Tags: #books, #writing tips

How to Write Academic Book Reviews

When it comes to defining the authentic meaning of writing reviews, we can say that they are the indispensable part of the formation of a scholar. On the other hand, some proponents of more conservative or traditional methods may underestimate reviewing of academic books. Although students, particularly the graduates, not always get such assignments to their complicacy, the contribution of writing such reviews to the development of the knowledge base and further development of student’s thinking is barely even arguable. Writing academic book reviews should become regular practice in higher educational establishments.

Now, when it is clear that students should not avoid this work, another question arises, which is ‘where to start?’ Young scholars may experience real troubles with learning how to do it properly. Despite the fact that it is a straight responsibility of a professor to teach or direct a student before assigning this task, sometimes it happens that students feel at loss due to the insufficient instructions and the lack of recommendations on how to write a book review. Here, we will try to provide young scholars, who want to try themselves in writing academic book reviews, with some pieces of advice and the insight into the whole process.

First of all, remember that a review for publishing should comply with some instructions in order to be accepted by an editor of a periodical or journal. In spite of the views of your professor, bear in mind that your review should reflect the ideas of the author of the book and only on the second place it should state your impressions and ideas about book. Even though it may seem an easy task, the intricacy hides in the fact that you are also restrained by the number of words. It takes lots of time to learn how to squeeze the ideas about the whole book into up to 1,000 words.

Second, an academic book review is not about rewriting or borrowing thoughts, it is about diving into the sea of ideas and trying to catch and describe the main one.
Another point to keep in mind is about following the structure. It should include introduction, main body, and conclusion, in which you summarize the argument. You should also define strong and weak points of the analyzed book, and provide your supportive arguments.
All in all, writing an academic book review could be daunting and challenging at first, but experience and skills come with practice, so don’t give up and continue mastering your academic writing.