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Humanities Libertexts

2.1.1.5: Annotating a Text

  • Page ID
    14991
    1. Pick up a pencil, a pen, or a post-it.

    2. Read everything at least twice.

      The first time, read quickly to get a sense of what the text is about.

      The second and subsequent times read carefully.

      Mark anything th at you think is:

      1. confusing,
      2. interesting
      3. surprising, or

      4. important.

      Mark anything that is unfamiliar and keep going.

    3. Begin to annotate. 

      1. Circle, underline, or stick on a post-it for important ideas and explain their significance.

      2. Mark repetitions or rhetorical signals.

      3. Circle confusing words or phrases. Define from context or dictionary if possible.

      4. Note passages that seem inconsistent.

      5. Note passages that generate a strong positive or negative response.

    4. Write questions where you made annotations. These questions can be for the instructor to answer, for the class to discuss, for you to use in future writing assignments, or for you to keep as a reminder of what you were thinking.

    5. Think about the connections between this text and other texts you have read, information from oth er classes, and personal experiences.

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