Annotation Tips

When highlighting or marking text, be sure to only mark the points you think are most important or have questions about. Sometimes, just a word or phrase is all you need to remember what is important in that paragraph. When you underline or circle text, use the margins to add a thought or personal detail.

Things to mark:

- Document thesis, or topic sentences within paragraphs

- Words you don’t know, technical words

- Facts and evidence that are important to the text

- Important quotations that show the meaning or theme of a text

- Phrases that you can relate to personally

Create your code

To make annotating easy and fast, come up with a code that you understand to show why you marked something. Here are some that I use:

? – what does this mean? (Could be used for a specific word or a whole paragraph)

! – I love this!

* - This is important.

Emoticons - you can use these to express various emotions regarding the text

Questions and comments

While reading, you’ll want to record questions and comments in the margins of the text.

Questions: any questions you have about the text that you want to ask in class.

Comments: connections you have or thoughts you have about what is happening, explain why the text is important, shocking, or critical to the theme

Summaries: a short sentence or phrase after a paragraph or section