Book Reviews

Scope and Content

Composition Studies publishes three kinds of book reviews:

  • Single-authored review of a current book that describes the work and its contribution to composition theory, research, and/or practice, and offers a judgment informed both by the writers’ background and larger disciplinary concerns. (1,000-1,500 words)
  • Single-authored review essay of two to three books in the field that attempts to draw out intersecting threads among the works, emerging shifts in scholarship and pedagogy, and/or divergent approaches to similar problems or questions. The review essay also features the reviewer’s original analysis or viewpoint on the issues under consideration. (3,000-3,500 words)
  • Dialogue among two to three reviewers about two to three books either in the field or beyond it that have bearing on practices or theories in composition studies. Formatted as a conversation, the goal of this review is to document spirited dialogue about major themes, concepts, problems, and/or questions that emerge when current works are read side-by-side. Not a comprehensive review of the books under discussion, this review aims to capture the energy and rhythm of dialogue as it emerges between people who care deeply about a given issue. (3,000–3,500 words)

Whatever the review, please avoid digressions and lengthy quotations. To that end, we ask the following: include no more than 150 words of direct citation from the book being reviewed; keep your external sources to a minimum; and avoid using endnotes.

Review of Manuscripts

Decisions to accept or reject a review will be based on the quality of the review and its relevance to composition studies. To ensure clarity and consistency among book reviews, you may be asked to revise your manuscript. Please attend to the word count guidelines. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit any submission as needed, or not publish the review.


You will be sent a copy of the book to be reviewed. It is yours to keep. However, if for any reason you cannot complete your review, return the book immediately so we can send it to another reviewer.


Please send your review as a Microsoft Word .doc or .docx email attachment. Please label your file accordingly (e.g., “YourName-review.doc”). For more detailed information, see our author guidelines.


Please send books for review, completed reviews, offers to review, and inquiries regarding reviews to: Jason Tham, Book Review Editor (