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Undergraduate Research in History


Find Book Reviews

This is a guide for Boston College's undergraduate student population in how to approach historical research.

Getting started

As scholars, we might want to read all the books on our chosen topics, but we don't have time. Book reviews--like movie reviews--can help us decide whether a book is right for our research. The following information is designed to help you:

Find book reviews in major scholarly databases

These databases include the full text for thousands of scholarly journals and books. They allow users to search directly for reviews. The tagging behind those reviews is, however, imperfect. Make sure to look at your desired document to verify whether it is what you want.

Find book reviews using something different

Approach a book review

Before you read your book review, there are a few points to check:

  • What book did the reviewer review (think title, author, and date)?
  • What journal printed the review?
  • Who wrote the review?

To find that information, explore the beginning and end of the review. Most journals try to make their titles clear somewhere at the top of a page. That title can tell you who the intended audience might be. Then, at the top of the review, most journals print information about the book being reviewed. 

Review of Cooper book

Information about the reviewer is usually at the end of the review. Think about where you would write your signature on a letter.

Final paragraph of Cooper review with author statement.


For Additional Help

For additional recommendations, contact your History Liaison, Erin, at or schedule an appointment.