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Researching Book Reviews

Researching Book Reviews

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Researching Book Reviews

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  1. Researching Book Reviews

  2. What is a Scholarly Book Review? A scholarly book review is a critical assessment of a book.

  3. Book Reviews Are Not Formal Critiques of Literature Scholarly book reviews are published 6 months to 2 years after the book’s publication. Reviews summarize the book’s content. Reviews evaluate the overall content of the book. Critical essays usually appear long after the book’s publication. Critical essays focus on a close reading of a work such as, a theme, character, language, or theoretical approach.

  4. Literary Book Reviews There are two types of book reviews: • Reviews of creative works (e.g., novels) • Reviews of secondary works (e.g., criticism of creative works)

  5. Book Reviews of Creative Works This type of book review assesses the: • themes or subplots. • function of each character in the novel. • characters' relationships to one another. • comparison to the author’s other work

  6. Book Review of a Creative Work: Example

  7. Book Reviews of Critical Studies in Literature These types of book reviews critically evaluate the: • significance of the book’s thesis and theoretical approach • strengths and weaknesses of analysis, method, and research • approach or perspective • extent to which the book contributes to existing scholarship

  8. Book Review of a Critical Study: Example

  9. See the course web page for examples of scholarly books reviews.

  10. Advantages of Book Reviews to Researchers • Place work in context to other similar works • Identify key scholars and critics • Discuss controversies, debates, and disagreements within an area. • Determine whether the book contributes to the critical canon.

  11. Who Writes Scholarly Book Reviews? Editors of literary journals seek reviewers who are experts in their field, meaning that they have contributed significantly to the field through scholarly publications. Most of the these experts hold advanced degrees and teach at colleges and universities.

  12. Scholarly Book Reviews Scholarly book reviews are published in two venues: • Journals • Cultural magazines

  13. Scholarly Book Reviews Scholarly press Cultural Press

  14. Book Reviews: Cultural Press The cultural press, a part of the popular or mainstream media, is not strictly considered scholarly. However, some cultural press periodicals often publish fine assessments of literary works.

  15. Book Reviews: Cultural Press The following cultural press magazines will be acceptable for class projects, provided the reviews are lengthy and detailed. • Times Literary Supplement • New York Review of Books • New York Times Book Review • New Yorker

  16. Other Book Review Formats • Review essay: discusses an array of books on a specific topic • Literature review: discusses new and previous works focused on a specific topic

  17. Example of a review essay:

  18. Literature reviews can be either: • be the focus of an journal article or book chapter. • embedded in a critical article.

  19. Example of a literature review:

  20. Locating Book Reviews Book reviews can be found in: • Book review indexes • Periodical databases

  21. To search for book reviews for your author’s creative works or related secondary works, go to the course homepage.

  22. Book Reviews: Summary • Evaluates the worth of a book • Differs from a formal literary critique • Provides valuable information to researcher • Reviews found in 3 formats: article, or as part of a review essay or literature review • Locate book reviews in periodical databases and book review indexes