Research Anthology

Your research anthology will give you an opportunity to learn more your topic—to develop enough expertise to be able to write an informed and thoughtful essay.

Types of Sources

  • Compile at least 8 sources on your research topic. At least 4 of your sources must be full-length long-form essay (similar to your WARs) or academic journal articles (recommend 2+). The remaining sources may be audio or visual (for example, TED talk, podcast episodes, infographics, documentaries, etc.).  The essays should be attractively printed out in their entirety (unless you are doing an e-anthology – see below).  The visuals must be printed so they are clear and complete.

NOTE: You may substitute one feature length essay for two shorter articles, essays, blog posts, or op/eds. Accordingly, you may also substitute two feature length essays for four shorter texts, etc.

  • Select your essays from a variety of respected sources.  If you have questions about the merits of the source, you must bring a copy of the specific piece you would like to include to for pre-approval.  Make your requests at least two weeks before your deadline.  Op-Eds and blog posts do not count as full-length essays (see note above about substitutions).  Look for “feature” articles in magazines like Time Magazine or The Atlantic and full-length articles in newspapers (consider the major essays in your textbook as examples). A general rule of thumb is to choose essays that are at least 3-4 “magazine” pages in length.

Click below for a Pinterest board of ideas for sources (then click on the “Get More out of Google” image later in this post to learn how to make the most of those sources).

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how to find sources

Check out the following infographics to help with your Google searching:

Get More Out of Google

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  • Don’t forget your textbook. You are highly encouraged to pull at least one of your sources from it, if applicable.  Oh, and go to the library and browse their magazine selection. You never know what you might find.

Don’t forget to look through your Weekly Annotated Readings folder from earlier this year, too!

And books! Consider using a chapter or excerpt from a book as one of your sources. Books sources, I’ve found, can be the most useful.

What to include

  • Introduction: Introduce each piece of writing with a brief biography of the writer (including the writer’s publishing history and any awards received) and any background for the source (when and where it was originally published as well as any reprints.  For example, “Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog” was originally published in Harper’s in December, 2004 and reprinted in The Best American Essays 2005, Houghton Mifflin.). This introduction should comprise a brief paragraph.
  • Summary: Summarize the source’s major points, quoting the text throughout. In your summary, review the source’s major claim and other supporting claims. Discuss the evidence used to support each claim and any underlying assumption used to make the argument. You do not need to cover all the source’s claims, just the ones that you find most compelling, especially as they relate to your central research question(s) and why this claim/evidence may be important. Note: This is not a rhetorical analysis. It is a summary and analysis of the major claims (not style). You may use a Graff template to help you organize your thoughts or as part of your summary, but it is neither required nor necessarily suggested. This summary should be about 300-ish words, perhaps more, depending on the length or complexity of your source.
  • Table of contents (if you are making a website, use the “menu” on your site as the table of contents).
  • Bibliography of all references used (including information used for the biographical material).  Use MLA format (if you are creating an e-antholgoy, you do not need to have a separate bibliography so long as you use links to all your sources).
  • Give your anthology a clever title.

Bind/format your anthology attractively in this order:

  1. cover page (with title of anthology, your name, teacher’s name, course name, and date)
  2. table of contents (or menu for e-anthology)
  3. sources (with introductory material at the beginning of each piece and the summary/reflection at the end)
  4. bibliography (or links for e-anthology)

E-Anthology: In lieu of a physical anthology, you may also create an online anthology using a webpage (such as your own WordPress site, using your existing WordPress login – go to to “create a website” – search YouTube for how-to videos), or an e-anthology (pdf) on USB drive, CD or DVD.  See me if you have more questions.

NOTE: You must submit at least one source for your anthology by Wednesday, March 9 Friday, March 11, for a grade and to ensure some feedback.  Include all required components to your sample as outlined above (introduction, article, then summary, with MLA citation at end).  Then after the sample is assessed and returned, include it—with any needed revisions—with your completed anthology.