Learning Outcome #3
Before coming to college my annotating experience was minimal and it was something I actually dreaded. I hated the idea of having to actually think about what I was reading, but when I got to college I realized just how important it is to create an effective argument and to fully understanding text. The two hardest readings for me this semester were the Yoshino and Dalai Lama articles. Because I struggled with some of the comprehension I reread both articles multiple times and continued to create more annotations each time I read it. Because of this I think the annotation process gave me the ability to already have formulated my own arguments so when it came to writing my paper I knew exactly what I wanted to say and which quotes I wanted to use to back it up.
One of my favorite ways to annotate is to take different colored pens and give them each a meaning. For example I might use orange to underline powerful quotes, purple to underline and ask questions, a highlighter to highlight claims and make them easy to find, and green to just paraphrase and reword confusing sentences or deeper topics. With each paragraph I read, I would try to use the margins to write a brief summary of what the author was saying. In addition to brief summaries I also would try to write questions, either that I had about the text in general or that opposed what the author was saying. One of the most effective tools we used this semester was the “They Say, I Say” book. With each chapter we read I would annotate and summarize, then put it into action in my papers. I specifically would mark up the pages with templates so that I could go back and refer to them easily. My annotations have improved greatly over the semester and I have learned how to actively read to understand. I have used techniques such as defining words I don’t know, making connections between text to self and text to world, and summarizing, but I still think that I can improve my annotations in the future by looking at pathos, egos, and logos, as well as challenging the author and “interrogating the text” more. I am most proud of the Yoshino and Dalai Lama annotations and the papers that came from them.