Featuring a mix of new and experienced voices—both in the texts we select and the authors who review them—is part of our mission as book reviews editors. Our reviews and review essays speak to the diverse interests of Composition Forum’s broad readership. The current issue—our second as book reviews editors—includes reviews that address basic writing pedagogy, pill linguistics, online writing pedagogy, writing assessment, and community literacy. Upcoming reviews will explore these and other issues. We’ll continue to highlight writing pedagogy, program assessment, and technology; we’ll also review texts concerned with literacy; critical theory; race, gender, and sexuality studies; visual and multimedia rhetoric; and writing centers. We are always looking to expand the types of texts we review, and future reviews could include style manuals, textbooks, multimedia texts, and even technologies themselves, like the Kindle or the Nook.
We typically commission reviews, an increasingly common practice at academic journals in rhetoric and composition. We strive to make the review process as fair and objective as possible, and we discourage reviews of texts written by colleagues in one’s own academic department, reviews of works by former mentors or students, or reviews of books in which one has participated in the editorial process (as a manuscript reviewer, for example, or as a member of an editorial board). In fairness to book authors, we need to establish that a reviewer has the credentials to review the text in question. While graduate students certainly can possess this expertise, reviews written as a seminar assignment may not reflect sufficient understanding of the review genre or the field.
A successful review does both. It shows a balance of summary and analysis, depth of critical assessment, and willingness to assert an opinion. A successful review also conveys an informed opinion, situating the text in question in relation to recent scholarship and larger trends in composition studies.
Our work requires a robust community of prospective reviewers with a range of expertise. With that in mind, we invite you to join our pool of reviewers by emailing your curriculum vitae to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a brief statement of your scholarly interests in the body of your message. We also welcome comments and suggestions.