Step-by-Step Guide for Writing a Book Review or a Review Article


Share your thoughts, insights, and critiques by submitting book reviews. Your perspective matters, and it's a chance to contribute to the world of knowledge. Plus, it's a great way to sharpen your analytical skills and build your academic portfolio. Start reviewing today! 

Step-by-Step Guide for Writing a Book Review or a Review Article

IAPSS Politikon accepts reviews of books in the broad field of political science and review articles that combine a number of recent works under a common theme.

If you're interested in making a submission, reach out to our Book Review section editor at Introduce yourself and provide reasons why you believe it would be of interest for IAPSS Politikon’s readership. 

Writing a compelling book review involves careful analysis and thoughtful consideration of the book's content, style, and impact. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you craft an effective book review:

Read the Book Thoroughly

Start by reading the book from cover to cover. Take notes as you read to highlight key points, significant themes, and memorable quotes. Understand the author's main arguments and writing style.


Begin your review with an engaging introduction. Mention the book's title, author, and provide a brief overview of its argument, field of study, and scholarly approach. Attract your reader’s attention by briefly telling what is significant about the book.

Summarise the Book’s Argument

Offer a succinct exegesis of the book's main argument, themes, and arguments. Focus on presenting the book's content in a limited and focused way,  while pointing your readers to possible larger implications of the book’s contribution.

Evaluate the Author's Approach

Examine the author's method and approach to articulating their ideas. Does the author use appropriate sources and evidence? Discuss what might be novel in the way they are using established  scholarly approaches.

Assess the Contribution to the Field

Discuss how the book contributes to its field of study or scholarly tradition. Does it offer new insights or perspectives and for what type of readership? Does it build upon existing literature, or does it challenge established ideas? 

Critique and Discussion 

In this key part, offer a critical analysis of the author's research depth, writing style, and ability to engage the reader. . Discuss points where you agree or disagree and provide reasons for your stance. Consider discussing any counterarguments or alternative viewpoints that the author did not cover.


Conclude with a statement about the book's overall impact and who might benefit from reading it.

Proofread and Edit

Before finalizing your review, proofread it for grammar, spelling, and clarity. Ensure your writing flows smoothly and that your points are well-organized.

Meet Length Requirements

Keep your review within the recommended word count, typically between 500 and 1000 words. A concise review that conveys your insights effectively is more likely to engage readers.

If you notice that multiple works have been recently published on a topic of your interest, you might consider submitting a review article. A review article provides a survey of recent literature and assesses its significance. While we recommend centering your review on books, review articles also offer an opportunity to examine entries from anthologies and edited volumes. Contact our Book Review section editor at to discuss the sources you will be reviewing in advance. 

Review articles should adhere to the guidelines set for book reviews, with the following additional requirements:

Establish a Common Theme or Problem 

Structure your review of scholarly sources around a shared theme or problem. Justify your selection by illustrating how the works under review align with this perspective. Within this framework, integrate your summaries of the authors' arguments. 

Comparative Analysis 

Writing a review paper allows comparing recent contributions to a field. You can center your review on a recent major work by contextualizing it with contributions from anthologies and edited volumes. Alternatively, you can compare different recent major works by putting them in dialogue. You can opt for a combination of these two approaches.

Assess the State of Current Scholarship 

While a review article inherently provides a limited overview or snapshot of the existing literature, it's crucial to show how the contributions under review align with or deviate from both traditional and emerging scholarly trends. What avenues for further research do they propose or hint at? Are there noticeable gaps or critical areas that remain unaddressed? Such insights can provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the landscape and possible future directions.

Writing a book review or review article requires a combination of analysis, critical thinking, and clear communication. By following these steps, you'll create a piece that informs readers and offers valuable insights into the works' content and merits.

Note that once your submission is pre-approved, we will liaise with the publisher(s) to have a complimentary copy sent to you for review.