Annotation: Thinking-Intensive Reading
“Critical reading–active engagement and interaction with texts–is essential to your academic success at Harvard, and to your intellectual growth. Research has shown that students who read deliberately retain more information and retain it longer. Your college reading assignments will probably be more substantial and more sophisticated than those you are used to from high school. The amount of reading will almost certainly be greater. College students rarely have the luxury of successive re-readings of material, either, given the pace of life in and out of the classroom.
While the strategies described below are (for the sake of clarity) listed sequentially, you typically do most of them simultaneously. They may feel awkward at first, and you may have to deploy them very consciously the first few times, especially if you are not used to doing anything more than moving your eyes across the page. But they will quickly become habits, and you will notice the difference—in what you “see” in a reading, and in the confidence with which you approach your texts.”
Is annotation really important?Yes. Here’s why.
How and why to annotate a book from the College Board, makers of Advanced Placement tests and the SAT.
Annotation is not just “a way to not just passively read but also to fully enter a text, to collaborate with it, to mingle with an author on some kind of primary textual plane” (Anderson, “What I Really Want is Someone Rolling around in the Text”)
How to annotate and examples: