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Below are additional guidelines for the various types of reviews accepted by the Southeast Review of Asian Studies. Successful submissions typically meet (or exceed) these guidelines. Please feel free to communicate with the book review editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) in advance regarding your plans to review a piece—or regarding any questions you may have.
The following guidelines from Linda Simon (“The Pleasures of Book Reviewing,” Journal of Scholarly Publishing 27, no. 4 : 237–41, 238) are relevant:
Readers should come away from the review with a fair summary of the book’s scope and argument, information about the author’s credentials, and answers to some—but not necessarily all—of the following questions:
• Who is the intended audience for the book? How does the book serve this audience?
• What is the author’s critical perspective? How does that perspective illuminate the
• What sources does the author use? Are any of these sources new, unexpected, or particularly interesting?
• What are the stated limitations of the book?
• What are the unstated limitations?
• What are the book’s strengths?
• What are the book’s shortcomings?
Reviews of edited volumes should address the purpose, themes, and intended
audience(s) of the work, situating it within the larger body of scholarly
discourse on the topic. What kinds of pieces have the editor (or editors)
brought together? How well do the pieces complement each other and the
stated purpose and themes of the volume? What pieces are missing from the
volume? Although it is usually impossible, in the scope of a brief review,
to address each of the chapters in an edited volume, reviewers might want
to comment upon two or three specific chapters to give readers concrete examples
of the type(s) of works and perspectives brought together in the volume.
Reviews of works of literature (novels, plays, collections of short stories or poetry, etc.) require a somewhat different tactic than reviews of scholarly works. In the case of a novel or play, a brief summary of the story is appropriate. For any literary work or collection, comments on the stylistic and literary qualities of the author are fitting. Background information on the author is appropriate as well. How does the piece being reviewed fit into the author’s corpus? If the edition reviewed is a translation, comments as to the quality of the translation in light of other translations (if they exist) or the original text (if the reviewer has access and ability) are important. Consider also how the work in question has been received (either in the original language or as translated—or both). For educators, in what kinds of classrooms, if any, would this work prove useful?