• How to Annotate

    Create a color code list of items to annotate.  This is especially helpful if your instructor has given suggestions or a list of expectations.  A successful format is to use an index card with the “Color Key” as the bookmark.

    Suggestions for Annotations:


    Follow the SCASI method:
    What is the IDEA that the author wants the audience to 'get' from the text?  There could be more than one IDEA.  When thinking of IDEA, put the theme into a sentence format.
    How does the author use SETTING, CHARACTER, ACTION and STYLE to support the IDEA presented int he text?

    Look for words or groups of words:



    from another language

    related to an interesting occupation or activity

    made-up words

    examples of onomatopoeia

    familiar but used in a new way

    critical to the story




    Find out the history of the word(s) (etymology)

    Define the word(s)


    Choose a passage that is significant/key for some reason:










    agree with

    disagree with

    reminds of something

    a turning point


    Answer the question:  “Why is it key?” meaning, what is author's purpose?


    Where is the story/poem/play set?


    How does the setting(s) influence conflict, character(s), events and/or outcomes?

    If a character takes a journey, trace it on a map.

    Setting includes:  climate, who lives there, physical features (rivers, mountains, plains)


    Summarize each chapter, act or scene.

    Look for figurative language:  metaphor, simile, personification, etc.

    Look for imagery.

    Look for character revelation

Last Modified on August 7, 2014