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Enhancing Remote Learning: The Role of an Online Annotation Tool in Education

In today’s digital age, remote learning has become increasingly prevalent, and educators are constantly seeking innovative ways to engage students in virtual classrooms. One such tool that has gained significant traction is the online annotation tool. This powerful software enables students and teachers to collaborate, analyze, and interact with digital content like never before. In this article, we will explore the various benefits of using an online annotation tool in education and how it enhances remote learning.

Facilitating Active Reading and Critical Thinking

The primary purpose of an online annotation tool is to empower students to actively engage with the text they are reading. By allowing them to highlight, underline, or comment on specific passages or words, these tools foster critical thinking skills. Students can annotate important concepts, ask questions, make connections between ideas, and share their thoughts with peers or instructors.

Furthermore, online annotation tools often provide a platform for collaborative learning. Students can view each other’s annotations and respond with their own insights. This not only encourages active participation but also creates a dynamic learning environment where students can learn from one another.

Personalized Learning Experience

One of the key advantages of using an online annotation tool is its ability to personalize the learning experience for each student. These tools allow learners to customize their annotations based on their individual preferences and needs.

For instance, students can use different colors for highlighting different types of information (e.g., main ideas vs. supporting details). They can also add personal notes or summaries alongside the text to aid comprehension and retention. By tailoring their annotations to suit their unique learning styles, students can better process information and make connections between concepts.

Efficient Feedback Mechanism

Traditionally, providing feedback on student assignments was a time-consuming process for teachers. With an online annotation tool, however, this task becomes much more efficient.

Teachers can use these tools to annotate students’ work directly, offering feedback, suggestions, and corrections in real-time. This immediate feedback loop helps students understand their mistakes and make necessary improvements promptly. Moreover, the online nature of these tools allows for seamless communication between teachers and students, even in a remote learning environment.

Collaboration and Community Building

One of the challenges of remote learning is the lack of face-to-face interaction. Online annotation tools address this issue by providing a space for collaboration and community building.

Students can engage in discussions about specific annotations or participate in group projects where they collectively annotate a text. This collaborative approach fosters social interaction and encourages students to work together towards a common goal. Additionally, these tools also enable teachers to create shared annotation spaces where the entire class can contribute their insights on a particular topic.

In conclusion, an online annotation tool is an invaluable asset for enhancing remote learning in education. By promoting active reading, critical thinking, personalized learning experiences, efficient feedback mechanisms, collaboration, and community building, these tools empower both students and teachers in the virtual classroom. As technology continues to advance, it is crucial for educators to embrace innovative tools like online annotation software to adapt to the evolving landscape of education.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


what is annotation in article

Learning Center

Annotating Texts

What is annotation.

Annotation can be:

  • A systematic summary of the text that you create within the document
  • A key tool for close reading that helps you uncover patterns, notice important words, and identify main points
  • An active learning strategy that improves comprehension and retention of information

Why annotate?

  • Isolate and organize important material
  • Identify key concepts
  • Monitor your learning as you read
  • Make exam prep effective and streamlined
  • Can be more efficient than creating a separate set of reading notes

How do you annotate?

Summarize key points in your own words .

  • Use headers and words in bold to guide you
  • Look for main ideas, arguments, and points of evidence
  • Notice how the text organizes itself. Chronological order? Idea trees? Etc.

Circle key concepts and phrases

  • What words would it be helpful to look-up at the end?
  • What terms show up in lecture? When are different words used for similar concepts? Why?

Write brief comments and questions in the margins

  • Be as specific or broad as you would like—use these questions to activate your thinking about the content
  • See our handout on reading comprehension tips for some examples

Use abbreviations and symbols

  • Try ? when you have a question or something you need to explore further
  • Try ! When something is interesting, a connection, or otherwise worthy of note
  • Try * For anything that you might use as an example or evidence when you use this information.
  • Ask yourself what other system of symbols would make sense to you.


  • Highlight or underline, but mindfully. Check out our resource on strategic highlighting for tips on when and how to highlight.

Use comment and highlight features built into pdfs, online/digital textbooks, or other apps and browser add-ons

  • Are you using a pdf? Explore its highlight, edit, and comment functions to support your annotations
  • Some browsers have add-ons or extensions that allow you to annotate web pages or web-based documents
  • Does your digital or online textbook come with an annotation feature?
  • Can your digital text be imported into a note-taking tool like OneNote, EverNote, or Google Keep? If so, you might be able to annotate texts in those apps

What are the most important takeaways?

  • Annotation is about increasing your engagement with a text
  • Increased engagement, where you think about and process the material then expand on your learning, is how you achieve mastery in a subject
  • As you annotate a text, ask yourself: how would I explain this to a friend?
  • Put things in your own words and draw connections to what you know and wonder

The table below demonstrates this process using a geography textbook excerpt (Press 2004):

A chart featuring a passage from a text in the left column and then columns that illustrate annotations that include too much writing, not enough writing, and a good balance of writing.

A common concern about annotating texts: It takes time!

Yes, it can, but that time isn’t lost—it’s invested.

Spending the time to annotate on the front end does two important things:

  • It saves you time later when you’re studying. Your annotated notes will help speed up exam prep, because you can review critical concepts quickly and efficiently.
  • It increases the likelihood that you will retain the information after the course is completed. This is especially important when you are supplying the building blocks of your mind and future career.

One last tip: Try separating the reading and annotating processes! Quickly read through a section of the text first, then go back and annotate.

Works consulted:

Nist, S., & Holschuh, J. (2000). Active learning: strategies for college success. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 202-218.

Simpson, M., & Nist, S. (1990). Textbook annotation: An effective and efficient study strategy for college students. Journal of Reading, 34: 122-129.

Press, F. (2004). Understanding earth (4th ed). New York: W.H. Freeman. 208-210.

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Reading and Study Strategies

What is annotating and why do it, annotation explained, steps to annotating a source, annotating strategies.

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What is Annotating?

Annotating is any action that deliberately interacts with a text to enhance the reader's understanding of, recall of, and reaction to the text. Sometimes called "close reading," annotating usually involves highlighting or underlining key pieces of text and making notes in the margins of the text. This page will introduce you to several effective strategies for annotating a text that will help you get the most out of your reading.

Why Annotate?

By annotating a text, you will ensure that you understand what is happening in a text after you've read it. As you annotate, you should note the author's main points, shifts in the message or perspective of the text, key areas of focus, and your own thoughts as you read. However, annotating isn't just for people who feel challenged when reading academic texts. Even if you regularly understand and remember what you read, annotating will help you summarize a text, highlight important pieces of information, and ultimately prepare yourself for discussion and writing prompts that your instructor may give you. Annotating means you are doing the hard work while you read, allowing you to reference your previous work and have a clear jumping-off point for future work.

