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How to Annotate Texts

Use the links below to jump directly to any section of this guide:

Annotation Fundamentals

How to start annotating , how to annotate digital texts, how to annotate a textbook, how to annotate a scholarly article or book, how to annotate literature, how to annotate images, videos, and performances, additional resources for teachers.

Writing in your books can make you smarter. Or, at least (according to education experts), annotation–an umbrella term for underlining, highlighting, circling, and, most importantly, leaving comments in the margins–helps students to remember and comprehend what they read. Annotation is like a conversation between reader and text. Proper annotation allows students to record their own opinions and reactions, which can serve as the inspiration for research questions and theses. So, whether you're reading a novel, poem, news article, or science textbook, taking notes along the way can give you an advantage in preparing for tests or writing essays. This guide contains resources that explain the benefits of annotating texts, provide annotation tools, and suggest approaches for diverse kinds of texts; the last section includes lesson plans and exercises for teachers.

Why annotate? As the resources below explain, annotation allows students to emphasize connections to material covered elsewhere in the text (or in other texts), material covered previously in the course, or material covered in lectures and discussion. In other words, proper annotation is an organizing tool and a time saver. The links in this section will introduce you to the theory, practice, and purpose of annotation. 

How to Mark a Book, by Mortimer Adler

This famous, charming essay lays out the case for marking up books, and provides practical suggestions at the end including underlining, highlighting, circling key words, using vertical lines to mark shifts in tone/subject, numbering points in an argument, and keeping track of questions that occur to you as you read. 

How Annotation Reshapes Student Thinking (TeacherHUB)

In this article, a high school teacher discusses the importance of annotation and how annotation encourages more effective critical thinking.

The Future of Annotation (Journal of Business and Technical Communication)

This scholarly article summarizes research on the benefits of annotation in the classroom and in business. It also discusses how technology and digital texts might affect the future of annotation. 

Annotating to Deepen Understanding (Texas Education Agency)

This website provides another introduction to annotation (designed for 11th graders). It includes a helpful section that teaches students how to annotate reading comprehension passages on tests.

Once you understand what annotation is, you're ready to begin. But what tools do you need? How do you prepare? The resources linked in this section list strategies and techniques you can use to start annotating. 

What is Annotating? (Charleston County School District)

This resource gives an overview of annotation styles, including useful shorthands and symbols. This is a good place for a student who has never annotated before to begin.

How to Annotate Text While Reading (YouTube)

This video tutorial (appropriate for grades 6–10) explains the basic ins and outs of annotation and gives examples of the type of information students should be looking for.

Annotation Practices: Reading a Play-text vs. Watching Film (U Calgary)

This blog post, written by a student, talks about how the goals and approaches of annotation might change depending on the type of text or performance being observed. 

Annotating Texts with Sticky Notes (Lyndhurst Schools)

Sometimes students are asked to annotate books they don't own or can't write in for other reasons. This resource provides some strategies for using sticky notes instead.

Teaching Students to Close Read...When You Can't Mark the Text (Performing in Education)

Here, a sixth grade teacher demonstrates the strategies she uses for getting her students to annotate with sticky notes. This resource includes a link to the teacher's free Annotation Bookmark (via Teachers Pay Teachers).

Digital texts can present a special challenge when it comes to annotation; emerging research suggests that many students struggle to critically read and retain information from digital texts. However, proper annotation can solve the problem. This section contains links to the most highly-utilized platforms for electronic annotation.

Evernote is one of the two big players in the "digital annotation apps" game. In addition to allowing users to annotate digital documents, the service (for a fee) allows users to group multiple formats (PDF, webpages, scanned hand-written notes) into separate notebooks, create voice recordings, and sync across all sorts of devices. 

OneNote is Evernote's main competitor. Reviews suggest that OneNote allows for more freedom for digital note-taking than Evernote, but that it is slightly more awkward to import and annotate a PDF, especially on certain platforms. However, OneNote's free version is slightly more feature-filled, and OneNote allows you to link your notes to time stamps on an audio recording.

Diigo is a basic browser extension that allows a user to annotate webpages. Diigo also offers a Screenshot app that allows for direct saving to Google Drive.

While the creators of Hypothesis like to focus on their app's social dimension, students are more likely to be interested in the private highlighting and annotating functions of this program.

Foxit PDF Reader

Foxit is one of the leading PDF readers. Though the full suite must be purchased, Foxit offers a number of annotation and highlighting tools for free.

Nitro PDF Reader

This is another well-reviewed, free PDF reader that includes annotation and highlighting. Annotation, text editing, and other tools are included in the free version.

Goodreader is a very popular Mac-only app that includes annotation and editing tools for PDFs, Word documents, Powerpoint, and other formats.

Although textbooks have vocabulary lists, summaries, and other features to emphasize important material, annotation can allow students to process information and discover their own connections. This section links to guides and video tutorials that introduce you to textbook annotation. 

Annotating Textbooks (Niagara University)

This PDF provides a basic introduction as well as strategies including focusing on main ideas, working by section or chapter, annotating in your own words, and turning section headings into questions.

A Simple Guide to Text Annotation (Catawba College)

The simple, practical strategies laid out in this step-by-step guide will help students learn how to break down chapters in their textbooks using main ideas, definitions, lists, summaries, and potential test questions.

Annotating (Mercer Community College)

This packet, an excerpt from a literature textbook, provides a short exercise and some examples of how to do textbook annotation, including using shorthand and symbols.

Reading Your Healthcare Textbook: Annotation (Saddleback College)

This powerpoint contains a number of helpful suggestions, especially for students who are new to annotation. It emphasizes limited highlighting, lots of student writing, and using key words to find the most important information in a textbook. Despite the title, it is useful to a student in any discipline.

Annotating a Textbook (Excelsior College OWL)

This video (with included transcript) discusses how to use textbook features like boxes and sidebars to help guide annotation. It's an extremely helpful, detailed discussion of how textbooks are organized.

Because scholarly articles and books have complex arguments and often depend on technical vocabulary, they present particular challenges for an annotating student. The resources in this section help students get to the heart of scholarly texts in order to annotate and, by extension, understand the reading.

Annotating a Text (Hunter College)

This resource is designed for college students and shows how to annotate a scholarly article using highlighting, paraphrase, a descriptive outline, and a two-margin approach. It ends with a sample passage marked up using the strategies provided. 

Guide to Annotating the Scholarly Article (

This is an effective introduction to annotating scholarly articles across all disciplines. This resource encourages students to break down how the article uses primary and secondary sources and to annotate the types of arguments and persuasive strategies (synthesis, analysis, compare/contrast).

How to Highlight and Annotate Your Research Articles (CHHS Media Center)

This video, developed by a high school media specialist, provides an effective beginner-level introduction to annotating research articles. 

How to Read a Scholarly Book (

In this essay, a college professor lets readers in on the secrets of scholarly monographs. Though he does not discuss annotation, he explains how to find a scholarly book's thesis, methodology, and often even a brief literature review in the introduction. This is a key place for students to focus when creating annotations. 

A 5-step Approach to Reading Scholarly Literature and Taking Notes (Heather Young Leslie)

This resource, written by a professor of anthropology, is an even more comprehensive and detailed guide to reading scholarly literature. Combining the annotation techniques above with the reading strategy here allows students to process scholarly book efficiently. 

Annotation is also an important part of close reading works of literature. Annotating helps students recognize symbolism, double meanings, and other literary devices. These resources provide additional guidelines on annotating literature.

AP English Language Annotation Guide (YouTube)

In this ~10 minute video, an AP Language teacher provides tips and suggestions for using annotations to point out rhetorical strategies and other important information.

Annotating Text Lesson (YouTube)

In this video tutorial, an English teacher shows how she uses the white board to guide students through annotation and close reading. This resource uses an in-depth example to model annotation step-by-step.

Close Reading a Text and Avoiding Pitfalls (Purdue OWL)

This resources demonstrates how annotation is a central part of a solid close reading strategy; it also lists common mistakes to avoid in the annotation process.

AP Literature Assignment: Annotating Literature (Mount Notre Dame H.S.)

This brief assignment sheet contains suggestions for what to annotate in a novel, including building connections between parts of the book, among multiple books you are reading/have read, and between the book and your own experience. It also includes samples of quality annotations.

AP Handout: Annotation Guide (Covington Catholic H.S.)

This annotation guide shows how to keep track of symbolism, figurative language, and other devices in a novel using a highlighter, a pencil, and every part of a book (including the front and back covers).

In addition to written resources, it's possible to annotate visual "texts" like theatrical performances, movies, sculptures, and paintings. Taking notes on visual texts allows students to recall details after viewing a resource which, unlike a book, can't be re-read or re-visited ( for example, a play that has finished its run, or an art exhibition that is far away). These resources draw attention to the special questions and techniques that students should use when dealing with visual texts.

How to Take Notes on Videos (U of Southern California)

This resource is a good place to start for a student who has never had to take notes on film before. It briefly outlines three general approaches to note-taking on a film. 

How to Analyze a Movie, Step-by-Step (San Diego Film Festival)

This detailed guide provides lots of tips for film criticism and analysis. It contains a list of specific questions to ask with respect to plot, character development, direction, musical score, cinematography, special effects, and more. 

How to "Read" a Film (UPenn)

This resource provides an academic perspective on the art of annotating and analyzing a film. Like other resources, it provides students a checklist of things to watch out for as they watch the film.

Art Annotation Guide (Gosford Hill School)

This resource focuses on how to annotate a piece of art with respect to its formal elements like line, tone, mood, and composition. It contains a number of helpful questions and relevant examples. 

Photography Annotation (Arts at Trinity)

This resource is designed specifically for photography students. Like some of the other resources on this list, it primarily focuses on formal elements, but also shows students how to integrate the specific technical vocabulary of modern photography. This resource also contains a number of helpful sample annotations.

How to Review a Play (U of Wisconsin)

This resource from the University of Wisconsin Writing Center is designed to help students write a review of a play. It contains suggested questions for students to keep in mind as they watch a given production. This resource helps students think about staging, props, script alterations, and many other key elements of a performance.

This section contains links to lessons plans and exercises suitable for high school and college instructors.

Beyond the Yellow Highlighter: Teaching Annotation Skills to Improve Reading Comprehension (English Journal)

In this journal article, a high school teacher talks about her approach to teaching annotation. This article makes a clear distinction between annotation and mere highlighting.

Lesson Plan for Teaching Annotation, Grades 9–12 (

This lesson plan, published by the National Council of Teachers of English, contains four complete lessons that help introduce high school students to annotation.

Teaching Theme Using Close Reading (Performing in Education)

This lesson plan was developed by a middle school teacher, and is aligned to Common Core. The teacher presents her strategies and resources in comprehensive fashion.

Analyzing a Speech Using Annotation (UNC-TV/PBS Learning Media)

This complete lesson plan, which includes a guide for the teacher and relevant handouts for students, will prepare students to analyze both the written and presentation components of a speech. This lesson plan is best for students in 6th–10th grade.

Writing to Learn History: Annotation and Mini-Writes (

This teaching guide, developed for high school History classes, provides handouts and suggested exercises that can help students become more comfortable with annotating historical sources.

Writing About Art (The College Board)

This Prezi presentation is useful to any teacher introducing students to the basics of annotating art. The presentation covers annotating for both formal elements and historical/cultural significance.

Film Study Worksheets (

This resource contains links to a general film study worksheet, as well as specific worksheets for novel adaptations, historical films, documentaries, and more. These resources are appropriate for advanced middle school students and some high school students. 

Annotation Practice Worksheet (La Guardia Community College)

This worksheet has a sample text and instructions for students to annotate it. It is a useful resource for teachers who want to give their students a chance to practice, but don't have the time to select an appropriate piece of text. 

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Definition of annotation

Examples of annotation in a sentence.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'annotation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

see annotate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Dictionary Entries Near annotation

Cite this entry.

“Annotation.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of annotation, legal definition, legal definition of annotation, more from merriam-webster on annotation.

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for annotation

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Information Literacy Research Skill Building: What is an Annotation?

  • Basic Timeline for Information
  • Research Process Podcast
  • Library Lingo
  • Popular vs Scholarly Sources
  • Primary vs Secondary Sources
  • Advanced Database Searching
  • Advanced Searching Techniques
  • Choosing Search Terms video
  • Database Evaluation
  • Dissertations and Theses
  • Identifying Main Concepts
  • Citations to Articles
  • Journal Title Abbreviations – Finding the Real Title
  • Evaluating Sources: The CRAAP Test
  • Peer Reviewed Journals, Refereed, and Juried Journals
  • Popular vs Scholarly Information
  • Article Evaluation Flow Chart

What is an Annotation?

  • Most of us are probably more familiar with seeing or writing “summaries” or “abstracts” of articles or information we find. Summaries or abstracts basically rehash the content of the material. Writing annotations, however, require a different approach. Annotations, on the other hand, look at the material a little more objectively. When writing an annotation, you should consider who wrote it and why. Consult the Elements of an Annotation below for more detail.

Elements of an Annotation

  • Identification and qualifications of the author: Did a journalist, scientist, politician, professor, or a lay person write the material? What do you know about the person?
  • Major thesis, theories and ideas: What is the basic idea the author is trying to convey? What is the message?
  • Audience and level of reading difficulty: For whom is the article written? Does the author use simple language? Scientific language? A particular jargon or specialized terms?
  • Bias or standpoint of the author in relation to his theme: Does the author have a particular axe to grind, point to make, or something to sell (even if it is an idea)? What does the author have to gain or lose?
  • Relationship of the work to other works in the field: Compared to other things you have read about the topic, what does this particular source add to your knowledge? Why is it worthy of inclusion into your project? What purpose does it serve? (This means you have to have already read a number of other materials on the topic before you can accurately annotate something.)
  • Conclusions, findings, results : What is your basic assessment of the article based on everything else you know?
  • Special features. If the work is long enough (a book or extensive article) you may want to briefly explain how it is organized. If there are indexes, statistical tables, pictures, or a bibliography, your reader will want to know.
  • Annotations are short - not over 150 words. Because annotations are usually just a paragraph long, they need to be very succinct and to the point. You shouldn’t feel like you need to add “filler” information, especially if you cover all the annotation elements listed above. Annotations are also written in 3rd person.

