El Camino Real Charter

My first experience annotating

Before I had high school, I never really annotated. Personally, I used to think it was completely useless. At the beginning of the year, my English teacher announced that the class was going to be doing a lot of annotating. At the time, all I thought that meant was that I would have to highlight a word or phrase and say what literary device was being implemented.

By three weeks into the year, my teacher had the class pick our first book to annotate, and of course I ended up picking a really long book thinking annotating would not take a long time. My teacher then gave me her rules for how I am supposed to annotate a book: highlight the word or phrase, explain what the word or phrase means, and then why the author used this word or phrase. I calculated that I had to read 20 pages a day which seemed easy breezy at the time. By the time I had finished the 20 pages, it had taken me an hour.

It was later on that I started to realize how helpful annotating was, it helped me understand the book on a deeper and more metaphorical level. While annotating, I was forced to read the book more carefully, and I caught jokes and references made throughout the book that I would not have seen by just reading the book normally.

When my teacher said I could split my book into two grading periods I scoffed and said that I am a quick reader so I should even be done early (my book is 1,243 pages). Little did I know that when it came time for the book to be due, I was barely halfway through the book.

It is very time-consuming to have to keep rereading a page ten times over looking for a literary device. My teacher wanted at least two major annotations per page. Some people asked me if annotating the book ruined the fun of reading the book, but I felt that annotating the book helped me look at the book in ways I never could have thought, making the book even more enjoyable to read.

I look forward to further annotating.