Annotations, Abstracts, & Contextual Connections

Annotating a Text:
· Read carefully and more slowly than you normally would.
· Read short passages aloud will improve comprehension.
· Look up and write down definitions for unfamiliar words.
· Write comments in the margins-add your own impressions, thoughts, insights, criticisms. Remember, don’t expect a text to always follow your own attitudes or opinions—be open to the author’s purpose and to new responses in yourself
· Relate the text to personal experiences and knowledge
· Predict or guess outcomes as you read along
· Summarize or paraphrase long and/or difficult passages/ideas
· Hi-lite, circle, draw arrows, use colored pencils, etc. to make connections, show patterns and relationships
· Look for stylistic devices the writer uses to communicate effectively, whether to simply tell a good story (narrative writing, literature) or persuade the audience (rhetorical writing). Consider figurative language such as metaphor, simile, personification, satire, symbolism, tone; consider rhetorical devices such as repetition and parallel syntax, emotional diction, understatement, hyperbole, irony.
Write a half page summary of the text. For a fiction text, remember to write about characters, plot, setting, and themes developed in the text. For a non fiction text, include the main ideas and the journalistic basics: who, what, where, when, and how. Do not analyze or give your opinion in an abstract—just the facts. Everything in this paragraph is based directly on the text. Reading an abstract can help readers decide if the text has the information they seek.
Contextual Connection:
Look back over your annotations in the margins of the text. Reflect on what images, ideas, and associations come to mind as you read the text. Then write a personal response paragraph. Can you relate to what is happening in the text? Not relate? Why or why not? Does this text remind you of anything else you have seen, read, done, heard? Do you agree or disagree with the text? Did you enjoy the text? Why or why not? Did you like the word choices and the way the writer expressed him/herself? Be honest; don’t write what you think the teacher wants to hear.