Many times language and literature classes require students to annotate the books that are given to them, but in many cases tips and advice on how to do so is lacking. I will be sharing my personal strategy for efficient and successful annotating that will not only help your understanding of the text but also gain the love of your teachers!
The tips have been divided into 5 components, each with their own explanation.
Sticky Tabs are Your Best Friend
I don’t know how I would manage to annotate without my sticky tabs. They help me organize and navigate the book before the reading, remind me what to look for while i’m going through the text and help me find whatever I may need once I get to further analysis for the class.
Create a key for your tabs, personally I use five colors each having a few specific purposes based on where I place them in the book. Most stickies are accompanied by a specific note that will remind me of what I wanted to point out, these stick out of the right margin.
Pink- Anything to do with characters, be it development or certain traits to remember. It can also be used for when you have questions about character related aspects of the text.
Orange- Refers to setting, in plays it is also applicable for stage directions.
Yellow- Is used for literary devices and use of language (tone, diction, patterns) and syntax, if there is a particular word the author used or a structure you want to take note of, this is the color to use.
Green- Applicable to any important plot events, notable scenes or things that you think will be significant later in the story.
Blue- Themes and context of said ideas, anything to do with time, place and space in which the text takes place. It can also relate to how your context (a student reading a book for a literature course) impacts your perception of the text.
These are the things teachers usually look out for and it is certainly useful in any kind of further task!
The top and bottom margins can be used to divide the book in to sections, such as chapters or scenes, mark the most important pages and to also highlight text to text connections. These colors you can pick yourself!
I do not recommend having more than 5 sticky tabs per page, otherwise it gets too crowded and they lose their purpose! (but you will still need to buy aaa lloootttt)
This is my key for the book I am currently annotating, Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw.
Don’t Overdo it With the Highlighter
Find one color highlighter that you like the most and use it to mark explicit words or phrases that catch your attention, you can also use them in correlation with you sticky tabs!
I prefer to use a yellow highlighter because it seems to bleed the least, and I usually use it in relation to the the yellow and blue tabs because those are the ones that relate to the most detailed and minute parts of the text. Once again you can find your own preference! But don’t overdo it, otherwise, like the tabs, the highlighter will lose its function to highlight important points.
This is an example of how much highlighting I usually do. For non-fictional texts or parts of a book (like in the introduction you see here) I reserved highlighter for dates and names.
Have a Conversation With the Author
This is one of the first tips that my high school teacher gave me and it’s really one of the most important ones to remember. And I know, it may sound kinda silly, but I find that it really helps me in developing my ideas and remembering exactly how I felt about a certain aspect of part of the text.
Whether the text is fiction of non fiction, anything in between, you can always do these few things
Ask questions- As if you were going to get an answer, ask questions, write them down and write down as many as you want. Writing things down helps people remember so then it is more likely that in a class discussion you will be able to recall your queries or wonders.
If you don’t like something, or you’re surprised by something, write it down! Use exclamation marks, use words that you would use in a regular conversation. I always write ‘WOW!!’ or ‘OMG’ when i’m especially impressed, and having such vocal- well written vocally- emotions will bring you closer to the subject of the text.
Talk to the characters as well, if you are questioning a character’s actions ask them and provide an explanation as to why you speculate they may have acted a certain way. Not only does that further contribute to your involvement (also making things more entertaining) but it also deepens your thought!
What i’m trying to say is write down anything that comes to mind, your first response is your true response, and it is a valuable addition to your notes! And if you want to write a whole essay in between the lines… Actually, i’ll come back to that later!
Pens, not Pencils
I used to make notes completely in pencil but my approach changed when I realized that overtime the pencil would rub off and get illegible. I think it was because I used my book so much, but having switched to pen I realized that it helps me in quite a few other things as well.
The good thing about pen is that you can’t erase it and let’s say you started writing down a note, scan down the page and realize what you are taking a note of is completely wrong. That’s ok! That’s actually really good! Don’t scribble out what you just wrote down, but instead continue and explain why you may have thought a certain way and what your understanding is now. That relates really closely to the previous note.
Evidently pen also appears darker on the page, then there’s no possibility of it ever disappearing. It also won’t smudge or bleed as long as it’s ballpoint! That’s a good thing when drawing arrows between lines, underlining in addition to your highlights and circling/boxing whatever you deem necessary.
Time, Effort and Commitment
It’s clear that this post took me a while to make, and it took me a while to develop this system with all of the things that I have considered. So it must be self evident that using this type of annotation won’t be quick. It might get tiring at some times, and for me it really does, but at the end I find that it always pays off! You have to stay committed to this technique, you have to put in the same amount of effort for every page, which means you need time. So here are a few final general tips I will leave you with.
