Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

CURR935: Democratizing the Curriculum

So, You've Decided to Author a Book Review!

Dr. Kelly Heider

Professor/Graduate Information Literacy Librarian

What is a Book Review?

Book reviews typically evaluate recently-written works. They offer a brief description of the text’s key points and often provide a short appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the work.

Readers sometimes confuse book reviews with book reports, but the two are not identical. Book reports commonly describe what happens in a work; their focus is primarily on giving an account of the major plot, characters, and/or main idea of the work. Most often, book reports are a K-12 assignment and range from 250-500 words.

By contrast, book reviews are most often a college assignment, but they also appear in many professional works: magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. They typically range from 500-750 words, but may be longer or shorter. A book review gives readers a sneak peek at what a book is like, whether or not the reviewer enjoyed it, and details on purchasing the book (Purdue Online Writing Lab, 2021, para. 1-3).

How Do I Locate a Book I'd Like to Review?

Search IUP Libraries' catalog. Watch the video below for tips.

If the book you are interested in reviewing is not owned by IUP Libraries, you may request it through PALCI, one of the library's interlibrary loan systems. Watch the video below for instructions on using PALCI.

How Do I Find a Book Review in IUP Libraries' Databases?

How to Write a Critical Book Review

Using the MLA Directory of Periodicals to Locate a Top-Tier Journal to Submit Your Book Review for Publication