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Annotating Texts Can Help with Writing Essays

Working with a difficult book? Trouble figuring out how to write about it? Try annotating the text for understanding and ideas.

An age-old complaint of a college student is the price of textbooks; a student might not understand why they must purchase books being a personal essay writer rather than borrow them. Well, there’s a very good reason why students should consider buying their books, but more than that, they should consider annotating them.

Yes, annotating texts will often decrease the buyback value, but students are in college to learn, and annotating texts can help students in a variety of ways.

What Does it Mean to Annotate a Text?

Annotating a college text is an active way to read. College involves lots of reading, but annotating a text can make the process easier and more worthwhile. So what exactly does it mean to annotate a text?

Think of it as a way of communicating with the text. Students who annotate will make comments in the margins, circle words they don’t understand (and look them up), take notes, and ask questions. All of these activities mean that a student is working actively with the text, doing her best to understand and analyze the book she’s reading. It is active reading.

Other ways to work with the text include asking oneself a series of questions before beginning the reading process – a student can ask himself what he already knows about the subject and what the titles and subtitles make him think of before he even begins reading.

Annotating a text helps students retain more of what they have read. It is also a good technique because it deepens understanding of the text, especially when a student is reading something particularly difficult. It also helps students when it comes to writing essays.

How Can Annotating Texts Help with Essay Writing?

Simply annotating the text can help the student understand the material better, which allows for writing a better essay, but other ways are annotating can help:

  • While annotating a text, a student will almost always find something that sparks an interest. If something in the text has inspired curiosity, why not make that point the subject of an essay?
  • Students might wind up with even more questions about that topic asking someone to write my essay; questions that require further research. One of these questions could lead to an essay.
  • Midterm or final essay exams due? Annotating texts means that entire books don’t need to be re-read. Students can instead look over their notes and areas in the book they’ve identified as important. Many times this method works well because the annotations refresh a student’s memory about the subject in detail. Then a term paper is easier because the information is remembered easily. It’s also usually easier to find again. And less time spent searching for information to add to an essay means more time can be spent writing.

Annotating Texts is a Valuable Academic Skill

Students should worry less about selling back their books and more about really understanding the subject matter in class. One of the best ways to do this (aside from attending class) is to familiarize themselves with their texts. Annotating a text will help deepen a student’s understanding of the text and aid in retention, so when it comes time to write an essay, it’s easier.

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