So, you have a zine assignment, now what? Zines are a format frequently used to share ideas and information in low-cost, creative ways within a particular community. Zines are often used to share perspectives that are left out of mainstream media and publications, as well as fill knowledge gaps. This sounds way more fun than a paper, right!?
You’ll need to consider the overall message of your zine, as well as the intended audience. When you write a paper it is intended for your instructor or professor, only. Making a zine gives you an opportunity to consider another audience and purpose for your academic work.
You can get an introduction to zines and the variety of forms they take through Cline Library’s Zine Collection which can be found in the Cline Library MakerLab; while you cannot check zines out you may read them anywhere in the library you would like as long as you return them to the MakerLab when finished.
Zine Making Tips
If your zine assignment requires you to write, we recommend writing your text or essay(s) in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and then transferring them to your preferred zine format, just to be sure that you’re fulfilling the writing requirement for your assignment.
It may help you to write a one page introduction to your zine and/or include a reflective statement about your experience with making the zine for your instructor. What did you learn from doing this?
Zines often include both visuals and text. You can incorporate art, collage, photos, poetry, links to digital content, etc. but make sure you know what aspects of your zine you will primarily be graded on.
Zines come in a variety of formats. Some are web-based, some are digitally designed on a computer, some are cut, pasted, and photocopied by hand. The format you choose is up to you, just use it well. Be as creative as possible!
You may need supplies and tools to create your zine, please take advantage of what is available in the Cline Library MakerLab to cut, staple, glue, and construct your original zine. You will find black and white and color scanners/printers throughout the library where you can print or copy your zine.
You have likely been asked to include appropriate citations and bibliography for all ideas that aren’t your own. This is a creative assignment, but it’s also a scholarly one. You will need to cite and create bibliographies accordingly.
Do not wait until the last minute to create your zine! Take advantage of any zine workshops in class and the zine collection in Cline Library’s MakerLab (if you’re looking for inspiration, this is a great place to start!) and set aside time to work on your zine or you will not have time to produce a quality zine.
Make the required number copies of your zine for course, but also consider making more and sharing your ideas widely. You may also consider donating a zine to the Library’s collection.
Any assignment zine you create will likely require you to include perspectives other than your own, insight into current issues or politics, and so on. As you use information that you found somewhere else, it is important to use it responsibly, ethically, and strategically to communicate your ideas to your audience/readers. Here are some resources to help you start your research.
The Library of Congress presents the National Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives.