How to Annotate - Winter Quarter 2014 Harrigan's Classes

How to Annotate - Winter Quarter 2014 Harrigan's Classes

Annotation: The art of taking meaningful notes while reading. Annotation is often required in college, but if you don't know what you're doing, then

where do you start? HOW DOES IT HELP ME? Annotating helps with recall because you are involved

closely with the text. Annotating helps with studying and test taking; they will be easier after

learning this important notetaking skill. There is no substitute or easier way to locate key points in material you have

read: Annotating is the only way to go back into a text and easily find what you need. Follow these steps!

Gather your supplies. Annotation requires pens and pencils. and, maybe highlighters. You also need a dictionary. Sticky notes (like Post Its) are also helpful,

although they are not necessary. A note on highlighters: They are colorful and fun--and good for notes when you have only a few things you must recall. But, the bright colors draw your eyes to them and can

often make later studying confusing. Avoid them for reading essays or novelsany time you know you will be making a lot of of notes on the page. To begin: read the first paragraph and pick out the main idea.

Ask yourself: What sentence effectively sums up what the passage is saying? Underlinemaybe twice. The marks you use to annotate are your own set of symbols. You decide what ones you will use. Be consistent. Underline (or double underline

depending on importance) the main idea in the next paragraph the same way and the next, and the next. Repeat this step for each paragraph unless they are simple transition paragraphs with no main idea. You can

ignore these types. Number items that are intentionally put in sequence: 1, 2, 3/a,b,

you can see the process or the list the author makes. Determine another way to note detail that supports the main

idea. Perhaps underlining, boxing, circling.supporting examples, evidence, data could be important, especially on a test. If you don't understand the

material you are reading, you may not be able to identify whether or not the idea is important.

When you dont understand, continue reading to see if you come to a place you do comprehend. If this doesnt happen soon, begin again and take apart sentences to figure out meaning of the smaller parts.

Write down the meaning of the parts you didnt understand at first--in the margins. When unfamiliar words stop you because they are important to the meaning, look for context clues before and

after the word. If you still dont understand, circle the word and look up its meaning in a dictionary. Write the definition near that circled word. What about other words

I dont know? Circle them and look them up later to improve your vocabulary if you like. If they are not critical to meaning, dont stop reading to get a definition.

Margin Notes: Turn your book around to write longer notes, as needed. The margins are narrow! Arrows are helpful

Use them to connect an authors ideas to each other. Use them to tie your own margin notes together. Note the thesisthe largest main

ideadifferently and specially. When it is directly stated, mark it to readily see it. * T

Maybe you put a star or a large next to it after underliningsomething unique to catch

your eye. When the author doesnt directly state the thesis but suggests it (indirectly stated), then you should write out the authors main point in your own

words the margin and, again, note it with a special mark. Your response is important, so annotate it, too. Your notes are not totally about the authors ideas, but about your

reaction, as well. In margin notes you can include comments you have about the informationlike questions, opinion, arguments. Use exclamation points, question

marksany symbol you understand. Again, be consistent with your symbols. SAMPLES of Annotation QUESTIONS or COMMENTS?

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