Handbook of Academic Writing for Librarians Review

My last post outlined my plans and goals for this year. Several of these will require me to work on manuscripts for publication, something I’ve not yet achieved. My inclination to obsess/research a topic before I tackle it led me to the book “Handbook of Academic Writing for Librarians” by Christopher V. Hollister.

I read the book in the quiet time between semesters and had to return it before I wrote this review so I am working of my memory and my notes. To get the big question out of the way: yes, I would highly recommend this title to any librarian who is writing for publication. It is extremely useful for writing an academic research article, but also includes information on writing books/book chapters and other publications. As I was not an English major, I appreciated some of the grammatical review as well.

One thing that struck me about the book was how readable it was. I expected to skim and skip around through the chapters, but I found myself reading in depth and in order. The structure of the book was quite logical, moving from mechanics to scholarly paper elements to where to publish to the publishing process. There was a chapter following those on writing a book that included elements such as proposals and the editing process.

The advice was often very practical, and the author provided great examples of each point he made. I especially liked the templates provided for queries to editors and manuscript cover letters. The information in the book was also helpful to my work with faculty and students as it detailed the elements of a scholarly paper and the publishing process, things with which I was familiar but I enjoyed reading another’s take on them. As I read through my notes I realize that they aren’t the best for composing a review, but they are full of tips and well-researched practices that I will certainly implement as I get started on my writing process.

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