BOOK REVIEW GUIDELINES
Book reviews are works that review and analyze academic books on subjects that fit into İslam Araştırmaları Dergisi
’s purview. The objective of book reviews is not to summarize a book or to outline its content but rather to provide the reader with a critical analysis. The process and criteria related to the writing process of a book review are as follows:
1. BOOK SELECTION
● The book should be an academic study on general fields within Islamic studies (or it may be addressed to a general audience). Various kinds of works, including monographs, textbooks, edited volumes, dictionaries, encyclopedias, catalogues, translations and critical editions, may be examined.
● It should be published or translated within the last five years.
● It should be a work of author(s) authoritative in the field.
● One should take notes on the book’s basic findings, arguments, assumptions and appraisals.
● One should examine the book’s organization and textual features.
● One should examine the book’s assistive sections such as the index, maps, abbreviations, bibliography etc.
3. PREPARATION TO WRITE
● What is the book’s objective and who is its audience? Does the book bring together an existing body of knowledge or does it contribute a specific argument? Does the book succeed in its objective?
● What is the book’s contribution to the field? To what extent does it address current discourses?
● What is the book’s starting point and perspective?
● Is the book written well? Has the author used language, style and basic vocabulary properly?
● Has the book’s content been sufficiently addressed in respect to its objectives?
● Is general information, such as footnotes, bibliography and dates, correct?
● Are there images, examples, figures, maps, an index, etc.? If yes, do they help the reader? If these are not present, is the absence a shortcoming?
4. FORMAT AND CONTENT
● At the top, the book’s title, full citation information and other information (pages, appendices, ISBN, etc.) should be included. They should be organized according to the book review format in the journal’s latest issue.
● At the bottom, the author’s name, title, institutional affiliation and ORCID number should be written. Reviews with incomplete information or those not conforming to the journal’s guidelines will be returned to the owner.
● Attention to grammar and style, generally necessary for articles, are also required for book reviews.
● The text of a book review should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words. Reviews shorter than 1,000 words or longer than 1,500 words are not preferred.
● A book review should provide information on the following points:
1. The book’s audience
2. The book’s thesis, the author’s objective and basic argument
3. The book’s place in the literature
4. Short summary and analysis
5. Primary and secondary sources used
6. The book’s strengths and weaknesses, including the book’s contributions and areas for improvement
7. Points that seem incorrect and/or lacking.
● Providing information on the background of the author and the book may enrich the draft, but since the author’s biography might unnecessarily lengthen the review, only those parts of the author’s life that are directly related to the book’s content may be provided.
● The plan for a book review should not necessarily parallel the book’s plan. Instead of following the flow of the content, the review can be drafted based on the book’s main objective and on the common and distinct characteristics of the book chapters.
● An impressive introduction may help increase readability of the review. One should avoid using sentences starting with certain phrases such as “This book….etc.”. Concise sentences help to transmit the message more effectively.
● Assuming that the reader has no preliminary knowledge on the subject, one should limit use of technical vocabulary.
● Excessive emphasis on the book’s deficiencies and gaps may detract from the review’s objective. Short mentions of minor critiques are sufficient.
● The reviewer should write the draft with her/his own sentences rather than excessively quote from the book. If necessary, short quotations can be included.