1. Survey : This is your first time through the reading

You can annotate by hand or by using document software. You can also annotate on post-its if you have a text you do not want to mark up. As you annotate, use these strategies to make the most of your efforts:

  • Include a key or legend on your paper that indicates what each marking is for, and use a different marking for each type of information. Example: Underline for key points, highlight for vocabulary, and circle for transition points.
  • If you use highlighters, consider using different colors for different types of reactions to the text. Example: Yellow for definitions, orange for questions, and blue for disagreement/confusion.
  • Dedicate different tasks to each margin: Use one margin to make an outline of the text (thesis statement, description, definition #1, counter argument, etc.) and summarize main ideas, and use the other margin to note your thoughts, questions, and reactions to the text.

Lastly, as you annotate, make sure you are including descriptions of the text as well as your own reactions to the text. This will allow you to skim your notations at a later date to locate key information and quotations, and to recall your thought processes more easily and quickly.

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  • Last Updated: Jul 21, 2021 3:01 PM
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How to Annotate an Article

Last Updated: September 26, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 387,728 times.

Annotating a text means that you take notes in the margins and make other markings for reading comprehension. Many people use annotation as part of academic research or to further their understanding of a certain work. To annotate an article, you'll need to ask questions as you go through the text, focus on themes, circle terms you don't understand, and write your opinions on the text's claims. You can annotate an article by hand or with an online note-taking program.

Following General Annotation Procedures

Step 1 Recognize why you should annotate.

  • Background on the author
  • Themes throughout the text
  • The author’s purpose for writing the text
  • The author’s thesis
  • Points of confusion
  • How the text compares to other texts you are analyzing on the same topic
  • Questions to ask your teacher or questions to bring up in class discussions

Step 2 Mark down the source information.

  • Later on, you can gather all of these citations together to form a bibliography or works cited page, if required.
  • If you are working with a source that frequently changes, such as a newspaper or website, make sure to mark down the accession date or number (the year the piece was acquired and/or where it came from).

Step 3 Understand your reading goals.

  • If you were given an assignment sheet with listed objectives, you might look over your completed annotation and check off each objective when finished. This will ensure that you’ve met all of the requirements.

Step 4 Annotate as you read the article.

  • You can also write down questions that you plan to bring up during a class discussion. For example, you might write, “What does everyone think about this sentence?” Or, if your reading connects to a future writing assignment, you can ask questions that connect to that work.

Step 6 Focus on themes and connections to your class topics.

  • You could write, “Connects to the theme of hope and redemption discussed in class.”

Step 7 Circle words or concepts that you don’t understand.

  • Use whatever symbol marking system works for you. Just make sure that you are consistent in your use of certain symbols.
  • As you review your notes, you can create a list of all of the particular words that are circled. This may make it easier to look them up.
  • For example, if the tone of the work changes mid-paragraph, you might write a question mark next to that section.

Step 8 Pay attention to the thesis and topic sentences.

  • To increase your reading comprehension even more, you might want to write down the thesis statement in the margins in your own words.
  • The thesis sentence might start with a statement, such as, “I argue…”

Step 9 Research the author.

  • For example, reading online reviews can help you to determine whether or not the work is controversial or has been received without much fanfare.
  • If there are multiple authors for the work, start by researching the first name listed.

Step 10 Write down your opinions.

  • You might write, “This may contradict any earlier section.” Or, “I don’t agree with this.”

Annotating an Article by Hand

Step 1 Make a photocopy of the article.

  • You can also file away this paper copy for future reference as you continue your research.

Step 2 Choose a writing tool.

  • If you are visual learner, you might consider developing a notation system involving various colors of highlighters and flags.

Step 3 Create a separate notation page, if needed.

  • Depending on how you’ve taken your notes, you could also remove these Post-its to create an outline prior to writing.

Step 5 Complete an annotation paragraph.

  • This rough annotation can then be used to create a larger annotated bibliography. This will help you to see any gaps in your research as well. [11] X Research source

Annotating an Article on a Webpage

Step 1 Download an online note-taking program.

  • You could also use a program, such as Evernote, MarkUp.io, Bounce, Shared Copy, WebKlipper, or Springnote. Be aware that some of these programs may require a payment for access.

Step 2 Navigate to the webpage on which your article is posted.

  • Depending on your program, you may be able to respond to other people’s comments. You can also designate your notes as private or public.

Step 5 Save the annotation, if you want to clip it and use it outside of the web.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Annotating takes extra time, so make sure to set aside enough time for you to complete your work. [15] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If traditional annotation doesn’t appeal to you, then create a dialectical journal where you write down any quotes that speak to you. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

what is annotation in article

  • If you end up integrating your notes into a written project, make sure to keep your citation information connected. Otherwise, you run the risk of committing plagiarism. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

You Might Also Like

Take Better Notes

  • ↑ https://research.ewu.edu/writers_c_read_study_strategies
  • ↑ http://penandthepad.com/annotate-newspaper-article-7730073.html
  • ↑ https://www.hunter.cuny.edu/rwc/handouts/the-writing-process-1/invention/Annotating-a-Text/
  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/annotating-texts/
  • ↑ https://www.biologycorner.com/worksheets/annotate.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/annotated_bibliographies/annotated_bibliography_samples.html
  • ↑ https://elearningindustry.com/the-5-best-free-annotation-tools-for-teachers
  • ↑ http://www.macworld.com/article/1162946/software-productivity/how-to-annotate-pdfs.html
  • ↑ http://www.une.edu/sites/default/files/Reading-and-Annotating.pdf

About This Article

Emily Listmann, MA

To annotate an article, start by underlining the thesis, or the main argument that the author is making. Next, underline the topic sentences for each paragraph to help you focus on the themes throughout the text. Then, in the margins, write down any questions that you have or those that you’d like your teacher to help you answer. Additionally, jot down your opinions, such as “I don’t agree with this section” to create personal connections to your reading and make it easier to remember the information. For more advice from our Education reviewer, including how to annotate an article on a web page, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

Writing annotations.

  • Introduction
  • New RefWorks
  • Formatting Citations
  • Sample Annotated Bibliographies

An annotation is a brief note following each citation listed on an annotated bibliography.  The goal is to briefly summarize the source and/or explain why it is important for a topic.  They are typically a single concise paragraph, but might be longer if you are summarizing and evaluating.

Annotations can be written in a variety of different ways and it’s important to consider the style you are going to use.  Are you simply summarizing the sources, or evaluating them?  How does the source influence your understanding of the topic?  You can follow any style you want if you are writing for your own personal research process, but consult with your professor if this is an assignment for a class.

Annotation Styles

  • Combined Informative/Evaluative Style - This style is recommended by the library as it combines all the styles to provide a more complete view of a source.  The annotation should explain the value of the source for the overall research topic by providing a summary combined with an analysis of the source.  

Aluedse, O. (2006). Bullying in schools: A form of child abuse in schools.  Educational Research Quarterly ,  30 (1), 37.

