Annotating Text
Guide
Every text is a lazy machine asking the reader to do some of its work.
- novelist Umberto Eco

Annotation allows the reader to engage with the text by encouraging active and thoughtful reading.

Rationale: Annotating text enhances understanding by allowing the reader to reflect on content in real-time. Annotation provides a useful overview to consult before discussions or assignments.

Instructions: Use a pen or pencil to make circles, brackets, and notes. These markings fall into the following three categories:
1. Main issues in the text (e.g. main characters, thesis statement, main point of a paragraph)
2. Items for further investigation (e.g. new vocabulary, questions about the text)
3. Personal reflections (e.g. subjective thoughts about the text, reflection on importance of content)

Underline main ideas and characters. Mark passages that seem to jump out at you because they suggest an important idea or theme. Circle words you want to learn or words that jump out at you. Write down personal thoughts relating to the text.

At the end of the text, write a bulleted list of key plot events. This creates a convenient record of the whole work.

General Guidelines
• Each piece of text should have one marking from each category.
• Think critically about the text.
• Identify the main issue in each paragraph.
• Develop a holistic understanding of the text.


Annotating Text Rubric

  1. Points possible Expectations Details Points earned
1 2 Thoroughness Includes items from each category.
Includes bulleted summary at the end.
Includes notes about main point of each paragraph.
2 2 Thoughtfulness Personal reflections are relevant.
Comments are analytical.
3 2 Accuracy Main points are correct.
4 2 Clarity Markings are legible and clear.
5 N/A Completeness Text is at least 2 pages long.
6 Total


Annotating Text Example