A review of a book essay

Book reviews are important inputs into a wider system of academic publishing upon which the academic profession is symbiotically dependent, and in a previous career advice column I argued that all scholars -- regardless of career stage -- ought to set time aside on occasion to write them.

Book Review Template

Graduate students who are told that they should not waste their time reviewing books are being taught, implicitly, to reckon their time solely in terms of individual profit and loss. Were this sort of attitude replicated across the whole of the academy, intellectual life would, in my view, become more impoverished as a consequence.

a review of a book essay

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. If so, I thank you. But perhaps you are also a junior scholar, unsure of where to essay writing on environmental pollution in english. That would be entirely understandable.

This column, therefore, aims to demystify the process with a basic how-to guide for writing academic book reviews and getting them published. Counterintuitively, it is actually best to begin by explaining how to get reviews published.

There are, broadly speaking, two ways that editors of academic journals and other periodicals solicit book review writers: 1 proactive commissioning and 2 a review of a book essay commissioning.

Proactive commissioning is where an editor seeks out potential reviewers and solicits their contribution. Obviously, you are more likely to be targeted for this if you already have an established reputation in your field of expertise, and some journals will only publish reviews which have been proactively commissioned.

If you are keen to write your first book review, a reactive commission is probably the way to go. Some journals will publish or otherwise advertise the books they have available for review, and then it is just a matter of putting yourself forward for one of them.

You may find a review of a book essay particular books are deemed inappropriate or otherwise have already been allocated, but the response is usually receptive, and a review of a book essay should take no more than two or three good, concerted tries before you have landed your first opportunity.

What should you be writing? Some academics, including very senior ones, see reviews as an opportunity to hold forth at great length on their own strongly held views.

While your readers may be interested in your opinion, they a review of a book essay, first and foremost, interested in learning about the book itself and whether or not they themselves might want to read it. Bear that in mind.

a review of a book essay

In fact, like other genres of academic writing, such as journal articles and research proposals, academic book reviews tend to have a standard, even formulaic, structure. All good pieces of academic writing should have an introduction, and book reviews are no exception.

What this handout is about

Think, if possible, of a hook to draw your readers in. Summary of argument. Even edited collections and textbooks will have particular features intended to make them distinctive in the proverbial marketplace of ideas.

a review of a book essay

If there is an identifiable thesis statement, you may consider quoting it directly. About the author s.

Book review examples for fiction books

Some basic biographical information about the author s or editor s of the book you are reviewing is necessary. Who are they? What are they known for? What particular sorts of qualifications and expertise do they bring to the subject?

a review of a book essay

How might the work you are reviewing fit into a wider research or career trajectory? Summary of contents. A reasonably thorough indication of the research methods used if applicable and of the range of substantive material covered in the book should be included.]