Good Annotation

Why do we need annotation?

When we read a book or a text, taking some notes on the margin can help you to remember and digest the content thoroughly. However, it doesn’t mean that you can write whatever you want on the margins. The notes must be related to the content, concise, correct, useful, and additional; that’s what we call “good annotation.”

What should we annotate?

It’s up to you. We have so many ways to annotate as long as it helps you can understand the content of the text you are reading. Sticky notes, highlighters, margins, drawings, charts, tables – all of them are useful ways to take notes that you can use to annotate.

For me, I suggest some annotating tips that I have learned when annotating reading handouts in my English 120 class. I hope that will help you to write a summary-response essay because it’s important to understand the content of the text so that you can write a proper summary and have some ideas to response to the authors.

Annotate some new words that you don’t understand by giving their definitions, related words, or examples. It’s a good way to learn vocabulary, learn how to use it in a specific circumstance, and to understand the idea of the author.

Annotate key points or important information. That will help you to remember the main ideas of the text so that you can easily summarize the whole reading.

Annotate some details that you can relate it to your personal experience or someone you know. As we already mentioned before, personal experience is an effective example you can use to make your essay more persuasive and stronger. Thus, I recommend this method.

Annotate some points that raise a question in your head. You can write a question next to this point like “Is it real?” or “Is there any another better ways?” It’s a good way to help to improve your critical thinking and support you to have some counterarguments and refutations to the authors.

Don’t focus too much on minor errors such as spellings, typos, or some ridiculous details that can distract you from digesting the reading.

Be aware of the sources the author used to prove his/her point of view. Annotate the credibility of the sources so that you can state the author’s perspectives are subjective or objective. This also helps you to write a response paragraph.

These are my suggestions for your homework about writing two response paragraphs. If you have another ways to help you annotation properly and effectively, don’t hesitate to share.

Good luck!



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