Rockland PC Users Group
PO Box 802
New City, NY 10956
(845) 638-1917

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Reviewing for the newsletter is fun. You get to keep the software, CD's, and books that you review, but it is a job that requires promptness and some command of the written English language. You should be able to check out the product and review it within about a month or less. The vendors need to get feedback as soon as possible. They can be very generous if we can fulfill this requirement.

At the top and separated from the body of your review please include: Your own name and phone number; The official name AND SPELLING of the product and version number; The name of the product's manufacturer; The list and/or discounted price; The hardware and software requirements as stated on the box or in the documentation. Include the manufacturer's website URL if there is one. This can be used if the review is posted to the RPCUG Website so that readers can go to the site if they wish.

Write 750-1000 words for major applications, 350-500 words for smaller applications, add-ons or updates, and 200-300 words for books (the shorter the book, the shorter the review).

Reviews of books should be headed with the full title, author, publisher, number of pages and cover price. Book review topics might include: Was it valuable to you? Comparison with other similar books, if possible. Writing style. Level. Was the index useful? What did you learn? Would you recommend this book to a beginner?

You must not register software until your review is accepted for publication. If for any reason you are unable to complete a review by the deadline, return the software package or book and all accompanying materials to the editor as soon as possible.

Keep your writing personal. Your own hands-on experience and observations are what is needed. It is helpful to make notes of observed goodies or glitches as you begin to explore the review item. Keep in mind the kinds of things YOU would like to know if you were reading a review of the product. Do not simply list the features of the program or tell prospective users how to use it—tell how YOU used it, how it helped, failed, facilitated, hindered, etc. Use past issues of ComputerConnection as a model, especially writing you have enjoyed reading.

Understand that your copy may be edited for space, grammar, clarity and style. Do not prettify your review. Tabs, indents, centering, fancy typefaces, dotted lines, all must be undone by the editor before placing in the newsletter. Do not indent the first line of paragraphs. Instead, to separate paragraphs, just tap Enter twice at the end of each paragraph. Use only a single space between sentences. Use a common type face like Times New Roman.

Be sure proprietary names are spelled and capitalized correctly. Refer to the documentation rather than the box. Please do not capitalize words or titles for emphasis.

If you have questions, phone or send e-mail to the editor.

Hand deliver or mail a diskette and a hard (printed) copy to the editor. Or attach your review file to an e-mail addressed to the editor. You may use any major word processor, but be sure to indicate which word processor you used. Ad any screen graphics shots as separate files that you think might help the reader and/or the editor in presenting the product. Use a common file format for these graphics files such as .bmp or .tif or .gif.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy the review process.