Guidelines for Writing Book Reviews
Reviewers are expected to submit their review within 3 months of receiving the book.
A good book review should:
- place the book in a larger context of scholarship
- make explicit application to the institutional context of our readers
- consider the book in relation to theological education or religious studies in the liberal arts
- describe the value and usefulness that the book might have for busy scholars and teachers
1. Length. Book reviews should be approximately 500 words double-spaced.
2. Format. Reviewer’s name and institutional affiliation should be left justified at the end of the review. Diacritical marks must be visible without the use of special fonts.
3. Title. The title of the book review should be left justified in the following format:
Inspiring Teaching: Carnegie Professors of the Year Speak
Edited by John K. Roth
Boston, Mass.: Anker Publishing, 1997 (xx + 236 pages, ISBN 1-882982-14-2, $34.95)
4. Contact. Please provide your name, institutional affiliation (as you want it to appear with the review), mailing address, and email address. Please keep us updated if your contact information changes so that we can contact you quickly and easily during the editorial review and publication process.
5. Summation. Please provide a separate, one or two sentence summation of how the book would be valuable particularly for teachers of religion and theology. Your recommendation will be displayed with the book on our website’s resource collection. Please be sure to separate this statement from the book review proper.
- Minimize the use of italics, boldface, and scare quotes.
- Use conventional state abbreviations rather than two-letter postal codes (use Ind., not IN).
- Avoid double spacing after periods.
- Avoid using virgules (the diagonal mark used to separate alternatives, as in "and/or").
- Avoid clichés.
- Use American English.
- Consult Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary for spelling questions.
- Use the serial comma.
- Commas and periods appear inside quotation marks. Other punctuation (colons, semicolons, question and exclamation marks, and hyphens) appear outside the quotes, except in dialogue.
- Spell out whole numbers from zero to ten.
- Spell out names of organizations, firms, agencies, and so forth on first reference with acronym in parentheses following. Abbreviate such names on second reference.
- Please use inclusive language when referencing human communities. “Man,” “men,” “he," or "his” are to be used when they clearly refer to (solely) male referents, not for mixed or indeterminate referents. (See: Frank, Treichler, et al., Language, Gender, and Professional Writing; Dumond, The Elements of Nonsexist Usage; Miller and Swift, The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing; or Baron, Grammar and Gender.)
7. Citations. Quoted passages from the reviewed work must have page numbers enclosed in parentheses. Other citations (if necessary) should be in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition (author/date citations with reference list providing full bibliographic information at the end of the review). Endnotes and footnotes are not permitted.
8. Deadline. Please submit the book review within 3 months of receiving the book (or per previous arrangement). If you are unable to meet this schedule, please notify the Book Review Editor as soon as possible so other arrangements can be made.
9. Electronic Submissions. Please submit manuscripts by Microsoft Word document attached to an email message to the Managing Editor, Mary T. Stimming (firstname.lastname@example.org).
10. Timeline. We strive to review submissions and reply in a timely manner. We will acknowledge receipt of the book review immediately, but it may take several months to review the manuscript and make a decision about publication. Authors will be notified by email, which will outline the process going forward for publication.
11. Copy Editing. Once a book review has been accepted for publication it will be copy edited to the standards of our style sheet and for consistent usage. Authors will be contacted about editorial changes that might affect substance and will have the opportunity to review and correct the proof pages prior to publication.
Mary T. Stimming, PhD
Associate Director, Wabash Center