Why annotate? Students who interact with a text on a deep level retain more information as they read Annotation has been proven to increase reading comprehension scores on standardized testing When you annotate you make it easier to return to the text later and find essential information as you write an essay, prepare for an exam, or create a presentation Good annotation helps you see how pieces of writing are structured and can give you models to use in your own writing
What does NCULR Mean? It’s an acronym N = number C = chunk
U = underline and circle with a purpose L = left margin R = right margin CLICK THROUGH THE REST OF THIS POWER POINT TO FIND OUT WHAT EACH STEP MEANS
Number the paragraphs. The CCSS asks students to be able to cite and refer to the text. One simple way to do this is by numbering each paragraph or paragraph in the left hand margin. When you refer to the text during discussion, you will be required to state which paragraph you are referring to. The rest of the class will be able to quickly find the line being referred to.
Chunk the text. When faced with a full page of text, reading it can quickly become overwhelming. Breaking up the text into smaller sections (or chunks) makes the page much more manageable. Students do this by drawing a horizontal line between paragraphs to divide the page into smaller sections. Look at the paragraphs to see where natural chunks occur. Paragraphs 1-3 may be the hook, introduction, and or thesis statement, while 6-8 may be the paragraphs where the author addresses the opposition. It is important to understand that there is no right or wrong way to chunk the text, as long as you can justify why you grouped certain paragraphs.
Underline and circle…with a purpose.
Telling students to simply underline the “important stuff” is too vague. “Stuff” is not a concrete thing to say that is easily identified. Instead, direct the students to underline and circle very specific things, depending upon the subject matter and the reading purpose. The important information will vary from text to text. What you circle and underline may change depending on the text type. Some information that students may want to underline would include: • Main idea of paragraphs, sections, and the text as a whole • Author’s purpose/thesis/claim • Evidence • Notable passages • Points of confusion
Circling (still part of underlining and circling with a purpose)specific items is also an effective close reading strategy. It is a good idea to circle “key terms” in the text. Key terms are words that: • Are defined • Are repeated throughout the text. • include people, places, dates, etc. • If you only circled five key terms in the entire text, you would have a pretty good idea about what the entire text is about. Also, direct the students to circle vocabulary that is unfamiliar to them and ask them to define the word(s) in the margins near the term.
What is the author SAYING?
Left margin: What is the author SAYING? It isn’t enough to “write in the margins.” You must have a very specific game plan for what you’ll write. This is where chunking comes into play. In the left margin, summarize each chunk in approximately 10 words. The chunking allows you to look at the text in smaller segments, and summarize what the author is saying in just that small, specific chunk.
Dig deeper into the text.
Right margin: Dig deeper into the text. In the right-hand margin, complete a specific task for each chunk. This may include: • Making connections to course content, other readings, etc. • Commenting on what the author is saying -whether you agree with the author or not. • Making inferences. • Representing the information with a picture or symbol and briefly explaining it. • Asking questions that dig deeper into the text like you would ask in a Socratic Seminar.
Sample of what NCULR Annotation Might Look Like
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