Annotation: Every reader's superhero reading strategy
Baumeister, Sharon Kay
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I teach Sophomore English at an all-girls' college preparatory school. Promoting and improving reading comprehension is a major curricular objective, and like many high school and college teachers, I teach, assign, and encourage my students to mark-up their texts as they read to annotate, believing that,in doing so, students will read more actively, connect with textual ideas, retain information, and understand with greater depth. Do they? This research explored the efficacy of text annotation as a means to facilitate engagement, retention, and comprehension. My sophomores studied a variety of annotation models, learned how to annotate, completed a Reading Habits Survey, annotated narrative excerpts while reading Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, and reflected on the annotation process. The literature review and collected data suggest that annotation is a useful strategy that fosters engagement and comprehension.