Book Review Project


In alignment with the WAC principle of writing as a situated activity and the importance of writing about writing, we invite you to use this assignment to engage with a text about writing in your field. This assignment prompts you to 1) explore a particular genre in your field, 2) develop an understanding of disciplinary conventions, and 3) evaluate one text's take on those genres and conventions.


Writing is one of the most challenging tasks for any academic, so there is a busy and demanding market for writing-centered materials. As graduate students, it can be helpful to take some time to really think about writing as a complicated skill. Graduate students have to perform a variety of different kinds of writing from reading responses to fellowship applications to the dissertation. Each of them have different conventions, which are not always obvious in class or conversations with professors. The goal of this assignment is to make certain conventions that are often hidden more visible.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Read a book about writing that is related to your field (i.e. history, engineering, cultural studies, etc.), related to a specific genre (i.e. the dissertation, grant proposals), or both.

  • Write a short (800-1000 words) review essay in which you evaluate the text on its own merits, put the text in conversation with other texts you've read in your field or about that genre, and describe what lessons or ideas you will take away from the text. 

Submit your book review

You will submit your book review along with your final reflection once you have completed all of the certificate requirements. Please see the instructions on the Reflective Essay page for more information about submission.