Tips for writing a scholarly book review

Tips for writing a scholarly book review

Why Write a Book Review? And, again, keep this fairly short, under words. Choosing a Journal Identify several leading journals in your field that publish book reviews. If you are dealing with an edited collection or a really large book, you should only focus on a few of these — usually the ones you liked best or you felt most people will be interested in reading. The purpose of the report is to give enough information to help decide whether the book will be of use or interest to any potential readers. Next, you should discuss the weaknesses of the book under review. When writing an academic book review, start with a bibliographic citation of the book you are reviewing [e. Both types are described further down. Please take a second to support Unwritten Histories on Patreon! This is partially due to the nature of teaching students how to be critical readers. Or it may be a simplified account of a complex problem intended for the general population and not for the researcher in the field. The last point, Critical Comments, is intended only for those writing book reviews. Books on hot topics are often of special interest to editors. The book includes a chapter on the role of patronage by affluent women in endowing public libraries in the mid-to-lates. I well remember one of these from my grad school days.

Academia is, after all, quite oedipal and young scholars do sometimes make their reputations by deflating those who came before them. The points you raise both positive and negative need to be supported with evidence just as for other forms of academic writing.

Writing book reviews. Good examples of essay-length reviews may be found in the scholarly journals included in the JSTOR collection, in the New York Review of Books, and similar types of publications, and in cultural publications like the New Yorker magazine.

Otherwise, the book is a commentary on current or past events. Then I move on to discussing the main argument of the book. A lot of contemporary scholarship in the arts or humanities is not about completely reorienting the discipline, nor is it usually about arguing a thesis that has never been argued before.

book review of any book

How well is evidence used? Both types are described further down.

Steps to writing a book review

At the third meeting, students arrive with a final version of their essay to submit to an editor for publication. How does the book compare to other books in the field? Although a review article might put in a complimentary word for an author, an article review should stick to the subject of the piece. Read magazines that review books before publication—such as Choice , Library Journal, or Kirkus Reviews —to get a sense for interesting books that will be coming out. But a book review goes further to advise a potential reader as to whether he should invest the time in obtaining and reading the book in question. Support your evaluation with evidence from the text. Does this come out of a research project?

Perhaps you were persuaded by that column and agree that writing academic book reviews is an excellent way of making a contribution in service to the profession. In particular, you want to make sure you understand how long their book reviews tend to be.

Is it focused on a specific subject or is it a general survey of a wider subject? The sources used to justify the author's stance Respond: What issues does it raise?

A published review will usually include price and ISBN number and your lecturer may require you to do this too. And provided you meet your deadlines and are amenable to any changes your editor may wish you to implement, your opportunities to make contributions in this genre and to the collective pursuits of a community committed to the advancement of knowledge will only increase with time.

how to write a scholarly book review for publication in a peer-reviewed journal
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How Scholarly Book Review Differs from an Article Review