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Graded School, High School English Department On Annotation The English Department faculty at Graded School believes that

annotation is essential for becoming an engaged and intelligent reader of literature. Annotationthe marking, noting, questioning, underlining or otherwise writing in the margins of a texthelps students to better understand the complexities imbedded in the text being studied. Think of annotating as having a conversation with the words on the page, a conversation not just about the content (what is written) but form (how it is written). While admittedly annotation can be painstaking and time consuming, the result allows for a greater intimacy with the thought and ideas created by the author. By annotating students are personalizing their observations, reactions and questions; annotating is the physical evidence of a students conversation with the text. The English Department recommends that students do the following when annotating: Keep track of the basic elements of fiction: plot, characterization, theme, setting, and point-of-view. Identify the narrator of the story or the speaker/persona of the poem, the point of view, along with the narrators/speakers and authors tone. Track relationships between characters and past events. Note interesting or unusual diction, word patterns and repetition. With poetry, pay attention to poetic devices of sound and meter. Find and contemplate images that reflect the senses: visual (from sight), auditory (from sound), olfactory (from smell), tactile (from touch), gustatory (from taste), or kinesthetic (from body movement) and what effect the images have on the piece. Note any figurative language used (simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, litotes, sound devices) and how it contributes to meaning. Circle vocabulary words you do not know, look them up and define them. Underline key phrases or lines and write something about their significance. Jot down anything that strikes you as important or confusing about the pieces content or form. Express personal reactions to the story or a characters attitude or behavior. Find and make connections between the text and other texts, as well as to your own life. Examples of student annotation that earned high grades: