Skip to main content

PWR 472 - Freelance Writing

This guide provides information resources to support the Freelance Writing assignments.

On the making of Books...there is no end

Image result for books images

General Book Review Sources

Many academic journals offer opportunities for interested reviewers to submit book reviews. Here is a list of some general book review sources. 

How To Write A Book Review Video

Writing Book Reviews

Book reviews come in many shapes and sizes, from bare bones to bibliographic essays. Usually we think of a book review as a critical analysis not just a summary of a particular work. Here are a few general tips for writing a review. Generally speaking a book review tells what the book is about as well as evaluating how well it succeeds in conveying its purpose. In writng a review you want to describe and analyze the text.

You might ask yourself:

  1. What is the bibliographical information: author, title, publishing information, date, ISBN, etc.
  2. What is the book about: a general summary of the content.
  3. What is the author's purpose and perspecive? Why did the author write this book/article? 
  4. What are the main points? What is the main argument?
  5. What supporting evidence does the author use to prove these points? How convincing is this evidence?
  6. How would you describe the author's style? Methodology? How is the book organized? 
  7. What are the author's conclusions?
  8. What other books or articles are noteworthy on this same topic? 
  9. Who is the audience to which the book is aimed?
  10. What expertise or credentials does the author have? How qualified is he/she to write on this subject?
  11. Based on your experience and knowledge, how well does the book meet your expectations? What is your opinion?
  12. How well does the book cover the topic? What is omitted? What are the books strengths/weaknesses? What sort of impact does this work have in its field? Does it contribute original thought? Will it be a book "for the ages?"
  13. What background information might be useful for the reader to know regarding this book and author? 

Book reviews cover the facts about the book as well as opinion about the book. A review should consider, represent and communicate the author's view point objectively while expressing personal opinion as clearly distinguished from the author's point of view. 

So you want to publish a review? Here are a few things to consider as you begin.

  • Introduce yourself to the editor of the journal or source. Describe your interest in reviewing and list your fields of expertise. Generally you will be placed on a list and a book will be sent to you or in some cases you may be able to select from a list of books from which to choose. 
  • If you have already written the review introduce yourself, describe your interest in reviewing the book and ask the editors if they might be interested in receiving your submission. Do not submit the review until you have received a reply.
  • Avoid first person. Say: "this is a good book because..." not: "I think this is a good book."
  • Avoid slang, contractions, long quotations from the book. 
  • Proofread carefully.
  • Consider guidelines for that specific publication including word limits, timeliness, appropriate citation format.
  • Keep copies of your reviews and correspondence to/from journal editors.