4 Common Differences Between a Book Review and Dissertation

If you are dissertations considered peer reviewed, what will you make of a book review? In the academic world, a dissertation is considered a long and demanding paper that is time-consuming to complete. As such, it often comes as a shock to students when their writing is assigned to either a peer-review group or an expert panel. Some find it to be an invasion of their privacy, especially if the review is part of a book. But before you get paranoid, it is important to realize that there are differentiating factors between the two.

For starters, dissertations are long essays that are divided into chapters. On the other hand, a book review is a brief segment that summarizes a novel. The chapters in a dissertation are considered distinct because they are numbered in roman numerals, whereas a book review is not.

Significant Differences Between a Dissertation and a Book Review

Even though they both have similar objectives, a dissertation and a book review have different methods of execution. Here are four differences that highlight the differences between the two:

Long Form Content

A dissertation is a lengthy paper that may cover more than ten pages depending on the required academic level. Hence it demands enough time for planning, research, and writing. On the other hand, a book review is a short segment that sums up a book. The sections can be 2-5 pages long, which is also considered standard in academic writing.


In a dissertation, the expert panel will assess your entire document. You will also submit a draft document that highlights your main ideas. After the assessment, they will give you feedback that allows you to fine-tune your work. On the other hand, a book review is usually an All-Inclusive piece that covers the entire text. Therefore, the reviewing process is more involving.

Publication History

If you are a graduate, you will have to complete a dissertation before you can graduate. Once you are done, you should register your work with the appropriate committee. However, for a book review, the publication history is not as crucial because you will have already read the book.


Both a dissertation and a book review are academic works. However, the purpose of each is slightly different. For a dissertation, the writer aims to add new knowledge to the original research. On the other hand, a book review aims to sum up other author’s work and highlight the weaknesses.

In summary, dissertations are considered peer-reviewed because they are assigned to an academic institution’s members. On the other hand, a book review is considered a genre in its own right because it is part of the academic field. However, both reviews serve a vital purpose in bringing together different perspectives on a particular subject matter.