|Writing About Literature Laboratory|
Annotating is a fancy word for note-taking on the text, and it is a way to slow down the reading process and to help you engage with a work so that you better understand it. Some students don't annotate because they want to read for pleasure only. We think reading for pleasure is important and suggest the first time you read a text that you do so for enjoyment ant basic understanding. After you've read the piece through once, though, we encourage you to take notes in the margins in subsequent readings to more actively dialog with the text. Remember, you'll be reading the work multiple times so that you can write a better paper.
When annotating a text, you basically
After annotating texts for a while, you'll develop your own system, which helps you analyze the piece. When you get to the exploring stage, you can look at your annotations and use the information you marked to formulate or even support your topic.
For example, one student who read Chopin's "Story
of an Hour" marked it this way.
Another student annotated Hughes's "Harlem" this way.
Notice that these are both just initial, preliminary annotations. Since the students read their works several times, they added more and more annotations and notes with each reading.
For a later annotated version of "Story of an Hour" click here.
For a later annotated version of "Harlem" click here.
Don't forget that annotation is the most fundamental of the reading strategies we'll discuss in this section. Questioning is just a special kind of annotation and for Personalizing and Objectifying to be useful, you'll have to annotate your responses as you follow these special ways of reading.
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