Don’t procrastinate! As goes for any task, and this one more than any, don’t waste time getting to it! I advice you check how many pages you have in total and make sure that you do a certain amount per day (usually 5-10 pages a day is good!)
If you go off on massive tangents in the side bars, make sure that you don’t get too distracted by them because they will take up a lot of your time. But one now and then may be good! Be sure to mark it for later reference!
Play mind games with yourself. This one is actually pretty interesting but it personally gets me a long way. If you have 20 pages left, don’t look at it as 20 pages but instead as 4 times 5, then the amount will seem a lot more manageable! It’s a kind of self encouragement!
That can also be said by looking now and then at how far your bookmark has moved through the book and giving yourself a pat on the back for all of you hard work!
That’s all I have for now! If you have any further questions for advice or explanation please message me and I will be more than happy to help! And I hope that this helps some people out too! (I’m counting this as 21/100 days of productivity as all I did today was related to annotating.)
Jumin meeting a barista MC? Is charmed tf off by her and he keeps coming back and finally asks her out on a date? I'm so thirsty for this man it isn't even funny.
~I really love this idea! Thank you for the request and I hope you like^^
V had recommended the coffee shop
So he felt he had to go
He expected to get a cappuccino once and be done with it
When he saw you, he noticed that you were cute, but he didn’t think anything else of it
You smiled and handed him his cup
There was art of a cat looking up at him as he held it in his hands
“You did this?” he asked
“Yes,” you smiled, “I’m sorry, I just love cats. I hope you don’t mind!”
Okay, he blushed a little
“Apologies if I gave the impression that I was displeased…I am actually quite fond of cats,” he replied happily.
He couldn’t help but stand there and talk about Elizabeth the 3rd
And he actually smiled when you asked to see a picture of her
“She is so adorable!”
He found himself coming back to see you, which was strange
The coffee was good, V was right
But it was mostly to see you ?
You never asked about what he did for a living
You never made assumptions
You just talked to him like a normal person
You cared about animals
He would sit and sip his coffee while watching you interact with the customers
You had a nice smile and were always so cheerful
He tried to not act annoyed when customers didn’t leave a tip
You knew his drinks by heart and made them just the way he liked
“Good morning, Jumin! The usual?”
One day he brought Elizabeth to see you
You made a cute giggle when he brought her to the counter
“Jumin…you can’t bring a cat in here,” you smiled warmly
“Oh? I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize,” he said
“It’s okay. Let’s step outside so I can meet her properly?”
She took to you right away and even let you hold her
She purred as you pet her head
“She can tell you have a kind heart,” he smiled
After that, he was completely taken with you
One day he came in but you weren’t there for your shift
He asked the manager
“She is very ill, I told her to stay home and get some rest…” he told Jumin with a worried look
He wouldn’t take coffee from anyone else
It wouldn’t taste right
As quickly as he could he put together a gift basket filled with essential oils and immune system boosting teas and food and fruits etc like just anything and everything he could think of plus bath products
Brought it back to the café
“Could you see that MC receives this?” Jumin handed it to the manager
He’d like to send it to you himself, but it wouldn’t be proper to have your address
The manager nodded
It seemed like he had waited forever for your return
Every day he entered and you weren’t there was another slight weight added to his heart
He found himself worrying about you
What was this?
You had been the happiest part of his days since he started conversing with you in the morning
It was only when you were not there that he realized just how much he enjoyed your company
How much he looked forward to seeing you
It had to mean something
His heart jumped when he walked through the door and finally saw you again
A smile growing on his face
It was like breathing fresh air to see your smile once more
“Jumin! How is Elizabeth 3rd?” you waved, “and thank you so much for the gift…it was too much, you really didn’t have to…”
“I would have sent more, if I knew it had helped,” he replied
You smiled briefly but ended up coughing a bit
“Are you alright? Should you be pushing yourself to work like this?” he said with concern
“I’m so sorry. I’m fine, I promise!”
He was slightly nervous all of a sudden, a new feeling
Watching you make his drink, he decided to finally make a move
“I missed your presence here in the café.”
“Oh?” you looked away a little shy, “but we have so many other talented people to make drinks!”
“Yes. Although, I would be lying if I said I didn’t prefer the ones you made.”
Okay now your knees are a little weak
You let out a nervous laugh
“If I may continue,” he said, “I realized that while the coffee was more than satisfactory, what I was missing was you. I’d like to take you to dinner?”
