Critical Book Review

There exist lots of reasons, for which reviewing book chapters is relatively easier than reviewing psychological articles. As long as the authors are invited, their knowledgeability is out of questions - although, excellent marks for a psychology or health and social care coursework not always correlate with a genuine expert knowledge. Nevertheless, the editor has chosen the authors for writing the chapters and he or she hopes to publish them. This means, that your job with a critical book review differs greatly from the process of journal reviewing. Usually, psychological book chapters represent summaries of research and conclusion, composed at a distinguishingly general level, because the research described, undoubtedly, were previously written as the primary journal articles. Therefore, your task as a reviewer is to provide a showcase of the author's understanding and the evaluation of the author's job done - in other words, create something similar to a reaction paper example.

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Most authors are great researchers, but quite often they are overcommitted. That is why they could seem absent-minded to a person who writes a critical book review, and not infrequently many of them fail to put good care into the chapter. Alternatively, the writer may decide to hand off the work to a colleague or graduate student and thus become a second author. To avoid such changeovers editors often specify the requirements for the invited author and establish strict responsibility so that the author could not pass the work to any student in exchange for a science homework help. Nevertheless, if the chapter is badly written, the reviewer must simply forbid its publication. As it often happens, the chapter may appear so messy, that the author should express gratitude to you for avoiding embarrassment. In that case, the editor proposes to the writer another chance with a demand for a thorough revision and another critical book review. Usually, no one chooses to reject the author for the first time, and many of them pay back with eager labor for the understanding and grace. In this way, many initially bad drafts are eventually published, although the editor and reviewer may make an enormous effort to shape it into a publishable form.

Obviously, there is nothing more valuable in publishing business than helpful and attentive cooperation. Anyone who has developed even a single SBA business plan in all their life would heartily approve the valuableness of coordinated work as well. Easily enough, you can assist to the author and improve the chapters by answering some fundamental questions, namely:

  • - is the written work consistently clear? As it has been mentioned, authors often concur with each other to produce a chapter, and styles or specialization of different authors may vary greatly. Certainly, there might be the chief author, who sets working conditions and requirements for the final product for all other writers. However, in your critical book review you cannot rely on that as far as you might face the murky writing, the unclear logic, and inconsistent points throughout the chapter not infrequently, so it is better to be ready for a good piece of work on your critical book review. It is a good idea to direct the author beforehand on clear writing and lucent explanations comprehensible for non-specialists.
  • - was the sources and literature fairly reviewed? Primarily, the desire of the author to mention critical studies in the chapter depends on the task he or she was given. At first, many things could seem non-convincing to you, but remember that psychological books have nothing to do with persuasive essay topics for high school. Usually, you should be informed by a cover letter from the editor, what task was assigned to the author. The task is a defining matter for the author's decision what material to include. Only after the acquaintance with the writer’s mission you will know, which omissions are to be pointed out in the critical book review and where exactly the view of the topic may be counted as the author's bias.
  • - were all figures and tables appropriately fitted? For accomplishing a critical book review, you should define the difference between requirements for narrative chapters and chapters with the inclusion of tables and figures. If charts of any kind fail to communicate the reader, then the work has all chances to remain obscure or simply inferior. As a reviewer, you ought to suggest the location of figures or tables in places where they could be helpful or explicative.
  • - is the length of the chapter appropriate? Surely, length is one the most variable characteristics and there exists no connection between chapter's sizes throughout various disciplines - undoubtedly, you will meet a completely divergent requirement for it in guidelines for law review articles. Psychology standards always proffer to authors requirements for chapters of the same length (for example, 25-30 pages of double-spaced text) or give them a target word count. The similar size for chapters of all topics is not much of fair condition if you think about it. Obviously, different topics deserve non-equal space in order to be exhaustively explained. Nevertheless, your first priority aim in a critical book review is to assess the craftsmanship which the author have applied to explain the subject in the limited number of words.
  • can you see other points that may be used to reinforce the author's arguments? It could be the case, that the reviewer recognizes places in which the author's arguments might be strengthened. Be careful, though, whether you are not trying to import with a critical book review even more that the writer wants to say. If your work is closely related to the paper you are reviewing, fresh ideas or insights obtained from the chapters may be employed as a springboard for your own research.

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