Article Annotation Activity

  • After you read the annotation, see if you can identify which annotation elements correspond with the bold text you see in the text of the annotation.
  • Remember, there is no one correct to annotate an article, as long as most of the seven elements outlined above are addressed. When you evaluate an information source, pick out and make judgments about what you think is important based on how the item relates to your research.

Article Annotation

  • Annotation of “Tells of Vaccine to Stop Influenza.” New York Times. October 2, 1918. ProQuest Historical News York Times (1851-2003). Pg. 10: This primary source article was written at the time of the 1918 flu outbreak by a New York Times journalist. It is a basic, unbiased report of information the author received from the U.S. Army. As a NYT’s article, it was written for the public at a basic reading level , and accounts for the development of immunization against the Spanish Flu . This would have been spectacular news at this point in time. The article, it turns out, was not accurate , as no immunization against the flu was ever found. In the second paragraph, there is evidence that Army doctors reporting this information have an interest in consoling the American public from “undue alarm.” This comment by Dr. Copeland, Health Commissioner of New York City, supports the idea that there was great concern in keeping the public confident that the matter was under control – even when the worst of the pandemic was hitting America. ACTIVITY: Look at the text in bold in the annotation above. Try to match each phrase in bold font with one of the seven annotation elements listed on the front of this handout. There may be more than one answer for each phrase you see in bold.

Original Article

1918 New York Times article about influenza vaccine

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annotation news meaning

You likely read, and perhaps also write, annotation every day. Annotation influences how we interact with texts across everyday contexts. Annotation provides information, shares commentary, sparks conversation, expresses power, and aids learning. This is why annotation matters.

1: Introduction

And if you have managed to graduate from college without ever having written ‘Man vs. Nature’ in a margin, perhaps now is the time to take one step forward. —Billy Collins, Marginalia

All the News that’s Fit to Annotate

On April 18, 2019, a redacted version of the Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election , by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, was released to the public by the U.S. Department of Justice. Annotation shaped how the report was shared and interpreted.

Approximately a tenth of the entire report was redacted, or blacked out . Redaction is a type of annotation. To provide a rationale for extensive redaction, the Department of Justice also annotated each redaction according to one of four color-coded categories. According to an analysis by The New York Times , about 70 percent of the line-by-line redactions concerned ongoing investigations (white annotation), almost 20 percent related to grand jury material (red), and the remaining redactions concerned either classified information, such as investigative techniques (yellow), or personal privacy (green).

annotation news meaning

Figure 1: Mueller Report

In addition to the report’s redaction-as-annotation and annotation-of-redactions, media reporting of the report’s conclusions about possible coordination (popularly referred to as “collusion”) and obstruction of justice did more than offer a summary of key findings. Journalists annotated the report to provide their readers with information, analysis, and commentary. The Washington Post published a page-by-page analysis titled “The Mueller report, annotated,” NPR offered “Highlights from the Mueller Report, Annotated,” and Politico reporters contributed “An annotated guide to the redacted Mueller report,” among other examples. Annotation across these publications varied in detail, scope, visual style, and interactive features.

Over the past few years, leading media organizations have embraced an annotated approach to journalism. Annotation by reporters frequently accompanies political speeches, debate and interview transcripts, the release of legal documents like the Mueller report, and analysis of news conferences. Why the trend? On the one hand, annotation is easy to feature because it’s similar to established journalism practices, like quoting experts, hyperlinking to supporting resources, and presenting media content. On the other hand, annotation goes a step further by illustrating both granular detail and germane context. Annotation allows journalists to comment more transparently, to more informally share behind-the-scenes or insider perspectives. Annotation is also proving to be an effective fact-checking strategy. 1

Journalistic interest in annotation is not confined to politics. Following Ta-Nehisi Coates’ successful turn authoring Marvel’s Black Panther comic, The New York Times published “Captain America No. 1, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Annotated.” This online article featured exclusive previews of the comic, insider commentary by Mr. Coates as head writer, and a few spoilers for good measure. 2 In 2017, the Times also featured the author Margaret Atwood annotating key episodes and scenes from the TV adaption of her celebrated novel The Handmaid’s Tale . Yet in both form and function, how different is annotation in The New York Times Magazine’s “Talk” interviews, a featured introduced in 2019, from Listrius’ annotation of Erasmus’ Moriae encomium , “a standard appendage to the work” since the 1515 Basel edition? 3

That which is fit to print - be it the news, or social commentary, or religious doctrine - has for centuries been fit for annotation, too. While it’s not newsworthy to observe that journalism is changing rapidly in our digital era, it is distinctive to note how annotation traditions and conventions are reinvigorating journalism as more connected, more interactive, and more relevant.

The ways in which, and the reasons why, journalists annotate represents but one small set of practices within the broader genre of annotation. Marginalia thrived in England during the sixteenth century, as studies of book culture during the rule of Elizabeth I and James I demonstrate. 4 Annotated books were routinely exchanged among scholars and friends as “social activity” throughout the Victorian era. 5 Some of the most significant commentary about the Talmud, first written in the eleventh century, has been featured prominently as annotation in print editions since the early 1500s. Today, scientists’ annotation of the human genome and proteome for large-scale biomedical research relies upon techniques that are both similar to and also very different from linguists and historians who have translated, annotated, and digitally archived Babylonian and Assyrian clay tablets. 6 From the annotatio of Roman imperial law to the medieval gloss , annotation nowadays helps people to write computer code, evaluate chess games, and interpret rap lyrics.

Perhaps annotation has already appeared in this book, too. Annotation is a form of self-expression, a way to document and curate new knowledge, and is a powerful means of civic engagement and political agency.

Annotation provides information, making knowledge more accessible. Annotation shares commentary, making both expert opinion and everyday perspective more transparent. Annotation sparks conversation, making our dialogue - about art, religion, culture, politics, and research - more interactive. Annotation expresses power, making civic life more robust and participatory. And annotation aids learning, augmenting our intellect, cognition, and collaboration. This is why annotation matters.

You likely read, and perhaps also write, annotation every day. Whether handwritten or digital, this book will help you to define, identify, and author annotation. More importantly, this book will discuss five essential purposes of annotation that contribute to cultural, professional, civic, and educational activities. Annotation is written within the warp and weft of our texts, patterning the fabric of daily life. This book will help you to understand how that happens and why that matters. We’ll start by introducing a key idea that appears throughout this book - annotation is an everyday activity.

An Everyday Activity

The Scottish author Kenneth Grahame, best known for his novel The Wind in the Willows , observed in an 1892 essay, “The child’s scribbling on the margin of his school-books is really worth more to him than all he gets out of them.” 7 Imagine your high school literature course. Or picture those classic scenes from Dead Poets Society . Maybe your English teacher assigned Toni Morrison’s Beloved . While reading, perhaps you highlighted key passages, noted plot devices, and commented on structure and dialogue. How else to comprehend two chapters, back-to-back, famous and famously unconventional, both of which begin “I am Beloved and she is mine.”? You might have shown these annotations to your teacher - “you see, I did the reading!” - or used them as references when writing a final paper. Or do you recall jotting down formulae for molecules and compounds in the margins of your chemistry textbook? Writing to students in 1940, the American philosopher and educator Mortimer Adler declared, “Marking up a book is not an act of mutilation but of love.” 8

What is everyday about annotation in school? Annotation may have been an expected or required academic practice. You’ve likely annotated as a part of many different courses and inside many different texts. Maybe annotation in school helped you to develop an idiosyncratic notation system that you still use today. Or maybe you were taught a more formal convention. Annotation happens every day in school and is an everyday activity for students, for “at every stage, students working with books have used the tool of annotation.” 9 And graduation from high school or college probably didn’t get you off the hook; as we’ll discuss, annotation is an everyday activity for many professionals, like journalists, programmers, scientists, and scholars.

But we’re not all scientists or scholars who annotate as a part of our job. Let’s bring this idea of everyday annotation a bit closer to home. Some of us may fondly recall measuring the height of a child against a doorframe, making a small pencil mark, and then writing down your child’s name and the date. Or maybe you were that child and this family ritual also helped you to practice writing your name while growing up. As you, or your child, aged, so too did these measurement marks travel upwards, edging ever closer to the upper frame. This, too, is an act of everyday annotation, stretched over time and etched with love. While this type of annotated measurement might not have happened every single day, it did record an aggregate of day-to-day changes. And the annotation - the marks, the names, the dates - served as a visual and daily reminder of growth added to the text and texture of life.

Annotation is an everyday activity whether it makes journalism more viable or schooling more valuable. Annotation is an everyday activity whether it contributes to scientific discovery or catalogues a child’s growth. Annotation is an everyday activity because different types of notes, whether political commentary or a child’s name, are added by many different types of people - journalists, programmers, parents and children - to a variety of texts, like transcripts, and code, and even a door jamb. In these cases, and in many others discussed throughout this book, it isn’t our prerogative to suggest which examples of everyday annotation are more or less remarkable (and yes, pun intended). Rather, it is our job to highlight how these various types of annotation share five common purposes - to provide information, to share commentary, to spark conversation, to express power, and to aid learning. Annotation makes knowledge more accessible, perspective more transparent, discourse more interactive, authority more contested and complex, and education more vibrant.

Defining Annotation

As print culture developed in Renaissance Europe and books become more widely available to a reading public, so, too, did “marginal material” flourish and serve various purposes. During the 1500s, annotation added details and examples to books, and provided references, corrected or objected to an author’s statement, emphasized importance, evaluated arguments, provided justification and translation, and even parodied the text, among other functions. 10 It wasn’t until 1819 that Samuel Taylor Coleridge first used the term “marginalia,” from the Latin marginalis (or “in the margin”), when, as a literary critic, he wrote about another author’s work for Blackwood’s Magazine . 11 Were you to ask more contemporary scholars about annotation, they might suggest annotation facilitates reading and later writing, the ability to “eavesdrop” on other readers, that annotation provides feedback and opportunities for collaboration, and “call[s] attention to topics and important passages.” 12 And when Sam Anderson wrote his 2011 essay What I Really Want Is Someone Rolling Around in the Text , he recalled experiencing annotation as additive, useful, social, a means to collaborate with a text, and as “meta-conversation running in the margins.” 13 Then again, a computer scientist will tell you that annotation means labeling data - images, text, or audio - for the purposes of identifying, categorizing, and training machine learning systems.

So how to define annotation? Merriam-Webster defines annotation as “a note added by way of comment or explanation.” And the Oxford English Dictionary echoes with: “A note by way of explanation or comment added to a text or diagram.” In this book, we’ll take an even simpler approach and define annotation as:

A note added to a text.

We’ve settled upon this definition because it gives us flexibility to explore the broad genre of annotation, both handwritten and digital, textual and visual, from different periods of time, and that serve different cultural and civic purposes. You might notice that unlike the standard-bearing dictionaries, our definition does not include the terms “comment” and “explanation,” denoting two annotation purposes. And that’s because, in our assessment, annotation serves five equally important, and sometimes overlapping purposes: Providing information, sharing commentary, expressing power, sparking conversation, and aiding learning. Our definition of annotation will allow us to explore wide-ranging issues of authorship, intent, and expression.

Most immediately, our definition of annotation requires us to ask - and answer - three questions. First, what is a note? Second, what does it mean to add? And third, what is a text?

annotation news meaning

Figure 2: A note added to text

What is a Note?

Notes , according to literary scholar Andrew Piper, are “records of the quotidian.” 14 In our earlier examples of everyday annotation, we featured various types of notes. A note can be a word, phrase, sentence, or even extended prose written in a textbook or cookbook. Some scholars have argued that signs and nonverbal codes are not notes, that notes must be discursive and responsive. 15 However, to embrace the full repertoire of annotation we also suggest that a note can be a symbol, like a question mark, exclamation point, or an asterisk. Copyediting marks are notes, and so too tick or tally marks like those added to the Lee Resolution, or The Resolution for Independence, passed by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. The Lee Resolution features 12 marks tallying the “united colonies” that voted for American independence.

annotation news meaning

Figure 3: Lee Resolution

Notes help mediate the relationship between reading and writing. For Piper, notes are “silent embers,” indicating “where the often mind-numbing, repetitive mundaneness of our daily lives bump into the high-flying acrobatics of human intellect.” 16 In 1947, a high-flying moth bumped into Harvard’s Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator, was removed by computer operator William Burke, and then taped to the computer log - popularizing the existing term “debugging.”

annotation news meaning

Figure 4: debugging

To discuss what counts as a note and how notes work, we need to introduce a new idea - multimodality .

With roots in rhetoric and semiotics, the concept of multimodality has long influenced how we understand and participate in acts of communication. A full theoretical review of multimodality is beyond the scope of this book. For our purposes, it will be sufficient to start by explaining how different forms of media are characterized by different types of modes . Earlier, we mentioned Toni Morrison’s Beloved . Beloved is a book, and books are a category of media. In the case of Beloved , this media artifact uses a textual mode of communication between Toni Morrison, the author, and you, the reader. Of course, media in the same category can feature different modes. Children’s picture books and your coffee table book featuring landscape photography exemplify a visual modality, whereas books written in braille demonstrate the importance of a tactile mode.

To further understand the relationship between media and mode, let’s briefly revisit two examples that we’ve already mentioned. Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale has been narrated by the actress Claire Danes to create an audiobook, another type of media, which allows for communication with listeners via an aural modality. Ta-Nehisi Coates, the lead writer of Black Panther , worked alongside a team of illustrators and colorists who, together, created a series of comic books (yet another type of media) that communicated with readers through both textual and visual modalities. Furthermore, both The Handmaid’s Tale and Black Panther demonstrate how a specific text can be adapted from one type of media to another; the former from a book into a television show, the latter from comic books into a feature film. And when that happened, the primary modality of both texts also changed to favor a visual mode.

Just like different types of media communicate through various modes, so, too, do notes communicate through multiple modes. As records of the quotidian, words, symbols, images, and even animated GIFs may all be notes that communicate through a textual mode, or a visual mode, or an aural model. When we discuss what counts as a note in this book, and when we describe how notes function in relation to a text, we do so with multimodality in mind. Annotating Beloved in literature class likely meant adding textual notes to a book that also communicated through a textual mode. Alternatively, adding textual notes to an image, or vice versa when adding a doodle or an image atop a text, suggests that the concept of multimodality - or what Piper describes as the “multidimensional” qualities of notes - will help us to examine notes and their relationship to annotation.

