Educational Dictionary


Encyclopedia B

Background information

The term background information, when used in connection with academic writing, can be described as the review of the relevant data that is already accessible to the writer, as well as the readers. Writers can cite previous work that is done by the author himself or other scholars in the form of research papers, surveys, studies or projects. The presentation of accurate background informative material in a proper manner is important in academic writing because it lets the readers know the basis of the paper as well as the extent of knowledge the writer possess on the particular subject.


A backlist can be often found at the back cover of any book that enlists the names of the books that are still in reprint due to demand by the same publisher. A backlist mostly contains the names of older books that customers are still interested in.

Back flap

A back flap is the cover that encloses the book with its binding, and it is printed with the text from the front flap as a continuation. It may show part of the text related to the author, his/her literary works, biography or photographs.

Back matter

Any written material presenting closing information in a publication other than the original text is known as back matter. It includes appendices, glossaries, amendments, booklists, dedications, notices, index, colophon, resources list, bibliographic material and references and author’s notes.

Bibliographic citation/Bibliographic reference/ Bibliographic information

Bibliographic citation/ entry/ information or reference) is a concise paragraph that may be seen in the list of references or “works cited” in academic papers and articles. The information presented in these citations allows the reader or researchers to trace the quotation back to its source. A typical bibliographic citation of an article may comprise of the title of the work cited, the name of the writer/scholar, and name of the journal where it was published, issue number, page number, year, date, place and other information related to publication and any other additional information. A book citation format is a little bit different from the previous one. It includes the names of the author and publisher and the date of publication


A written history of a specific person’s life, character and actions fabricated by another person (author) is called a biography. A biography may contain important aspects of a personality, events occurring in their lives and sometimes the social context of the biography i.e. the person who is being discussed.


A summary or description of a book/story/novel that is usually printed on the back cover of a publication is called as a blurb. An intriguing blurb is a valuable tool that can improve the sale of a book besides its title and front cover. Writing a blurb in a manner that could grab the reader’s attention yet maintains the suspense of the plot is the right technique to do it. Nowadays blurbs can be found online on sites that sell books or presents reviews. A blurb can range from 2 paragraphs for a short story up to quite a few paragraphs for a more twisting and lengthy tale. DVDs, record cases, web portals and some developing websites may have their blurbs that would let the readers/audience/visitor know what it is about.

Body copy/body text/body type

The main bulk of written material or text that can be read in any book, article, advertisement, publication, newspaper, web page, contract or novel is termed as a body copy. It can be referred only as “the text” too. The headlines, illustrations, and title are not included in the body text. The font size in a body copy is usually between 8 to 14 points in simple font styles like Times New Roman or Arial to make it simple to read

Book review

An analytical assessment of a literary work such as a book or novel by a critic or columnist is known as a review. Most book reviews are based on the style of writing, the plot or information presented and the plus points of the book in consideration. Usually, newly published books are reviewed, and these reviews are then published in periodic and newspapers before the general public starts reading the book. A book review may comprise of a single paragraph up to a full fledged article depending upon the subject discussed and the topic of the book. The book reviews usually present the personal views and taste of the critic and is very important where the sale and reprinting of a book are concerned.


The name of the author of a specific piece of written material like an article or a book is called a byline. Most bylines nowadays include a short description of the author’s present position and current work being done by the author. Bylines are usually found under the title of a literary work just beneath the name of the author and just above the text body.