Doyle Online Writing Lab

How to Annotate

  • Read with a pencil in hand, and annotate the text.
    "Annotating" means underlining or highlighting key words and phrases--anything that strikes you as surprising or significant, or that raises questions--as well as making notes in the margins. When we respond to a text in this way, we not only force ourselves to pay close attention, but we also begin to think with the author about the evidence--the first step in moving from reader to writer
  • Look for patterns in the things you've noticed about the text--repetitions, contradictions, similarities.
  • Ask questions about the patterns you've noticed--especially how and why.