You dropped a cup in shock
Stuttering and smiling
He thought you were adorable when you were flustered
“I…w-would love that, Jumin.”
You nodded and bit your lip
He felt elated hearing this
“Perfect! Tonight, then? It’s a date,” he gave that endearing sideways smile of his.
Ok so I am currently on a bus. It’s only me and a random dude on it and he seriously put on music and plays it out loud. Annoying af and not really something you do. What I just did in response - I’m in some mood rn - was to put on an explicit johnlock podfic just as loud. He instantly turned to look at me of course and you should see my smirk right now my friends XD
hello yes i have come to deliver soft touches with andrew and neil bc i have a lot of feelings about this as their relationship develops and how both of them get used to having each other around and sinking into the comfortable notion that as long as they have each other they are Safe
it starts off fucking small, they’re sleepy and sitting on the bean bags in the living room watching this supremely crap movie, half the lines don’t make sense, there’s no comprehensible plot, the main character keeps not dying in circumstances that should definitely induce some level of death, and there are some of the most cliche lines ever written, but they’re sitting close together, not touching but close enough that they can feel each other’s body heat and its dark and about 3 am so nothing feels completely real yet, it’s just soft and blurry in a comfy way
and neil feels sorta warm inside, especially whenever andrew lets out a little huff at the shenanigans occurring on-screen, (how andrew is able to convey so much disdain in a single exhale neil doesn’t know)
but he wants to show how much he is enjoying this strange little moment so he catches andrew’s eye next time he looks over and holds up a hand in a silent ‘yes or no?’ and andrew nods in response and neil just gently links their pinkies together like they’re making a promise
andrew does another one of those little huffs but this time it’s laced with a little bit of fondness and he squeezes nails pinky
they fall asleep like that and nicky comes through in the morning and sees them and just grins and decides to leave them to it
the first time the rest of the foxes see any of this is at one of their mandatory Team Bonding movie nights at the girl’s room
they’re all getting ready to continue neil’s movie education with a Harry Potter marathon and they’re all sorta squished up onto any available surface bc college dorms are not known for their spaciousness, there’s not an available seat anywhere, and andrew isn’t here yet (he likes to make a point of being late to these things just to express that he does not want to come)
the movie is just starting when he comes in and there’s no space apart from on the floor and the floor is not gonna cut it if they plan on watching three movies in a row
so he stops infront of neil, who has somehow managed to snag a whole half of the sofa to himself and asks ‘yes or no?’
neil doesn’t really know what andrew wants but its always a yes
and andrew just sorta throws himself on top of neil but gently and makes himself comfortable there while neil doesn’t move bc he isn’t sure what the current boundaries are and the foxes look at each other frantically but don’t say a peep bc they know that if they do andrew would move away and neil looks genuinely happy about this development and no one wants to take that away from him so they just let it pass without comment
andrew just grabs neil’s hands and puts one in his hair and links his pinky with the other while maintaining his most expressionless face and neil is positively grinning now and hiding in in andrew’s shoulder
so now they do hugs and wrapping themselves around each other for comfort, not all the time, bc sometimes it would only make things worse, but when they’re both in a good place it makes them feel grounded
and bc andrew is a little shit he usually shoves his freezing cold feet up against nails legs to warm them up and neil is so fucking done with him but also doesn’t move away, he does heave out the world’s most exasperated sigh tho
they also get used to the idea that touch can be good to help on bad days, to give them something to take their minds off it
it’s the anniversary of Baltimore and neil is feeling off balance, not the worst he’s ever been but he feels frayed at the edges, like one tug on the wrong thread could unravel him
so they go up to the roof because that’s always been a place that was Theirs, that, despite the risk of taking a wrong step and toppling off the edge, has always felt safe to neil
so they sit and dangle their feet off the edge and neil asks ‘yes or no?’ and when andrew says yes he leans over slowly until his head and shoulders are resting on andrews lap and he picks up andrews free hand which isn’t holding a cigarette and places it on his head
andrew raises his eyebrows an amount that would be imperceptible to anyone who wasn’t neil and didn’t categorise all of the minute expressions that crossed andrews face and digs his fingers into neil’s curls, stroking through them and making them into more of a mess than they already were
and neil feels himself relax and just concentrate on the feeling of andrew’’s fingers landing through his hair and his soft thighs under his head and he feels a little bit better, not completely back to normal, but like normal might be attainable again
