Book Reviews

When it comes to publication strategies, they will vary depending on your career goals, so do consult with your advisor and close mentors at the onset. Aside from that caveat, writing book reviews can be a great way for graduate students to build a publication record. According to several sources, including our own Urban Education faculty member Carmen Kynard, book reviews do not count much towards tenure for junior faculty members, so the space is open for graduate students to publish in this genre.

In “Academia as a Hustle; Or, How Everything I Know about Academia, I Learned from Rick Ross (Part I),” Kynard writes,”Book chapters do not count. This is a good strategy when you are in graduate school (as well as book reviews). What you publish in graduate school cannot be used for tenure; you are only making yourself more “marketable” with chapters in graduate school but you are not building a tenure profile. You gon need to publish to get an academic job these days so chapter it up” (Kynard, 2017).

Casey Brienza (2015) describes the two different methods for commissioning reviews and the general format of the genre in “Writing Academic Book Reviews.”

The University of Southern California Libraries have extensive research guides on how to organize academic papers across multiple disciplines. Check out their guides for writing  book reviews in the social sciences and in the humanities.