Book Review Guidelines

The book's contents should be concisely stated, and the majority of the review should be dedicated to the assessment of the book's strengths and weaknesses. Rather than an in-depth listing of what is found in each of the book's chapters, the reviewer should emphasize what is most significant in the volume, the adequacy of the methods deployed, and the overall worth of the text. The issues addressed in the review could include some of the following:

  • What are the origins of the text? How did it come to be produced?
  • What is the book generally about? What is the intent of the author in writing the book (e.g., scholarship, entertainment, political partisanship, etc.)?
  • What theory is employed, if any?
  • Is the author's perspective critical?
  • What is the line of argument?
  • What evidence is used? Is it timely? Credible?
  • How is the material organized and structured?
  • To what extent does the author achieve his/her goals?
  • Is the standpoint appropriate to the intentions and the subject matter?
  • Do the steps in the argument follow logically?
  • Are there hidden assumptions? Biases?
  • Are the claims following from the argument well supported by evidence?
  • Is the work generally persuasive? Why or why not?
  • Is the work generally consistent (i.e., are there contradictions)?
  • To what extent does the book make a scholarly, academic, and/or substantive contribution?