Tips for a Good Review

Book reviews should include some descriptive information about the book but should primarily constitute a critical evaluation and analysis of its contents.

Some questions to consider as you prepare your review:

  • What is the book trying to accomplish? What is its overall theoretical perspective, and what is its main argument? Are its arguments effective and persuasive? Is its perspective unique in its field?
  • What sort of information does the book contain? And is that information well organized and easy to follow?
  • Does the book have aids, such as maps, illustrations, tables, graphs, appendices, index, etc.? In what way do these aids help the reader better understand the information presented?
  • Does the format of the book, i.e., its visual/physical appearance, print size/type, layout, etc., make the book more appealing for the reader?
  • How accurate is the information in the book, and how authoritative is the book in its field? You can offer a comparison with other books/authors.
  • How comprehensive is the information in the book? In your opinion, could something be changed or added to improve the text? Does the author fully develop his/her ideas? Is any evidence ignored?
  • Did reading the book increase your understanding of the topic? Was it a convincing read?
  • Is there anything particularly striking or noteworthy about the book?
  • Who would best be served reading the book? How useful is this book in its scholarly field?


Tania Stech,

Book Review Editor