How to Annotate a Text

Useful Annotation Tips for Beginners

Allison Kim

Images by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Why do we annotate? Annotating is important and essential skills for students, workers, and people around the world. We annotate when we are taking notes at school, reading texts and books, or writing meeting summary. It increase the readability of notes or stories and helps readers to be focused on texts. By annotating, people analyze key information and main plot of text, think about deeper meaning, make inferences and draw conclusions easily.

When you annotate your note, you should summarize lessons and classify key points to check your understanding. The note should be concise, but includes all major informations of the topic. But if you are annotating a book, story, or article, you do not need to summarize it. Then, highlight or underline important details. These will help you whenever you look back to find main ideas. After that, use symbols to mark questions, words, ideas, and interesting informations. There are tons of different ways to use symbols, but create your own patterns so you can know what you wanted to mark whenever you look back later. For example, you can circle confusing words, make question marks for questions, use exclamation marks when it is interesting, and draw stars for big ideas and important informations. Lastly, write comments and your ideas somewhere close to the text or symbols you used. For this part, you can use post-its or write it in the blank parts of the page. You can write questions under question mark, experiences you had that are similar to the story, draw connections between two notes, or make inferences about the book.

These are all my tips for annotation. Also, there are tons of more ways to annotate, so you are always welcome to annotate in your own style. Annotating will help you study better and organize your notes, texts, books, or articles. I hope my article would make you feel more comfortable and better with annotating. Use these tips to help those who are in struggle with annotating and don’t be scared to learn!