Everything About APA, MLA, and CMS Book Review Format Styles

Are you looking for the information about book review format? There are a lot of articles on the Web dedicated to book reviews in general. However, it is hard to find the information particularly about book review formats. Here, you will find the information about how to format and cite a book review in APA, MLA, and Chicago.

What Is Book Review Format?

Font, margins, spacing, and other similar points are considered in the format requirements. Broadly speaking, review format contains requirements for the way the text should look. If you need to follow a specific format style such as APA, MLA, or another style you should find out what format requirements you need to apply for it. In further paragraphs, we will tell you about format requirements of the three popular format styles:

  • APA (American Psychological Association)
  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • CMS (Chicago Manual of Style).

Typically, your instructor will tell you which format style you need to use. However, the teacher may not give you particular specifications about the format and style. In the text below we will show you the differences between APA, MLA, and CMS formats, and give you examples of the title pages and citations. Our recommendations are suitable for writing a critical book review, a compare and contrast book review, or other types of book reviews.

Note: Always give preference to the initial formatting instructions from your teacher.

How to Write a Book Review in APA Format

If you were asked to write a book review in the APA format, follow the basic guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). Here we will share with you the general format for a book review in APA, 6th edition:

 Margins:  1 inch on all sides, aligned left.
 Spacing:  Double-spaced.
 Font:  Standard (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.), 12 pt.
 Running head:  At the top of every page, flush left, all letters capitalized. Character quantity should be less than 50.
 Page numbers:  On the top of the page, flush right, starting from the first page.
 First line of the paragraph:   Indented one-half inch from the left margin.

APA Book Review Title Page

Don’t make a title page if your instructor does not request you to do so. In the following attachment, you can see the sample title page for a book review formatted in APA style. First you need to set the font, spacing, and margins. In the sample, we use Time New Roman, 12 pt font, and double line spacing. Also, we recommend turning on the option labeled “don’t add spacing between paragraphs of the same style.” Indentation and spacing sections should be set to 0 pt. Set the margins to 1 inch at all sides.

According to APA style (6th edition) the title page should contain:

  • Title
  • Running head
  • Author byline
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Author note

Sample APA Book Review Title Page

APA book review format

Note: Some educational institutions may add or remove certain sections, so make sure that our instructions are the same as what your college or university requires.

Also, you will need to identify full bibliographical information at the beginning of the main text of your APA style book review. This is how the next page after the title page will begin:

 Author, N.N. (Year of publication). Book title: Capital letter for the first word of       subtitle. Place of publication: Publisher, number of pages.

What if the professor didn’t require a title page? All is simple: you begin your first page with the bibliographical information as we have listed above. Also, you will need to mention your name at the end of the review. You can skip three lines after the end of the main text and type your name along the right margin with the course title and semester. For example:

Ashley Simpson
HIS 3380 Introduction to Historical Methods
Fall 2018

How to Cite a Book Review APA format

If you need to include in your references someone else’s book review in APA format, check the following templates:

 Reference list  Author’s Last Name, N.N. (Year of publication). Title. [Review of the book The Book Title, by N.N. Book Auhor’s Last Name]. Title of Periodical, Volume Number (Issue Number), page number.
 In-text citation  (Author’s Last Name, Year of publication, Page number)

How to Write an MLA Format Book Review

According to the MLA style (8th addition), the format of the paper should stick to the following requirements:

 Margins:  1 inch on all sides, aligned left.
 Spacing:  Double-spaced.
 Font:  Standard (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.), 12 pt.
 Header and page number  Header with your last name followed by the page number in the top of page, flush right, starting from the first page.
 First line of the paragraph:  Indented one-half inch from left margin.
 Indentation:   The first line of each paragraph indented one half-inch from the left margin.

We recommend you to apply the formatting settings before you start writing your paper. This won’t distract you from writing, and you will be fully concentrated on the writing itself. When your text is ready, double-check the formatting standards.

