How to Write Your Chapter

STEP 1: Familiarize yourself with CC licenses

First and most importantly make sure that you understand the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER) and How to Properly Use Creative Commons (CC) License. For more, please see

STEP 2: The Style

Since this is a textbook, you  want to produce it in a way that is readable and approachable. You should use shorter sentences and clear and precise language. When appropriate, use images, movies, diagrams, maps to make your points. You can also use tables and callout boxes to amplify key points. This is an opportunity to be creative as well as scholarly! Have fun.

We can use our “current textbook”  written by Peter Abelson as our template: This book however, was written for Australian and New Zealand audience. So, in cases where the book is focusing on Australia and New Zealand you should try to find similar information for the US.

Here is a link to a great Style Guide.

STEP 3: The Resources

You are encourage to use Wikipedia since all the content on Wikipedia is released under the CC license.

Fell free to use the following economics textbooks as a resource for writing your chapters:

Another good source of high level and current information is The Conversation

Since all of these resources are released under CC BY license you are allowed to copy-paste information directly, but you must provide appropriate attribution.

I will try to find additional resources that could be of help to you during the semester.

You can also look at other Public Economics textbooks – but know that they are most likely protected under the copyright laws. You can use those textbooks as an example what and how you can write your chapter. You are allowed to summarize and paraphrase topics from those books as well.

Use also this site to search for various OER material that might be available online:

See the LibGuide created by SUNY Old Westbury Librarians:

Most importantly SUNY Old Westbury Library offers free consultation services with librarians who assists with the curation of OER. Make an appointment with

STEP 4: Organization of the Chapter

Each chapter should have

  • a brief introduction
  • main body
  • conclusion or summary

The chapter should have clear sections and subsections.

In each chapter, you are encouraged to use

  • hyperlinks
  • images
  • videos
  • any other interactive material

Images have to be released under CC By license. Videos do not have to be, as long as you provide link or embed them on your text. If the video or any other material is not available under CC license you can always summarize or paraphrase the content, provide a direct link to it or embed it…but you are not allowed to copy-paste or download the video and the upload it in your file.

It would be great if you chapters can include the following elements:

  • Headings
  • Titles
  • Objectives
  • Overview
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Graphs
  • Images
  • Tables
  • Maps
  • Sidebar
  • Key Terms or Glossary
  • Vocabulary Terms
  • Practice Questions
  • Example Sets
  • Answer Keys
  • Key Takeaways
  • Summary
  • Conclusion
  • Case Studies
  • Quiz
  • Discussion Questions

Here are some options you can use for formatting your chapter:

Put some info in a shaded box.

Type your key takeaways here.

  • First
  • Second

Key Takeaways

Type your key takeaways here.

  • First
  • Second


Type your exercises here.

  • First
  • Second


Type your examples here.

  • First
  • Second

Learning Objectives

Type your learning objectives here.

  • First
  • Second

a little quote



STEP 5: Provide Appropriate Attributions

Use the following Attribution builder to help you provide appropriate attributions:


As you know, writing a chapter will be a group project. When more than one person is writing, it helps to have clearly defined roles to expedite the process.

      • If possible, bring everyone together to launch the project. Brainstorm topics and concepts to define scope and give everyone a voice in the overall product. Having everyone on board early will prevent rework and confusion as the project progresses.
      • During the drafting process, work together to identify learning objectives, key terms and potential resources. Doing so assures that everyone is working to the same end.
      • Divide the work by defining roles.

 Common Group Roles

      • Writer: Writes draft with consist voice and tone. Since writing is especially time-consuming, it helps to have a few writers, especially if a group has more than three people.
      • Curator: Finds or makes supplemental resources. The writer may request materials from the curator, using the resource wish list.
      • Archivist: Documents resources used throughout the book. Works with the writer and curator to manage assets. This person may also check attribution in a final draft, and provide appropriate captions and other related help.

For additional roles in making open textbooks, see the chapter Defining Your Role.


“Authoring Open Textbooks” (Links to an external site.) by Melissa Falldin and Karen LauritsenOpen Education Network is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (Links to an external site.)“Authoring Open Textbooks”