How to... write a book review Part: 4

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How to... write a book review

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A potential checklist for book reviewers

Make sure that your review contains:

  • An early paragraph saying what the book is about, and putting it in context
  • Information about the intended audience
  • A critique of the argument/content of the book
  • Remarks on the strengths and limitations of the book
  • A note on the format, length and price (or value for money)
  • A note (if appropriate) on how well the text is supported by tables/diagrams/illustrations
  • Any supporting academic references.

If the following details are not supplied for you, please make sure that your review contains:

  • Accurate details of the authors’/editors’ names and initials
  • Title of the publication
  • Edition
  • Date of publication
  • Publisher and place of publication
  • ISBN number
  • Format (hardback, paperback or soft cover)
  • Number of pages
  • Price.

Try to make your review readable and entertaining. Write it in the first person, as though you are describing the book in a letter to a close friend.


Hartley, J. (2006), “Reading and writing book reviews across the disciplines”, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 57 No. 9, pp. 1194-1207.

Copies available from the author.