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Successful readers have an internal dialogue going on with the author of a piece of writing. A good reading strategy is called “annotating the text.” With a pencil in hand, readers make notes in the margins, called marginalia, about their thoughts. Some people say that the strategy of annotating the text is like “talking to the text.”

Here are some examples of annotation:

  • Ask a question.
  • State the main idea in five words.
  • Make a connection that furthers the main idea.
  • State an opinion.
  • Make a note of words or images that are repeated.
  • Make an inference.
  • Jot down an insight.
  • Write out a definition.
  • Draw an arrow in the margin to connect two ideas.
  • Put colored dots beside supporting evidence or proof.
  • Number the author’s main points.
  • Put a question mark beside something that confuses you.
  • Write a comment: evaluate, analyze, criticize, praise
  • Make note of something you think is missing.
  • Name a literary device that has been used. (Metaphor, simile, personification, irony, hyperbole, allusion, alliteration, etc.)
  • Make note of an interesting word choice. (Connotation/denotation)