's about the layout I usually use. One thing I have noticed with a lot of car opinions is they are obviously very biased. Just because you love the car to bits, doesn't mean it is perfect in every way. Always mention the bad bits as well as the good, otherwise it is a useless opinion. And that works visa versa, if you hate this car with a passion, don't forget, be fair and mention its good bits too. Give as much information as you can. Seen a lot of opinions where they have just basically said, "yeah, it's red, and has a big engine. Goes really fast and the chicks love it" great if that's all you care about, but if you are reading it because you plan on getting one, its not much use and will be rated bad. But don't get too complicated otherwise people just wont understand what you are on about and rate it bad anyway. I know they shouldn't rate like that, but people do. Umm, that's about all I can think of. Like I said, I am sure other people have different views on how to write car reviews, and I am sure
I am going to get them in the comments, but that's just how I do it, and its worked fine for me, not only on dooyoo, but on other opinion sites too. Have fun :o) Bobber