Consider all the various media you interact with every day - books, newspapers, magazines, and comics (including these texts’ digital versions), as well as movies, video games, podcasts, and social media. Your daily media diet likely features various modalities: Textual, for the media you read; visual, for media you watch; tactile, for media you touch, like touch screens at a restaurant or museum; and aural, for your favorite podcasts. Have you ever noticed annotation associated with this media? If so, what do these notes say and through what modalities do they speak? If, as Piper suggests, notes are “technologies of oversight,” then as multiple notes are added to a text over time, it’s likely that a group of notes will come to demonstrate the multimodality and multidimensionality of annotation. Importantly, notes are not only written; notes, in our view, may be more than words.

What Does it Mean to Add?

We now understand what notes are, how notes function, and that notes are multimodal. Let’s survey a few records of the quotidian in a variety of everyday scenarios. You’re reading a favorite book, jotting words and symbols in the margins; this is your “private exchange” with the author, a means of “talking back to” the text. 17 An educator reads a student’s essay and returns it covered in red-inked copyediting marks, or does the same using a digital annotation application. You and a colleague use collaborative word processing software to write a report for colleagues in your organization, a version of augmented intellectual work anticipated by, among others, the inventor and Internet pioneer Douglas Engelbart in the early 1960s. 18 In these instances, we recognize the importance of idiosyncratic meaning-making, how a student’s first draft is improved through expert feedback, and how a report is co-authored thanks to professional processes. The addition of notes while reading a book, revising a school assignment, or authoring a report communicates an important message: To add a note is to act with agency.

The word agency is traced back to the Latin verb agō meaning to act, to do, or to make. In our discussion of annotation we’re not referring to the type of organizational agency that makes stuff, like an advertising firm or a government bureaucracy. Rather, we’re interested in how an individual or a group acts and makes stuff, as when copy editing an essay or collaboratively writing research. And when doing so, it’s likely that people will annotate, that they will add some type of note to a text, that they will author a “responsive kind of writing permanently anchored to preexisting written words.” 19 Our expansive view of annotation suggests notes are not only responsive writing (notes might be GIFs), and also that more than written words are annotated (buildings can be annotated, too). What really matters, in this discussion of agency, is the fact that when a note is added - when people exercise agency in different contexts, under a variety of circumstances, and for many purposes - an annotation is permanently anchored to a text.

What does it mean to add? Adding is to act with agency. When we discuss annotation in this book, agency means that someone has permanently anchored a note to a text.

What is a Text?

This book you’re reading - whether printed on paper and bound together, or as a digital epub - is a text . We’ve mentioned a lot of texts so far: Beloved , The Handmaid’s Tale , Black Panther . We began our introduction by referencing multiple news articles written by journalists and published by media organizations; those articles are also texts. If you’ve made it this far into a book about annotation, then you’re likely familiar with a diversity of material and digital texts. In forthcoming chapters we’ll discuss medieval manuscripts, religious scripture, works of art, hashtags, computer code, legislation, and all manner of images - they’re all texts, too.

What makes something a text? First, a text has an author. Someone, or maybe a group of someones, authors a text by writing, composing, speaking, drawing, or through photography. Second, a text is defined by its content. A text conveys a “main message.” Some would say that texts have a “body,” and that texts are distinguished by a given style or subject. As we’ve discussed, texts are also defined by different forms of media; one text is a comic book, another a film. And texts communicate messages through different modes including, as with comic books, multiple modalities at the same time. While different types of annotation like marginalia, glosses, and rubrication have historically appeared as notes within books (as we’ll discuss in Chapter 2), the breadth of what we count as a text is a reminder that annotation may be permanently anchored to much more than books.

The features of a text should resonate as familiar given something you’ve likely authored today, if not quite recently - a text message. You’re the author of the text message. To author your text message, perhaps you wrote words, or used an emoji, or included a photograph or GIF. The content, or the body, of your text quite literally conveys a message: “Here’s the book I recommended,” or “Let’s go see a movie this weekend.” And depending upon whether you composed with words, or with emojis, or with images, your text message communicated through a textual mode, via a visual mode, or maybe with multiple modalities.

Why discuss the qualities of texts and this example of text messages? For two reasons. First, the defining features of a text - an author, message, structure, and style - are similar to the features of notes - which are quotidian, include both words and signs, and are multimodal. Both texts and notes can take the form of different media and communicate through different modalities. The second reason is this: the interplay of a note added to a text can best be understood by introducing the concept of intertextuality .


Intertextuality is essential to further articulating annotation as a note added to a text.

Simply put, intertextuality describes the relationship between texts. A relationship between two (or more) texts might be established for the purposes of comparison, or alliteration, or interpretation, or as a means of fact-checking or critique. In some cases, an intertextual relationship may be explicit. This book, so far, has referenced Beloved and Black Panther on multiple occasions to help illustrate key ideas. In doing so, we’ve begun building a series of intertextual dialogues among these texts. In other instances, an intertextual relationship may be implicit. For example, there is both implicit and interpretive intertextuality among James Joyce’s Ulysses and Homer’s Odyssey , as well as between the Odyssey and the Coen brothers’ film O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Of course, the idea of intertextuality is a bit more complex than just explicit or implicit references among texts. The Russian philosopher and literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, writing throughout the 1930s and 40s, suggested that the nature of language is dialogical . He argued that both written and spoken language is always in dialogue with other texts and authors. We agree with Bakhtin’s view. What you write and what you say is dialogical because it’s responsive to other people (like a teacher or colleague), other texts (like the Odyssey ), as well as other ideas (as when, for example, you hold a sign or chant during a protest). And because we embrace the idea that written and spoken language is dialogical, we can now suggest that annotation - the addition and permanent anchoring of a note to a text - is dialogical, too.

Not only is annotation dialogical, we can also observe that all annotation is intertextual. And rather than take our word for it, let’s be expressly dialogical and put our book and ideas into dialogue with another text and set of ideas. Figure 4 includes a quote by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. In addition to this quote, we’ve exercised our agency - to express our authorial power, to spark a response from you - by annotating Derrida. 20 Here, in dialogue with one another, is what we have to say about intertextuality and annotation. And maybe you, too, have something to say.

annotation news meaning

Figure 5: Derrida

So what does Derrida mean by annotation helping to prop up one discourse on another? Let’s revisit a few of the examples we’ve already discussed. When journalists annotated the Mueller report, annotation established an intertextual relationship between the report (as one “discourse”) and other discourses or dialogues, such as referenced evidence, an expert’s analysis, or established fact. When you annotated Beloved in a literature course, you created an intertextual relationship between Toni Morrison’s book (her discourse) and your own discourse comprised of reactions and wonderings. And your annotation of Beloved also added marks of evidence for when, subsequently, you were in dialogue with peers and your teacher. Just as annotation is multimodal, so too is it intertextual.

Annotation in Action

We’ve now established that annotation is an everyday activity. It’s likely that you read and write annotation regularly, perhaps on a daily basis. We’ve also introduced the ideas of multimodality, agency, and intertextuality, and suggested that the act of adding notes to a text is both multimodal and intertextual. As we close this introductory chapter, we’ll do so by sharing one more example of annotation in action. And rather than reference other texts or present hypothetical scenarios, we’ll turn our gaze inward and describe this very book.

Annotation was integral to how we wrote and received feedback about Annotation , how The MIT Press published the book, and how, perhaps, you’re reading and responding to the book right now.

The first full draft of our manuscript was shared publicly for the purposes of open peer review by The MIT Press using the online publication platform PubPub. Throughout the summer of 2019… [ADD SUMMARY OF OPEN PEER REVIEW PROCESS, INCLUDING TOTAL PARTICIPANTS AND ANNOTATION, EXAMPLES, ETC.].

This book, in its published form, also features various forms of annotation. The MIT Press has established a number of structural conventions that are consistent across all the books published as part of the Essential Knowledge series. As you may have already noticed, this book includes a Notes section just before the Bibliography (it starts on page XXX). This section of Notes is a collection of annotations. Organized by chapter, Notes presents to you, the reader, a total of 208 endnotes that we felt were important to add to the body of our text (even if, at times, it’s difficult flipping back to these endnotes rather than reading more proximal footnotes 21 ). In addition to Notes, this book includes a Glossary of key terms (see page XXX). We’ll discuss the origin and purpose of glosses and glossaries next, in Chapter 2. All glossaries are a curated list of annotations, and that goes for the Glossary in this book, too. Finally, just before the Index, this book includes suggested Further Readings. As researchers of literacy and learning, we’ve read and written quite a bit about annotation. We’ve selected a list of readings that we hope you might put into further dialogue with our book as you continue to explore annotation. In appending these Further Readings to this book, we’ve added yet another note to this text. Together, the Glossary, Notes, and Further Readings provide three different types of annotation that are integral to this text, adding both structure and insight for you, our reader.

And speaking of our readers, what of your annotation? Have you underlined or circled a word or phrase? Have you written an interlinear annotation, such as a word or symbol between the lines of text? Or have you added marginalia, a responsive type of discourse? And have you cursed us out, or called us names, or disagreed vehemently with our ideas? If you’ve yet to do so, now might be the time! Maybe you’ve borrowed this book from a friend. Marking up this book makes your thinking visible, allowing your friend to someday see what you thought about annotation and how you responded to our ideas. Or maybe you’re reading this book for a class or as part of a research project. Annotating this introductory chapter about annotation may help you to experience multimodality, exercise agency, establish intertextual relationships, and expand dialogical language among other texts, people, and ideas.

We don’t believe a published book is meant to live as a pristine artifact unadulterated in perpetuity. As Mortimer Adler wrote 80 years ago, the marked up book is the “thought-through book,” for it is “a conversation between you and the author.” And we certainly haven’t written the final word about annotation. We’ve hopefully written some useful words about an important topic so as to start a dialogue. We welcome your words and annotation throughout, about, within, and atop this text, too.

annotation news meaning

Figure 6: Dialogue

Why is Annotation Essential?

Annotation is essential because we interact with a variety of texts everyday, texts that are both digital and material, and texts that communicate through various modalities and may also be multimodal. We interact with these texts dialogically by adding our own thoughts, questions, reactions, and reminders. Annotation is also important because our intertextual interactions with texts cross multiple contexts - the personal, the academic, the professional, and even the commercial and civic: “Printed marginalia, functioning at their most creative level, open doorways specifically, insistently for the purpose of crossing the text-context threshold.” 22 Annotation follows us into, and then changes because of, the different ways in which we interact with texts across everyday contexts.

Annotation matters because it provides information; knowledge becomes more accessible because of annotation. Annotation matters because it shares commentary; perspectives become more transparent because of annotation. Annotation matters because it sparks conversation; dialogue becomes more interactive because of annotation. Annotation matters because it expresses power; authority becomes more contested and complex because of annotation. And annotation matters because it aids learning; education becomes more vibrant because of annotation. We’ll be discussing all of this, and more, as we explore how and why notes are added to texts.

Super helpful chapter - I think adding relevance in helps distinguish it even more.

Wheelchair accessible vans

Strategic Mentoring Group

One might also introduce the term “intratextuality” as distinguished from “intertextuality.” The former refers to cross-references within a single text, whereas the latter involves references between or among different texts. Annotation could involve both, I think. A note as such is intratextual … it is anchored to one specific text. But that note could itself contain a reference to another text, thereby introducing intertextuality. And, of course, that further text might be made accessible through a link, giving us the category of hypertextuality.

Uses of annotation in journalism


Let me start this part for you.

“For example, the annotated contributions of Dr. Jeremy Dean, to whom we dedicate this book…”

While I use this line myself all the time (as salesman essentially), your repetition of the idea has finally given even me pause: there as so many assumptions in this idea that everyone annotates. While it’s likely true for the readers of an MIT Press book and maybe fine as such, there are obviously many people who don’t and for reasons that often have to do with power. Just one example is that some public school teachers often don’t allow students to write in the margins of their books because they will be collected and reused.

Should this section be above the one on note and add?

I think it’s interesting to bring in social media behavior here. What is Instagram but “everyday” visual notes on our lives?

I wonder if the above three paragraphs are really necessary to get here.

Great quote!

is document a strong enough word here? create?

Footnote needed?

I wish I could annotate directly on top of the images you have created but I don’t seem to be able to do that (no fault of yours .. just an observation). If I want to digitally annotate your images (like the one below), I need to move outside of the text and then share back into the text …

It’s strange to read this in the present, with echoes of the future, reaching back to the past. Of course, it has to be written that way, but it feels, here in the margins, like some odd time ripple. I am here, writing about what you say has already been written (and I may even be too late in the process). Time for more coffee …

This seems important — that the reader has a role in the text with annotation … either by themselves or with others.

Ah, yes, here’s mention of the orality component. Could be cool to circle back to the historical side of things to this end. When it comes to discussions of Western spiritual texts (particularly the Torah in Jewish tradition), “oral” annotation, so to speak, was considered far more sacred than written annotation (especially since you can’t write on Talmudic scrolls)

Maybe this will come later in the book too, but I’m wondering whether there is room for discussion here on how often annotation is explicitly taught in schools? To what extent do teachers actively ask their students to engage in annotation activity? Or do students pick up annotation in a more idiosyncratic way?

More accessible to whom exactly? And where does the concept of accessibility, from a disability perspective, fit in here when we talk about annotation?

Great question …

I wonder whether perhaps this section or at least your proposed definition of annotation might not be more useful if it occurred earlier in a reader’s experience? Shortly before getting here I went back and scoured the first sections of chapter 1 and the preface in search of a foundational definitional of annotation and wasn’t quite sure I could offer a working definition for your crucial term as you wanted me to understand it!

It also serves as an outlet for dissent & disagreement, even if only privately!

Great visual example from Wikimedia :

annotation news meaning

Babylonian Talmud, Seder Zera'im, Venice: Daniel Bomberg [1543-44].

Great visual example from the Babylonian Talmud here:

This feels a bit more optimistic that I think is warranted. Annotation in journalism seems to me to trending toward very limited, expert-only voices interacting with texts. It might be helpful to balance this trend against a reflection on the rise and decline of ‘comment sections’ on news and other public websites (lots of sites have killed public comments/annotation in the last 5 years), and the relationship between bottom of the page comments (‘page notes’) and anchored annotation/marginalia? See + + + + + + +

In particular, the technologies that we have at our disposal for accessing — and annotating — texts matter a great deal. Even if we have robust tools, we may not always know how to use them in the most productive ways, or to communicate our annotations to a wider audience.

