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About Reviewing:

A How-To Guide

Thank you for agreeing to review for Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.

After you and I have agreed on a book (or books) for you to review, please follow these guidelines for writing the review.   The guidelines are divided into two parts.

1. Bibliographic Information and Credit Line

The first lines of your review should be the book’s bibliographic information, including title, author, publisher location and name, and date of publication. Immediately below the book’s bibliographic information, please put your credit line (indented) in the below format. Follow that information with page length; after that, locate the price for the book’s editions in hardback, paperback, and ebook (if available).  Here’s an example of the properly formatted bibliographic information:

Popular Culture: Introductory Perspectives. Marcel Danesi. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008. 317 pp. 

      Reviewed by: Clay Calvert, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

2. Body of the Review

Following are most of the elements you will need to follow in order to write the review.  In addition to these elements, try to work in a synthesis—that is, provide a sense of where the book may fit into the ongoing development of this subject area. 

  • Threaded throughout the review should be a brief description of the book’s content (e.g., book chapters).  This is more of an executive summary, not a detailed chapter-by-chapter description.

  • Evaluate of the book’s strengths and weaknesses. Consider quality of writing, comprehensiveness, accuracy, uniqueness, organization, and overall contribution to the field. This should be the bulk of your review.  Feel free to editorialize.

  • There are no false opinions: You are expert and have your perspectives on the topic and the book.  Let’s hear them.

  • Note the author’s credentials, including the author’s professional or academic rank and institution. This information should come early in the review (re: in the first or second paragraph).

  • Do not insert in-text citations or references.  Refer to outside sources in the text by inserting author name and publication.

  • Parenthetically insert page number(s) when you quote from the book.

  • Please double-check facts and names. We try to fact-check and make corrections, but if the review comes in late, these sometimes won’t make it into print.

  • Please use Times New Roman font (12 point size), and left side-only justification.

  • Please double space your review.

  • Length: Up to 1,100 words.

3. What Happens Next

  • When you are finished your draft of the review, please send it to me ( as a Word file.  Please do not submit your review to the JMCQ website until I have seen it and we have agreed on the final text.

  • After you have submitted your review to me, I will edit it for formatting, grammar, and readability.   Sometimes I will have substantive questions and comments.  I will use the Review function of Word for those questions and comments.  In all cases, I will send the edited/commented upon review back to you so that we can confer on it and arrive at the final draft.

  • After you and I have completed the final draft, I will ask you to upload the review to the Journal’s web site (

  • After you upload the review, I will go in and approve it.  Sometimes this takes a few days depending on how quickly the Scholar One system alerts me.

  • Finally, you will get a notice that your submission has been approved and a request to fill out a copyright/contributor form.  Promptly fill out and return this form.

  • After you fill out the copyright form, the review will go into production.  It may take a few weeks, but soon enough you will get an email from the Sage team that your page proofs are ready.  Please attend to these proofs within 2-3 days.  I will also look at the proofs after you have finished.  After the proofs stage, the review will be published online first and then in print.

If you have questions or suggestions about any aspect of the review process, please feel free to contact me.

Gregory P. Perreault (

Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

Book Review Editor

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