From Text to Epitext
Expanding Students' Comprehension, Engagement, and Media Literacy
by Shelbie Witte, Melissa Gross, and Don Latham, Editors
March 2021, 197pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-7749-0
$60, £47, 53€, A83
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7750-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Educators will find this guide in teaching strategies for analysis of text and media to be invaluable.

This volume explains how analyzing textual elements that aren't part of the text but connected to it can be used with K–16 students to improve comprehension, engagement, critical thinking, and media literacy.

Beginning with an introduction that briefly explains Genette’s theory of paratext and discusses the functions of epitext theory, this book comprises theory-to-practice chapters that showcase ways in which teachers and librarians can use elements independent of a text to discuss texts and media with students. Chapters include a practitioner’s section specifying practical approaches and explanations for how to use epitext.

Scaffolding an application of theory to practice, this title provides educators with an original approach to increasing literacy engagement and integration as well as for increasing media literacy and critical thinking. It includes practical ideas for using epitext in the classroom to promote critical thinking and for collaboration between teachers and librarians. It also includes editorial sidebars that provide additional “how-to” ideas, support deep thinking, make connections to relevant content in other chapters, and provide examples for students in K–16 classrooms.


  • Explains how epitext can be used to scaffold understanding by providing summaries of content, interpretations, criticisms, and appreciations others share about the work
  • Demonstrates the creative process by following the trail of the production of a work
  • Helps students to explore and use various media to complement and extend their experience of a work
Shelbie Witte, PhD, is Chuck and Kim Watson Endowed Chair and professor of adolescent literacy and English education at Oklahoma State University, where she directs the OSU Writing Project and the Initiative for 21st Century Literacies Research. She serves as editor (with Sara Kajder) of Voices from the Middle, NCTE's premiere middle-level journal. Witte has published extensively in the area of literacy in a digital age, including Literacy Engagement through Peritextual Analysis (2019) with Don Latham and Melissa Gross.

Melissa Gross, PhD, is professor in the School of Information at Florida State University and past president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE). She received her PhD in library and information science from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1998, and the prestigious American Association of University Women Recognition Award for Emerging scholars in 2001. She has published extensively in the areas of information-seeking behavior, information literacy, library program and service evaluation, and information resources for youth. Her titles include Five Steps of Outcome-Based Planning and Evaluation for Public Libraries (2016), coauthored with Cindy Mediavilla and Virgina Walter.

Don Latham, PhD, is professor in the School of Information at Florida State University. He has served as a board member of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), a member of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Research Committee and Research Journal Advisory Committee, and chair of the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Committee. He has published extensively in the areas of information literacy, information behavior of youth, and young adult literature. He is author of David Almond: Memory and Magic (2006) and coauthor, with Melissa Gross, of Young Adult Resources Today: Connecting Teens with Books, Music, Games, Movies and More (2014).
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