General Annotation Assignment

Teacher instructions: Copy and paste these instructions into your own course to use with your students. Be sure to review the instructions before posting in your courses. You may want to make adjustments depending on how you plan to assess annotations or due to your specific discipline and/or assignment.

Instructions for students

Purpose: Collaboratively annotating the reading together will allow us to share perspectives, ask and answer each other’s questions about the text, and make visible reflections and connections about the text. You can review a quick-start guide for how to add annotations.

Instructions: As you review the text, add at least 2-3 annotations. Here’s some guidance for what you might include in your annotations:

  • Ask a question about something that is unclear or confusing to you
  • Paraphrase an important phrase or passage in your own words (this can help your instructor understand how you’re interpreting the text)
  • Find an idea or passage in the text that is connected to something you already know or which is based on your own life experiences; to help explain it, add  links, images or videos to outside resources, if appropriate (review instructions on how to add images, links  or videos to annotations)
  • Comment on a passage or idea and explain how it broadened, challenged or changed your way of thinking
  • Connect a passage or idea to something you’ve learned in the class, and explain exactly what that connection is
  • At the end of the text, add an annotation to summarize what you believe to be the key ideas/points of the text, or ask a question that you feel was left unanswered, or that you’re still unsure about
  • Reply to a classmate with an additive annotation (add to the conversation by answering their question or extending their response). Here are some ideas on how to start an additive response to a classmate:
    • What did you mean by …
    • Did you consider …/ You might consider …
    • I think you should …
    • I connect with …/It made me think …

Important notes about annotating: 

  • Make sure you hit “post” after you complete your annotation, or else your annotation will not be saved.
  • Make sure it says “post to [this class]” and not “post to only me,” or else people won’t be able to review your annotations.
  • If someone replies to your annotation, you will not receive a notification. Check back periodically to continue the conversation!