The author classifies bullying in schools as a “form of child abuse,” and goes well beyond the notion that schoolyard bullying is “just child’s play.” The article provides an in-depth definition of bullying, and explores the likelihood that school-aged bullies may also experience difficult lives as adults. The author discusses the modern prevalence of bullying in school systems, the effects of bullying, intervention strategies, and provides an extensive list of resources and references.

Statistics included provide an alarming realization that bullying is prevalent not only in the United States, but also worldwide. According to the author, “American schools harbor approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million victims.” The author references the National Association of School Psychologists and quotes, “Thus, one in seven children is a bully or a target of bullying.” A major point of emphasis centers around what has always been considered a “normal part of growing up” versus the levels of actual abuse reached in today’s society.

The author concludes with a section that addresses intervention strategies for school administrators, teachers, counselors, and school staff. The concept of school staff helping build students’ “social competence” is showcased as a prevalent means of preventing and reducing this growing social menace. Overall, the article is worthwhile for anyone interested in the subject matter, and provides a wealth of resources for researching this topic of growing concern.

(Renfrow & Teuton, 2008)

  • Informative Style -  Similar to an abstract, this style focuses on the summarizing the source.  The annotation should identify the hypothesis, results, and conclusions presented by the source.

Plester, B., Wood, C, & Bell, V. (2008). Txt msg n school literacy: Does texting and knowledge of text abbreviations adversely affect children's literacy attainment? Literacy , 42(3), 137-144.

Reports on two studies that investigated the relationship between children's texting behavior, their knowledge of text abbreviations, and their school attainment in written language skills. In Study One, 11 to 12 year-old children reported their texting behavior and translated a standard English sentence into a text message and vice versa. In Study Two, children's performance on writing measures were examined more specifically, spelling proficiency was also assessed, and KS2 Writing scores were obtained. Positive correlations between spelling ability and performance on the translation exercise were found, and group-based comparisons based on the children's writing scores also showed that good writing attainment was associated with greater use of texting abbreviations (textisms), although the direction of this association is not clear. Overall, these findings suggest that children's knowledge of textisms is not associated with poor written language outcomes for children in this age range. 

(Beach et al., 2009)

  • Evaluative Style - This style analyzes and critically evaluates the source.  The annotation should comment on the source's the strengths, weaknesses, and how it relates to the overall research topic.

Amott, T. (1993). Caught in the Crisis: Women in the U.S. Economy Today . New York: Monthly Review Press.

A very readable (140 pp) economic analysis and information book which I am currently considering as a required collateral assignment in Economics 201. Among its many strengths is a lucid connection of "The Crisis at Home" with the broader, macroeconomic crisis of the U.S. working class (which various other authors have described as the shrinking middle class or the crisis of de-industrialization).

(Papadantonakis, 1996)

  • Indicative Style - This style of annotation identifies the main theme and lists the significant topics included in the source.  Usually no specific details are given beyond the topic list . 


Gambell, T.J., & Hunter, D. M. (1999). Rethinking gender differences in literacy. Canadian Journal of Education , 24(1) 1-16.

Five explanations are offered for recently assessed gender differences in the literacy achievement of male and female students in Canada and other countries. The explanations revolve around evaluative bias, home socialization, role and societal expectations, male psychology, and equity policy.

(Kerka & Imel, 2004)

Beach, R., Bigelow, M., Dillon, D., Dockter, J., Galda, L., Helman, L., . . . Janssen, T. (2009). Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English.  Research in the Teaching of English,   44 (2), 210-241. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27784357

Kerka, S., & Imel, S. (2004). Annotated bibliography: Women and literacy.  Women's Studies Quarterly,  32 (1), 258-271. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/233645656?accountid=2909

Papadantonakis, K. (1996). Selected Annotated Bibliography for Economists and Other Social Scientists.  Women's Studies Quarterly,   24 (3/4), 233-238. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40004384

Renfrow, T.G., & Teuton, L.M. (2008). Schoolyard bullying: Peer victimization an annotated bibliography. Community & Junior College Libraries, 14(4), 251-­275. doi:10.1080/02763910802336407

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  • Last Updated: Feb 27, 2023 10:50 AM
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How To Annotate An Article Effectively [Tips + Tools]

Annotating an article goes over and above just simply writing down notes. It is a worthwhile activity, which when done correctly can help you to actively read and understand the text you're reading.

If you wanted to read something, you used to have to go to a library or bookstore. But now you can get access to thousands of free books and articles online. And thanks to the rise of the digital era , you don’t even need to leave home anymore.

However, how often have you found yourself reading an article or blog post only to realize that you don’t remember anything from it? This is because you weren't actively taking in anything you were reading.

This can easily be rectified if you annotate an article while reading it.

In order to get the most out of reading, you should always make comments or highlight important parts of the text. This way, your brain stays active and you can easily refer back to them later.

You can annotate articles by hand on a piece of paper, however, if you want to do it online, there are plenty of tools available to help you out.

what is annotation in article

  • First Of All, What Is Annotation?🤷‍♀️
  • Why Should You Take The Time Out To Annotate When Reading?🧐

7 Steps For How To Annotate An Article Effectively🔥

How to optimize your annotation process🌟.

  • How To Use The Various Online Annotation Tools: Markup Vs. Kami📝
  • Conclusion🙌

Important disclosure: we're proud affiliates of some tools mentioned in this guide. If you click an affiliate link and subsequently make a purchase, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you (you pay nothing extra). For more information, read our affiliate disclosure .

First Of All, What Is Annotation? 🤷‍♀️

Annotation is simply making personal notes and adding explanations or comments on top of an image or document.

Annotating is about drawing attention to specific words, phrases, or themes in the article.

There are three main methods of annotation:


  • Adding comments.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

When highlighting, you add color to specific word s or phrases.

Advantages of highlighting text are that it's easy to do and actually doesn't require any special software.

A disadvantage of highlighting text is that it may not show up well when printed out and depending on the color used, the contrast can make it hard to read the words.

Tagging allows you to assign keywords to different sections of the text.

Advantages of tagging include easily being able to search for specific tags and locate associated text.

The disadvantages of tagging are that it requires more work than highlighting since you must first create a list of keywords before assigning each one of them to the text.

Comments are generally more personal than either of these two methods. They are usually written by the reader and reflect the readers' thoughts and feelings towards what they are reading.

The advantages of leaving your comments when annotating are article are that writing is an active learning strategy and you're more likely to remember what you've written. The disadvantages of commenting are that it takes time to write a comment.

The best way to annotate an article is by using all three methods at once.

Why Should You Take The Time Out To Annotate When Reading? 🧐

The main advantage of annotating articles is that it helps you retain information better.

It is one of the best active reading strategies.

When you annotate, you're forced to pay attention to the text and therefore you'll learn faster. It also makes you think harder so you'll understand things better. This is particularly helpful with complex reading material.

Potential thoughts while active reading

Another advantage of effective annotation is being more aware of what you're reading. You will naturally begin to notice the important points in the text or relevant pieces of information. This will help you focus on those areas.

