What is Annotating?

What this IS:

  • Making notes as you read
  • Showing your thinking
  • Talking to the text
  • Understanding important words

What to WRITE:

  • Connections (yellow)
  • Summary or Paraphrase (red)
  • Questions (green)
  • Translation or Illustration (brown)
  • Opinions/Reactions (purple)

What this IS NOT:

  • You do NOT need full sentences
  • Do NOT worry about grammar
  • Neatness or conventional usage does NOT count (at least not at first. You can go back and edit — at least until someone replies to you.)

Why we do this:

  • Keep our minds working.
  • Show what we are thinking.
  • Clarify or help us understand.

How to Annotate

After you read a sentence that you want to annotate on a NowComment document:

  • Click on a highlighting color (top-left, icon looks like a highlighter)
  • Click once to highlight the sentence
  • Double-click on that same sentence to get a box for commenting
  • Write one of the 5 kinds of commenting in the top box
  • Follow the sentence starters below for what to write in the bottom box

The BEST Annotations are A LOT of Annotations!!!


Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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