Annotation Guidelines

  • Annotating keeps the reader engaged with the text. While you  are reading this summer and during the school year, use one or more of these strategies to mark the book  and include your thoughts and questions.

    How to annotate?

    • Write comments to ask  questions, relate to characters, make connections to other texts, and/or world events, etc.
    • Write comments about the novel’s characters, theme, author’s craft, plot, word choice, or literary elements.

    Suggested annotation strategies:

    • Star any passages that are very important: events, decisions, or relationships.
    • Underline any sentences that made you  think or appealed to you  and describe your thinking.
    • Circle/highlight words that are unfamiliar or make a list  of them in the back of the book.
    • Put  a question mark by areas that you  were confused about or did  not fully understand.
    • Bracket any sentences that exemplify the theme, author’s craft, literary elements, or word choice. Write your thoughts about it.

    Suggested sentence stems for  annotation:

    Characterization

    • How does he/she change?
    • What insights does the character gain?

    What big ideas are being developed?

    • What conflict arises?
    • What theme does the author establish? What passages support this theme?

    What techniques does  the  writer use  and why?

    • What is the effect of the literary devices being used (e.g. foreshadowing, personification)? Where does the author use punctuation and sentence structure effectively?
    • What are the key passages? Why are they significant?
    • Notice sentences/passages. Make  a comment about how they affect the story.

    Author’s Purpose/Craft

    • It’s interesting how the author…
    • Something I noticed about the author’s style…
    • I do/don’t like this author’s writing style because…
    • The author used this device/figurative language because… The point of view  is important because...
    • The effect of this figurative language is...

    Thought starters

    • The descriptions of         show        
    • The point of view  shifts here because… This scene happens now because…
    • This contributes to the plot by... I noticed/think...
    • I wonder...
    • I’m surprised that... I realized…
    • If        , then...
    • I’m not sure why...
    • This excerpt makes me  think that…
    • I used to think    , but now I think       I still think     , but I’d like to add        . This reminds me  of…
    • An experience I have had like that…
    • This reminds me  of the book                                                 because… In my mind I picture                      when I read          
    • I agree with             because...