Gatherings: Notes for Reviewers
(July 2003)

These notes have been written as a guide for those who have agreed to write a review for Gatherings. It is recommended that such reviewers also look at examples on the website - such as the reviews of the books Values in the Classroom and The Power of Spiritual Intelligence.

What is a review?
A review is both a summary and an evaluation of a particular text. Many will read it to find out more about a text or a subject. As a result of the review, some will want to acquire the text for themselves.

What should your review contain?
You are at liberty to write the review in your own particular style, or in a way that reflects the nature of the text being reviewed, but you should aim to include the following elements:

  1. Basic information about the text ie author/s, title, publisher + date, number of pages, ISBN number, cost + whether paperback or hardback e.g.:

    Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History, Phoenix 2001, 192 pages,
    ISBN 1-84212-583-4, 6.99 (paperback)

  2. A brief introduction to the text, perhaps referring to the author or what led to the book being written e.g.:

    This is the third in a series of books by Carolyn Smith on the subject of classroom display. The material is drawn from a project that she has been engaged in with three primary schools on the Isle of Wight.

  3. Brief comment on the layout or design of the text e.g.:

    After an informative introduction, the book falls into two sections. The first of these

  4. Most importantly, a summary of the contents, indicating strengths and weaknesses. Short direct quotations from the text are useful but should be double-checked for accuracy and the page number(s) given. See examples in reviews mentioned above

  5. A final comment or remark e.g.:

    Though there are undoubtedly some weaknesses in this book, particularly in not providing the reader with an index, it will appeal to those many teachers who are wanting to develop humour as an important dimension of their style. For, as the author says, 'Teaching without humour is like an engine without oil' (p156).

How long should the review be?
Usually 200-500 words.

In what form should it be sent?
Handwriting or type is acceptable but best of all is a word-processed version
(Arial font 10) sent by email to

What will happen when the review is received?
Slight editing might occur. When more substantial editing takes place, you will be sent the edited version for checking.

What will happen when the review is published?
You will be sent three complimentary copies of the relevant edition of Gatherings. In some cases, you will be asked if your review can be placed on the reviews section of the Redbridge RE Network website .

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