You can even use annotations as a study tool.

If you annotate articles, digital textbooks, or academic texts, you'll find yourself referring back to it often. This is because you'll be easily reminded of the key points.

You can then go back and reread the highlighted passages without having to worry about remembering where you left off. This is particularly useful if you are a student who is studying for an exam or trying to learn a new concept.

The disadvantages of annotating are that you might feel like you're wasting time. However trust me, you aren't ! One way to eliminate this feeling is to annotate the articles you are reading online rather than print them out and annotate them by hand.

Annotating online allows you to quickly make corrections to your annotations, something that may not be so easy by hand.

Plus when annotating online you have easy access to your annotations wherever you may be. You can just save the page with your annotations and continue reading later. No need to carry around stacks of printed-out articles with you.

Oh and you're also helping to save the environment too by reducing your paper usage & printing!

That's why I say, online annotation all the way!

Alright, so you know all about what annotation is and why it is important, which is great. But how do you actually go about annotating an article?

Below are seven steps you can follow when annotating an article:

  • Scan For Important Details
  • Skim For More Information
  • Underline Or Highlight Key Points
  • Read The Entire Article Thoroughly
  • Make Your Notes
  • Quickly Summarize The Key Ideas
  • Create An Outline

what is annotation in article

1. Scan For Important Details

The first step when annotating an article is to scan the article for details that are relevant to what you want to learn from the article.

Usually, when you are scanning you read the title of the articles, the headings, the abstract, and the conclusion of the article so you can grasp some idea of the direction of the article.

2. Skim For More Information

You then need to skim-read the article to get a general and clearer idea of what it's about.

It doesn't matter if you don't fully understand everything but you want to get a sense of the topic and its central theme . This means you are looking for keywords, key concepts, terms, phrases, abbreviations, etc.

A good tactic when skimming through an article is to read the first sentence or two of the first paragraphs.

What it means to skim vs scan while reading

3. Underline Or Highlight Key Points

Your next step is to then underline or highlight the most important points in the article that you have picked up on through your initial readings.

These could be the main ideas in texts, facts, statistics, quotes, examples, etc. that you found interesting and relevant.

4. Read The Entire Article Thoroughly

Once you've underlined the key points, you should read the entire article again. Slowly and carefully.

Reading the article in its entirety helps to reinforce the key points you've already identified.

In addition, it gives you a chance to look at the different parts of the article and see how they relate to each other.

It is good practice at this point to circle any unfamiliar words and to look them up. Noting down the meanings of the words both mentally and on the article itself.

Highlight and circle important words or phrases in the text

5. Make Your Notes

Now that you've read the entire article, you can start making your personal notes. You can make these notes in the margin, at the end of the article, or on a new page entirely.

Write down any questions you still have about the article, any points you want to remember, or anything else you'd like to add.

Keep in mind that the notes you take don't have to be words, they can also be visuals.

6. Quickly Summarize The Key Ideas

After you've finished writing down your thoughts, you can summarize the main ideas of the article into one sentence.

For example, if you were annotating the article " Why Do We Have A Short Attention Span? ", you would write down something like:

"Short attention spans are caused by our fast-paced world."

It is important in your summary that you make connections between the key ideas in the article.

Create a short summary of the main ideas of the article

7. Create An Outline

Finally, once you've summarized the major ideas of the piece, create an outline . This will help you organize your notes as well as give you a deeper understanding of the article overall.

An outline is simply a list of the key ideas of the document. It's not meant to be exhaustive, nor does it have to include every single detail.

An outline is usually made up of three sections:

  • Title - What is this document about?
  • Body - What did we learn from this article?
  • Conclusions - How does this article affect us today?

You are now ready to get started annotating articles. This extremely useful skill is a vital one to learn, however, you can take it a step further and optimize your annotation processes.

Some people are annotation naturals, but with others, it requires a bit more practice. Below are some tips and tricks to help you annotate articles online more efficiently and effectively:

An Annotation Tool Is Your Best Friend 💕

Use a legend 🔑, make use of your colors wisely 🎨.

  • Different Margin Different Task ☝️

Note Down Descriptions & Reactions ✍️

Did someone say snapchat 👻, be critical 🧠, use abbreviations or symbols *️⃣.

Annotation tools are useful because they allow you to easily mark up text and highlight important parts of an article. They also let you take notes and record your thoughts.

There are many online annotation tools available, including Markup by Kdan Mobile, Cronycle & Kami.

what is annotation in article

Markup is an all-in-one annotation tool - meaning you can use it to personally annotate articles online and websites ( & PDFs too if you’re using the iOS app ).

The tool combines note-taking with artificial intelligence, ensuring that you are actively reading with great efficiency.

The more you use Markup, the more helpful it becomes as it remembers the types of articles you have read and the content within them, and then it suggests articles of a similar nature.

With Markup you can save all your annotations in one place, for easy access and you can quickly share them amongst your peers.

You can get started with Markup for free. However, if you are looking to upgrade your functions and features then the paid pricing plans start at $39.99 per user per month billed annually.

what is annotation in article

From the outset, Croncyle may not look like an annotation tool. It in fact advertises itself as a marketing intelligence platform.

However, it does have a very nifty annotation feature for PDFs, saved web pages, and online articles. All you have to do is save the article to one of your boards and then you can get started highlighting, adding comments, and tagging.

After you have annotated the article you can review all of the comments you made, extract highlighted text, and then share it with whoever you wish.

Unfortunately, there is no free plan for Croncyle, and their paid plans start at $49 per user per month, paid annually.

what is annotation in article

Kami may market itself as a digital classroom tool , however, it can be used by anybody, in any industry.

With Kami, you can take a PDF document, a Word document, images, and conventional articles and transform them into a beautifully annotated end result. And then you can save and share those documents as you please.

One particularly useful feature of Kami that sets itself apart from the other two tools we have mentioned is that you can annotate in written words, visuals, videos, or voice recordings.

Kami offers its’ users a completely free version , or they can upgrade to the Teacher Plan which is $99 per year. It just depends on the extent of your needs.

Using annotation tools can save you valuable time. However, there are some things to keep in mind before using them.

First, you'll need to find a tool that works with your device. Some apps work only on certain devices (iPhones, iPads), while others may require a web browser.

Second, you need to think about your annotation needs and which tool best suits those.

For example , if you're looking for a simple way to quickly note down key points, then you might choose to use a basic highlighting app. If you're looking for more advanced features such as adding images, formatting text, or recording audio clips, then you may want to consider a more complex tool.

Third, make sure you know how to use the tool properly. You should always start off by reading through the documentation first. Then, practice using the tool until you feel comfortable doing so.

Lastly, make sure the tool fits into your budget . There are free options out there, but you may want to invest in a paid option if you plan on making heavy use of it.

An annotation legend

Always make use of a key or legend when annotating articles online. A legend is a quick reference guide that explains what each symbol means.

