Anthology: Definition and Uses

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A potential reader who wants to easily access and read a whole range of literary works such as poems, short stories, drama and musical compositions can have an anthology. Most readers love an anthology for it is exciting, and gives an opportunity to explore the literary works that are closely connected by one theme, subject or topic.

What Is an Anthology?

An anthology can be defined as a collection of chosen literary works, passages or pieces of music or art, which are regarded as the best. For example, an anthology of rare poems or American verse. You can find an anthology of a collection of nonfiction from different authors on a similar subject. It also constitutes an accumulation of writings from a single author.

There are known anthologies that represent the compilation of the works of different writers, poets, recording artists, journalists or publishers. When it comes to journalists, an anthology may comprise of a range of articles on various topics written and published over a period of time. Some famous novelists of shorter works on a particular theme or subject are also featured in an anthology. There are publishers who have compiled anthology of short stories or articles on a certain theme or from a particular culture, genre or nation.

You would have come across one among the successful anthology books, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, which consists of an accumulation of inspirational stories meant for new moms, pet lovers, gardeners, nurses, cancer patients, and runners. Some famous poetry anthologies include “A poem for every day of the year”, “Poems that make grown men cry”, “Staying alive: Real poems of unreal times”, and so on.

Various Uses of Anthology for Writers

Where you are a writer, you can participate in an anthology for a number of reasons.

  • You Can Improve Your Writing Skills Through Short Works

Anthologies offer a wonderful opportunity to develop your writing skills. You have to comply with the set word count for an anthology comprises of a number of short stories or poems of a certain length. This helps you learn economy of expression, which is writing only what is required for the readers. Moreover, you also avoid the likelihood of developing subplots or introducing secondary characters.

As a writer, you are challenged by using limited number of words, and therefore, have to tighten your prose. It persuades you to use literary devices such as allusion, allegory, dramatic irony, humor, anachronism, extended metaphor, cliffhanger, etc., in an approachable manner. Furthermore, you also learn to avoid passive voice, tangential thoughts, filler words, and weak word choice and sentence structure. 

Nevertheless, it is essential to avoid any plagiarized content while composing your work. Some writers use patch-writing by taking the words and phrases of other writers and patch them, without changing anything. Though they consider this piece of writing as a useful writing strategy, the act amounts to plagiarism.

  • You Can Reach a Larger Audience by Having Your Work Published With Other Authors

Writing lengthy fictions can deprive you of an opportunity to get noticed by readers or work with other writers. Novels are generally a longer piece of writing, and they allow you to be in novel boxed sets. If you are placed in the end of the set, you may not be picked by the readers. However, with a short story, it is different that you get into an anthology with other authors and you have a higher chance of people reading your work.

Some anthology contributors have a large fan base, and that helps you to get selected by the readers. Thus, you will be able to reach the dedicated readers of the contributors, without much effort.

  • You Can Use Your Recognition to Promote Your Lengthy Works

A short story for an anthology can be a connected piece of your lengthy novel or series. For instance, if you want to market your mystical romance series, you can use the opportunity to participate in a thriller anthology by tailoring it to be the sequel to the first part of romance series. All you have to do is to connect your short story with a lengthy one with some instances of romance to create interest in the readers.

  • Your Work Gets Placed on Premier Search Engines

Today most authors want their work to figure on the list of popular search engines, where readers look for anthologies, fictions and nonfictions from leading authors and publishers. If you participate in an anthology of short stories, ensure that the anthology has the names of all authors when it is offered for sale on Google or Amazon.

Avoid Plagiarism When Using Anthologies for Academic Writing

Anthologies are majorly preferred by readers who want to explore different topics, subjects and themes at the same time. Students can find anthologies useful for writing academic papers. There are short nonfiction articles, essays and reviews, which are helpful for students for writing. When using ideas from anthologies, you should avoid having duplicate content from the original source. You should avoid using similar words and phrases; instead, write it from your point of view and paraphrase the sentence structure adequately.

When citing an anthology for different types of writing styles, you have to follow the specific style format for text citations, which include either work within an anthology or complete work. Avoid being guilty of plagiarism by using an online plagiarism checker, and run a plagiarism test before submitting the paper. If you have taken any quote or sentence from an anthology, place it inside double quotation marks and document the author’s name and page number. A plagiarism scanner will not mark such text if it is cited properly as required under the common types of writing styles. The anti-plagiarism tools are so advanced that they can have any types of plagiarism detected and flagged for revision. It is therefore essential that any writing that follow the ideas given in any part of an anthology should get through

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