User Tools

Site Tools



Annotation, a skill as old as print, involves marking up texts with metacognitive cues to aid in the understanding of the texts. Readers write directly on the text as they read by looking for central ideas, circling key ideas, and writing questions in the margins.


Explicit instruction in annotation may raise performance and test scores (Gomez & Gomez, 2007), get used in print and informational texts online and offline (Castek and Beach, 2013).

Studies in expert readers, which makes the basis for comprehension research have noted the common use of annotation among skilled readers (Pressley, 2000). Adler and Van Doren identified seven common techniques:

  1. Underline main points
  2. Use vertical lines and brackets for long segments
  3. Star and asterik points in the margins
  4. Make connections to other pages by recording the number in the margin
  5. Circle keywords and phrases
  6. Write in the margin

Recent work in multimodal texts suggest that collaborative annotation tools may have benefits over and beyond tradition print annotation and electronic annotation (Chen & Chen, 2014).

In the Classroom

Explain to students the importance of annotation.

  • question mark for question
  • circle key words
  • underline unknown words
  • highlight main ideas
  • label inferences etc

Create a code book and hang an anchor chart of common markers.

Reread a passage multiple times but change how you annotate the passage.

Have students record and track the codes they use

annotate.txt · Last modified: 2022/03/15 16:41 by