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Annotated - Conversations with Media: Annotating Text

Do you simply consume media? Or, do you engage ? Do you question it? Do you add your own knowledge and understanding to it? Do you take time to have a conversation with media?


Tools for Annotation

Tools for annotating...

Fox-It Reader 
1:1 Tablets or Download
iPad | Android $ | Windows Phone
Fox-It Reader is a powerful PDF reader AND annotating tool. Mobile apps integrate with computer based applications.

All MGHS students have a Google Apps account. GoogleDocs allows you to collaborate with others on notes.

Microsoft Word 
Use the document review features here (and on similar word processors) to not only track changes, but to also annotate text.  Simply cut and paste (don't forget the citation) and make your notes.  

NoodleTools is more than a bibliographic tool. Create and organize notecards and even collaborate!

MORE Web-Based Tools

  • Ubernotes (create notes using different in one place!)
  • SpringNote (free personal and group notebooks based on wiki platform)
  • iCyte (free for education, save, cite, and organize webpages online, integrated into EBSCOHost databases!)
  • Stickr (leave sticky notes anywhere on the web and share with friends to spark discussion)
  • A.nnotate (free account allows you to annotated up to 30 PDFs online each month)
  • Thinkport Annotator (upload text and use a variety of tools to annotate the text collaboratively)
  • Memonic (take and share notes online)

 iTunes | Android | Windows
One of the most popular mobile apps on any platform, an Evernote account "in the cloud" will sync your notes so they are always available.

More FREE Apps



Annotating is different than note-taking.  Note-taking creates a brief record of someone else's ideas. Annotating text while you read will:

 gather notes and your own ideas alongside the original text. 
 allow you to question, to challenge, and to add to the knowledge the author shares. 
 help you to quickly review and recall what you have read.  

Your personal copy?  Annotate alongside text. You'll be surprised at how valuable these notes become when you revisit the text later.  Many people add additional annotations as they read and review material...a great reflection of growing knowledge.

Library book?  Don't annotated a book that belongs to the library, school, or another person.  Try using sticky notes.  This will keep the notes along side the information for your reference.

What tools might you use?

Index Cards 
Some people use index cards to record all elements while they read. These are then placed, bookmark style, within the pages of the book. Later, when removed, they are easy to sort and organize. Be sure to code your index cards to indicate which source they came from.
Sticky Notes 
Make annotations on the sticky, with an arrow pointing to referenced passages.

Use this to highlight the passages you are referring to in your annotations, along with KEY information. It takes practice to not highlight TOO much. consider keywords, profound passages, ideas you want to question or expand on.

Although you can use a pen, a pencil allows you can make changes. While you read/highlight, use the pencil remark on highlighted passages. You might ask a question, define a term, or add information.

For example...

What to note...

What types of things should you note, when reading? Consider:

Create a vocabulary list at the front or back of your text that includes new terminology, interesting concept words, etc.
Direct quotes can be underlined within your own text or recorded on stickies or index cards.
Write brief summaries or a paraphrase of information found. In your own copy, you can place this at the beginning or end of each chapter or section. If the resource is not yours, keep this information in a notebook or on a notecard.
Your own ideas about the text (expanded information or questions). In your own copy, you can write these in the margins of the page, near the referenced passage. If the copy belongs to someone else, use stickies or index cards placed bookmark fashion between the appropriate pages.
When you read longer texts, keep a list of key information with page references. On your own copy, this might be recorded the inside cover of the book, or perhaps on the back page of a scholarly article. If the resource is not your own, keep this information in a notebook or on a notecard.

Teaching annotation...

Teaching Annotation

Fisher, M., Tribuzzi, J. (2001, March 1). Annotexting [Blog Post]. Retrieved from  Article outlines the skills acquired by learners engaged in annotated reading. The authors offer both tools for students and effective assessment techniques for teachers.

Invite students to annotate your class (lecture, reading, discussion)!

Invite students to collaboratively annotate outside reading or viewing.

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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