Annotating Textbooks & Taking Lecture Notes

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This workshop for the Writing Center at Purdue University Calumet involves teaching students how to annotate their textbooks and take lecture notes in order to understand course material better.

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Annotating Textbooks & Taking Lecture Notes

  1. 1. I. Annotating A. Definition B. What it does for you II. SQ3R III. Applying your skills: The Annotated Bibliography IV. Taking Lecture Notes: Annotating in the classroom
  2. 2. Annotation is a summary and/or evaluation based off of any experience with media (books, journals, websites, podcasts, etc.)
  3. 3.  Traditional Lecture vs. Discussion  Traditional Lecture: Review your notes, summaries, and readings after the class to reinforce the material  Discussion: Do all of the reviewing BEFORE class so it is fresh in your brain, and you can actively participate in the discussion
  4. 4.  Annotating ◦ Helps you engage with your sources in a critical way ◦ Allows you to familiarize yourself with previous literature to create a strong foundation for further research ◦ Helps you formulate and revise strong thesis statements ◦ Helps you develop a point of view
  5. 5.  An Annotation System: ◦ Only has to make sense to the reader ◦ Should be consistent ◦ Text should be underlined rather than highlighted to avoid “tunnel vision” ◦ Write in the margins of what you are reading, or leave space for annotations in the notes you take in class
  6. 6.  Survey  Question  Read Actively  Respond  Review
  7. 7. You can’t annotate a textbook if you don’t understand the layout. Pay close attention to:  Topic sentences  Major ideas  Details that support major ideas
  8. 8.  What are you reading about?  What do you want to learn?  What is the definition of that word?  Why?
  9. 9.  Affective Reading vs. Informational Reading  Affective Reading: Reading for fun.  Informational Reading: Reading to retain information and facts.
  10. 10.  Tie your frame of reference to it ◦ How does your unique outlook affect your view of the text?  Personal experiences ◦ Connecting personal experiences to similar events from the text (i.e. loss of a loved one) makes the material more relatable  Connect new information to previous knowledge ◦ Building new information on top of what you already know is a technique known as “scaffolding.”
  11. 11. Summary: If you cannot summarize what you have read, it is possible that you did not fully understand the material Successful annotations should always include:  Main ideas  Enumerated lists  Unfamiliar or important vocabulary
  12. 12. No! It only has to make sense to you! However, here are a few useful approaches:  Map, Cluster, or Web  Lists  Timeline
  13. 13.  Purdue University Calumet Writing Center  WritingCenter@Purduecal.edu 219-989-2200  Writing Center Handouts ◦ http://www.pnc.edu/engl/writingcenter/handouts.html  Purdue OWL ◦ http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/  Developing Textbook Thinking by Sherrie L. Nist and William Diehl

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