Quick Guide By Susana Christie, Developmental Editor Building an Anthology

Steps 1 and 2

These steps are interchangable or can be completed in tandem.

Select readings.

Strategize how readings will be grouped into units or chapters. Readings may be grouped:

  • Chronologically
  • Thematically
  • Theoretically
  • Topically
  • Regionally
  • By genre

Step 3

Write an original introduction for each unit or chapter. This introduction can:

  • Explain how and why the readings were selected;
  • Establish context for the readings.

Step 4

Write pre-reading questions for each unit or chapter. These questions can:

  • Get students thinking about the theme or topic of the readings;
  • Help students relate the material to their own lives and/or experiences;
  • Connect the readings to information students already have from other units or classes.

Step 5

Write post-reading questions for each unit or chapter. These questions can:

  • Ask students to demonstrate that they’ve retained the readings;
  • Ask students to demonstrate their comprehension of the readings;
  • Ask students to compare or contrast the readings in the unit or chapter;
  • Ask students to summarize or analyze what they’ve read;
  • Ask students to connect what they’ve read to other information or personal experiences.

Step 6

Write brief introductions to each individual reading within a unit. Anything that prepares students to read a particular selection or sparks interest is appropriate for these introductions. The introductions may:

  • Provide appropriate context for the work (historical, theoretical, etc.);
  • Identify the theme or main idea of the work;
  • Ask students questions to inspire engagement with the work;
  • Provide information about the author of the work.

Step 7

Write post-reading questions for each individual reading within a unit. These questions may:

  • Ask students to demonstrate that they’ve retained the reading;
  • Ask students to demonstrate their comprehension of the reading;
  • Ask students to respond to, analyze, summarize, critique, etc., what they’ve read.

Step 8

Select images. Images can spark interest, create context, and enhance the overall appeal of a book. Previously published readings will automatically include the figures and images they originally contained; we cannot remove or replace them. We can, however, insert new images in the section divider pages and alongside any original material created for the anthology.

If you would like to include images in your book, Cognella project editors can help you find and select cost effective images that are also easy to license.

Step 9

You may choose to:

Write an introduction. An introduction discusses the overall subject matter of the book, the perspective of the author or editor, the organization of the material, and the uniform features of each unit, section, or chapter. It clearly identifies the audience and purpose of the text.

Write a preface. A preface explains the genesis, purpose, limitations, and general scope of the book. It can also include acknowledgements.

Solicit a foreword. A foreword is written by someone other than the author or editor, often a notable individual within the field. Typically, the foreword author will explain their connection to the anthology author or editor, or to the subject matter, then provide a candid response to the book.

We recommend creating these particular elements after drafting and organizing your anthology. A drafted manuscript provides a universal understanding of the content within a published anthology. If an introduction or preface is written in advance of the rest of the book, these additional elements could influence how you write original content or organize readings. This is one instance where working ahead may limit your creativity and voice.

Consider This

The inclusion of an introduction to the text, introductions for each major unit, and post-reading questions for each major unit enhances the appeal of the collection and renders it a more effective instructional tool for adopting professors.

The inclusion of original material also sends a clear message to the reader that thought, care, and effort went into the development of the anthology to foster an engaging and enriching learning experience.

Unsure of next steps or have additional questions? Ask your project editor!