Yet, in many ways, they still do… even in our e-book, editable, and constantly interactive world of texts, eventually a book has to stand alone in the world.

One reader’s interpretation of that book (via annotation) is a unique and beautiful act, and many readers can discuss the book, but the book (which could be revised later) still stands alone.

Going to your point above that some works of literature/film can have “implicit and interpretive intertextuality,” I don’t know that my current practice of annotation on your manuscript is something I would put into this intellectual register.

That is, I am annotating, but I don’t know that I am really creating the kinds of intertextuality described by literary theorists. I am making some links, adding some images, and sharing my own ideas, yes. But, I am not writing another book here, making tacit or overt references to your ideas, or mimicking your structure or style.

All this is to say, I think that you might want to make your argument on intertextuality a little more nuanced… are there different “levels” of intertextuality that happen, depending on the quality and type of annotation?

>But, I am not writing another book here… Why not? How do you know!?

Keeping with my thread from above, if students are being told that they must annotate… I wonder if they are truly acting with agency, and engaging in genuine work of annotation. Or, are they merely fulfilling their assignment?

In short, I am afraid that the practice of having students use reading strategies to approach texts, while useful in many ways, can become a mindless exercise filled with many, many sticky notes and few genuine interactions with the text itself.

Agree with the above.

I wonder though if just complicating our understanding of agency and power in these annotation contexts might allows the focus on agency to remain, just complicated.

Another complication: the various platforms in which annotation can happen are themselves not neutral. Even the margin of a page of text has certain limitations and expectations…

Perhaps an additional pair of questions: By whom? For what purpose?

Yet, for decades, students have been explicitly told not to damage or otherwise deface their textbooks (see page 17 in this PDF of a district policy ).

annotation news meaning

While I can agree that annotations in school are, for some students, common practice, I would encourage you to be more nuanced here.

For some students, who are willing and able to take the teacher’s shared notes, outlines, or slides (or, go so far as to make photocopies of their textbooks, they might engage in the kinds of personal and useful annotation practices you describe.

For the vast majority of students, however, I would argue that annotation (if done at all) is perfunctory. They are given specific texts and tasks, and required to make so many notations in trade for a grade.

The “required” part of your definition, then, could use some elaboration and, to extend the idea, some clarification on whether or not the process of annotating is, ultimately, useful for these students.

Moreover, connecting to your next idea, how can we help students learn to annotate in a way that honors and extends their own “idiosyncratic notation system[s]” in productive, engaging ways?

Seconding Troy’s thoughts here. It would also be interesting to consider the role of medium here and how that’s considered in schools (if at all). That is, annotation itself as a practice may be very different in print and in digital spaces. Is education a space where that nuance is approached? (Not sure if this is necessarily the right place for this particular conversation, but I think there’s more nuance for the school-based context as Troy suggests).

Another good example is the built up genealogy of family bibles inscribed with the names of owners and their family tree which are passed from one generation to the next. To some extent this is highlighted by the passages of the bible in which W begat X begat Y begat Z begat... (Genesis chapters 5 & 11).

These sorts of ancient and modern genealogies also heavily underpinned personal, familial, tribal, and governmental power structures through the ages. Paternity was power.

A well known popular culture version of this appears in the title of the book and film *Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince* as well as a primary plot point in which Potter actively eschews a beaten up copy of a potions textbook, but to his pleasant surprise find a heavily annotated text that helps him significantly in his studies.

Yup, see Chapter 6 and our seventh note ;)

I can't help but think of one of the biggest and longest standing puzzles in mathematics in Fermat's Last Theorem. He famously wrote in the margin of a book that he had a proof. but that it was too large to fit in the margin.

Yes! We really like this example, too, and wondered where to strategically include in the book. Ultimately, we're still searching for the right place or moment to mention Fermat… as you read the book, perhaps you can suggest where it may be best to include this example.

Google has accelerated this by using search to better link pieces of knowledge in the modern world, but scholars have been linking thoughts manually for centuries.

Surprisingly, these have only been recently aggregated online at [Sefaria]( a story delineated here:

Yes, we mention this and link to Sefaria in Chapter 3 when discussing the Talmud and commentary.

Other great examples include teaching and scientific progress. Owen Gingerich details annotations in all the extant copies of Copernicus in his text [The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus]( There it seemed obvious that the moving state-of-the art of science and teaching was reflected in the annotations made by professors who handed those annotations down to students who also copied them into their textbooks.

Wonderful, we'll include this book in Further Readings .

In some sense this is a textual equivalent of the directors commentary tracks on DVDs from the 1990's in which one could watch films with overdubbed running commentary of the film's director (and often cast, producers, et al. as appropriate).

The first time I recall seeing such journalistic annotations was on the web in The Smoking Gun ( ) which generally annotated court documents that were the source of newsworthy tidbits—generally relating to celebrities or gossip pages.

Great example, and perhaps one we should explicitly mention.

copyediting, will do

remove space

So, let’s say I cringe when writing on the paper and use post-it notes instead, would that not count under your definition? Because it can be removed so isn’t permanent? Pencil annotations can be erased.

This is very much the case for me. And this has also evolved over time, as the purpose of my reading has shifted.

I’m sure that you will also discuss the value of annotation for personal/private use also.

Maybe even the next paragraph. Ha!

It would be fantastic to have the links to these items here in the text. Do you plan to add that later?

I agree with Heather. The link to the NYTimes annotated/searchable version of the Mueller Report would be a good example.

And other texts: the doorjamb with a child’s growth marks, William Burke’s computer log, a building annotated with graffiti, etc.

Loving the stress on agency here. In this context, thinking how notes become a physical manifestation of agency that may occur otherwise without record, like that voice in my head while reading that keeps saying things like “WTF?” or “Exactly!!!!!!).

Maybe there’s a connection here to your earlier concern regarding the “deterministic effects attributed to annotation.” People have agency. People are exercising their agency when adding notes to texts. And when that happens, annotation serves five purposes (as we suggest here in Chapter 1 and explore throughout the book) and it is those annotation purposes that consequently have certain effects… is that helpful?

This moth should become the mascot of multimodal annotation.

?!* couldn’t resist!

Again: maybe “enable” would be a better choice?

Yes, as noted above, we can easily revise throughout.

Just putting a +1 on all of these comments from Nate, Chris, and Troy!

Related to my note above about power in annotation, I feel I need to post a concern here that I’m on the watchout for deterministic effects attributed to annotation as a general technology/practice — rather than to specific social deployments of annotation practices. Each of these outcomes seems like a _possible_, but not _required_ outcome of annotation in specific contexts.

This slightly negative characterization of annotation is a bit jarring as so far we readers have not been presented with a negative view of annotation.

Helpful, thank you.

This sentence made me pause. I certainly think the first clause is worthy, but I’m not sure the the second must always follow. I expect you’ll get into power more later in the book, but based on what I’ve read so far, this seems like a very strong statement to make.

Yes, a strong statement to make. Can we revisit this once you’ve read Chapter 5?

Is the idea that this sentence might link to a way to see possible annotations on this book?

Antero and I have thought a lot about how to create an annotation experience with this manuscript, in both digital and print form, and how that experience can *enable* ongoing conversation. This open review helps to check the box for digital interactions, trails, and spaces. The custom illustrations in every chapter ideally invite reader interaction with the print text (once the book is in hand). And the dedicated hashtag #AnnoConvo will hopefully become another “place” to archive some of that activity. For example, perhaps a future reader annotates one of the custom illustrations - like Fig 5 in this chapter - and then photographs their book/annotation and shares via social media with the #AnnoConvo tag.

For other examples of annotation being used in the sciences, see ClinGen (, NIF (, the Qualitative Data Repository (, and SciBot ( I could connect more dots to these or intro folks how know more.

I didn’t know about ClinGen, thank you! QDR is featured in Chapter 2 in our section “Information among Knowledge Communities.” And SciBot is featured in Chapter 7 when we ask, “How should we read human-machine annotation?”

Starting to seem like I only care about em dashes ;) but I think this would read better set apart with em-dashes ;)

Consider replacing throughout with real em-dashes: — ;)

Copyediting - will do ;)

Maybe addressed elsewhere in the text, but it would be nice to see some other examples of fact-checking here. comes to mind, or for a meta-example, Poynter’s “What to expect from fact-checking in 2018”, annotated later to evaluate their predictions ( There are likely more…

Thanks for these suggestions, Nate. Climate Feedback is featured in the final section of Chapter 3 (and I hope you appreciate the particular example of peer review that we highlight!). The Poynter resource is great, perhaps that becomes an endnote here?

This sentence is tripping me up with the comma and no “and”. Maybe the comma is more like a colon or em-dash, something like: “Annotation enables journalists to comment more transparently — to share behind-the-scenes or insider perspectives more informally.”?

Yup, a change for clarity. Or maybe also including the word “and” between clauses?

Whenever I see “allows”, I always wonder if “enables” might be a better word choice. Here I think so…

Yes, thank you. We can adjust throughout. That’s a very important distinction related to your broader comments regarding agency.

Love this. In my work, I view “Text” as being very broad. And “notes” on text…or annotation should/could add value to that intersection.

One of the features that I wish I had in a tool like Hypothesis (I guess I have it in Vialogues/VideoANT), but I would love to annotate these different texts, and connect the dots across those spaces. Connect a note on a video to a note on a wikipage to a note on a tweet.

Using annotation to connect across multiple texts and multimedia texts/compositions would make more visible thinking, engagement, and agency of the annotator. Perhaps this is yet to come …

Making me think about affordances of different forms of text (images, hyperlinks, GIFs, video, text) and what that adds or detracts from the text.

This is interesting… if we take an image (or GIF, or other item) that someone else has created, and insert it into our own annotation, have we made it “our own?” Remixed or repurposed it? Can that be considered an annotation, in the sense that we are adding value to the text, or really just a comment of little consequence?

Loving multimodality in here…also the connection to “embers.”

I, too, appreciate that you are already layering in multimodality, even in some print-centric examples of annotation.

In addition to the ideas you are offering about multimodality here, I would also encourage you to look at the seminal work of Gunter Kress, for instance Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication .

I’ve viewed these annotation practices (e.g., Hypothesis) as having “discussion about the text baked into the text.” This has the potential to provide a third space for not only dialogue, but growth in a variety of areas.

I’d be curious to know more about the concept of annotation as a “third space” — is the idea that what unfolds in the margins becomes its own, distinct text that can be separated from the original but still stand on its own?

Along with these trends, we do see some that do not value the use/inclusion of annotation on their publishing spaces as they view it as another form of commentary about their work that may modify/limit points made.

This is also making me think about power, access, and digital literacy/savvy. When I first introduce people to Hypothesis, some of their responses are about the fact that “anyone can annotate online” and “on the spaces they already read.” Some view this “invisible layer” of annotation on the Internet as questionable/problematic.

Interesting thought. I’ve always viewed annotation as “additive” or generally positive/beneficial for all. I’ve thought (perhaps it’s my own bias) that redaction is a negative…but now that I’m typing this I realize (I think) that redaction is a type of annotation…and annotation/redaction always benefits someone…it just might not be you. :)

In this respect, you may be very interested to see our discussion about power and redaction in Chapter 5.

!!! I cannot add a GIF here?!?! :)

Exactly…having discussion about the text…baked into the text.

I hope you’re including a mention of Jasper Fforde’s use of the footnoterphone as a tool for conversation across the book world he created in his Thursday Next series.

Might you share a specific link/resource, Bud? Thanks!

But what really, <i>really</i> matters is that the act of making the note is frequently an act of talking back to the text, of recognizing and/or remembering that the author of the text you’re reading isn’t the only person with something to say, and that what they’re saying may not be the last word on the subject.

Bud’s point here about “talking back to the text” is important, and I think that we could employ other prepositions as well.

What does it mean to talk to the text? About the text? Beyond the text? Within the text? Through the text?

Annotation can serve all of these purposes, when approached strategically.

I was gonna say that if I didn’t see a discussion of Marginalia in this book somewhere, I’d be disappointed.

So you lead with a poem ‘bout it. Well played.

If you’re looking for a formal definition of marginalia, as a particular type of annotation, check out Chapter 2 where as also discuss rubrics and rubrication, scholia, and other “forms that inform.”

Librarian approved

Hmm. Me, too, but I didn’t even think about Director Cuts/Commentary DVDs as annotation until you mentioned it

The first annotation I really remember interacting with was all A/V based: VH1 Pop Up Videos and Director Commentaries on the DVD Extras section for movies I liked.

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What Is an Annotation in Reading, Research, and Linguistics?

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An annotation is a note, comment, or  concise statement of the key ideas in a text or a portion of a text and is commonly used in reading instruction and in research . In corpus linguistics , an annotation is a coded note or comment that identifies specific linguistic features of a word or sentence.

One of the most common uses of annotations is in essay composition, wherein a student might annotate a larger work he or she is referencing, pulling and compiling a list of quotes to form an argument. Long-form essays and term papers, as a result, often come with an annotated bibliography , which includes a list of references as well as brief summaries of the sources.

There are many ways to annotate a given text, identifying key components of the material by underlining, writing in the margins, listing cause-effect relationships, and noting confusing ideas with question marks beside the statement in the text.

Identifying Key Components of a Text

When conducting research, the process of annotation is almost essential to retaining the knowledge necessary to understand a text's key points and features and can be achieved through a number of means.

Jodi Patrick Holschuh and Lori Price Aultman describe a student's goal for annotating text in "Comprehension Development," wherein the students "are responsible for pulling out not only the main points of the text but also the other key information (e.g., examples and details) that they will need to rehearse for exams."

Holschuh and Aultman go on to describe the many ways a student may isolate key information from a given text, including writing brief summaries in the student's own words, listing out characteristics and cause-and-effect relations in the text, putting key information in graphics and charts, marking possible test questions, and underlining keywords or phrases or putting a question mark next to confusing concepts.

REAP: A Whole-Language Strategy

According to Eanet & Manzo's 1976 "Read-Encode-Annotate-Ponder" strategy for teaching students language and reading comprehension , annotation is a vital part of a students' ability to understand any given text comprehensively.

The process involves the following four steps: Read to discern the intent of the text or the writer's message; Encode the message into a form of self-expression, or write it out in student's own words; Analyze by writing this concept in a note; and Ponder or reflect on the note, either through introspection or discussing with peers.

