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Transcript of Annotations
"Ask questions while you read- questions that you yourself must try to answer in the course of reading."
-Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, "How to Read a Book"
The when, what, why, and how of text annotations.
Summarize & Question
"Please Write in Your Books."
Develop your own set of symbols and use them to keep track of ideas, themes, symbols, motifs, etc. in your text.
The idea is to make up symbols that will make sense to you.
Here are some ideas to get you going as you develop your own system:
(pages from Jane Eyre)
make a key:
Identify important points.
Keep track of how important points develop.
Note how ideas fit together.
Be an active reader: understand and question the text.
Translate. If something doesn't make sense, figure it out, and re-write in your own words
When you see the author making a new point.
When you see the author developing a point.
When you see a symbol, theme, etc. pop up (fiction)
When there is strong imagery (fiction)
When you are introduced to a new character (fiction)
When something stands out to you... even if you don't know why.
Summarize & Question
Summarize chunks of the text in the sidelines.
Write the main point that the author made in that section or chapter in one or two sentences or phrases.
If the text does not have subtitles for each section, write your own.
Summarize the end of a chapter (novel) or scene (play) in one or two sentences.
When we read to learn, we must question and challenge our texts. We must hold them to a high standard if we are to get the most out of them.
As you read, write your questions next to the passages that inspire them.
Consider the following:
What is this book about as a whole?
What is being said in detail? How?
Is the book true, in whole or in part?
What of it?