You only need three things in order to annotate: a book, a pencil or highlighter, and a brain.
The ability to annotate is a useful skill that will not only help you in AP Language and Composition, but also in any other English or language course.
Learning how to successfully annotate a piece of text takes time and practice, for we all know “practice makes perfect.” Some students define annotating as summarizing a text; however, in actuality that is the definition of note-taking, not annotating (image 1). Successful annotating requires the reader to read between the lines, and to analyze the structure and language devices used to find the deeper meaning of the text (image 2).
In AP Language and Composition, annotating is beneficial for just about everything. You annotate to find the main argument, the different perspectives of the main argument, and vocabulary words. By taking the time to annotate, you will not only help yourself when it comes to the typical in class Socratic seminars, where you must provide textual evidence to support your claim, but also for the AP exam, where you must be able to annotate quickly for devices and arguments in the given passages with a limited amount of time.
|(image 1) This is an example of how NOT to annotate. The annotations above are very minimal and do not give insight to the deeper meaning of the novel All Quiet on the Western Front.|