Book Review Guidelines

Book Review Guidelines

(Adapted from Eastwood Harris and UNC Writing Center)

Click here to submit a book review proposal

General Tips

  • While it is acceptable to state your opinion in your review, the most important information to include is whether the book’s intended purpose or audience matches to the actual contents of the book.
  • Review the book in front of you, not the book you wish the author had written
  • Review Your review: Remove superfluous words, use short sentences with a relevant piece of information in each sentence, avoid colloquial terms

1. Introduction

  • Begin with a short anecdote that succinctly outlines your opinion of the book
  • The name of the author
  • State target audience
  • State purpose of book
  • Type of book (teaching, reference, methodology, procedure, discussion)

2.a. Summary—Include interesting points about these elements

  • Content
  • Structure and layout
  • Table of contents and index
  • Photos, diagrams, screenshots, and tables
  • Clarity and readability

2.b. Finding—Questions to ask yourself (and answer in your review)

  • Is the title accurate?
  • Does the book meet its stated aim?
  • What level of experience is needed to use the book?
  • What are the key strengths and weaknesses?
  • Who will find the book most useful?
  • Is the depth appropriate for the stated audience?
  • Does the material present a fresh approach, or does it rehash existing text?
  • Is the book technically accurate?
  • How clearly is the material presented?
  • Are the tables, figures, and illustrations appropriate and well executed?

3. Conclusion

  • Restate your take on the book
  • Balance the book’s strengths and weaknesses