Book Reviews – How to Write One

How do you write a book review? We will look at a book review I wrote, and the publisher’s guide that I wrote it from, at the start of the semester.

For easy reference, here are some sample online guides:

Book Reviews – Finding a Free Choice Book

The class Zotero library lists some recent scholarship that you can choose from for your free choice book reviews. This is NOT an exhaustive list and you are welcome to choose other books published since 2003* by academic publishers.

*Ish. If you find a 2000-2002 book you desperately want to review, I’ll probably allow it.

Final Projects – Finding Journal Articles

There are numerous ways to find journal articles on the history of science. One good way to start is by “bibliography chaining,” which is just a fancy way of saying: read the footnotes of another book/article, if a book/article listed in those footnotes sounds interesting/relevant then go look it up by name in the library catalog and read it.

You can also browse and search by keywords/subject. Many articles are included in the basic search bar of the GMU Library’s catalog. You can also search databases of journal articles, such as JSTOR or Project Muse. Alternatively, you can search for specific journals and look for relevant articles within them. Some potential journals to look for (all of which you should have *free access* to via GMU) include:

Other Writing Tips, Guides, and Information

Wikipedia: You can find tons of tutorials on how to read/edit Wikipedia online. Two that I’ve sent students to before are available at and

Prospectus: There are numerous online guides on how to write a prospectus, as this is a vital part of fellowship applications, advancing to candidacy in your PhD program, etc. A couple that may be helpful include 

Joe Miller’s Writing Tips: These writing tips were created by the late Dr. Joseph C. Miller and are shared here for academic/classroom use only with his permission. The following link will give you a zip file you must uncompress to get to the Word documents: Miller’s Writing Tips