Do you have a book or story that you need to annotate? Here are some tips.
When annotating a book, you must approach it from a certain mindset; not the mindset of a student doing homework, but of a person reading for fun. This way, your comments will not be bland and stupid, but neat and colorful, and your mind will be open to many more possibilities.
This does not mean that you should not write scholarly comments- those are necessary as well. Here are a few steps to get you started.
- Read the book.
- You may think of this as an unnecessary thing, but you must read the book in order to understand it. As you read it for the first time, write down notes on the side; give commentary on the story, as if in real time.
- Note the important parts of the plot.
- The second time you read the book, note the important parts of the plot; the climax, denouement, etc. Write down guesses and notes alongside these notations.
- Approach it from a different perspective.
- Pretend that you are your teacher. Pretend you are an extremist Muslim. Pretend you are a graduate of MIT. Write down your ideas.
- Write down notes asking questions, and give answers later on.
- This fills up space, and often opens up new doors for your information.
- Write the denotation and connotation of the words you do not know.
- AKA the dictionary definition and the inferred definition of the words.
- Have fun.
- If you don’t, the annotations will be bland, and unexciting. You need it to be interesting- and sometimes humorous.