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Were this sort of attitude replicated across the whole of the academy, intellectual life would, in my view, become more impoverished as a consequence.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. But perhaps you are also a junior scholar, unsure of where to start. Like many academic practices, book reviews can seem like an insider’s game -- those who already understand the unwritten rules play frequently, while those who do not are all too often never invited in.
You should also explicitly identify a range of audiences whom you think would appreciate reading or otherwise benefit from the book.
Writing good academic book reviews gets easier with experience, just like any skill.
In order to illustrate what a book review is, we have provided a book review example for your reference.
, a treat for lovers of historical fiction, sees the return of Benjamin Weaver in his third exciting romp through the varied and sometimes surreal landscape of 18th-century London.
Think, if possible, of a hook to draw your readers in. Your review should, as concisely as possible, summarize the book’s argument. What particular sorts of qualifications and expertise do they bring to the subject?
Even edited collections and textbooks will have particular features intended to make them distinctive in the proverbial marketplace of ideas. If there is an identifiable thesis statement, you may consider quoting it directly. Some basic biographical information about the author(s) or editor(s) of the book you are reviewing is necessary. How might the work you are reviewing fit into a wider research or career trajectory? 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. Identify one particular area in which you think the book does well.Modern writers really don't know what it was like to live in the past—no matter how much research they do—so the success of the enterprise depends largely on creating a convincing illusion.Liss rises to this challenge with great skill in this accomplished, atmospheric and thoughtful novel." This book review example illustrates another important question to be addressed in the review: how does the work compare to others similar to it?Does the book contribute to a particular field or genre, or is the book lacking in quality compared to the works of other writers?Now that you have an idea of how to write a book review, try one of your own.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.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.There are, broadly speaking, two ways that editors of academic journals and other periodicals solicit book review writers: 1) proactive commissioning and 2) reactive commissioning.Proactive commissioning is where an editor seeks out potential reviewers and solicits their contribution.Don't forget to send it in for an English grammar check. How to Write a Book Report Writing a book report can be a difficult task that requires you to deal with a large amount of information in a relatively small space.But don't be discouraged—in this article we outline how to prepare for your book report and in our later article we discuss how to write a book report.