they also both draw on each other all the fucking time, leave a felt tip anywhere in their vicinity and half an hour later there’ll be a trail of fox pay fronts winding around andrew’s hands and a scribbled percentage and some random doodles on neil’s
the moment that really drives home how fucking far they’ve come, andrew , in particular, comes a couple of years into their relationship (and it is a relationship, despite andrews protests that it’s nothing)
its when andrew has been having a particularly good day, he feels lighter inside than usual and he’s been thinking about neil most of the day bc neil is the sort of pest that won’t leave andrew alone for a second, its so stupid and he really should be able to go out to buy ice cream without remembering the time when neil had been instructed by matt to get andrew something for valentines day and had just bought him a fuck tonne of ben and jerry’s bc he couldn’t think of anything else
but andrew gets home and he wants something like its an itch under his skin that he cant quite scratch, he wants to push his boundaries bc bee had been lightly nudging him for weeks about it and he’s poked the idea in his head a lot over the past few weeks and it seems okay
so when he finds neil sprawled out on the bed that used to just be his but at some point over the last couple of years had morphed into theirs he tells his to ‘move the fuck over josten honestly this is my fucking bed’ as he pulls off the grey t-shirt that he thinks is his but really it might not be and he lies down on his side with his back to neil
neil is already pretty surprised, bc even after all this time he knows andrew doesn’t like having his back exposed
and then, to nails even further surprise he hears “touch my back, yes or no?” and fuck he feels so fucking happy bc holy fuck he earned that level of trust holy shit
neil night have been on a championship team for years now, winning two more trophies but this, earning andrew’s trust, is his proudest achievement
so he whispers a yes and then starts to lightly trail his finger tips down andrew’s spine and connect freckles like dot-to-dots and it’s so Gentle
and andrew can feel how careful neil’s being and he feels safe bc even though he can’t see whats behind him, neil’s got his back
You’re tired of being alone for years without a boyfriend so you propose a deal to Jimin.
word count: 5.2k
tags: smut for days, fluff(in later chapters), angst(in later chapters), badboy!Jimin, collegeAU!Jimin
Your heart would’ve jumped right out of your chest if not for your ribs that confined them because your heart was beating so fast. As you walked down the steps with stiff legs, your eyes were settled on the man who sat just a few rows ahead of you. You took in the his outfit–a simple over-sized black hoodie and ripped denim jeans. He was shoving his belongings inside of his black backpack as you approached him.
Okok so your post about how u can tell when a smutty fic where one character is a trans guy, is written by a cishet writer, really reminded me of how annoyed i get when cishet writers really badly write queer/trans characters facing homo/transphobia. Like reactions to a character coming out are painfully stereotyped and trope-y?
cishet person writing a trans character:
The giant plot-device creature approached the heroes. TransBoi stood, and rushed towards it in an attempt to save the nearby citizens from impending doom. Alas, despite his years of Hero Experience, he didn’t stand a chance against the enormous creature. It roared, flinging TransBoi’s small body across the city block with one firm backhanded slap. TransBoi slammed into a brick wall, instantly crumpling to the ground in pain.
“NO!!” shouted Cis Love Interest, fearing the worst for TransBoi. With one final strike, Cis Love Interest slays the creature in a fit of rage. He begins to make his way over to TransBoi, who is bleeding very badly.
“Are you okay?” asks Cis Love Interest, cradling TransBoi in his big, beefy arms. “Let me remove your clothes– I have to treat your wounds.”
TransBoi stares up at his beautiful beefcake with a look of horror. “No, you can’t–” he begins to protest, but it is Too Late. Cis Love Interest has already begin to remove
TransBoi’s shirt, revealing the ace bandages covering his delicate transgender chest.
Cis Love Interest gasps, alarmed.
TransBoi begins to cry. “I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you this, but I am… I am not a Real Boy. I am transgendered…. you must hate me now. After all, who could ever love a Freak like me, born in a Girl Body? I’m disgusting.”
Cis Love Interest shakes his head. “I’m disappointed in you, TransBoi. Ace bandages, really? You should know better.”
TransBoi blinks his massive doe eyes. “W-what? You mean… you aren’t completely revolted by my existence?”
Cis Love Interest chuckles and shakes his head. He begins stroking TransBoi’s dainty face with his big meaty yaoi claw. “No, TransBoi. I love you, no matter what parts you have. And because I am a Good Cis Ally™, I know what a binder is and I want to buy you one.”
TransBoi is shocked. Even though he’s been transgendered for so long, it never occured to him that he could wear something other than ace bandages. He smiles, slowly. He is so grateful that Cis Love Interest accepts him. Overcome with joy, he kisses Cis Love Interest passionately, on the lips, using tongue, sexily.
“I love you too, Cis Love Interest” whispers TransBoi.