How to Make a Glossary

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Making a glossary is helpful both to define confusing words as well as to provide a pronunciation key to help young readers sound out difficult words. Keep a running log of words to include in a glossary while writing with advice from a former classroom instructor in this free video on writing.

Part of the Video Series: Education: Teaching & Writing
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Laura from And I'd like to talk about how to make a glossary. If you are writing a book, you want to pull out words that you think are a little bit difficult or that kids might not know or your readers might now know. That is a really good method for making a glossary. So what you should do is keep a separate list as you're writing. If you're using a word processor, you can just copy and paste it into a separate document. Then when you've come to your final draft of your book, go back and make sure those words are all still in the book, they haven't been cut or edited out. And then define each one in simple terms. You may also want to write a pronunciation key so that these words can be spelled out phonetically, so that kids will be able to pronounce them if it's a little bit difficult to read. And edit the glossary to make sure that it's understandable. You might have some of your target audience members read it and make sure that it's understandable for them. And then when you're satisfied that your definitions are accurate and it's easy to understand, you can do a final proofread, and then you have a glossary or a list of definitions of words in your book or story.


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