Anthony V. Manzo and Ula Casale Manzo describe the notion in "Content Area Reading: A Heuristic Approach" as among the earliest strategies developed to stress the use of writing as a means of improving thinking and reading," wherein these annotations "serve as alternative perspectives from which to consider and evaluate information and ideas."

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Annotating text: The complete guide to close reading

Annotating text: The complete guide to close reading

As students, researchers, and self-learners, we understand the power of reading and taking smart notes . But what happens when we combine those together? This is where annotating text comes in.

Annotated text is a written piece that includes additional notes and commentary from the reader. These notes can be about anything from the author's style and tone to the main themes of the work. By providing context and personal reactions, annotations can turn a dry text into a lively conversation.

Creating text annotations during close readings can help you follow the author's argument or thesis and make it easier to find critical points and supporting evidence. Plus, annotating your own texts in your own words helps you to better understand and remember what you read.

This guide will take a closer look at annotating text, discuss why it's useful, and how you can apply a few helpful strategies to develop your annotating system.

What does annotating text mean?

Annotating text: yellow pen and a yellow notebook

Text annotation refers to adding notes, highlights, or comments to a text. This can be done using a physical copy in textbooks or printable texts. Or you can annotate digitally through an online document or e-reader.

Generally speaking, annotating text allows readers to interact with the content on a deeper level, engaging with the material in a way that goes beyond simply reading it. There are different levels of annotation, but all annotations should aim to do one or more of the following:

  • Summarize the key points of the text
  • Identify evidence or important examples
  • Make connections to other texts or ideas
  • Think critically about the author's argument
  • Make predictions about what might happen next

When done effectively, annotation can significantly improve your understanding of a text and your ability to remember what you have read.

What are the benefits of annotation?

There are many reasons why someone might wish to annotate a document. It's commonly used as a study strategy and is often taught in English Language Arts (ELA) classes. Students are taught how to annotate texts during close readings to identify key points, evidence, and main ideas.

In addition, this reading strategy is also used by those who are researching for self-learning or professional growth. Annotating texts can help you keep track of what you’ve read and identify the parts most relevant to your needs. Even reading for pleasure can benefit from annotation, as it allows you to keep track of things you might want to remember or add to your personal knowledge management system .

Annotating has many benefits, regardless of your level of expertise. When you annotate, you're actively engaging with the text, which can help you better understand and learn new things . Additionally, annotating can save you time by allowing you to identify the most essential points of a text before starting a close reading or in-depth analysis.

There are few studies directly on annotation, but the body of research is growing. In one 2022 study, specific annotation strategies increased student comprehension , engagement, and academic achievement. Students who annotated read slower, which helped them break down texts and visualize key points. This helped students focus, think critically , and discuss complex content.

Annotation can also be helpful because it:

  • Allows you to quickly refer back to important points in the text without rereading the entire thing
  • Helps you to make connections between different texts and ideas
  • Serves as a study aid when preparing for exams or writing essays
  • Identifies gaps in your understanding so that you can go back and fill them in

The process of annotating text can make your reading experience more fruitful. Adding comments, questions, and associations directly to the text makes the reading process more active and enjoyable.

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How do you annotate text?

2 pens and 2 notebooks

There are many different ways to annotate while reading. The traditional method of annotating uses highlighters, markers, and pens to underline, highlight, and write notes in paper books. Modern methods have now gone digital with apps and software. You can annotate on many note-taking apps, as well as online documents like Google Docs.

While there are documented benefits of handwritten notes, recent research shows that digital methods are effective as well. Among college students in an introductory college writing course, those with more highlighting on digital texts correlated with better reading comprehension than those with more highlighted sections on paper.

No matter what method you choose, the goal is always to make your reading experience more active, engaging, and productive. To do so, the process can be broken down into three simple steps:

  • Do the first read-through without annotating to get a general understanding of the material.
  • Reread the text and annotate key points, evidence, and main ideas.
  • Review your annotations to deepen your understanding of the text.

Of course, there are different levels of annotation, and you may only need to do some of the three steps. For example, if you're reading for pleasure, you might only annotate key points and passages that strike you as interesting or important. Alternatively, if you're trying to simplify complex information in a detailed text, you might annotate more extensively.

The type of annotation you choose depends on your goals and preferences. The key is to create a plan that works for you and stick with it.

Annotation strategies to try

When annotating text, you can use a variety of strategies. The best method for you will depend on the text itself, your reason for reading, and your personal preferences. Start with one of these common strategies if you don't know where to begin.

  • Questioning: As you read, note any questions that come to mind as you engage in critical thinking . These could be questions about the author's argument, the evidence they use, or the implications of their ideas.
  • Summarizing: Write a brief summary of the main points after each section or chapter. This is a great way to check your understanding, help you process information , and identify essential information to reference later.
  • Paraphrasing: In addition to (or instead of) summaries, try paraphrasing key points in your own words. This will help you better understand the material and make it easier to reference later.
  • Connecting: Look for connections between different parts of the text or other ideas as you read. These could be things like similarities, contrasts, or implications. Make a note of these connections so that you can easily reference them later.
  • Visualizing: Sometimes, it can be helpful to annotate text visually by drawing pictures or taking visual notes . This can be especially helpful when trying to make connections between different ideas.
  • Responding: Another way to annotate is to jot down your thoughts and reactions as you read. This can be a great way to personally engage with the material and identify any areas you need clarification on.

Combining the three-step annotation process with one or more strategies can create a customized, powerful reading experience tailored to your specific needs.

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7 tips for effective annotations

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Once you've gotten the hang of the annotating process and know which strategies you'd like to use, there are a few general tips you can follow to make the annotation process even more effective.

1. Read with a purpose. Before you start annotating, take a moment to consider what you're hoping to get out of the text. Do you want to gain a general overview? Are you looking for specific information? Once you know what you're looking for, you can tailor your annotations accordingly.

2. Be concise. When annotating text, keep it brief and focus on the most important points. Otherwise, you risk annotating too much, which can feel a bit overwhelming, like having too many tabs open . Limit yourself to just a few annotations per page until you get a feel for what works for you.

3. Use abbreviations and symbols. You can use abbreviations and symbols to save time and space when annotating digitally. If annotating on paper, you can use similar abbreviations or symbols or write in the margins. For example, you might use ampersands, plus signs, or question marks.

4. Highlight or underline key points. Use highlighting or underlining to draw attention to significant passages in the text. This can be especially helpful when reviewing a text for an exam or essay. Try using different colors for each read-through or to signify different meanings.

5. Be specific. Vague annotations aren't very helpful. Make sure your note-taking is clear and straightforward so you can easily refer to them later. This may mean including specific inferences, key points, or questions in your annotations.

6. Connect ideas. When reading, you'll likely encounter ideas that connect to things you already know. When these connections occur, make a note of them. Use symbols or even sticky notes to connect ideas across pages. Annotating this way can help you see the text in a new light and make connections that you might not have otherwise considered.

7. Write in your own words. When annotating, copying what the author says verbatim can be tempting. However, it's more helpful to write, summarize or paraphrase in your own words. This will force you to engage your information processing system and gain a deeper understanding.

These tips can help you annotate more effectively and get the most out of your reading. However, it’s important to remember that, just like self-learning , there is no one "right" way to annotate. The process is meant to enrich your reading comprehension and deepen your understanding, which is highly individual. Most importantly, your annotating system should be helpful and meaningful for you.

Engage your learning like never before by learning how to annotate text

Learning to effectively annotate text is a powerful tool that can improve your reading, self-learning , and study strategies. Using an annotating system that includes text annotations and note-taking during close reading helps you actively engage with the text, leading to a deeper understanding of the material.

Try out different annotation strategies and find what works best for you. With practice, annotating will become second nature and you'll reap all the benefits this powerful tool offers.

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Narrative Essay

How to write an annotation.

One of the greatest challenges students face is adjusting to college reading expectations.  Unlike high school, students in college are expected to read more “academic” type of materials in less time and usually recall the information as soon as the next class.

The problem is many students spend hours reading and have no idea what they just read.  Their eyes are moving across the page, but their mind is somewhere else. The end result is wasted time, energy, and frustration…and having to read the text again.

Although students are taught  how to read  at an early age, many are not taught  how to actively engage  with written text or other media. Annotation is a tool to help you learn how to actively engage with a text or other media.

View the following video about how to annotate a text.

Annotating a text or other media (e.g. a video, image, etc.) is as much about you as it is the text you are annotating. What are YOUR responses to the author’s writing, claims and ideas? What are YOU thinking as you consider the work? Ask questions, challenge, think!

When we annotate an author’s work, our minds should encounter the mind of the author, openly and freely. If you met the author at a party, what would you like to tell to them; what would you like to ask them? What do you think they would say in response to your comments? You can be critical of the text, but you do not have to be. If you are annotating properly, you often begin to get ideas that have little or even nothing to do with the topic you are annotating. That’s fine: it’s all about generating insights and ideas of your own. Any good insight is worth keeping because it may make for a good essay or research paper later on.

The Secret is in the Pen

One of the ways proficient readers read is with a pen in hand. They know their purpose is to keep their attention on the material by:

  • Predicting  what the material will be about
  • Questioning  the material to further understanding
  • Determining  what’s important
  • Identifying  key vocabulary
  • Summarizing  the material in their own words, and
  • Monitoring  their comprehension (understanding) during and after engaging with the material

The same applies for mindfully viewing a film, video, image or other media.

Annotating a Text

Review the video, “How to Annotate a Text.”  Pay attention to both how to make annotations and what types of thoughts and ideas may be part of your annotations as you actively read a written text.

Example Assignment Format: Annotating a Written Text

For the annotation of reading assignments in this class, you will cite and comment on a minimum of FIVE (5) phrases, sentences or passages from notes you take on the selected readings.

Here is an example format for an assignment to annotate a written text:

Example Assignment Format: Annotating Media

In addition to annotating written text, at times you will have assignments to annotate media (e.g., videos, images or other media). For the annotation of media assignments in this class, you will cite and comment on a minimum of THREE (3) statements, facts, examples, research or any combination of those from the notes you take about selected media.

Here is an example format for an assignment to annotate media:

  • Provided by : Lumen Learning. Located at : . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Authored by : Paul Powell . Provided by : Central Community College. Project : Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Authored by : Elisabeth Ellington and Ronda Dorsey Neugebauer . Provided by : Chadron State College. Project : Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Annotating a Text. Authored by : HaynesEnglish. Located at : . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube license
  • How to Annotate a Text. Authored by : Kthiebau90. Located at : . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube License
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How to Annotate an Article

Last Updated: September 26, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 394,786 times.

Annotating a text means that you take notes in the margins and make other markings for reading comprehension. Many people use annotation as part of academic research or to further their understanding of a certain work. To annotate an article, you'll need to ask questions as you go through the text, focus on themes, circle terms you don't understand, and write your opinions on the text's claims. You can annotate an article by hand or with an online note-taking program.

Following General Annotation Procedures

Step 1 Recognize why you should annotate.

  • Background on the author
  • Themes throughout the text
  • The author’s purpose for writing the text
  • The author’s thesis
  • Points of confusion
  • How the text compares to other texts you are analyzing on the same topic
  • Questions to ask your teacher or questions to bring up in class discussions

Step 2 Mark down the source information.

  • Later on, you can gather all of these citations together to form a bibliography or works cited page, if required.
  • If you are working with a source that frequently changes, such as a newspaper or website, make sure to mark down the accession date or number (the year the piece was acquired and/or where it came from).

Step 3 Understand your reading goals.

  • If you were given an assignment sheet with listed objectives, you might look over your completed annotation and check off each objective when finished. This will ensure that you’ve met all of the requirements.

Step 4 Annotate as you read the article.

  • You can also write down questions that you plan to bring up during a class discussion. For example, you might write, “What does everyone think about this sentence?” Or, if your reading connects to a future writing assignment, you can ask questions that connect to that work.

Step 6 Focus on themes and connections to your class topics.

  • You could write, “Connects to the theme of hope and redemption discussed in class.”

Step 7 Circle words or concepts that you don’t understand.

  • Use whatever symbol marking system works for you. Just make sure that you are consistent in your use of certain symbols.
  • As you review your notes, you can create a list of all of the particular words that are circled. This may make it easier to look them up.
  • For example, if the tone of the work changes mid-paragraph, you might write a question mark next to that section.

Step 8 Pay attention to the thesis and topic sentences.

  • To increase your reading comprehension even more, you might want to write down the thesis statement in the margins in your own words.
  • The thesis sentence might start with a statement, such as, “I argue…”

Step 9 Research the author.

  • For example, reading online reviews can help you to determine whether or not the work is controversial or has been received without much fanfare.
  • If there are multiple authors for the work, start by researching the first name listed.

Step 10 Write down your opinions.

  • You might write, “This may contradict any earlier section.” Or, “I don’t agree with this.”

Annotating an Article by Hand

Step 1 Make a photocopy of the article.

  • You can also file away this paper copy for future reference as you continue your research.

Step 2 Choose a writing tool.

  • If you are visual learner, you might consider developing a notation system involving various colors of highlighters and flags.

Step 3 Create a separate notation page, if needed.

  • Depending on how you’ve taken your notes, you could also remove these Post-its to create an outline prior to writing.

Step 5 Complete an annotation paragraph.

  • This rough annotation can then be used to create a larger annotated bibliography. This will help you to see any gaps in your research as well. [11] X Research source

Annotating an Article on a Webpage

Step 1 Download an online note-taking program.

  • You could also use a program, such as Evernote,, Bounce, Shared Copy, WebKlipper, or Springnote. Be aware that some of these programs may require a payment for access.

Step 2 Navigate to the webpage on which your article is posted.

  • Depending on your program, you may be able to respond to other people’s comments. You can also designate your notes as private or public.

Step 5 Save the annotation, if you want to clip it and use it outside of the web.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Annotating takes extra time, so make sure to set aside enough time for you to complete your work. [15] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If traditional annotation doesn’t appeal to you, then create a dialectical journal where you write down any quotes that speak to you. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

annotation news meaning

  • If you end up integrating your notes into a written project, make sure to keep your citation information connected. Otherwise, you run the risk of committing plagiarism. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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About This Article

Emily Listmann, MA

To annotate an article, start by underlining the thesis, or the main argument that the author is making. Next, underline the topic sentences for each paragraph to help you focus on the themes throughout the text. Then, in the margins, write down any questions that you have or those that you’d like your teacher to help you answer. Additionally, jot down your opinions, such as “I don’t agree with this section” to create personal connections to your reading and make it easier to remember the information. For more advice from our Education reviewer, including how to annotate an article on a web page, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Learning Center

Annotating Texts

What is annotation.

