Guidelines for book reviews


  1. If you wish to review a book from the Books Available for Review list, send your selection to the Book Review Editor at Only books published in the last two years will be considered for review.
  2. The book review should be about 750 words in length, plus or minus ten percent. Excessively long or short reviews will be returned. If reviewing two books in the same review, the word count increases to 1,200 words. The two books must have a strong common denominator. Reviewing two books in the same review is not a review essay. A review essay examines three or more books. Each book in a review essay adds 600 words to the total word count allotment.
  3. The header of your review should include: author(s) or editor(s) with first and last name(s) as they appear on the book jacket, with the family name appearing first; title of book in italics; place of publication; publisher; and year of publication. At the end of the review, include your first and last name (without titles or job status) along with institutional affiliation. Retired faculty may be listed as emeritus after the university affiliation. If you do not have an institutional affiliation, list yourself as Independent Scholar.
  4. All reviews should be submitted with American English spelling, rather than British English spelling, unless using a direct quote from the book.
  5. All citations and references should be made in-text, rather than as footnotes or endnotes. Please, do not include footnotes or endnotes. To cite a page in the book under review, insert the page number for a quote parenthetically at the end of the sentence before the period. To reference another work, parenthetically cite the author’s name, year of publication, and page number if relevant. All direct quotes in the review must have a citation. Reviewers are encouraged to use quotes from the book. Excessively long quotes should be avoided and block quotes are not allowed.
  6. The book review should give readers an engaging, informative, and critical discussion of the work. It is an academic book review, not an interpretive essay or a social commentary. A strong review should consider the following:
    a. the intended audience for the book and who would find it useful
    b. the background of the author and his/her qualifications to write the book
    c. the main ideas and major objectives of the book
    d. how effectively these ideas and objectives are accomplished
    e. constructive comments about the strengths and weaknesses of the book
  7. Reviews should be submitted electronically using MS Word to the Book Review editor at The subject heading of the email should include the phrase “Book Review for JGSS.”
  8. If you cannot deliver your review within four months of receiving the book, please inform the book review editor so that the book can be assigned to another reviewer or a deadline extension can be discussed.