Critical Reading Through Collaborative Annotation

By Justin Hodgson, Alex Penn, Laura Rosche, and Owen Horton of Indiana University

Description #

The intent of this activity is to get students to critically engage with course texts and to develop/extend habits of thinking with a text: i.e., practices for engaging and responding to that text and to others’ readings of it.

Task #

Three Annotations and Two Responses #

After reading and watching this week’s materials, complete the Additive and Reflective engagements below. These require three annotations (grounded in the text) and two responses to peer annotations, and the entries must include tags.

For Additive annotations, be sure to offer three posts, and anchor those annotations in the text:

  • one addressing the prompt,
  • one addressing the discussion question, and
  • one asking a question (of text/author).

For Response posts, follow the guides below.

Criteria for Success #

ADDITIVE Annotations (Initial Post) #

Prompt #

Pay attention to how the author uses outside sources to support their claim. What type of evidence do you see? Highlight and comment on examples of sources that contribute to your understanding of the author’s main point.

Discussion Question #


Make an Inquiry #

In the body of the essay, make a critical inquiry (i.e., ask a question) of the text or its author. Be sure to avoid “yes or no” questions. Your initial post will be evaluated using the following criteria. In the additive posts the student scholar:

  • Uses The Method to construct an academic argument that addresses the prompt in a thorough and logical manner.
  • Situates key textual elements in direct relation to the discussion question.
  • Makes a critical inquiry (of the text or its author).
  • Correctly uses key terms and concepts. Ideas are clear and on-topic.
  • Follows grammar conventions. The writing is concise and easy to read.
  • Writes approximately 125 words (across the three annotations).
  • Adds two (or more) tags to post.

Don’t be afraid to add images, videos, and links to your posts.

REFLECTIVE Annotations (Responses to Peers) #

For your Reflective annotations this week, match up with two peers who selected evidence you did not and use the following guides:

  • Consider how the evidence impacted your peer’s understanding of the text and connect this source to the source you chose for your Additive annotation: How do these two sources work in conjunction with each other to illuminate the author’s thesis?
  • Identify additional ways in which your peer’s evidence speaks to or extends engagement with the discussion question or select and attempt to meaningfully answer a peer’s critical inquiry of the text (and/or its author)

Each of your two responses to peers will be evaluated using the following criteria. In each response, the student scholar:

  • Furthers the conversation by asking thoughtful questions, responding directly to statements of others, and contributing additional analysis.
  • Builds on peers’ contributions by presenting logical viewpoints or challenges.
  • Follows grammar conventions. The writing is concise and easy to read. 
  • Writes at least 75 words (across the two responses).
  • Adds at least one tag per response post.

Don’t be afraid to add images, videos, and links to your posts.

License #

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license