Book Review Style Guide

1.   Ensure that the names of all authors mentioned are spelled correctly.

2.   Ensure that all diacritical marks are correct.

3.   Long quotations from the text (more than three lines of text) can be set apart and indented, no quotation marks are needed. Page number(s) must be included at the end of a quote, in parentheses. At end of sentence the period follows the final parenthesis. For example:

Boldly, Barr argues that the rise of China is not only a transformative event in economic terms but also “a cultural one which impacts ‘our’ very identity” (3).

4.   The words “chapter” and “part” are spelled with a lower case “c” or “p” unless it begins a sentence.

5.   Per Chicago Manual of Style please avoid using “scare quotes.” (see CMS 7.55) For example do NOT do as follows:

The North Korean “news” outlet KCTV provides a daily summary of the activities of the “great leader,” with a special focus on his “inspection tours.”

6.   Pacific Affairs employs the serial comma, that is the comma preceding the word “and” in a list. For example:

The market had many delicious fruits for sale, such as apples, pears, plums, and apricots.

7.   When referring to other people in the review please supply full names unless the person is very famous (e.g., Nietzsche, Foucault, Mao)

8.   Keep in mind that Pacific Affairs is an inter-disciplinary journal and that people outside your discipline will be reading the review: avoid jargon and spell out all acronyms at their first appearance.

9.  Italicize all foreign terms unless the term is used repeatedly throughout the review, in that case italicize only the first instance.

10.  Spell out all numbers from 0 to 9, use numerals for all others. See CMS, section 9.3 for further details.

  • Exception: In book reviews chapters use number, i.e., “chapter 6 discusses the…”
  • Exception: When a number is at the beginning of a sentence it must be spelled out.

11.  When referring to the author of the book, just use the last name, no title (doctor, professor, etc.) is needed.

12.  When quoting text, if changes must be made to a word in the original quote for clarity and/or syntax, indicate the change using square brackets. For example:

The result was that “[t]he Japanese in effect agreed not to fish herring, salmon, and halibut east of an Abstention Line” (75).

13.  A summary of a book’s contents and organization should be discussed as early as possible, ideally in the introductory paragraph, with the remainder of the review focused on a critique of the book.