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Greene, History-Book Critique Assignment: Additional Strategies for Locating Reviews

Finding Scholarly Reviews for critiques when there are no reviews or only one review available

book with a face on it iconFor a few of the texts in the list from which you can choose to read for your book critique, there is only one or there are no reviews of that particular book in scholarly journals to which we have access to at Chaffey. One workaround is to locate scholarly reviews of other books written by the author of your chosen text. See box to the right for suggestions for finding these reviews in our databases. Please keep in mind that even in this situation, you are still expected to use a minimum of two scholarly reviews for the book critique by your instructor.

What you will need to do is dissect the book reviews that you find, paragraph by paragraph, for tidbits that you can use to write your critique. What ideas, views, and themes are discussed by the reviewer concerning this book by the same author as yours? Are any similar to those discussed in your chosen text?

Workaround for when there are no reviews or only one review of an author

old book with ahnk iconFor those of you looking for resources for Tamim Ansary's Destiny Disrupted and potentially other newer titles on your list, the task of finding relevant book reviews is going to be a little tougher. If the publication date is more recent, particularly if only 2-3 years old, you may not be able to find any reviews or only one review. 

You will need to locate and use at least one scholarly review of a book (so that you will have a total of two that you will use to construct your own critique) that covers similar topics to Destiny Disrupted in your book critique.

What you will need to do is dissect the book reviews that you find, paragraph by paragraph, for tidbits that you can use to write your critique.

What ideas, views, and themes are discussed by the reviewer? Does the reviewer comment on how your text is unique or different from other books written previously in this discipline? What is your opinion regarding the issues the reviewer has raised about this text?

Use these pieces of information about the themes and arguments to weave in to your assignment.

In lieu of the second scholarly review on Destiny Disrupted, Professor Greene would like to incorporate a minimum of at least one scholarly review from a book on a topic similar to that of Destiny Disrupted. Academic Search Complete is a good resource to target for scholarly reviews on a specific topic. This resource also has reviews of books out of magazines.

Find Scholarly Reviews of texts by a specific author

Academic Search Complete

1. Type in the author of your text in the first search box. From the pull-down menu to the right, select PE People

Sample Search Academic Search Complete, Reviewed Author

2. In the area below the search box under Limit your results, place a check in the box next Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals. From the menu to the right of Document Type, select Book Review. Now, click on the Search button. If both of these limits are placed, the only results will be full-text reviews out of academic journals.

Limits for Academic Journals and Books Reviews

3. To view the full-text of an article, click on the Full Text link under the information about the article. There are icons for printing, emailing, or saving an article on the right of the full-text page. Hint: Examine the Subjects listed for the review. Do any match up with the major topics of your chosen book? This is a good tactic for locating reviews that are more likely to be help writing your own ciritique.

Search Results in Academic Search Complete


1. Click on the Advanced Search link below the search box. Type in author's name in the first search box. Uncheck the box next to Include links to external content. Under the section Narrow by, place a check next to Review. Click on Search.

Search for reviewed author in JSTOR

2. Results appear in relevance order. Click on the PDF link to view full text of the article and click the Accept JSTOR's Terms and Conditions and proceed to PDF link in the pop-up window  . To print or download the review, click on the Print or Download at the top of the full text page.

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