Wind Turbing & CSI Building

Finding Book Reviews and Author Information

For College History Classes With Book Review Assignments

Writing a Book Review for History 101/102

  • In order to do an analytical book review of your title you will first need to read the book and then will need to gather 2 types of outside information
    • Book Reviews
    • Author information

What are Book Reviews? Part I

  • Book reviews are critical reviews of a work written by someone with knowledge of the field
  • Book Reviews come in two main types:
  • Reviews for librarians: These are usually written by librarians for librarians, to help librarians decide whether or not to purchase the title for their collections
    • For example, all the books that I buy for the LRC were positively reviewed in either Library Journal, Booklist or Choice
    • These tend to be fairly short, usually less than 300 words, or 3 to 4 sentences (a short paragraph)

What are Book Reviews? Part II

  • Reviews for Scholars and Professors
    • These are written by experts in the field, for example a scholarly book review of an historical work like 1968 would be written by an historian with an interest in 20th century American History
    • They tend to be much longer, sometimes as long as 5 pages
    • They are written by scholars (usually professors) to comment on the importance of a work to the field of study
    • They can be very critical of the research while saying nothing about how well the book was written or how easy or enjoyable it was to read
  • To do this assignment successfully, you will need to find both types of reviews since they may have very different perspectives on the book

Where to Find Book Reviews: Print Sources

  • Print sources include Book Review Index and Book Review Digest
  • Use the handout to find where these are located in the Richland LRC
  • Book Review Index and Book Review Digest are also available at the Decatur Public Library and Millikin’s Staley Library

Where to Find Book Reviews: Electronic Sources

  • Electronic sources include any of the databases available at the Richland LRC
  • EBSCOHost Academic Search Premier is a good choice for finding book reviews as it has citations and full text for many library related publications, like Library Journal
  • FirstSearch databases like Wilson Select Plus and Article First also have reviews

How to Find Book Reviews: Print Sources Part I

  • Get out the book (1968)
  • You need to figure out what years the book was published in order to look up reviews, because the print sources are in separate volumes by year
  • Look on the page after the title page for a copyright date and any other years (see next slide for pictures of where to look)

Finding Copyright Dates after Title Pages

Example of how to find copyright date

How to Find Book Reviews: Print Sources Part II

  • Write down each year that you find on the back of the title page
  • Find the volumes for each year that you have written down, as there may be new reviews for each different publication or version of the book
  • Get the volumes for the year before each date because sometimes reviews are published before the book is published
  • Get the volumes for the year or two after each date because scholarly reviews take some time to write and publish and may not come out until 1 to 2 years after the book was first published

How to Find Book Reviews: Print Sources Part III

  • Once you have all the volumes, all you need to do is look your author up by last name
  • Each volume is in alphabetical order by author last name, then first name
  • Under each Author’s name will appear a list of books which were reviewed in that year, make sure your title appears in the list
  • Example below

Book Review Index Sample Page

Book Review Index Sample Page Example

  • Under each title is a reference to a book review
  • Book Review Index is an index, which means it provides references or citations to where the full review can be found

How to Find Book Reviews: Print Sources Part IV

  • Photocopy each page that has a reference to a review on your title
  • The citations include a lot of abbreviations
  • Flip to the front of each volume and look up each abbreviation that appears on your photocopy
  • Write out the full title for each abbreviation on your photocopy
  • Example: the citation has a reference to LJ when you flip to the front and look up the abbreviation LJ, you find that it stands for Library Journal

How to Find Book Reviews: Electronic Sources

  • Reviews for books published after 1996 can also be found online in most electronic databases offered at the Richland LRC
  • Academic Search Premier, part of EBSCOHost is the best place to start
  • If you are not familiar with EBSCOHost and Academic Search Premier the next slide will provide some basic directions on how to find access this database

How to Find Book Reviews: Electronic Sources Part II

  • To access Academic Search Premier, navigate to http://my.richland.edu/ICS/Library
  • Click on the first database, under General Databases, Academic Search Premier
  • Click on full text journals to continue
  • On the “Choose Databases” page scroll down the page and click on “Academic Search Premier” (in blue near the bottom of the list)
  • Click “continue” at the top or bottom

How to Find Book Reviews: Electronic Sources Part III

  • Once in Academic Search Premier you will see the following screen
  • Screenshot of EBSCO Host

How to Find Book Reviews: Electronic Sources Part IV

  • To locate book reviews in this or any other database, you must enter search terms
  • The best way to find just book reviews is to enter in the “find” box the title of the book, author’s last name and the word review
  • Example: I am charlotte simmons AND Wolfe AND review would find book reviews of the book, I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

How to Find Book Reviews: Electronic Sources Part V

  • Once you have entered your search terms, click on the search bottom to the right
  • A numbered list of results will appear
  • Each result is a citation to a book review
  • Click on the blue titles to get more information for each citation

