Annotation Assignment Guidelines
An annotation is “a critical or explanatory note or body of notes added to a text” (dictionary.com). Annotations are the evidence of active reading, and this assignment invites you to display that evidence. Whether you record notes in the margins of what you are reading, or on a separate page next to what you are reading, or you prefer to keep it all in your head, you will now make your process transparent.
We are working on the information literacy outcomes of College 101, moving from a focus on your own personal experiences into analysis of other experiences and synthesis of multiple information sources — observing & recording connections.
Your assignment is to read the selection from Aldo Leopold’s book A Sand County Almanac called “The Land Ethic,” then read a source (primary or secondary, found through our library workshop) that informs your own essay about a sustainable place, and then use the notes you take about both those texts to create an illustration of the connections between them.
This should NOT be just a summary of each text, and it should NOT be just an encyclopedia entry about the authors. This should be a single page full of written and visual illustration in which you put the two texts and authors together and point to where they overlap. Use the page in whatever way works best for you and your notes. You might create a page that puts passages from one text on top of passages from the other text with marginal notes about why. You might compose a Venn Diagram, or some other multi-section — and very clearly labeled — chart or graph. If there is any kind of mind map, outline, or alternative note-taking format that you favor, you can demonstrate it here. You can transcribe your notes onto a page and draw connecting lines, shapes, or other highlights among them; you can employ moving graphics or sound. You don’t have to be an artist or a tech expert to do this work, but you do have to think creatively about what connecting sources could look like. The more detailed and dynamic your annotation process is, the more compelling and powerful the essays you eventually have to compose from those annotations will be. This assignment may be submitted in a traditional Word document format, a scanned image, or some other format.
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