Annotation can be:

  • A systematic summary of the text that you create within the document
  • A key tool for close reading that helps you uncover patterns, notice important words, and identify main points
  • An active learning strategy that improves comprehension and retention of information

Why annotate?

  • Isolate and organize important material
  • Identify key concepts
  • Monitor your learning as you read
  • Make exam prep effective and streamlined
  • Can be more efficient than creating a separate set of reading notes

How do you annotate?

Summarize key points in your own words .

  • Use headers and words in bold to guide you
  • Look for main ideas, arguments, and points of evidence
  • Notice how the text organizes itself. Chronological order? Idea trees? Etc.

Circle key concepts and phrases

  • What words would it be helpful to look-up at the end?
  • What terms show up in lecture? When are different words used for similar concepts? Why?

Write brief comments and questions in the margins

  • Be as specific or broad as you would like—use these questions to activate your thinking about the content
  • See our handout on reading comprehension tips for some examples

Use abbreviations and symbols

  • Try ? when you have a question or something you need to explore further
  • Try ! When something is interesting, a connection, or otherwise worthy of note
  • Try * For anything that you might use as an example or evidence when you use this information.
  • Ask yourself what other system of symbols would make sense to you.


  • Highlight or underline, but mindfully. Check out our resource on strategic highlighting for tips on when and how to highlight.

Use comment and highlight features built into pdfs, online/digital textbooks, or other apps and browser add-ons

  • Are you using a pdf? Explore its highlight, edit, and comment functions to support your annotations
  • Some browsers have add-ons or extensions that allow you to annotate web pages or web-based documents
  • Does your digital or online textbook come with an annotation feature?
  • Can your digital text be imported into a note-taking tool like OneNote, EverNote, or Google Keep? If so, you might be able to annotate texts in those apps

What are the most important takeaways?

  • Annotation is about increasing your engagement with a text
  • Increased engagement, where you think about and process the material then expand on your learning, is how you achieve mastery in a subject
  • As you annotate a text, ask yourself: how would I explain this to a friend?
  • Put things in your own words and draw connections to what you know and wonder

The table below demonstrates this process using a geography textbook excerpt (Press 2004):

A chart featuring a passage from a text in the left column and then columns that illustrate annotations that include too much writing, not enough writing, and a good balance of writing.

A common concern about annotating texts: It takes time!

Yes, it can, but that time isn’t lost—it’s invested.

Spending the time to annotate on the front end does two important things:

  • It saves you time later when you’re studying. Your annotated notes will help speed up exam prep, because you can review critical concepts quickly and efficiently.
  • It increases the likelihood that you will retain the information after the course is completed. This is especially important when you are supplying the building blocks of your mind and future career.

One last tip: Try separating the reading and annotating processes! Quickly read through a section of the text first, then go back and annotate.

Works consulted:

Nist, S., & Holschuh, J. (2000). Active learning: strategies for college success. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 202-218.

Simpson, M., & Nist, S. (1990). Textbook annotation: An effective and efficient study strategy for college students. Journal of Reading, 34: 122-129.

Press, F. (2004). Understanding earth (4th ed). New York: W.H. Freeman. 208-210.

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a critical or explanatory note or body of notes added to a text.

the act of annotating .

note (def. 1) . Abbreviation : annot.

Origin of annotation

Other words from annotation.

  • re·an·no·ta·tion, noun

Words Nearby annotation

  • annona family
  • announcement
  • anno urbis conditae Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use annotation in a sentence

Announced in July, along with new Smart Shopping display ad formats and shipping annotations, the new customer acquisition goal allows marketers to set a separate conversion value on new customers to inform Google’s automated bidding.

They can now go from the simplified viewing and remote collaboration to this bigger file sharing and increased preview mode and annotations.

Ordinary website users do this annotation too, when they complete a reCAPTCHA.

A few early versions of what became the final design, with placeholder data and annotations.

Make an annotation in your analytics noting that organic search reporting should be ignored for that whole time period.

The term Abernaquis, is also a French mode of annotation for the same word, but is rather applied at this time to a specific band.

Modern editors of what they call the "Roman Elegies" bring abundant annotation , and often detail Goethe's own emendations.

Footnote tags that were missing in the original are underlined without further annotation .

In olden times the place was unknown, but can be doubtfully identified with A-nok-ta-shan in the annotation of Shui-ching.

Sippi, agreeably to the early French annotation of the word, signifies a river.

British Dictionary definitions for annotation

/ ( ˌænəʊˈteɪʃən , ˌænə- ) /

the act of annotating

a note added in explanation, etc, esp of some literary work

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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Understanding Annotation: A Comprehensive Guide

What is annotation, the purpose of annotation, types of annotation, how to annotate effectively, annotation tools, annotation examples, annotation in different disciplines, annotation vs. abstract, annotation in digital learning, the future of annotation.

Let's take a journey into the world of annotation, a concept that often makes students cringe and researchers sigh. But, don't worry — this guide will help you understand annotation in a simple, friendly, and clear way. Whether you're a newbie or someone who just needs a refresher, this comprehensive guide will provide a clear definition of annotation and its many uses.

So, what exactly is the definition of annotation? In its simplest form, annotation refers to adding notes or comments to a text or a diagram. It's like having a personal conversation with the author, or making sense of a complex graph. It doesn't stop there, though. The process of annotation is much more than just dropping notes — it's about understanding, interpreting, and engaging with the material. Let's break it down:

  • Understanding: Annotations help you to grasp the ideas and concepts presented in the text or diagram. You might underline key phrases or highlight important data points, all in the service of better understanding what you're reading or viewing.
  • Interpreting: By providing your own insights or explanations, you're not merely reading or looking at the material, but actively interpreting it. This could be as simple as jotting down "This means..." or "The author is saying..." next to a paragraph.
  • Engaging: When you annotate, you're not just a passive reader anymore. You're actively engaging with the material, questioning it, agreeing or disagreeing, even arguing with the author! This active engagement helps to deepen your understanding and retention of the material.

To sum it up, the definition of annotation isn't just about making notes — it's a method to read, understand, interpret, and engage with any piece of content more effectively. And guess what? There's more to annotation than you might think! Stick around as we delve deeper into the purpose, types, and tools of annotation in the following sections.

Now that we've nailed down the definition of annotation, let's talk about why it's so important. Why do teachers, professors, and researchers keep insisting on it? Well, there are several reasons:

  • Improves comprehension: Annotating helps you understand the text or diagram better. It's like having a personal guide walking you through a dense forest of words or a complex maze of data. By highlighting and commenting, you can make sense of the material more easily.
  • Enhances retention: We've all been there. You read a page, flip it, and — poof! — everything's gone. But with annotation, you can remember more. When you actively engage with the material, you're more likely to remember it. It's like the difference between watching a movie and participating in it.
  • Facilitates analysis: Annotation is not just about understanding, but also about analyzing. By adding your own thoughts, insights, and interpretations, you can dig deeper into the material, uncovering layers of meaning that might not be immediately apparent.
  • Promotes critical thinking: When you annotate, you're not just accepting information passively — you're actively questioning, evaluating, and critiquing it. This cultivates critical thinking skills, which are crucial in today's information-saturated world.

Remember, the purpose of annotation is not to make your book look like a rainbow or to fill the margins with a clutter of notes. It's about making the material work for you, helping you to understand, remember, analyze, and think critically. So next time someone mentions annotation, don't cringe. Embrace it. It's your secret weapon in the world of learning!

Now that we've got a grip on the definition of annotation and its purpose, it's time to dive into the different types of annotation. You might be thinking, "Wait a minute, there's more than one type?" Yes, indeed! And picking the right one can make a world of difference. So, let's explore:

  • Descriptive Annotation: This kind of annotation is like a sneak peek of a movie. It gives an overview of the main points, themes, or arguments without revealing too much. It's like a book cover — enticing enough to draw you in, but not revealing all the secrets.
  • Critical Annotation: This type goes a step further. It not only describes the content but also evaluates it. It's like a movie review, discussing the strengths and weaknesses, the relevance of the content, and the author's credibility. It helps you decide whether the material is worth your time.
  • Informative Annotation: This annotation is like an all-you-can-eat buffet. It provides a summary of the material, including all the significant findings and conclusions. It's ideal when you need a detailed understanding of the content without having to read the whole thing.
  • Reflective Annotation: This type of annotation is a bit more personal. It includes your thoughts, reactions, and reflections on the material. It's like a diary entry, capturing your intellectual journey as you engage with the material.

So, next time you're tasked with annotating, consider the type of annotation that best suits your needs. Remember, the goal is not to make your work harder, but to make it easier and more effective. Happy annotating!

Here you are, equipped with the definition of annotation and an overview of its types. But, how do you do it effectively? Let's break it down:

  • Get clear on your purpose: Why are you annotating? Is it to understand better, remember, or critique? Your purpose will guide your annotation process.
  • Take a quick preview: Before you start annotating, skim through the material. Get a feel for its structure and main ideas. This way, you'll know what to pay special attention to.
  • Be selective: Resist the urge to highlight or underline everything. Limit your annotations to crucial points, unfamiliar concepts, and interesting ideas. The goal is to create signposts that can guide you back to key information when needed.
  • Make it meaningful: Don’t just underline or highlight. Write brief notes that summarize, question, or react to the content. This makes your annotations a tool for active learning.
  • Use symbols or codes: Develop your own system of symbols or codes to denote different types of information. For example, a question mark could indicate parts you don’t understand, while an exclamation mark could point to surprising or important insights.

Remember, effective annotation is not about how much you mark, but about how well you understand and engage with the material. Keep practicing and refining your approach, and soon you'll become an annotation pro!

So, now that we know how to annotate effectively, let's talk about some tools that can make this process even smoother. These are especially handy if you're dealing with digital content, or if you want to share your annotations with others. Here are some noteworthy ones:

  • Pencil and Paper: Sometimes, the old ways are the best ways. Nothing beats the flexibility and simplicity of annotating with a good old-fashioned pencil. You can underline, highlight, make notes in the margin — the possibilities are endless!
  • Highlighters: These are great for emphasizing key points in your text. Just remember not to go overboard and turn your page into a rainbow!
  • Post-it Notes: If you don't want to write directly on your material, or if you need more space for your thoughts, these little sticky notes can be a lifesaver.
  • PDF Annotation Tools: If you're working with digital documents, tools like Adobe Reader, Preview, and others offer built-in annotation features. These can include highlighting, underlining, and adding comments.
  • Online Annotation Tools: Websites like Hypothesis and Genius let you annotate web pages and share your annotations with others. They're like social media for readers!

These tools are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other annotation tools out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. So, don't be afraid to experiment and find the ones that work best for you!

Let's put the definition of annotation into real-world scenarios. Here are some examples to help you get a better sense of how annotation works.

  • Novels: You're reading a gripping mystery novel and you come across a clue. You underline it and jot down your theories in the margin. That's annotation!
  • Textbooks: Remember the last time you studied for an exam? You probably highlighted important information and made notes to help you remember key points. That's annotation too!
  • Articles: When reading a long article online, you might use a tool to underline key sections and add your own thoughts. This not only helps you understand the content better but also lets you share your insights with others. Yep, that's annotation.
  • Research Papers: If you're conducting research, annotation is your best friend. Underlining important data, writing summaries of complex sections, and noting down your ideas can make the whole process much easier.
  • Social Media: Ever added a funny caption to a photo before sharing it with your friends? Guess what? That's annotation too!

As you can see, annotations can be as simple or as complex as you need them to be. They're all about adding extra information to make the original content more useful or meaningful for you. So, next time you're reading something, why not give annotation a try? Who knows, you might discover some fascinating insights!

Now that we've nailed down the definition of annotation, let's see how it's applied across different disciplines. You might be surprised to know that annotation isn't just for the world of literature or academia. Here's how different fields use annotation:

  • Sciences: Scientists use annotations to note down observations during experiments. They can also annotate diagrams to explain complex processes.
  • Arts: Artists often annotate their sketches with notes about colors, textures, or ideas for future works. Art historians may also use annotations to provide deeper insight into famous paintings or sculptures.
  • Computer Science: In the world of coding, annotations can provide extra details about how a piece of code functions. They're like a roadmap for other programmers who might need to understand or modify the code later.
  • Geography: Geographers use annotations on maps to highlight specific features or explain certain phenomena. For example, they might annotate a map to show the path of a storm or the spread of a forest fire.
  • Business: Business professionals annotate reports and presentations to highlight key points. This helps everyone stay on the same page and understand the main takeaways.

As you can see, no matter the discipline, the power of annotation is universal. It's all about enhancing understanding and fostering communication! So, the next time you're working on a project, why not consider how annotation could help you?

Dealing with academic or professional texts, you've probably come across both annotations and abstracts. But do you know the difference? Many people get confused between the two, but they serve unique roles. Let's clear the air by exploring the definition of annotation versus an abstract:

Annotation: An annotation adds extra information to a text. It could be a comment, explanation, or even a question. Imagine you're reading a complex scientific paper. You might annotate it by jotting down a simpler explanation of a concept in the margins. That's annotation—helping to make the text more accessible and understandable for you.

Abstract: On the other hand, an abstract is a short summary of a document's main points. Think of it as a mini version of the text. If you've ever written a research paper, you've probably had to include an abstract at the beginning. It gives readers a snapshot of what the document covers so they can decide if they want to read the whole thing.

So, in a nutshell, an annotation is more about adding value to the text, while an abstract is about summarizing it. Both have their places and can be super helpful when dealing with complex or lengthy texts. Understanding the difference between the two is another step in mastering the art of reading and writing effectively.

Now, let's shift gears and explore how annotation plays a role in the digital learning space. With the advent of technology, education isn't limited to chalkboards and textbooks anymore. We've moved onto laptops, tablets, and even mobile phones. So, where does the definition of annotation fit in this digital world?

In digital learning, annotation takes on a slightly different form. Instead of scribbling in the margins of a book, you're adding notes to a PDF, highlighting text in an eBook, or leaving comments on a shared document.

Let's say you're studying for a history exam with a friend, and you're both using the same digital textbook. You come across a paragraph that you think is particularly important, so you highlight it and leave a note saying, "Must remember for the exam!" When your friend opens the book on their device, they can see your annotation and benefit from it. This is the power of annotation in digital learning—it promotes collaboration and makes studying a more interactive experience.