How to Find Book Reviews: Electronic Sources Part VI

  • Once you have a citation, you need to get the full text of the actual review
  • Most of the citations in EBSCO will have full text, either as html or PDF
  • The links to these will be located at the top and bottom of each citation
  • Click on the fulltext link and print, save or email each review
  • Repeat for each citation

How to Find Book Reviews: InterLibrary Loan Part I

  • Some citations in EBSCO will not have any full text. If you want to use this review you will need to make an InterLibrary Loan Request to get the text
  • All citations found in Book Review Index also lack text, and you will need to make InterLibrary Loan Requests for all the review citations found in the print volumes

How to Find Book Reviews: InterLibrary Loan Part II

  • To make an InterLibrary Loan Request for a citation found in EBSCO, print out the full citation screen, write your name and phone on this page and bring it to the LRC
  • LRC Staff will locate a library that has a print copy of this review. The other library will make a copy and send it to the LRC. Once it arrives, you will be notified by phone. This usually takes 5-7 days, so plan ahead and get your requests in early

How to Find Book Reviews: InterLibrary Loan Part III

  • To make an InterLibrary Loan Request for a citation found in Book Review Index, take the pages you copied earlier and write your name and phone number on each page and bring to the front desk in the LRC. Make sure you wrote out all the abbreviations before passing in your requests
  • LRC Staff will locate a library that has a print copy of this review. The other library will make a copy and send it to the LRC. Once it arrives, you will be notified by phone. This usually takes 5-7 days, so plan ahead and get your requests in early

How to Find Author Information: I

  • In addition to locating reviews, to successfully complete this assignment you will also want to locate some information about the author
  • Author information can be found in the LRC in two print series, Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC)and Contemporary Authors (CA). See your handouts for the locations of these volumes in the LRC
  • Both sets can also be found and used at the Decatur Public Library and Millikin’s Staley Library

How to Find Author Information: II

  • To use the CLC and CA locate the last volume of the CLC which has the most recent index for the entire set
  • Look up your author by last name in the Author Index
  • Underneath the author’s name will be some abbreviations and volume numbers. Note which volumes of the CLC or CA has an entry on your author

How to Find Author Information: III

  • Find the volumes of CLC or CA you noted and look up your author by last name
  • Each entry for an author will have some background information about the author, including other works published and awards
  • Most entries will also include some criticisms of the author’s works, often in the form of excerpts from reviews
  • None of the CLC or CA’s can be checked out. Locate the sections you want to use and photocopy as needed

How to Find Author Information: IV

  • Author information can also be found on the web
  • Most publishers will have a website with information about the book and author
  • Many authors also have their own websites
  • To find author websites, start by going to the Google Search Engine, http://www.google.com
  • Enter the the author’s name and search
  • If there are too many results, try adding the name of the book to the search
  • Example: tom wolfe charlotte simmons
  • If you can’t find anything try just the last name and title - Example: wolfe charlotte simmons

Last Updated: February 24, 2006 (electronic database link updated 5/26/10)

Footer divider graphic

HOME

RESOURCES
A-Z Index
ANGEL
Calendar
Employment Opportunities
Faculty & Staff E-Mail
News & Events
myRichland
Student E-Mail
Search

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Alumni Development Office
RCC Foundation
Scholarships

ACADEMIC OFFERINGS
Academic Programs
Course Catalog
Course Schedule
Dual Credit Courses

COMMUNITY EDUCATION
Non-Credit Course Offerings

 

 

ACADEMIC OFFICES
Adult Education / GED
Business & Technology
CEHFA
Continuing & Professional Education
Correctional Education
Economic Dev & Workforce Solutions
Health Professions
Mathematics & Sciences
Teaching & Learning Support Services
VP of Student & Academic Services

ADMINISTRATION & OPERATIONS
Business Services
Campus Security
Human Resources
Institutional Effectiveness
Office of the President

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
Campus Life
TRIO

PRE-K & CHILDCARE
Adele P. Glenn Early Childhood Education Center

BUSINESS TRAINING & FACILITY RENTAL
Customized Corporate Training
Facility Rental

STUDENT SERVICES
Academic Success Center - Accommodations
Academic Success Center - Mathematics Enrichment Center
Academic Success Center - Tutoring
Academic Success Center - Testing
Admissions
Bookstore
Business Office (Bursar/Cashier)
Career Services
Counseling
Financial Aid
Fitness Center
Library (Learning Resources Center)
Mathematics Enrichment Center
Online Learning
Records & Transcripts
Scholarships
Transfer Center
Veterans Affairs

CONTACT & GENERAL INFORMATION
Accreditation
Board of Trustees
Contacting the College
Graduation/Commencement 2014
Employee Directory
Facilities
Faculty Contact Information
Extension Centers
General Information
Green Initiatives
Maps & Directions
Office of Public Information 
Tuition and Fees

AFFILIATES
Diversity Conference
Decatur Community Partnership
Partners in Education
Project READ
Progress City USA