Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to Annotate

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.

  1. Placing notes with definitions help with the understanding of the document or work.
  2. Notes will remind you of your frame of reference.
  3. Stream of thought notes will recreate those moments of discovery or realization.
  4. 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.


Misha Gericke said...

I've never annotated before, since I sort of do it in my mind without thinking about it.

Great skill to learn, though.

Lindi said...

I do this all the time. I'm also a huge fan of the highlighter. :)

KlaudiaJurewicz said...

love it:) thank you for this post.

Kate OMara said...

Annotation is a great habit. I hope it helps :)