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Asta J. Rand

Winter 2016

WRITING AN BOOK REVIEW FOR AN ACADEMIC JOURNAL
Step 1: Read the book in it’s entirety
Don’t just read the chapters of the book, but also look at the following: foreword, preface,
acknowledgements, references, index etc.
As you read, take notes in your own words
Note the following:
o What is the central question or issue the book addresses?
o What is the book’s argument or thesis?
o How is the book organized to support this thesis? How are the chapters ordered?
Chronologically? Thematically?
Ideally, it is best to read the book twice. The first read through should be to familiarize
yourself with the book and form initial impressions, followed by a break and a second
reading to gather evidence to support your conclusions.
Step 2: Evaluate the Book
Once you have read the work, take a few days to evaluate
it Think critically about the work
Evaluate the key arguments, how effectively they were presented and supported, and if
they help or fail to help readers to un