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Why & How to Annotate a Text
Transcript of Why & How to Annotate a Text
What does annotation look like?
Annotation can take the form of notes in the margins, circled / highlighted / underlined words, question marks, and more.
How to annotate
The process of annotating includes:
asking (writing) questions
defining new words
reacting to what you are reading
giving an opinion about what you are reading
locating important passages and significant sentences
paraphrasing or summarize a difficult portion
drawing a sketch when a visual connection is appropriate
offering interpretation of what's happening
identifying and discussing literary techniques
What does it mean to annotate a text?
ANNOTATION is interacting with your text and finding meaning in what you read.
You annotate WHILE you read and AFTER you read.
Annotating a text allows you to better understand what you're reading. It allows you to find meaning in the text, and to make connections to other things you have read, seen, or experienced.
Annotating before an essay
Many essay prompts will require you to respond to and / or analyze a text.
Annotating a text before you write your essay allows you to make meaning of the text in a deeper way. Your annotations keep track of your reactions to the text, which you can then use in your essay.
Annotations: Asking Questions
What does the author mean by this?
How will they prove this?
What is the author arguing?
Annotations: Making Connections
When you are reading the text, make connections to other texts you have read, movies you have seen, and news stories you have watched. You can also make connections to your own experiences and beliefs.
Where have I heard this before?
This reminds me of...
I have experienced this
I've read about this in...
Doesn't this relate to..?
Annotations: Defining New Words
circle the word, look it up, and then write a definition in the margins so you can understand the word in context
Annotations: Reacting to what you're reading
This is surprising!
Is that really true?
Do people actually believe that?
I am shocked by this
This is crazy!
Annotating: Giving an opinion about what you're reading
I don't believe this / I disagree with this
The author is so right!
Why can't more people understand this?
Annotating: Locating important passages & significant sentences
“The taxi pulled up in front of my building, the doorman held the door for me, and the elevator man took me up to my floor." (3)
Annotation: The fact that the narrator has a doorman and an elevator man (and takes a taxi home) suggests that she is wealthy and lives in a nice building.
After you read..
Summarize what you read
Label big ideas / themes through the article
Respond to what you read (start thinking about a thesis)
Make a prediction about the possible consequences of the issue
I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster. It was just after dark. A blustery March wind whipped the steam coming out of the manholes, and people hurried along the sidewalks with their collars turned up. I was stuck in traffic two blocks from the party where I was heading.
Mom stood fifteen feet away. She had tied rags around her shoulders to keep out the spring chill and was picking through the trash while her dog, a black-and-white terrier mix, played at her feet. Mom's gestures were all familiar - the way she tilted her head and thrust out her lower lip when studying items of potential value that she'd hoisted out of the Dumpster, the way her eyes widened with childish glee when she found something she liked. Her long hair was streaked with gray, tangled and matted, and her eyes had sunk deep into their sockets, but still she reminded me of the mom she'd been when I was a kid, swan-diving off cliffs and painting in the desert and reading Shakespeare aloud. Her cheekbones were still high and strong, but the skin was parched and ruddy from all those winters and summers exposed to the elements. To the people walking by, she probably looked like any of the thousands of homeless people in New York City.