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Information Literacy Modules
  • What is an anthology?

    An anthology is a collection of short works

    • By different contributors
    • By a single author or artist

    An anthology is "nonperiodical," that is, not published on a regular schedule like a magazine or journal.

  • How do I know it's an anthology?

    Do any of these words or phrases appear in the anthology's title?

    • Anthology, Works, Short
    • Collection, Collected
    • Excerpts, Sampler, Pieces
    • A Reader, Critical Reader, Critical Writings

  • How do I identify an anthology in a database?

    Look for typical anthology elements in the vendor's citation:

    • A collection (e.g., short stories, essays, primary sources)
    • Words in the book's title like "Reader," "Anthology," or "Critical Companion"
    • An editor of the book (in addition to the author and title of your source)

  • What kind of short works might be in an anthology?

    An anthology may include both primary and secondary sources.

  • What primary sources are in an anthology?

    Primary sources can be the surviving original records or eyewitness accounts of a particular period. They can also be first-published reports of new research. Examples of primary sources that might be in an anthology:

    • Original works of one or more writers or artists
    • Unpublished documents such as diaries, photographs, etc.

    Tip: See the Knowledge Base for a list of primary sources.

  • What is a reprinted work in an anthology?

    A short work that was previously published as part of a larger work, such as:

    • A chapter in a book
    • An article from a journal, magazine, or newspaper
    • A poem or short story from a collection

    The anthology may reprint the entire short work or an excerpt from it.


    Locate original publication information:

    • In"Permissions," "Acknowledgements" or "Credits" in a print anthology
    • In the vendor's citation in a database

  • How does a republished work differ from a reprinted work?

    A republished work in an anthology was previously published by itself as:

    • An autobiography
    • A single play
    • A novella
    • A book-length essay

    The republished work can be:

    • An exact copy of the original work
    • An edited copy with an introduction
    • In a new format (e.g., electronic edition)
    • By a different publisher

  • What is an anthology of critical works?

    An anthology of criticism about an author, literary period or movement includes original and reprinted works, such as:

    • Scholarly essays written for the anthology
    • Articles reprinted from journals
    • Chapters reprinted from books

  • What is a critical edition?

    A critical edition focuses on one or more republished works edited to be the "authoritative" text(s).

    To supplement the study of this work, the anthology includes primary sources and secondary sources such as:

    • Criticism written at the time the work was published
    • Other relevant primary-source documents
    • Current scholarly commentary

  • Who is the primary contributor to the anthology as a whole?

    An editor or compiler prepares an anthology for publication by:

    • Selecting or compiling the short works
    • Organizing the anthology by topic, theme or time period
    • Writing an introduction, preface, foreword or afterword
    • Adding explanatory notes
    • Editing or translating (or there may be a separate translator) short works

  • How do I evaluate an editor or author?

    A contributor's expertise and credentials should relate to your subject. A credible editor or author might:

    • Hold a degree in this subject
    • Study or do research on this topic
    • Work in a related field
    • Write about this topic regularly

    A contributor's credentials and expertise are listed:

    • In a section (e.g., "List of Contributors," "About the Authors," "About the Editors")
    • In an editor's note before or after each short work

  • How to I evaluate an essay written for an anthology?

    • What is the main idea or argument?
    • Is strong evidence presented to support the claims?
    • Do the conclusions follow logically from the analysis?

    Does this source fit?

    • Does this essay add another dimension to the topic?
    • Does the information make sense, given what I already know?
    • Whose perspective might be missing?
    • Could I interpret things differently?

  • How do I cite a short work in an anthology?

    The author and title can be found:

    • In the Table of Contents
    • At the top of the selection

  • How do I cite an anthology?

    Gather elements for your citation from the anthology's title and copyright pages:

    • Title and subtitle of the anthology
    • Editor(s)
    • Edition
    • Volume number
    • Publisher's name and imprint
    • Place of publication
    • Copyright date