A legend can be used at any point during the process, whether you're writing annotations directly on the page or creating a summary.

It's very helpful to add a legend to a document because it helps other readers ( or you at a later stage ) understand what you mean. It will also help you organize your thoughts and remember what you've written.

When creating a legend, try to stick to 3-5 symbols per section.

When annotating you need to be careful of your color choices. Avoid using too many colors. Instead, pick just two or three main colors.

The reason why you need to limit yourself to these colors is that most people have limited vision. When you use too many colors, it becomes difficult for people to read what you wrote.

If you do decide to use multiple colors, make sure to use contrasting ones instead of monochromatic ones. If you don't it may be hard to distinguish one color from the next. For instance, if you use red and pink together, then you will struggle to tell where one ends and the next begins.

Avoid using bright colors like yellow or orange. These colors tend to distract from the content. Also, avoid using colors that are too dark as they will make it hard to read the text.

You should also use a different color for each type of reaction , e.g. green for questions, red for confusion, and purple for agreement.

Annotation guide for highlighter colours

Different Margin Different Task☝️

Try to make your annotations as logical as possible. Use one margin for tagging and another margin for making comments. Or one margin for reactions and the other for questions.

This makes it easier to follow along with the article themes.

When annotating an article it is important to note down descriptions of what is written as well as your reactions to the key concepts. Noting down reactions allows you to go back to this section and understand how it initially made you feel and your thought process at the time.

If you're not sure about something, then write it down, and question it. This will give you time to think about it before you continue.

Noting your thoughts helps you better understand the article when you review it again at a later stage.

This one is for students. Did you know you can annotate articles on Snapchat? Yes, it’s true!

All you need to do is take a screenshot of the article you want to annotate.

Then, open up the image editor and paste the article. Once you've done that, you can begin adding your own notes and reactions by tapping on the screen.

Another way to do this is to subscribe to one of the news accounts on Snapchat, open up an article of interest, screenshot it and get annotating.

You can also easily share your annotations with friends.

It is important when annotating an article to be critical of what is written. Don't just accept everything at face value.

Really think about what the article is saying and the implications of such.

Think about what you would say in response to the author's arguments. Would you agree or disagree? Why?

To make your life easier, you can always abbreviate certain words or you can use symbols to represent certain things. This is particularly useful for repeated concepts or themes as it saves you time in writing it out.

For example , instead of writing ‘theory’ all over the place, you could simply put ‘T’. Also saving you space for more elaborate descriptions. Or try using a '?' mark if something in the article requires more research on your behalf.

Just make sure you include these abbreviations and symbols in your legend so that you know exactly what they mean!

The last thing you want is to forget their meaning and have to annotate the article from scratch.

How To Use The Various Online Annotation Tools: Markup Vs. Kami 📝

Maybe using online annotation tools sounds daunting to you but we are here to show you otherwise. Using these tools couldn't be any easier.

Markup is a unique annotation tool as it allows you to highlight and annotate any article online. No need to download the article or have it on your google drive.

In fact, you don’t even have to download anything - not even the tool itself, as all you have to do, is add it as an extension to your browser.

how to get started using Markup

Go to the Markup website . Click on the relevant button to take you to your Chrome or Edge extension web store.

Markup on the google chrome web store

Add the Markup extension to your browser. No account is needed! You may want to pin it to your extensions bar for easy access.

highlighting online articles using Markup

Go to the article you want to annotate. Click on the Markup extension button and a drop-down annotation menu will appear ( as seen above ).

As you can see with Markup you can highlight text, add tags, add annotations, automatically summarize the article (a very useful feature) and then share your annotations with other people.

Plus they offer you pro tips for using the tool!

Adding notes using Markup

Select the text you want , and as long as the ‘Text Highlighter’ toggle is set to on, a Markups button will appear next to your text.

Click this button and it will give you the option to highlight your text - in multiple different colors!

If you want to annotate your text all you need to do is select your text, click the annotation button that pops up next to your text, and type in your note. You can even change the note color.

It really is that easy.

viewing all the annotations you've made to an article

Click ‘Annotations ’ on the side panel to view all the notes and highlighted text you’ve added.

This quickly shows you everything you deemed important in the article and allows you to easily navigate to any section.

save and share your annotated article

Click ‘Share’, and then click ‘Include highlights and notes’ to share your annotated article with anyone via a link or across your Facebook, Twitter, and Weibo social networks.

Kami is an annotation tool that is aimed at the education industry. Because of this, it functions mainly to annotate articles that are either saved onto a drive or downloaded onto the computer.

Unlike with Markup, you cannot annotate straight onto an article on a website. However, it still fulfills its purpose perfectly.

what is annotation in article

Go to their website , create an account, and log in. Then open your file from Google Docs or Drive, My Computer, or OneDrive. Or create one using the various templates.

what is annotation in article

Once your article is uploaded you’ll get access to a number of annotation tools , all present in the bar on the left-hand side of your screen.

There are also a number of functional options in the top right-hand corner - open file, save, share, download, etc.

highlighting a document using Kami

Click on the highlighter icon and highlight your text in multiple colors. You can also underline important text or strike it through if it isn’t relevant.

Adding comments to an article using Kami

Click on the comments icon to add notes in multiple forms - written, audio, video, or visual. Plus you can tag your notes in different colors so you know which are related and which aren't.

use Kami to add shapes and draw on the document

You can even add text boxes, shapes, and drawings to the actual article itself.

share your fully annotated article

Click on the download icon to export your document - with or without the annotations.

Which tool is best?

That depends on your needs as a person. If you have a whole lot of downloaded articles, go with Kami, but if you want to save time and annotate directly online, then Markup is the tool for you.

Or you can always explore the other annotation tools we mentioned in this article…

Conclusion 🙌

Without annotation, it becomes easy to read through an article and not remember anything afterward. This isn’t ideal - especially if you are a student.

Annotating an article online is an important skill if you want to not only read the text but actually actively take in what it is saying. Many people view annotation as tedious, however, there are a number of tools available to help you.

And using them couldn’t be any easier.

After reading this article you should have everything you need to effectively and efficiently annotate your articles. What are you waiting for?

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  • How to Annotate

Looking over the shoulder of someone writing on a notepad

Where to Make Notes

First, determine how you will annotate the text you are about to read. 

If it is a printed article, you may be able to just write in the margins. A colored pen might make it easier to see than black or even blue. 

If it is an article posted on the web, you could also you Diigo , which is a highlighting and annotating tool that you can use on the website and even share your notes with your instructor. Other note-taking plug-ins for web browsers might serve a similar function. 

If it is a textbook that you do not own (or wish to sell back), use post it notes to annotate in the margins.

You can also use a notebook to keep written commentary as you read in any platform, digital or print. If you do this, be sure to leave enough information about the specific text you’re responding to that you can find it later if you need to. (Make notes about page number, which paragraph it is, or even short quotes to help you locate the passage again.)

