no rigid format for book reviews, but there are general
guidelines that should be followed.
important to remember that a review is not the same as a
summary. A summary is simply a factual account of the content
whereas the primary purpose of a review is to enable the reader
to benefit from the experience of the reviewer in determining
whether or not to read the publication.
header of your review should include the title, authors,
publishers, date of publication, number of pages and details of
the book in the order and format indicated in the example below:
Forest Landscape Ecology:
Transferring knowledge to practice
Perera, J.B. Buse and T.R. Crow
pages, ISBN-10: 0387342427, £77.00
review should be between 500 and 1000 words.
Points to cover
The intended audience. Who is the
book aimed at? What level of experience is needed use
the information in the book effectively? Who will find it most useful?
The background of the author(s)
in relation to the publication.
The context or
impetus for the book - e.g. political controversy, review
research or policy, etc.
Summarise the content. What is
the book about? What is the scope? Is the title accurate?
For edited books:
dominant themes with reference to specific chapters as
appropriate; and implications of the book for research,
policy, practice, or theory.
A comparison with
other works on this subject.
Is there an existing publication
which already covers the same ground?
Is the book readable as well as
What is the expected life of the
book, i.e. is it an up-to-date account that will no longer be
relevant in two year’s time, or do you expect it will be a
classic that will be referred to for many years.
What's missing from the book?
Points to remember
Readers of the review may not be
as familiar with jargon or acronyms as you so use them
sparingly and explain them where necessary.
Comparisons with other
publications are encouraged but in doing so it is particularly
important to be careful to make sure that such comparisons are
not unduly critical of either publication.
It is important to remember that
the reviewer has a duty to report accurately their views on
the book. This means that if it is poor, you must make it
clear that this is the case and explain why.
Most readers will want to know
whether or not you would recommend they read the publication.
You can provide this information either directly in a
statement, or indirectly through the comments that you have
made in your review – but make sure the reader is left in no
doubt on this point.
Finally, please refrain from the
temptation to highlight minor, unimportant problems such as the
occasional typographic error, or an obscure issue which you feel
the authors have got wrong.
example of a book review published in the International