And it's not just for students, either. Teachers can use digital annotation to provide feedback on assignments, clarify points in a lecture, or share additional resources. In a world where online learning is becoming the norm, understanding and using digital annotation is a skill worth mastering.

Having explored the definition of annotation in various contexts, it's exciting to imagine where it might head in the future. As we continue to integrate technology into our lives, the role and methods of annotation are likely to evolve with it.

Imagine a world where every bit of text you interact with—be it a digital book, an online article, or even a social media post—can be annotated with your thoughts, questions, or insights. And not just that, imagine those annotations being instantly shareable with anyone around the globe. We're already seeing glimpses of this in digital learning platforms, as we previously discussed.

Moreover, the rise of artificial intelligence might add another layer to annotation. Imagine AI systems that can automatically highlight important parts of a text, suggest resources for further reading, or even generate annotations based on your personal learning style. Now that's a future worth looking forward to!

While we are not there yet, the journey towards that future is already underway. And as we make strides in this direction, the definition of annotation will continue to expand and adapt. It's a fascinating field that underscores the importance of understanding, interpreting, and communicating information in our increasingly interconnected world.

If you're looking to improve your annotation skills and learn more about organizing your creative projects, check out Ansh Mehra's workshop, ' Documentation for Creative People on Notion .' This workshop will provide you with practical tips and techniques for effective annotation, as well as help you develop a comprehensive documentation system for your creative work.

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  • What Is an Annotated Bibliography? | Examples & Format

What Is an Annotated Bibliography? | Examples & Format

Published on March 9, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on August 23, 2022.

An annotated bibliography is a list of source references that includes a short descriptive text (an annotation) for each source. It may be assigned as part of the research process for a paper , or as an individual assignment to gather and read relevant sources on a topic.

Scribbr’s free Citation Generator allows you to easily create and manage your annotated bibliography in APA or MLA style. To generate a perfectly formatted annotated bibliography, select the source type, fill out the relevant fields, and add your annotation.

An example of an annotated source is shown below:

Annotated source example

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Table of contents

Annotated bibliography format: apa, mla, chicago, how to write an annotated bibliography, descriptive annotation example, evaluative annotation example, reflective annotation example, finding sources for your annotated bibliography, frequently asked questions about annotated bibliographies.

Make sure your annotated bibliography is formatted according to the guidelines of the style guide you’re working with. Three common styles are covered below:

In APA Style , both the reference entry and the annotation should be double-spaced and left-aligned.

The reference entry itself should have a hanging indent . The annotation follows on the next line, and the whole annotation should be indented to match the hanging indent. The first line of any additional paragraphs should be indented an additional time.

APA annotated bibliography

In an MLA style annotated bibliography , the Works Cited entry and the annotation are both double-spaced and left-aligned.

The Works Cited entry has a hanging indent. The annotation itself is indented 1 inch (twice as far as the hanging indent). If there are two or more paragraphs in the annotation, the first line of each paragraph is indented an additional half-inch, but not if there is only one paragraph.

MLA annotated bibliography

Chicago style

In a  Chicago style annotated bibliography , the bibliography entry itself should be single-spaced and feature a hanging indent.

The annotation should be indented, double-spaced, and left-aligned. The first line of any additional paragraphs should be indented an additional time.

Chicago annotated bibliography

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For each source, start by writing (or generating ) a full reference entry that gives the author, title, date, and other information. The annotated bibliography format varies based on the citation style you’re using.

The annotations themselves are usually between 50 and 200 words in length, typically formatted as a single paragraph. This can vary depending on the word count of the assignment, the relative length and importance of different sources, and the number of sources you include.

Consider the instructions you’ve been given or consult your instructor to determine what kind of annotations they’re looking for:

  • Descriptive annotations : When the assignment is just about gathering and summarizing information, focus on the key arguments and methods of each source.
  • Evaluative annotations : When the assignment is about evaluating the sources , you should also assess the validity and effectiveness of these arguments and methods.
  • Reflective annotations : When the assignment is part of a larger research process, you need to consider the relevance and usefulness of the sources to your own research.

These specific terms won’t necessarily be used. The important thing is to understand the purpose of your assignment and pick the approach that matches it best. Interactive examples of the different styles of annotation are shown below.

A descriptive annotation summarizes the approach and arguments of a source in an objective way, without attempting to assess their validity.

In this way, it resembles an abstract , but you should never just copy text from a source’s abstract, as this would be considered plagiarism . You’ll naturally cover similar ground, but you should also consider whether the abstract omits any important points from the full text.

The interactive example shown below describes an article about the relationship between business regulations and CO 2 emissions.

Rieger, A. (2019). Doing business and increasing emissions? An exploratory analysis of the impact of business regulation on CO 2 emissions. Human Ecology Review , 25 (1), 69–86.

An evaluative annotation also describes the content of a source, but it goes on to evaluate elements like the validity of the source’s arguments and the appropriateness of its methods .

For example, the following annotation describes, and evaluates the effectiveness of, a book about the history of Western philosophy.

Kenny, A. (2010). A new history of Western philosophy: In four parts . Oxford University Press.

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A reflective annotation is similar to an evaluative one, but it focuses on the source’s usefulness or relevance to your own research.

Reflective annotations are often required when the point is to gather sources for a future research project, or to assess how they were used in a project you already completed.

The annotation below assesses the usefulness of a particular article for the author’s own research in the field of media studies.

Manovich, Lev. (2009). The practice of everyday (media) life: From mass consumption to mass cultural production? Critical Inquiry , 35 (2), 319–331.

Manovich’s article assesses the shift from a consumption-based media culture (in which media content is produced by a small number of professionals and consumed by a mass audience) to a production-based media culture (in which this mass audience is just as active in producing content as in consuming it). He is skeptical of some of the claims made about this cultural shift; specifically, he argues that the shift towards user-made content must be regarded as more reliant upon commercial media production than it is typically acknowledged to be. However, he regards web 2.0 as an exciting ongoing development for art and media production, citing its innovation and unpredictability.

The article is outdated in certain ways (it dates from 2009, before the launch of Instagram, to give just one example). Nevertheless, its critical engagement with the possibilities opened up for media production by the growth of social media is valuable in a general sense, and its conceptualization of these changes frequently applies just as well to more current social media platforms as it does to Myspace. Conceptually, I intend to draw on this article in my own analysis of the social dynamics of Twitter and Instagram.

Before you can write your annotations, you’ll need to find sources . If the annotated bibliography is part of the research process for a paper, your sources will be those you consult and cite as you prepare the paper. Otherwise, your assignment and your choice of topic will guide you in what kind of sources to look for.

Make sure that you’ve clearly defined your topic , and then consider what keywords are relevant to it, including variants of the terms. Use these keywords to search databases (e.g., Google Scholar ), using Boolean operators to refine your search.

Sources can include journal articles, books, and other source types , depending on the scope of the assignment. Read the abstracts or blurbs of the sources you find to see whether they’re relevant, and try exploring their bibliographies to discover more. If a particular source keeps showing up, it’s probably important.

Once you’ve selected an appropriate range of sources, read through them, taking notes that you can use to build up your annotations. You may even prefer to write your annotations as you go, while each source is fresh in your mind.

An annotated bibliography is an assignment where you collect sources on a specific topic and write an annotation for each source. An annotation is a short text that describes and sometimes evaluates the source.

Any credible sources on your topic can be included in an annotated bibliography . The exact sources you cover will vary depending on the assignment, but you should usually focus on collecting journal articles and scholarly books . When in doubt, utilize the CRAAP test !

Each annotation in an annotated bibliography is usually between 50 and 200 words long. Longer annotations may be divided into paragraphs .

The content of the annotation varies according to your assignment. An annotation can be descriptive, meaning it just describes the source objectively; evaluative, meaning it assesses its usefulness; or reflective, meaning it explains how the source will be used in your own research .

A source annotation in an annotated bibliography fulfills a similar purpose to an abstract : they’re both intended to summarize the approach and key points of a source.

However, an annotation may also evaluate the source , discussing the validity and effectiveness of its arguments. Even if your annotation is purely descriptive , you may have a different perspective on the source from the author and highlight different key points.

You should never just copy text from the abstract for your annotation, as doing so constitutes plagiarism .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2022, August 23). What Is an Annotated Bibliography? | Examples & Format. Scribbr. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from

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What the Civil Fraud Ruling Means for Trump’s Finances and His Empire

Justice Arthur F. Engoron’s decision could drain all of former President Donald J. Trump’s cash, and will set his family business reeling.

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Donald Trump, in a dark suit and long blue tie, gestures behind a barricade.

By Jonah E. Bromwich and Ben Protess

Donald J. Trump lost his civil fraud trial on Friday , as a judge found him liable for violating state laws and penalized him nearly $355 million plus interest. In total, Mr. Trump is expected to have to pay more than $450 million.

The judge, Arthur F. Engoron, did not stop there. Along with other punishments, he also barred the former president from leading any company in the state, including portions of Mr. Trump’s family business, for three years. In doing so, he granted requests from the New York attorney general, who brought the case, accusing Mr. Trump of violating state laws by inflating his net worth in documents submitted to lenders.

Mr. Trump will appeal, and the case could take months if not years to resolve.

annotation news meaning

The Civil Fraud Ruling on Donald Trump, Annotated

Former President Donald J. Trump was penalized $355 million plus interest and banned for three years from serving in any top roles at a New York company, including his own, in a ruling on Friday by Justice Arthur F. Engoron.

But Justice Engoron’s decision could inflict immediate pain, threatening the former president’s finances and his influence over the Trump family business, known as the Trump Organization. The threat is not existential — the judge did not dissolve the company, and Mr. Trump is not at risk of bankruptcy — but the decision dealt him a serious financial blow, along with a symbolic swipe at his billionaire image.

The attorney general, Letitia James, said in a news conference Friday evening that “when the powerful break the law and take more than their fair share, there are fewer resources available for working people, small businesses and families.”

She added: “There cannot be different rules for different people in this country, and former presidents are no exception.”

Here’s what we know about how the ruling affects Mr. Trump and his empire:

How will he pay the $450 million?

Mr. Trump has 30 days to come up with the money or secure a bond.

A company providing a bond will essentially assure the State of New York that Mr. Trump has the money to pay the judgments. The bond will prevent authorities from collecting while his appeals are heard.

However, Mr. Trump must find a company willing to write the bond as he faces a wide range of legal problems, including a separate $83.3 million judgment in a recent defamation case. A bonding company will charge a premium and could demand that Mr. Trump pledge cash and other liquid assets as collateral.

In recent years, Mr. Trump has amassed a stockpile of cash, but the judge’s ruling puts that at risk. Between the defamation case judgment and the $450 million he owes after Justice Engoron’s ruling, Mr. Trump might run out of cash.

That does not mean he will run out of money. He can sell one of his properties or seek a new mortgage to raise cash.

How did the judge calculate the penalty?

Ms. James sued Mr. Trump using a powerful law that allows her to recover funds that she says were obtained through fraud.

In court papers, Ms. James cited one of her expert witnesses from the trial, who calculated that amount as about $370 million, plus interest. She argued that Mr. Trump and the other defendants had not provided a specific response to the expert’s calculations.

The judge agreed, penalizing Mr. Trump for his profit on the recent sale of two properties, as well as the interest he saved by receiving favorable loans.

What is the immediate effect on the Trump Organization?

Mr. Trump’s business could reel.

The judge barred Mr. Trump from serving as an officer or director of a New York company for three years, and his adult sons for two. One of them, Eric Trump, is the Trump Organization’s de facto chief executive, and the ruling places the leadership of the business in uncertain territory.

Justice Engoron also prohibited Mr. Trump and his company from applying for loans with banks registered in New York for three years.

And he strengthened the hand of Barbara Jones, an independent monitor he has assigned to oversee the Trump Organization, extending her appointment for three years with new authority. She has been a thorn in the side of the company and Mr. Trump’s lawyers have railed against her, saying that her work has already cost them more than $2.5 million.

The judge asked Ms. Jones to appoint an independent director of compliance as her eyes and ears, reporting to her from within the company’s ranks.

What happened to Trump’s sons?

During closing arguments last month, Justice Engoron made a comment that suggested he might spare Mr. Trump’s adult sons.

“What evidence do you have — and I just haven’t seen it — that they knew that there was fraud?” the judge asked then.

Apparently, at some point in the past few weeks he saw it. On Friday, he found that they had violated several laws while conspiring to overvalue their assets.

He wrote in his ruling that there was “sufficient evidence” that Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump had intentionally falsified business records, noting that Eric Trump provided the company’s former controller “with knowingly false and inflated valuations” for one property.

Each is on the hook for about $4 million.

What comes next?

As punishing as the judge’s ruling on Friday may have been, it was just a prelude.

On Thursday, a judge scheduled the first of Mr. Trump’s criminal trials for March 25. The Manhattan district attorney’s office has charged Mr. Trump with 34 felonies, accusing him of covering up a sex scandal that could have hurt his chances in the 2016 presidential election.

If convicted, the former president could be sentenced to up to four years in prison. And because the case was brought by state prosecutors, Mr. Trump could not pardon himself if he were to be re-elected.

Claire Fahy contributed reporting.

Jonah E. Bromwich covers criminal justice in New York, with a focus on the Manhattan district attorney's office, state criminal courts in Manhattan and New York City's jails. More about Jonah E. Bromwich

Ben Protess is an investigative reporter at The Times, writing about public corruption. He has been covering the various criminal investigations into former President Trump and his allies. More about Ben Protess

Smoky grounds in North Brevard will soon mean less leaky sewage pipes

annotation news meaning

If you see smoke pouring from the ground around northern Brevard County, don't panic, the Earth is not on fire.

Instead, the county is testing its old sewer pipes for leaks.

What's happening?

Residents in Port St. John and North Brevard will be receiving notifications this week of planned smoke testing expected to begin March 4 and continue through May, "to help pinpoint potential holes, breaks or other flaws in sewer system connections and piping," county officials said in a press release.

Who's doing the smoke tests?

More: Florida's aging infrastructure unleashed untold gallons of raw sewage during Ian

USSI in Venice has been contracted by Brevard County Utility Services Department to conduct smoke tests countywide.

Why do they do these tests?

