Active reading is to read while taking notes in order to better understand what you are reading. Annotating means to summarize and mark up your reading. You will be doing a lot of active reading and annotating in your college career. You will annotate articles and chapter readings. In this class, you will annotate every article you read. You will need the practice, so you will become better and more critical readers. As an “active reader,” you should have questions in mind as you approach any assignment, and you should be looking for the answers to these questions as you read. To actively read, you should always “annotate” your text. As the word suggests, you mark up and “take notes” on the text. Please read the attached file called Annotating Sources.Unlike “highlighting,” which is a passive activity, the process of annotating and taking notes as you read helps you to stay focused and concentrate better. It will also help you to monitor and improve your comprehension. If you come across something that you don’t understand or that you need to ask you instructor about, you’ll be able to quickly make note of it, and then go on with your reading.The following is a list of some techniques that you can use to annotate text:
- Write short summaries in the margin at the end of paragraphs.
- Highlight and underline main and supporting details.
- Circle words that you do not know and define them in the margins.
- Highlight or circle any definitions or key terms.
- Signal where important information can be found with key words or symbols in the margin.
- Write the questions in the margin next to the section where the answer is found.
- Indicate steps in a process by using numbers in the margin.
NOTE: The attached file on Annotating Sources largely addresses traditional print material. But all of these things can be done electronically as well using the Review, Comment, and Track Changes features in Microsoft Word.
- Read and take notes over the lesson below over Cornell Notes first.
- Read and take notes over the lesson below over Annotating Sources.
- Complete your next Writer’s Notebook assignment over annotating below.
Note: Both the lessons below include screenshots of notes. It is best to view them in a large window, so you can see the notes clearly.