"Beyond the Yellow Highlighter…
Annotation Skills to Improve Reading Comprehension"

(excerpts from English Journal, Vol. 93, No. 5, May 2004, by Carol Porter-O’Donnell)

Before Reading:
-Examine the front and back covers (books)
-Read the title and any subtitles
-Examine the illustrations
-Examine the print (bold, italics, etc.)
-Examine the way the text is set up [arrangement of chapters, section headings, etc.]

As you examine and read these, write questions and make predictions and/or connections near these parts of the text. [Make a copy for yourself that you can write on.]

During Reading: Write in the margins
-Make predictions
-Formulate opinions
-Make connections
-Ask questions
-Analyze the author’s craft [style, argumentation strategies]
-Write reflections/reactions/comments
-Look for patterns/repetitions

After Reading: -Re-read your annotations and draw conclusions
-Re-read introduction and conclusion and try to figure out something new
-Examine patterns/repetitions and determine possible meanings
-Determine what the title might mean



Prepared by Marcy Trianosky, Director, The Writing Center 10/4/04