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Guidelines for Book Reviewers

If you would like to be assigned to write a book review, please complete the book reviewer questionnaire.

If you are assigned to write a book review for the Quarterly:

  1. Please complete the review on or before the assigned date or inform the editor in advance of your need for an extension. If for some reason you cannot complete the review, please return the book so that we can find another reviewer.
  2. All reviews should be typed and double-spaced with sufficient margins for legible copy-editing.
  3. A review of a single book should be approximately 600 words long. Please limit your review to the assigned word count, as space in the Quarterly is limited. If for some special reason you find it necessary to exceed this limit, please indicate why. The use of less space is always permissible.
  4. Quotations from the book can be effective, but please keep them short, quote accurately, and indicate the location (page number) of each quotation, even if you quote only a word or phrase.
  5. When referring to other published works within your review, please include the publisher and publication date (or, at the very least, publication date) in parentheses following the author and title of the work.
  6. Please include in your review a brief summary of scope, purpose, and content of the book and its significance in the literature on the subject. Include also an evaluation of the author's success in achieving purpose, use of available sources, and organization and presentation of material.
  7. Emphasis on Texas material in the book being reviewed, where appropriate, is appreciated.
  8. The evaluation of the book may be favorable or unfavorable, but the review in all cases should avoid personality issues and express criticism in courteous, temperate terms. However much the reviewer may disagree with the author's point of view and conclusions, the reviewer's obligation to the author and to the readers of the review is to provide a fair and balanced statement of the book's contents and conclusions. The reviewer should avoid digressive essays that might well appear in his own works. A book can seldom be fairly criticized for not being another book.
  9. Please do not list typographical or other minor errors unless they significantly impair the value of the book. A review is not the place for such a list of errata, though a private letter to the author might be helpful.
  10. Advise the Book Review Editor if a book should not be reviewed in the Quarterly.
  11. If your affiliation changes prior to the publication of your review, please notify us.

Mail or email your review to:
Richard B. McCaslin, Book Review Editor
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Texas State Historical Association
1155 Union Circle #311580
Denton, Texas 76203-5017
E-mail address: Richard.McCaslin@unt.edu