What Notes to Make

Now you will annotate the document by adding your own words, phrases, and summaries to the written text. For the following examples, the article “ Guinea Worm Facts ” was used.

  • Scan the document you are annotating. Some obvious clues will be apparent before you read it, such as titles or headers for sections. Read the first paragraph. Somewhere in the first (or possibly the second) paragraph should be a BIG IDEA about what the article is going to be about. In the margins, near the top, write down the big idea of the article in your own words. This shouldn’t be more than a phrase or a sentence. This big idea is likely the article’s thesis.
  • Underline topic sentences or phrases that express the main idea for that paragraph or section. You should never underline more than 5 words, though for large paragraphs or blocks of text, you can use brackets. (Underlining long stretches gets messy, and makes it hard to review the text later.) Write in the margin next to what you’ve underlined a summary of the paragraph or the idea being expressed.

Two circled textboxes. Left reads "Traditional removal of a Guinea worm consists of winding the worm -- up to 3 feet (1 meter) long -- around a small stick and manually extracting it..." Right reads "The best way to stop Guinea worm disease is to prevent people from entering sources of drinking water with an active infection..." A blue arrow moves from left to right, with blue text reading "Better to prevent than treat later!"

  • “Depending on the outcome of the assessment, the commission recommends to WHO which formerly endemic countries should be declared free of transmission, i.e., certified as free of the disease.” –> ?? What does this mean? Who is WHO?
  • “Guinea worm disease incapacitates victims for extended periods of time making them unable to work or grow enough food to feed their families or attend school.” –> My dad was sick for a while and couldn’t work. This was hard on our family.
  • “Guinea worm disease is set to become the second human disease in history, after smallpox, to be eradicated.” –> Eradicated = to put an end to, destroy

To summarize how you will annotate text:

1. Identify the BIG IDEA 2. Underline topic sentences or main ideas 3. Connect ideas with arrows 4. Ask questions 5. Add personal notes 6. Define technical words

Like many skills, annotating takes practice. Remember that the main goal for doing this is to give you a strategy for reading text that may be more complicated and technical than what you are used to.

  • Revision and Adaptation. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY-NC: Attribution-NonCommercial
  • How to Annotate Text. Provided by : Biology Corner. Located at : https://biologycorner.com/worksheets/annotate.html . License : CC BY-NC: Attribution-NonCommercial
  • Image of taking notes. Authored by : Security & Defence Agenda. Located at : https://flic.kr/p/8NunXe . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Table of Contents

Instructor Resources (available upon sign-in)

  • Overview of Instructor Resources
  • Quiz Survey

Reading: Types of Reading Material

  • Introduction to Reading
  • Outcome: Types of Reading Material
  • Characteristics of Texts, Part 1
  • Characteristics of Texts, Part 2
  • Characteristics of Texts, Part 3
  • Characteristics of Texts, Conclusion
  • Self Check: Types of Writing

Reading: Reading Strategies

  • Outcome: Reading Strategies
  • The Rhetorical Situation
  • Academic Reading Strategies
  • Self Check: Reading Strategies

Reading: Specialized Reading Strategies

  • Outcome: Specialized Reading Strategies
  • Online Reading Comprehension
  • How to Read Effectively in Math
  • How to Read Effectively in the Social Sciences
  • How to Read Effectively in the Sciences
  • 5 Step Approach for Reading Charts and Graphs
  • Self Check: Specialized Reading Strategies

Reading: Vocabulary

  • Outcome: Vocabulary
  • Strategies to Improve Your Vocabulary
  • Using Context Clues
  • The Relationship Between Reading and Vocabulary
  • Self Check: Vocabulary

Reading: Thesis

  • Outcome: Thesis
  • Locating and Evaluating Thesis Statements
  • The Organizational Statement
  • Self Check: Thesis

Reading: Supporting Claims

  • Outcome: Supporting Claims
  • Types of Support
  • Supporting Claims
  • Self Check: Supporting Claims

Reading: Logic and Structure

  • Outcome: Logic and Structure
  • Rhetorical Modes
  • Inductive and Deductive Reasoning
  • Diagramming and Evaluating Arguments
  • Logical Fallacies
  • Evaluating Appeals to Ethos, Logos, and Pathos
  • Self Check: Logic and Structure

Reading: Summary Skills

  • Outcome: Summary Skills
  • Paraphrasing
  • Quote Bombs
  • Summary Writing
  • Self Check: Summary Skills
  • Conclusion to Reading

Writing Process: Topic Selection

  • Introduction to Writing Process
  • Outcome: Topic Selection
  • Starting a Paper
  • Choosing and Developing Topics
  • Back to the Future of Topics
  • Developing Your Topic
  • Self Check: Topic Selection

Writing Process: Prewriting

  • Outcome: Prewriting
  • Prewriting Strategies for Diverse Learners
  • Rhetorical Context
  • Working Thesis Statements
  • Self Check: Prewriting

Writing Process: Finding Evidence

  • Outcome: Finding Evidence
  • Using Personal Examples
  • Performing Background Research
  • Listening to Sources, Talking to Sources
  • Self Check: Finding Evidence

Writing Process: Organizing

  • Outcome: Organizing
  • Moving Beyond the Five-Paragraph Theme
  • Introduction to Argument
  • The Three-Story Thesis
  • Organically Structured Arguments
  • Logic and Structure
  • The Perfect Paragraph
  • Introductions and Conclusions
  • Self Check: Organizing

Writing Process: Drafting

  • Outcome: Drafting
  • From Outlining to Drafting
  • Flash Drafts
  • Self Check: Drafting

Writing Process: Revising

  • Outcome: Revising
  • Seeking Input from Others
  • Responding to Input from Others
  • The Art of Re-Seeing
  • Higher Order Concerns
  • Self Check: Revising

Writing Process: Proofreading

  • Outcome: Proofreading
  • Lower Order Concerns
  • Proofreading Advice
  • "Correctness" in Writing
  • The Importance of Spelling
  • Punctuation Concerns
  • Self Check: Proofreading
  • Conclusion to Writing Process

Research Process: Finding Sources

  • Introduction to Research Process
  • Outcome: Finding Sources
  • The Research Process
  • Finding Sources
  • What are Scholarly Articles?
  • Finding Scholarly Articles and Using Databases
  • Database Searching
  • Advanced Search Strategies
  • Preliminary Research Strategies
  • Reading and Using Scholarly Sources
  • Self Check: Finding Sources

Research Process: Source Analysis

  • Outcome: Source Analysis
  • Evaluating Sources
  • CRAAP Analysis
  • Evaluating Websites
  • Synthesizing Sources
  • Self Check: Source Analysis

Research Process: Writing Ethically

  • Outcome: Writing Ethically
  • Academic Integrity
  • Defining Plagiarism
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Using Sources in Your Writing
  • Self Check: Writing Ethically

