The Annotating and Paraphrasing Sources strategy requires students to underline key words, write margin notes, and summarize main ideas as they read a primary or secondary source. Use this strategy if you have introduced a writing prompt that students will revisit throughout a unit of study. Because careful reading is integral to powerful writing and thinking, annotating text often helps students craft stronger written arguments. By practicing this strategy, students will learn to take notes from primary and secondary sources that address the validity and bias of evidence, the perspective of the source, and their own interpretation. Students will need regular practice, reinforcement, and feedback on their annotations in order for this type of careful reading to become routine.
Check their annotations. Give students feedback. Write your own thinking back to them or talk with students about their margin notes. What strikes you? What ideas seem worth pursuing?
Remind students that they should use these margin notes when they write their essays.