Annotating tips

Perhaps some of you are not familiar with annotating. Don’t worry! If you practice, you can master it.

Annotating is not hard if you get used to it. The purpose of annotating is to understand clearly the authors’ ideas in the texts as well as identify the strategies the authors use to express their ideas. These below tips of annotating are what I have learned so far from English 120 class. Although there may be some differences due to the different classes, I think these tips are common and can be applied for every kind of readings. I hope they will help you for your homework.

  • Steps to read:
    • Skim and scan the text first, circle new words, new phrases.
    • Read the text the second time, underline the thesis, main ideas in each paragraph, write them in the margins if necessary.
    • Read the text the third time, divide the paragraphs sharing the same topics into groups.
    • Read the forth time, carefully analyze the ideas.
  • Write freely, but be careful of grammars and word choice.
  • Usually annotate with key words, questions, short sentences
  • Use as many as possible all symbols you know (arrows, lines, squares, hearts, circles, etc.) to show the relationships between paragraphs
  • Use different color pens/pencils/highlighters/sticky notes to mark/highlight/note different techniques/point of views/methods of persuasion.
  • Take advantage of every space around the text
  • You can also express your opinion towards the author’s point of view
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