Research Process: MLA Documentation

  • Introduction to MLA Documentation
  • Outcome: MLA Documentation
  • MLA Document Formatting
  • MLA Works Cited
  • Creating MLA Citations
  • MLA In-Text Citations
  • Self Check: MLA Documentation
  • Conclusion to Research Process

Grammar: Nouns and Pronouns

  • Introduction to Grammar
  • Outcome: Nouns and Pronouns
  • Pronoun Cases and Types
  • Pronoun Antecedents
  • Try It: Nouns and Pronouns
  • Self Check: Nouns and Pronouns

Grammar: Verbs

  • Outcome: Verbs
  • Verb Tenses and Agreement
  • Non-Finite Verbs
  • Complex Verb Tenses
  • Try It: Verbs
  • Self Check: Verbs

Grammar: Other Parts of Speech

  • Outcome: Other Parts of Speech
  • Comparing Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Conjunctions
  • Prepositions
  • Try It: Other Parts of Speech
  • Self Check: Other Parts of Speech

Grammar: Punctuation

  • Outcome: Punctuation
  • End Punctuation
  • Hyphens and Dashes
  • Apostrophes and Quotation Marks
  • Brackets, Parentheses, and Ellipses
  • Semicolons and Colons
  • Try It: Punctuation
  • Self Check: Punctuation

Grammar: Sentence Structure

  • Outcome: Sentence Structure
  • Parts of a Sentence
  • Common Sentence Structures
  • Run-on Sentences
  • Sentence Fragments
  • Parallel Structure
  • Try It: Sentence Structure
  • Self Check: Sentence Structure

Grammar: Voice

  • Outcome: Voice
  • Active and Passive Voice
  • Using the Passive Voice
  • Conclusion to Grammar
  • Try It: Voice
  • Self Check: Voice

Success Skills

  • Introduction to Success Skills
  • Habits for Success
  • Critical Thinking
  • Time Management
  • Writing in College
  • Computer-Based Writing
  • Conclusion to Success Skills
  • Monash Online

Student Academic Success

  • 1:1 Consultation 1:1 Consultation
  • Study better Study better
  • Build digital capabilities Build digital capabilities
  • Understand assessments Understand assessments
  • Excel at writing Excel at writing
  • Enhance your thinking Enhance your thinking
  • Present confidently Present confidently
  • Collaborate with others Collaborate with others
  • Improve your academic English Improve your academic English
  • Maintain academic integrity Maintain academic integrity
  • Advance your graduate studies Advance your graduate studies
  • Workshops Workshops
  • Feedback studio Feedback studio
  • About us About us
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Writing the annotation - Summary

The annotation may include one or more of the following components:

  • summary or description of the source
  • evaluation and analysis of the study
  • reflection on its usefulness to your research

Writing a summary

The first part of an annotation is usually a summary or description of the text. This involves briefly outlining the author’s main points, as well as providing an overview of the approach or methodology they have used.

As you read each source, focus on understanding the main ideas. Take notes on the following questions, in your own words, and this will then form the basis of your summary:

  • What was the aim of the research?
  • What research methodologies have been used? (i.e. How was the research conducted? What methods of collecting and analysing data were used?)
  • What are the main arguments or research findings?
  • What is the scope of the research? (i.e. What is included in the research and what is left out? What are the limitations of the research?)
  • What evidence is being used to support the conclusions?
  • Why was the research done? What issues were addressed?
  • If appropriate to your subject area, are there any quotations that summarise the main argument?

Another way of tackling summaries is the 5WH approach:

what is annotation in article

Note that you don’t need to summarise everything in your annotated bibliography. It will usually comprise a single coherent paragraph, but sometimes you will be asked to provide a shorter summary in just one or two sentences. The information you include will depend on what you’ve been asked to do, and the purpose of the task.

For example:

The summary or description may look something like the following example (see below in bold). Note that the length of each is different because each entry was written to meet different requirements.

Content Container

This example uses apa style.

Sarkar, S. (2007). Potential of kefir as a dietetic beverage: a review. British Food Journal, 109 (4), 280-290. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070700710736534

Sarkar (2007) examined the literature in order to determine the nutritional characteristics of kefir, as well as its potential to offer positive health benefits.

This example uses MHRA style

Goldthwaite, Richard, ‘The Florentine Palace as Domestic Architecture’, The American Historical Review , 77 (1972), 977-1012.

This article focuses on ‘domestic architecture’ in fifteenth-century Florence, namely the numerous palaces built in this period by the patriciate. Goldthwaite argues that a shift took place in the style of architecture during this period as a result of increasing individualism within society, and the breakdown of traditional family structures.

This example uses CSIRO style

Moreira, A., Diógenes, M. J., de Menonça, A., Nuno, L. and Barros, H. (2016) Chocolate consumption is associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease , 53 , 85-93. doi: 10.3233/JAD-160142

Cocoa and chocolate products have been claimed to have a number of health benefits, including on cognitive health. Moreira et al. (2016) explored the relationship between cognitive decline and chocolate consumption among 309 older people (age ≥ 65 years at commencement of study). Baseline, and follow-up (at between 2 and 9 years after baseline) data were collected for each participant through individual interviews, as well as medical examinations. Two validated tools were used in data collection: the Frequent Food Questionnaire was used to determine consumption of chocolate bars, snacks and cocoa powder over a year prior to baseline. The mini-mental state examination (MMSE) tool was used to determine cognitive function, including measure of attention, recall and language. It was found that one third of participants experienced some cognitive decline (defined as a decrease of 2 or less in MMSE score), but very few reached levels of cognitive impairment (decrease of more than 2 points in MMSE score). Detailed statistical analysis suggested that those participants with some chocolate consumption (less than one standard portion per week) had a relative risk of cognitive decline 40% lower than those who did not consume chocolate.

Check your understanding View


Annotated Bibliographies

  • Annotations vs. Abstracts
  • Descriptive Annotations
  • Critical Annotations
  • Evaluating your Annotations
  • Sample APA Annotations
  • Sample MLA Annotations

Want to know even more about abstracts and annotations?

See Eastern Nazarene College's great " Annotated Bibliography Guide " (our guide is based on this).

Annotations v. Abstracts

An Abstract and an Annotation are NOT the same thing!

An ABSTRACT  precedes the journal article and is a summary of the main points or topics the article will discuss. The abstract is written by the author of the article, or an editor, and is intended to help you decide whether or not the work is relevant enough for you to read in full.

An example of an abstract - taken from an article found in Academic Search Complete - is shown below.

Isn't an annotation also a short description of the work?

Yes, but annotations serve a different function from that of abstracts.

ANNOTATIONS are evaluations  of sources written by someone researching a topic. An annotation will describe the work and may give the background of its author, but they also critique the resource and explain its strengths and weaknesses.

To sum up: an abstract is an author/editor written preview of their own work; an annotation is a description and evaluation of the work written by a student, researcher, or scholar.

