Annotation is the practice of highlighting, underlining or jotting notes in the margins while reading. Creating comments which are usually a phrase to a couple of sentences gives points of reference and relevance to the writing.
Learning to annotate in books that you’ll use as reference in the future is helpful for several reasons.
- Placing notes with definitions help with the understanding of the document or work.
- Notes will remind you of your frame of reference.
- Stream of thought notes will recreate those moments of discovery or realization.
- Words and thoughts will move you from one thought to another for growth through a systematic form of logic.
Read a passage. Pause. Do you have any questions or thoughts? Write them in the margin.
As an example: The first paragraph of the Gettysburg Address with Annotation
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
What is four score and seven? A score is twenty years – four score is eighty years- 87 years ago.
Who are the fathers? Revolutionary Founders and Country Forefathers: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, etc.
Conceived in liberty Dictionary lib·er·ty [lib-er-tee] noun, plural lib·er·ties.1.freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control. 2. Freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.3.freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.4.freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint: The prisoner soon regained his liberty.5.permission granted to a sailor, especially in the navy, to go ashore.
Why is this speech so moving so many years later?
Gettysburg was haunting when I visited there.
Annotating makes the book your own. It helps study. It helps memory. It helps growth. Annotating is a good habit for readers and writers.