Annotating the Literary Texts

While annotating texts, you mark the pages of the book, passage, or poem as you read. You note what you think is important, what you think a passage means, and what ideas and questions that passage raises.

Here a a few ways to annotate a text:

  • bracket important passages

  • connect related ideas with lines

  • outline the main ideas in the margin

  • circle words to be defined

  • write brief comments and questions in the margin

  • place an asterisk beside something unusual, special, or important

  • label important events in the plot at the top of the page

  • note anything you feel strongly about

You can also use symbols to annotate a text:

  • yes = you agree

  • x = you don’t agree

  • + = new information

  • ! = wow

  • ? = I wonder

  • ?? = don’t understand

  • * = important

Note: Do not exclusively use symbols – mix them in with the other strategies mentioned on this page.

Of course you can also think in terms of the Post-it note categories:

  • Passages: Write down any words, lines, or sections of the story that “stick out” for you – make sure to briefly explain why they “stuck out”. These passages might be important, puzzling, curious, provocative, dubious, or well written – whatever grabs your attention.

  • Reactions/Connections: What were your feelings and responses to this story? Did it remind you of past experiences, people, or events in your life? Did it make you think of anything happening in the news, around school, in other stories or books you have read?

  • Craft / 6-Traits: What did you notice about the author’s style, language, point of view (POV), literary devices (similes, metaphors), or structures he/she used to create the story? What did you notice about the author’s use of the 6-Traits (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions)?

  • Questions: What questions came to mind while you were reading this story? Were there things you wondered about, doubted, or didn’t understand? What would you ask the author or the characters if you could talk to them?


About Mrs. Nazir's Rhyme and Reason

Am I a bird for Maya Angelou? If yes, why do I and so many of you around me feel caged? why not free? Am I a free spirit, then?If yes, then why don't I locate my limits? Because I can see I have lost the way. The quest for enlightenment is taking me acknowledge just Him ..and this strife just becomes so rewarding and so assuringly peaceful when I see myself having adopted His favourite occupation- the one he designated to his prophets. What has obstructed this self -actualization so far?
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