The tests reveal cracks in piping and cross connections between the sewer system and storm drains and defective sewer connections that can let sewer gases into a building.

Smoke testing is performed where the sewer system tends to get higher volumes during storms.

Increased sewage flows can overtax Brevard's system, leading to discharge of insufficiently treated sewage into the St. Johns River and other local waters during storms. Smoke testing helps to identify necessary repairs to maintain proper operation which ultimately protects the Indian River Lagoon.

How are cracked sewage pipes fixed?

Municipalities typically coat cracks with epoxy resin they pump into the pipes.

What can I expect?

Door hangers with other important facts and information related to the tests will be posted at residences and businesses where smoke testing may be visible.

USSI will set up multiple points in the area, and County Utility staff will be present to perform the testing. Smoke is blown into a manhole and will be visible exiting from the vent stacks on houses or holes in the ground.

Is the smoke toxic?

The smoke is "non-toxic, non-staining, odorless, white and/or grey in color and creates no fire hazard," county officials said.

Where can I find out more?

Call Brevard at (321) 633-2091 or USSI at (941) 926-2646.

Trump’s primary strength probably isn’t a sign of his weakness

annotation news meaning

There are a lot of people who have a vested interest in presenting the Republican presidential nominating contest as volatile or undetermined.

There’s former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley , of course, who wants to convince potential donors that their contributions to her presumptively doomed bid for the nomination aren’t wasted money. This means convincing those donors that her ongoing campaign has value — either as a pathway to the nomination (which is extraordinarily unlikely) or in otherwise damaging Trump’s effort to regain the presidency.

Then there are some in the media who, through muscle memory or overindulgence in Haley’s campaign rhetoric, present the nominating fight as one that follows the recent trajectory (see: 2008, 2012, 2016) of being uncertain until well into the election year. And of course, there are those anti-Trump augurs who sift through the exit polls to see what bad news for the Republican front-runner they can discern.

The reality is that the nominating contest is a contest only in the same sense that a football game is when one team is up by 50 points at halftime: You do technically have to let the clock run out. What’s more, the result of the Republican primaries to date are not indicative of a fervent Republican skepticism about Trump.

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This election year offers an uncommon scenario. It is functionally a fight between two incumbents — and two broadly unpopular incumbents, at that. The Democratic nominating contest, featuring the literal incumbent president, has avoided any real challenge to the front-runner as primary dates have passed. A year ago, the Republican contest seemed as though it might be a real fight. But the combination of Trump’s Manhattan indictment — which galvanized Republican support for his candidacy — and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) remarkably unsuccessful challenge meant that Trump was the near-certain nominee before 2024 began.

Since last fall, in fact, the level of support President Biden and Trump have seen in 538’s national polling averages has been similar. At this point, each candidate is the preferred candidate of three-quarters of his party.

Biden and Trump are each doing worse than Trump was in early 2020, when he was often at or above 90 percent in primary polling. But it’s hard to see how Trump’s failure to match where he was four years ago is much more damaging to his candidacy than Biden’s failure to do so is to his.

Haley has repeatedly framed the non-Trump vote in nominating contests as a measure of hostility to Trump. That she has received more than 40 percent of the vote in New Hampshire and South Carolina, the argument goes, shows how robust the opposition is to Trump within his party. For the tea-leaf readers, this suggests a softness that might translate to apathy in November that hurts Trump’s chances.

Maybe. But much of that opposition comes from independents, not Republicans. In New Hampshire, for example , most of Haley’s support came from non-Republicans. In South Carolina — the state where she was once a popular governor — about 3 in 5 votes she received came from Republicans, according to exit polling .

Exit polling also shows that Trump now consistently gets more support from Republicans than he did until late in the 2016 cycle and about as much support from his party as Biden got from his after the Democratic vote rapidly consolidated around him in 2020.

This is mostly a measure of that consolidation, certainly. But it’s a reminder that even if Trump weren’t vacuuming up most Republican votes, that wouldn’t necessarily mean that they wouldn’t show up to vote for him in November as they did for him heavily in 2016. Perhaps those independents who came out for Haley in South Carolina won’t vote for Trump in November, but that does not mean that Biden will win the state. What’s more, part of the electorate in these contests — particularly New Hampshire, it’s safe to say — is made up of voters who are members of those groups eager to present the nomination as contested or an illustration of Trump’s weakness.

We might generally ask a related question: How often will Republican primary voters who aren’t simply trying to make Trump’s path forward difficult sit out November or vote for Biden? What’s more probable: that someone who prefers Haley to Trump politically will vote for Biden or that they’ll grumble and vote for Trump?

There are numerous case studies on this. Consider Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), one of the most vocal critics of Trump in the wake of 2020. He endorsed Trump over the weekend, framing November as a contest between Trump and Biden. Given that choice, he’s willing to hold his nose.

Just as these numbers don’t mean that Trump will necessarily lose in November, they also don’t mean he’ll win. A lot of Biden’s support is driven by hostility to Trump , as it was four years ago. The race remains uncertain and unsettled, with few solid precedents to consider.

One thing it seems safe to say, though, is that Trump sweeping Republican nominating contests to date is not a sign that he’s in significant trouble.

Election 2024

Trump won the South Carolina Republican primary , defeating Haley in her home state. Get full election results and takeaways from the GOP primary. Get the latest news on the 2024 election from our reporters on the campaign trail and in Washington.

Who is running? The top contenders for the GOP nomination are former president Donald Trump and former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley . For the Democrats, President Biden is running for reelection in 2024 .

Republican delegate count: GOP candidates for president compete to earn enough delegates to secure their party’s nomination. We’re tracking the Republican 2024 delegate count .

Key issues: Compare where the candidates stand on such issues as abortion, climate and the economy.

Key dates and events: From January to June, voters in all states and U.S. territories will pick their party’s nominee for president ahead of the summer conventions. Here are key dates and events on the 2024 election calendar .

annotation news meaning

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Meaning of annotation in English

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  • The new translation of the Latin work includes extensive annotation by scholars .
  • It's a book that cries out for annotation.
  • The program is designed for annotation of images .
  • There is an easy-to-use facility in the program for adding annotations to your document .
  • creative writing
  • intertextual
  • intertextuality
  • intertextually
  • self-portrait
  • uncaptioned
  • versification

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Translations of annotation

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Word of the Day

used to say that what you have just said is also true in the opposite order

Infinitive or -ing verb? Avoiding common mistakes with verb patterns (1)

Infinitive or -ing verb? Avoiding common mistakes with verb patterns (1)

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  1. Annotation newspaper

    annotation news meaning

  2. Newspaper Annotations

    annotation news meaning

  3. annotation meaning english

    annotation news meaning

  4. annotation meaning english

    annotation news meaning

  5. Tackling Text Complexity through Annotation : Lesson Plans : Thinkmap

    annotation news meaning

  6. Simple Guide to Annotation

    annotation news meaning


  1. 09 annotate

  2. Lesson 3 on annotating projects

  3. Book annotation

  4. Annotative Meaning

  5. What should I annotate?


  1. How to Annotate Texts

    Or, at least (according to education experts), annotation-an umbrella term for underlining, highlighting, circling, and, most importantly, leaving comments in the margins-helps students to remember and comprehend what they read. Annotation is like a conversation between reader and text.

  2. Annotation Definition & Meaning

    an· no· ta· tion ˌa-nə-ˈtā-shən Synonyms of annotation 1 : a note added by way of comment or explanation The bibliography was provided with helpful annotations. 2 : the act of annotating something Examples of annotation in a Sentence Without the annotations, the diagram would be hard to understand. the author's annotation of the diagram

  3. What is an Annotation?

    Annotation of "Tells of Vaccine to Stop Influenza." New York Times. October 2, 1918. ProQuest Historical News York Times (1851-2003). Pg. 10: This primary source article was written at the time of the 1918 flu outbreak by a New York Times journalist. It is a basic, unbiased report of information the author received from the U.S. Army.

  4. Chapter 1 · Annotation

    Annotation Published on Jun 05, 2019 Chapter 1 You likely read, and perhaps also write, annotation every day. Annotation influences how we interact with texts across everyday contexts. Annotation provides information, shares commentary, sparks conversation, expresses power, and aids learning. This is why annotation matters.


    a short explanation or note added to a text or image, or the act of adding short explanations or notes: The annotation of literary texts makes them more accessible. The revised edition of the book includes many useful annotations. computing, language specialized

  6. Annotations in Reading, Research, and Linguistics

    Richard Nordquist Updated on August 01, 2019 An annotation is a note, comment, or concise statement of the key ideas in a text or a portion of a text and is commonly used in reading instruction and in research. In corpus linguistics, an annotation is a coded note or comment that identifies specific linguistic features of a word or sentence.

  7. Annotating text: The complete guide to close reading

    Text annotation refers to adding notes, highlights, or comments to a text. This can be done using a physical copy in textbooks or printable texts. Or you can annotate digitally through an online document or e-reader.


    [ often passive ] to add a short explanation or opinion to a text or image: Annotated editions of Shakespeare's plays help readers to understand old words. an annotated bibliography / manuscript / edition His great-granddaughter has painstakingly transcribed and annotated his wartime diaries.


    [ often passive ] to add a short explanation or opinion to a text or image: Annotated editions of Shakespeare's plays help readers to understand old words. an annotated bibliography / manuscript / edition His great-granddaughter has painstakingly transcribed and annotated his wartime diaries.

  10. How to Write an Annotation

    For the annotation of media assignments in this class, you will cite and comment on a minimum of THREE (3) statements, facts, examples, research or any combination of those from the notes you take about selected media. Here is an example format for an assignment to annotate media: Passage #. Describe Passage. My Comments / Ideas.

  11. Annotation Examples Simply Explained

    vocabulary words to look up Advertisement Reader Annotations You can go beyond marking up text and write notes on your reaction to the content or on its connection with other works or ideas. A reader might annotate a book, paper, pamphlet. or other texts for the following reasons:

  12. 3 Ways to Annotate an Article

    3. Create a separate notation page, if needed. If your comments begin to overflow the margins, then you may want to use another piece of paper for extra annotations. Just make sure to write down the page numbers for each comment or marking. You could also divide the page up according to sections of the article.

  13. Annotate

    To annotate is to make notes on or mark up at text with one's thoughts, questions, or realizations while reading. The term annotation refers to the actual notes one has written during the process...

  14. Annotating Texts

    What is annotation? Annotation can be: A systematic summary of the text that you create within the document. A key tool for close reading that helps you uncover patterns, notice important words, and identify main points. An active learning strategy that improves comprehension and retention of information.

  15. ANNOTATION Definition & Usage Examples

    noun a critical or explanatory note or body of notes added to a text. the act of annotating. note (def. 1). Abbreviation: annot. Recommended videos Powered by AnyClip AnyClip Product Demo 2022 The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported. AnyClip Product Demo 2022 NOW PLAYING

  16. Annotation

    the "annotate" family Annotations are simply notes or comments. If you have trouble understanding Shakespeare, you may want to buy a copy of "Hamlet" with annotations on each page that explain all the vocabulary words and major themes.

  17. ANNOTATION definition and meaning

    1. uncountable noun Annotation is the activity of annotating something. She retained a number of copies for further annotation. 2. countable noun [usually plural] An annotation is a note that is added to a text or diagram, often in order to explain it. He supplied annotations to nearly 15,000 musical works.

  18. Understanding Annotation: A Comprehensive Guide

    Improves comprehension: Annotating helps you understand the text or diagram better. It's like having a personal guide walking you through a dense forest of words or a complex maze of data. By highlighting and commenting, you can make sense of the material more easily. Enhances retention: We've all been there.

  19. What is data annotation and why does it matter?

    The importance of data annotation. Data is the backbone of the customer experience. How well you know your clients directly impacts the quality of their experiences. As brands gather more and more insight on their customers, AI can help make the data collected actionable. Data annotation is an essential part of this process.

  20. Annotation Definition & Meaning

    ANNOTATION meaning: 1 : a note added to a text, book, drawing, etc., as a comment or explanation; 2 : the act of adding notes or comments to something the act of annotating something

  21. How do I write an annotation for a source?

    Each annotation in an annotated bibliography is usually between 50 and 200 words long. Longer annotations may be divided into paragraphs. The content of the annotation varies according to your assignment. An annotation can be descriptive, meaning it just describes the source objectively; evaluative, meaning it assesses its usefulness; or ...

  22. What Is an Annotated Bibliography?

    An annotated bibliography is a list of source references that includes a short descriptive text (an annotation) for each source. It may be assigned as part of the research process for a paper, or as an individual assignment to gather and read relevant sources on a topic. Scribbr's free Citation Generator allows you to easily create and manage ...

  23. The Civil Fraud Ruling on Donald Trump, Annotated

    Former President Donald J. Trump was penalized $355 million plus interest and banned for three years from serving in any top roles at a New York company, including his own, in a ruling on Friday ...

  24. The Trump Election Immunity Ruling, Annotated

    A unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected former President Donald J. Trump's claim that he was immune to charges of plotting to ...

  25. What the Civil Fraud Ruling Means for Trump's Finances and His Empire

    Justice Arthur F. Engoron's decision could drain all of former President Donald J. Trump's cash, and will set his family business reeling. By Jonah E. Bromwich and Ben Protess Donald J. Trump ...

  26. 'Psyop' is everywhere in conservative media but what does it mean

    Fox News host Jesse Watters is perhaps the most influential superspreader of the term. In January, Watters used a just-asking-questions formula to suggest that Taylor Swift is a psyop asset of the ...

  27. Alabama IVF ruling: What does it mean for fertility patients?

    In vitro fertilization is a common form of fertility care in the US. A ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court that frozen embryos are considered children, and that a person could be held liable for ...

  28. Smoky grounds in North Brevard will soon mean less leaky sewage pipes

    If you see smoke pouring from the ground around northern Brevard County, don't panic, the Earth is not on fire. Instead, the county is testing its old sewer pipes for leaks.

  29. Trump's primary strength probably isn't a sign of his weakness

    There's a lot of motivation to view the results of Republican nominating contests as bad news for former president Donald Trump. That doesn't mean they are.


    us / ˌæn.əˈteɪ.ʃ ə n / uk / ˌæn.əˈteɪ.ʃ ə n / Add to word list a short explanation or note added to a text or image, or the act of adding short explanations or notes: The annotation of literary texts makes them more accessible. The revised edition of the book includes many useful annotations. computing, language specialized