MLA Format Structure and Requirements

There are no strict requirements in the MLA Handbook for book reviews. If the professor did not set the requirements for the format and structure of your book review, you can use the following basic structure:

  • Informational block at the upper-left corner of the page
  • Title
  • The text of the book review
  • Works cited list

Do you need a title page? We need to mention that the MLA guideline doesn’t require a cover page for your paper. The first page of your paper should contain a header with the page number and your surname on the top right corner. Also, you will need to list your name, professor’s name, course, and the date in the left corner. It will look something like this:

Bill Green
Professor George T. Michael
English 111
3 September 2019

After this block, you need to write the title of your book review on the next line in the center. Write the title in title case (following the standards of capitalization). If you need to mention the book title in the paper’s title, use italics. For example:

  • Women Characters in Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Book Review of The Great Gatsby

MLA Book Review: Title Page

If your teacher has asked you to add a cover page to your book review and did not set the requirements, check the following sample title page. Also, notice that there is no need to include information that we listed above on the first page after the title page.

Sample MLA Book Review Title Page

MLA book review title page

How to Cite an MLA Book Review

If you are writing an academic paper and need to cite a book review from another author, you can follow these samples:

Works Cited List  Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title.” Review of The Book Title, by Book Author’s Name, Last Name. Title of Periodical, Date, page number.
In-Text Citation  (Author’s Last Name, Page number)

How to Format a Book Review in Chicago Manual of Style (CMS)

CMS format is usually applied for book reviews written for history, English, and art classes. Make sure that your professor hasn’t given you particular requirements for the paper. In general, CMS format is much more flexible in comparison to APA and MLA styles. Here are general recommendations from Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) that you can apply to your book review:

 Margins:  No less than 1 inch on all sides.
 Spacing:  Double-spaced (except block quotes, bibliography entries, and notes).
 Font:  Standard (Times New Roman or Courier), 10-12 pt.
 Page numbers:  On the top of the page. Numbering starts from the second page if using a cover page.
 Main body:  Book titles in italics in the main text. Titles of chapters in quotation marks.
 Block quotes:   Citations of five or more lines (>100 words) organized in blocked quotation. Start with a new line and use indentation. Use a smaller or different font. Avoid quotation marks.
 Footnotes:   Note numbers in the text start with “1” and should be superscripted. Place them at the end of the sentence after the punctuation mark.
The note should start with the full-sized number that corresponds to the note in the text. Give a full citation for the first note. Use the author’s name, title, and page number for subsequent notes of the same work.

Chicago Style Citation Book Review: Title Page

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) handbook gives students the freedom of choice: either to make a title page, or start the paper with the title on the first page of the paper. Note that the title page should be double-spaced. If your teacher asked you to create a title page in CMS book review format, include the following points:

  • Title centered in the first third of the page
  • Your first and last name following several lines
  • Course and class name
  • Date

For better understanding, check out the following sample title page. And remember, your teacher’s requirements always dominate the instructions we give you in this article.

Sample CMS Book Review Title Page

Sample CMS Book Review Title Page

What if your professor doesn’t require a title page? Start the first line of the main text with the complete bibliographical information about the book. Then list your name and the date. It will look like the following:

Author’s Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher’s Name, Year of publication.
Nathan Drake
30 Aug. 2018

How to Cite a CMS Book Review

If you are writing an academic paper in the CMS format and need to cite a book review from another author, you can follow these samples:

 Bibliography  Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Review Title,” review of The Book Title, by Book Author’s Name, Last Name. Title of Periodical, Date, page number.
Author’s Last Name, First Name. Review of The Book Title, by Book Author’s Name Last Name. Title of Periodical, Date, page number.
 Footnote  1. Author’s First Name Last Name, review of Book Title, by Book Author’s Name Last Name. Title of Periodical, Date, page number.
2. Author’s First Name Last Name, “Review Title,” review of Book Title, by Book Author’s Name Last Name. Title of Periodical, Date, page number.