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Dialogue is Action

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The Reason to Annotate

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Nicole
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While I think annotating can help a reader engage in a piece they are reading while they are reading it, and consequently getting a better understanding, I think annotating is also just as important for the reader during future reads (if not more so). I know people don't always read books, article, essays, etc. several times, but for those pieces of work that we do read multiple times, having annotations there can really help the reader for future reads (even if you are the one that made the annotations!). The same person will often get different meanings out of a piece every time they read it, so having annotations of your own thoughts in the past can help to connect those interpretations to how you are interpreting it now. Maybe the two interpretations or takeaways can be connected, or maybe reading annotations from the past will make you think of another passage with a similar meaning. It's kind of like you are sharing your own ideas with yourself and then gaining a better understanding of the text.


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@nicole I think this is an interesting idea, however I think that if I know I'm going to be annotating for future reads, I think that it would be beneficial to reread and take new annotations every time, and then compare the different sets of annotations at the end. In my opinion, this would let me focus on different ideas every time I annotate, which could help me to explore different ideas without trying to focus on something I interpreted previously.


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Persephone
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@nicole @leinweber I agree with both of your guys points. Nicole mentioned annotating for future readers which I hadn't even thought about! I mean, the schools copies of Invisible Man are quite old as I'm sure we've all noticed, and with that there are often a lot of annotations in them, at least there were in my copy. Now that you mention it, previous readers annotations did help me understand some of the text better/from a different perspective, so I think they are absolutely beneficial! DeepThought also mentioned annotating more than one idea for perhaps the same excerpt which I also have to agree with! Especially in Invisible Man where there is piles upon piles of symbolism, I think this can be super helpful. 


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bunkymoo
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@leinweber I agree with the idea that if you annotate for the future, that you should take annotations each time. Comparing these results and reading all of your annotations can sometimes help you find stuff you missed, which helps you understand the literature better. I like how you guys mentioned piling of annotations on symbolic moments in the book. This can be super beneficial especially if you are trying to look back on your annotations in the future.


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Delphine
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@xwing37 This is a great method! I like your mention of literary devices because as we dig into more complex pieces that are heavier in literary devices and/or strategies, they develop complexities that I personally have a much harder time understanding. Annotating can be extremely helpful when trying to interpret and/or analyze literary devices and measure their effectiveness.


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username27
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@ahayo - While in a previous post I said that often times other peoples annotations help me to see a text in a different way, I also think there is a downside to reading other peoples annotations before making your own. I think its kind of hard to read another persons thoughts on a topic and try to make another conclusion about it because you already have that interpretation set in your mind. Reading other annotations before your own works to shape your annotation to match theirs. I think that the best policy for these situations is to make your own conclusions before seeing other peoples and then comparing to get the most out of the text.


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bunkymoo
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@delphine I remember for the SAT, annotating for literary devices was key for the essay. Practicing this technique earlier on last year helped me out a lot when trying to analyze a passage for something such as the SAT. Especially since literary devices can be hard to catch, noting and annotating where they are and what they are about can be key to understanding the passage, and what the author is trying to say.


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SnowyYeti
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@alechayosh07  I think that annotating is important yes, but it is only important for certain types of works.  I think that for literature it is absolutely essential because there are so many small but important details.  Like chisnell said, everything is there for a reason, no small detail is just happenstance.  For this reason, I think that in literature that it is so important to annotate.  Also, in non-fiction text, it is also essential that you annotate because of the information given.  For any other genres, I think that it is not as essential because there aren't as many small but important details. 


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Nicole
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@snowyyeti Okay so I'm not quite sure what you mean by literature being a genre? Because literature describes many genres and isn't confined to just one, nor is it its own genre. But I think all reading can be benefitted by annotating. In all writing, there are small details that the writer intentionally places to further his or her meaning. Some writers may do it more conspicuously than others, but I don't think this feature can be separated by genre. So I think annotating is beneficial in all writing.


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Conster
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@snowyyeti

I agree with you that literature is a critical area in which to annotate. But, I fail to understand what you mean by this in that there isn't much else in which someone uses annotations. Non-fiction and educational text are still technically literature as they are written works. I challenge you to point out specific situations in which annotating is more or less important within literature!


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wildsalmon
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@nicole Honestly, I think this could be expanded to ALL pieces of media. Written works are easy because you can write in the margins and the like, but I think everything benefits from being able to dissect it on the spot. For example, taking notes during a movie (even though that sounds like the lamest thing imaginable) could really help solidify symbolism and make connections easier to find as you can sort of "rewatch" the movie through your notes. Just a little point to add about how useful annotation is.


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Carla Tortelli
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@a2m0n2 I totally agree with you, especially when it came to that sonnet writing activity. I really didn't know to much about sonnets going into it so I did do my part and do a bit of research. Taking the main point out of a paragraph and underlining the important aspects really helped me to make the most out of that sonnet. Only to find out that with the research it was still fairly challenging, but like everything it just going to take some practice. With this annotating relating to the sonnet activity I feel like it allowed me to actually learn what sonnets were all about. Annotating allows for a longer understanding of the material at hand, in some cases.


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Carla Tortelli
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@xmysterio I totally agree with you! Annotating can allow for a longer understanding of the material. When you annotate you summarize but at the same time you also expand on ideas that might have been confusing. Taking the main idea and underlining the important aspects allows us to further process everything we are reading. This way we can take in the info and are able to apply that info to maybe some of the activities we do throughout this class. 


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MSAR
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What I find so intriguing about annotations is that they are not only limited to the connections that you make in the book, but connections from the book to real life and any of the experience one has encountered. These outside experiences make one actually enjoy the text a little more. 


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bunkymoo
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I believe that what your saying is very true. When I am reading a book, and I have the opportunity to make connections to real life, it makes me like and understand the book a lot better. I have also found it surprisingly easy to make outside connections if you just think about it a little bit. There is always something that I can find to connect to my real life, whether it is a character, or emotions the characters are going through. I love how books have the ability to connect with our lives in such a deep way.


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