How to Read and Annotate a Book - Summer...How to Read and Annotate a Book ... Yellow highlighter: ...…

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  • How to Read and Annotate a Book

    Do you want to be able to recall a book that you read weeks or months later? The best way to do that is to be an active

    reader by annotating (or making notes in) a text! By annotating effectively, you can review an entire text in 30 minutes

    and be prepared for any assessment! Follow the instructions below

    Materials Needed:

    Yellow highlighter: This color is most preferred because it is the least distracting than other colors and

    emphasizes the parts of the text that you want to remember. (You will only need the highlighter if you own your

    own copy of the text.)

    Pencil: You need this to write in the text (or on a sticky note if you dont own the text). Using a pencil is a better

    choice since even geniuses need to correct mistakes!

    A Dictionary: It is a good idea to keep a dictionary nearby in order to look up words you may not know so that

    you can better understand the text.

    Your Text: If possible, it is best to have your own copy of the text so that you can highlight and write in it.

    However, if you dont, you need to get some sticky notes that you can use to put in the book and then take out

    when you return the book.

    Before Reading:

    1. Read the front and rear jackets of the book, including information about the author. This can give you a more

    rounded picture of the book while reading.

    2. Always read the title page, introductions, table of contents, prefaces and any notes from the author. These will

    help familiarize yourself with the content of the book and its origins.

    3. Check to see if there is a glossary or any other information at the back of the book that you can use while you

    are reading.

    4. Find the right place to read your book. Some people need complete silence while others can read in any

    environment. Only you know what your best reading environment is, so find it and use it!

    Active Reading and Annotation Methods:

    1. Highlight key information, including vocabulary you dont understand, significant quotes, references to other

    literary works, or any parts of the text relating to themes, significant characters, or events.

    2. While you read, use your pencil to make notes in the margins about key material. You can use punctuation

    marks such as stars, arrows, question marks, check marks, and brackets to mark the text that you may want to

    come back to. You should come up with your own unique system to mark what you think is important or


    3. At the end of each chapter, summarize the main ideas/events in the chapter in one or two sentences.

    4. Use the inside front cover of the book to keep a list of important information with page number references in

    the book. Some examples of what you could list here are themes, text that connects to the books title,

    important names of characters, memorable quotes, or key questions you may have about the text. (If you dont

    own the book, do this on a separate piece of paper or on sticky notes.)

    5. Use the inside back cover to make a list of key vocabulary words and definitions from the text. Choose words

    that are unique to the author/story/culture or advanced vocabulary. (If you dont own the book, do this on a

    separate piece of paper or on sticky notes.)

  • After Reading:

    1. After you have read the book, you may want to re-read it, or skim it again, adding to your notes and highlighting.

    2. Keep all of your notes with the book (if you didnt write in it) so that you can go back and review it.

    3. You may also want to make a list of characters and descriptions for the characters to better help you remember


    4. If there is a confusing timeline in the book, you may want to create your own timeline on paper to help you

    understand the sequence of events. Choose the top ten events from the book and put them in order.

    5. When you are done with the book, dont put it down for a while! Complete any assignments for it and review

    your notes before any tests.

    Information on how to annotate a novel is taken from .