Annotation Reflection

Decent Essays
Over the course of the year, I have annotated countless short stories, articles, reviews, and novels. Coming into the class in September, I had little to no knowledge of the numerous intricacies that contribute to effectively annotating a piece of written work. Over time, I have learned much more about how I like to read and write. The constant repetition of annotating articles has helped me to improve the quality of said annotations, to a point today where I can say I have found the best personal method for annotating so far. This did not come instantly, and was a learning process led by various assignments, essential questions, and complex articles. The first ‘phase’ of my annotations experience can be characterized simply as unorganized.…show more content…
“American Civilization” by Ralph Waldo Emerson is not only a revolutionary manifesto for its ideas, but was also revolutionary for my annotations. I experimented with a new method that addressed the problems identified in the past, and it worked wonderfully. I gave a short summary of every paragraph in the margins, mainly focusing on the essential questions of the unit as well as trying to interpret the meaning of the article. To my surprise, this was extraordinarily helpful the next day when we discussed the article, because not only did it give me a detailed road map of the article, it also forced me to closely read each paragraph for its basic meaning and connection to the essential questions. While I had found the method I liked, I needed to address the problems of actually annotating too much. I annotated too many phrases and summarizing every paragraph was frankly unnecessary. In my annotations of “On The Duty of Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau, I employed the same strategies that were used in “American Civilization,” except I amended the problems. My annotating is much more selective, and as a result, the more important phrases stand out. Also, the short summaries of paragraphs are not on every single one. Only the paragraphs that warrant an explanation are summarized and explained in order to keep my annotations concise. The two or three most important paragraphs on each page were chosen to be summarized and explained in regard to the essential questions. They make logical sense out of context, and I can flip to any page in the article and be able to explain what it is generally about. This fulfills what I am looking for in my annotations; a way to provoke me to think deeper as I am reading as well as an efficient method of referencing the article after it has been read. This can help me to better
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