The essay is often the go-to assignment in humanities courses, and rightfully so. Especially in the text-based disciplines, the craft of the essay is highly valued as part of practicing the work of the field. More broadly, developing effective writing skills is a universal learning objective in higher education and, to varying degrees, is often dependent on these humanities classes. There are, however, alternative assignments in which students can rigorously but creatively perform their understandings in summative projects to be rigorously
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A significant genre in the humanities is the anthology, collections of poems, stories, essays, artwork, etc, selected, researched, and annotated by an editor. Students can take on this role of editor, acting as curator and commentator as they establish a sense of authority and ownership over the material (Chick, 2002). They make intentional decisions about which pieces to include, what contexts to provide in their editorial notes, and even what paper, binding, font, and illustrations to use. If the pieces are short enough, as in a poetry anthology, students can be required to write or type the pieces themselves “to engage with every letter, every punctuation mark, every capital or lower-case letter, and every line break, and to consider the meanings of these choices by the poet” (p. 420). They include a title page, table of contents, prologue, and epilogue framing their anthology.