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Collage of portraits of top middle grade and YA authors

How to Do an Author Study

Get the step-by-step on how to develop a meaningful author study unit for your students.

In the Author Study Toolkit

Follow the steps below to develop a meaningful author study unit for your students.

Set a purpose and goals for the author study

Think about your goals for the author study. Are you trying to tie the study to a curriculum unit? Is it something extra? Setting a purpose will help you to tailor the study and clarify student expectations for the assignment. 

Choose an author

This choice is crucial to student enjoyment and learning. You can develop a list of possible authors, or ask a school or public librarian for suggestions. Student polls are a good way to include students in the process. 

Read and respond to the books

Decide how many books students will read and how long they have to do this reading. Encourage students to journal their responses to the readings. 

Research the author(s), illustrator(s)

You'll find plenty of information in print and online, and you can ask your school librarian for advice. 

Culminating projects

Culminating projects give students an opportunity to respond to what they've learned about an author. Often, these projects involve presentations to the class or to a larger audience, composed of parents or other classes. 

Next: Set a purpose and goals