The word "Annotation" is a fancy way of saying "note-taking" or "to take notes." You might annotate a poem, a book chapter, or as often the case in college writing, you may annotate a scholarly journal article.
Here are some tips for annotating.
You can annotate on your computer, using the comment function in Microsoft Word or the comment function in Adobe (PDF document). However, you can also annotate with a pencil or pen, or even a marker. See the two examples below.
The first example shows electronic annotations.
The second example shows written annotations.
Annotating a text, or marking the pages with notes, is an excellent, if not essential, way to make the most out of the reading you do for college courses. Annotations make it easy to find important information quickly when you look back and review a text. They help you familiarize yourself with both the content and organization of what you read. They provide a way to begin engaging with ideas and issues directly through comments, questions, associations, or other reactions that occur to you as you read. In all these ways, annotating a text makes the reading process an active one, not just background for writing assignments, but an integral first step in the writing process.
A well-annotated text will accomplish all of the following: