ForumsDialogue is Action
Last Post Update: Feb 16
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The Reason to Annotate
I see we really haven't gone to much in depth with annotating pieces of literature, but I see it being very vital to making sure we keep up and remember small details that can stand out in a novel or short story.
I think my annotating literature it can bring up new ideas and points during a class discussion which could really help the class. I think It would be a good idea if we made a mental note to annotate pieces of work we are assigned.
@mangoman I have to agree with you on this one when it comes to the small details in any literary work. Annotating is really annoying to me and I don't enjoy doing it mostly because of the extra time that it adds onto the entire process. But with that opinion of mine I kind of have to disregard it and just accept that annotating is the better thing to do and will give me more knowledge about the novel/story in the end.
No one will be able to remember every single little thing about a work of literature, and with annotating you will be able to write down those small points that can prove to be huge in a discussion. So yes to me it is annoying especially because I have to stop a lot when reading and decide if that part is important or not but I defiantly see the importance in annotating any novel/essay.
@alechayosh07 I agree with you that annotating can feel like a burden a lot of the time. But I always find it helpful afterwords, if I have to go back and reflect on the ideas in the work. Having to go back and search for certain parts of the text that relate to points I want to make without annotating beforehand frustrates me to my core. My favorite technique is to read, then reread and annotate (if I have the time).
I think annotating is valuable to better understand readings and think through the ideas presented. I find that it helps my thought process and also helps me focus as I read through, especially if the language is challenging. When I rewrite sentences in structures that make more sense to me, I remember the concepts better and can easily converse about the subject. That, and it helps if I have to write an essay later on, or dispute points that I need evidence for. I already noted which parts stand out to me and I can relate and connect to in order to form a more cohesive argument.
A quick Sidebar to this discussion, too:
Depending on which copy of Invisible Man you received, you will likely find some annotations in it from previous students. Feel free to annotate in our texts! IM, in particular, will start to get dizzying unless you mark up a few things you notice or want to hang on to.
When the books are returned at the end of the year, your notes will likely benefit someone later or you will also get a chance to purchase any books with your annotations in them, if you want to keep them and your notes!
I honestly think annotation is really important when it comes to literature. Sometimes when reading, at least personally, I can go a little too fast and miss the important details and literary devices the author uses. These can really enhance the story and the message, and when annotating, I can get my thoughts in order and really piece everything together. Whether it's note taking, highlighting, or sticky notes, annotation can be very useful and I definitely plan on using it in this class.
For some people it can definitely be annoying and take too much time, which is totally fine. Mental notes are good, too! I just love having everything written down so I can go back to it if needed, and in this class, we will probably need to!
Annotating also is very helpful to me. Whenever I annotate, I find myself engaging with the book, instead of just reading through it. It also allows me to go back into the book and helps me remember exactly what I read, and what things I find influential. If there are tough words, or even a tough paragraph to understand, I will try to annotate and write down the meaning, and the context of what is happening. I do this so I can look back, and I don't have to re-read to get the context that I need.
@bunkymoo I also think that, as you put it, engaging with the book instead of just reading through it, is essential to getting the most out of what you are reading. To add onto your part about hard paragraphs, I like to go through and write down definitons of words I don't know in the paragraph and this helps me a ton to get the meaning. Also, when I dont annotate I find myself struggling to find important spots in the book to mention when a discussion comes up and marking those pages with a sticky note can be a huge help.
@bunkymoo, I agree, even when I read a personal book I find it sometimes difficult to understand the meaning. But when I annotate a piece I have all my thoughts and ideas down so after I've read the entire piece I can go back and look at all my annotations and pull out a deeper meaning. When I don't understand a paragraph I read the paragraphs surrounding it to get a basis of what's happening in that part of the piece. Then I slowly start connecting ideas together to figure out the paragraph.
I've always disliked annotating personally, I've always found if you read something and understand it enough, the need for annotating somewhat goes away. However, I can also agree that by highlighting important topics within a reading, you may find something that you've glossed over in you initial reading. Not to mention, you can refer back to it quite quickly.
I think as far as reading and understanding a text, talking back to it is important. I personally have never been a fan of annotating because it feels tedious when it's given to me as an assignment. However, I do often find myself annotating a book I'm reading for pleasure without even thinking twice about it. So I think my distaste for annotating stems solely from the idea of doing it because I have to (as an assignment) rather than because I want to.
@persephone I feel the same about annotating when it comes to leisure texts or non-demanding books. If i understand it, it really feels like a tedious chore to go through and annotate. But, If it a school text, I think annotations are vital. This being because annotating does many things; aids memory, an easy reference, and also a more effective way to pull out/ dissect deeper truths. I really think it is a great tool for me when I review and see an idea repeated a few times so I know that that is an important take away.
I think that annotation is a necessary evil especially in a larger novel like the invisible man it is kinda important to annotate it so that you can be prepared for a class discussion you know. I think also i know that as someone who likes to read it is nice to just go over the notes that you have on a chapter when you start reading again after a break. I mean even I forget parts of what i've read from time to time. I also think that i like to write down lines from a novel that i like so that i can have some nice quotes to have from the novel. I think that underlining is another skill which helps a lot it just gives you things to reference when you need to take a exact line from the text. Annotation is also a way to organize you thoughts which we will need in this class to write the essays which will be assigned to us. So that is another reason to annotate. I think it is just a fact of life this point we will need it for the AP Lit test and much more after that so i think it is best to try to get as good as you can at it so that you can be as successful as you can in this class and further in life
@jacksonvon I agree with all of what you said and you brought up points I didn't even think of. When I think annotation, I usually think of jus notes to help understand the text which also leads to helping me in discussions but I like your point of writing down lines in the text that will make for good quotes. I usually find myself scrambling writing an essay looking for quotes but this would definitely help me out
@savhoisington - I agree with you on the bit you said about annotating leisurely books. It often feels like as you said a burden. I even sometimes find myself writing something just write it down even if it doesn't mean much to me or even better aimlessly highlighting the text. However, I think that annotating literature especially in classes like this one is vital to success. With many of the piece that we have read, when I have not annotated, I have found myself to be reading in circles and not really comprehending the work. Annotating helps me to slow down and to be thoughtful while I am reading. It leaves you space to interpret and to really think about the meaning. With this being said, I had a question pop into my head? What language in a work "deserves" to be annotated or what determines if something should be annotated or not? Sometimes I feel like I am highlighting meaningless things and other times I miss something super important. I would to see what you guys think!
When I first started reading, I never annotated. Over the last few years when I was forced to annotate, I started out hating it. It felt dumb and unnecessary. I just wanted to get the reading over with and be done. But, as I've elevated my courses and taken classes where interpretation is so necessary, annotating has become essential and even interesting to me. It's sometimes hard to collect your thoughts when reading a piece, especially a long one. Annotating is a helpful tool when studying, but it's also important when you're trying to really enjoy a book. I find myself even annotating in my books when I read for fun now! It's just a much more inquisitive way to read.
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