Confused? Let's think about it this way:  

what is annotation in article

MOVIE TRAILERS             vs.        MOVIE REVIEWS

When a movie is released, the movie studio puts out a trailer (and some billboards) that advertise the movie to us. These previews aim to give us a taste of what the movie is about in order to encourage us to go see the entire film. A movie trailer is the film world's version of an abstract.

Movies are also reviewed by columnists at the New York Times and other papers, as well as by movie fans on blogs and on social media. These reviewers provide us with an overview of the film's plot, some background on its director and cast, and a critique of the film as a whole. As a movie review is a description and evaluation of a film, it functions like an annotation.

  • << Previous: Annotations 101
  • Next: Descriptive Annotations >>
  • Last Updated: Aug 23, 2023 9:41 AM
  • URL: https://library.piercecollege.edu/annotatedbib

Narrative Essay

How to write an annotation.

One of the greatest challenges students face is adjusting to college reading expectations.  Unlike high school, students in college are expected to read more “academic” type of materials in less time and usually recall the information as soon as the next class.

The problem is many students spend hours reading and have no idea what they just read.  Their eyes are moving across the page, but their mind is somewhere else. The end result is wasted time, energy, and frustration…and having to read the text again.

Although students are taught  how to read  at an early age, many are not taught  how to actively engage  with written text or other media. Annotation is a tool to help you learn how to actively engage with a text or other media.

View the following video about how to annotate a text.

Annotating a text or other media (e.g. a video, image, etc.) is as much about you as it is the text you are annotating. What are YOUR responses to the author’s writing, claims and ideas? What are YOU thinking as you consider the work? Ask questions, challenge, think!

When we annotate an author’s work, our minds should encounter the mind of the author, openly and freely. If you met the author at a party, what would you like to tell to them; what would you like to ask them? What do you think they would say in response to your comments? You can be critical of the text, but you do not have to be. If you are annotating properly, you often begin to get ideas that have little or even nothing to do with the topic you are annotating. That’s fine: it’s all about generating insights and ideas of your own. Any good insight is worth keeping because it may make for a good essay or research paper later on.

The Secret is in the Pen

One of the ways proficient readers read is with a pen in hand. They know their purpose is to keep their attention on the material by:

  • Predicting  what the material will be about
  • Questioning  the material to further understanding
  • Determining  what’s important
  • Identifying  key vocabulary
  • Summarizing  the material in their own words, and
  • Monitoring  their comprehension (understanding) during and after engaging with the material

The same applies for mindfully viewing a film, video, image or other media.

Annotating a Text

Review the video, “How to Annotate a Text.”  Pay attention to both how to make annotations and what types of thoughts and ideas may be part of your annotations as you actively read a written text.

Example Assignment Format: Annotating a Written Text

For the annotation of reading assignments in this class, you will cite and comment on a minimum of FIVE (5) phrases, sentences or passages from notes you take on the selected readings.

Here is an example format for an assignment to annotate a written text:

Example Assignment Format: Annotating Media

In addition to annotating written text, at times you will have assignments to annotate media (e.g., videos, images or other media). For the annotation of media assignments in this class, you will cite and comment on a minimum of THREE (3) statements, facts, examples, research or any combination of those from the notes you take about selected media.

Here is an example format for an assignment to annotate media:

  • Provided by : Lumen Learning. Located at : http://www.lumenlearning.com/ . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Authored by : Paul Powell . Provided by : Central Community College. Project : Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Authored by : Elisabeth Ellington and Ronda Dorsey Neugebauer . Provided by : Chadron State College. Project : Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Annotating a Text. Authored by : HaynesEnglish. Located at : http://youtu.be/pf9CTJj9dCM . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube license
  • How to Annotate a Text. Authored by : Kthiebau90. Located at : http://youtu.be/IzrWOj0gWHU . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube License


  1. Annotated Bibliography

    what is annotation in article

  2. How To Annotate Example

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  3. How To Annotate An Article: Learn Annotation Strategies

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  4. How To Annotate An Article College

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  5. How to Annotate a Text (and Why It's Helpful)

    what is annotation in article

  6. How To Annotate A Book With Sticky Notes

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  1. MetaPro: A data processing and analysis pipeline for analyzing microbial metatranscriptomics data

  2. SyncLabeling [MobileHCI 2023]

  3. Analyse the '2021 VCAA Analysing Argument article' with me


  5. Reducing unpredictability in soil amendment research to benefit agricultural crops

  6. Gloss (annotation)


  1. Image Annotation Online Jobs: What You Need to Know Before Taking the Plunge

    In today’s fast-paced digital world, image annotation has become an essential task for many industries. From self-driving cars to facial recognition systems, accurate and reliable image annotation is crucial for training artificial intellig...

  2. Maximizing Your Earnings: Strategies for Success in Image Annotation Online Jobs

    In today’s digital age, online jobs have become increasingly popular, offering individuals the opportunity to work from the comfort of their own homes. One such online job that has gained traction is image annotation.

  3. Enhancing Remote Learning: The Role of an Online Annotation Tool in Education

    In today’s digital age, remote learning has become increasingly prevalent, and educators are constantly seeking innovative ways to engage students in virtual classrooms. One such tool that has gained significant traction is the online annot...

  4. How To Annotate An Article: Learn Annotation Strategies

    How Do You Annotate · Identify and highlight/underline the supporting points or arguments in the body paragraphs, including relevant evidence or

  5. Annotating an Article

    Annotating an article is a kind of detailed note-taking. By following a simple process of annotating articles, you read more actively and

  6. Annotating Texts

    What is annotation? · A systematic summary of the text that you create within the document · A key tool for close reading that helps you uncover patterns, notice

  7. Annotating a Text

    Note the title--what does it tell you about the article's topic/argument? •Is there an Abstract (paragraph that summarizes topic, questions

  8. 3 Ways to Annotate an Article

    To annotate an article, start by underlining the thesis, or the main argument that the author is making. Next, underline the topic sentences for each paragraph

  9. How to Write an Annotated Bibliography

    Writing Annotations. An annotation is a brief note following each citation listed on an annotated bibliography. The goal is to briefly summarize

  10. How To Annotate An Article Effectively [Tips + Tools]

    7 Steps For How To Annotate An Article Effectively · 1. Scan For Important Details · 2. Skim For More Information · 3. Underline Or Highlight

  11. How to Annotate

    An active reading strategy for articles or textbooks is annotation. Think for a moment about what that word means. It means to add notes (an-NOTE-tate) to

  12. Writing the annotation

    The first part of an annotation is usually a summary or description of the text. This involves briefly outlining the author's main points, as well as providing

  13. Annotations vs. Abstracts

    An Abstract and an Annotation are NOT the same thing! An ABSTRACT precedes the journal article and is a summary of the main points or topics

  14. How to Write an Annotation

    The Secret is in the Pen · Predicting what the material will be about · Questioning the material to further understanding · Determining what's important