, Volume 109, Issue 3, pp 2123–2128 | Cite as

Book reviews in time

  • James Hartley
  • John Cowan
  • Cynthia Deeson
  • Peter Thomas


This paper focuses on the issue of whether or not academic writing changes over time. We examine a selection of book reviews written by five authors over a 20–25 year period. The data show little evidence of change for each of the authors as measured by readability scores and grammatical features. These findings are in line with earlier ones that suggest that academic writing styles are fixed fairly early on and do not alter much with time.


Academic writing Longitudinal studies Book reviews Aging 



We are grateful to our third book reviewer, Eric Deeson, who contributed a great deal to this paper but declined to be an author.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyKeele UniversityStaffordshireUK
  2. 2.Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK
  3. 3.Ex-Bournemouth College of Further EducationPooleUK
  4. 4.Schoool of Life SciencesKeele UniversityStaffordshireUK

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