An annotation assignment could be a one-off exercise in close reading or it could be a daily practice for students throughout their course readings. The following unit plan imagines Hypothesis as a go-to reading and collaborating tool for an entire English course, beginning with one of Shakespeare’s plays.


We will be using Hypothesis to explore the primary texts and themes of the course by collaborartively annotating them online.

Annotating a text in detail, whether a poem or a primary source, is a step towards developing larger analyses, and can be thought of as part of the essay-writing process. You might end up using a brief close reading of a passage as an introduction to a traditional paper for the class.

Hypothesis’s intuitive and dynamic web annotation app enables users to create good-looking online content with relative ease. Developing digital literacy is also critical for students in terms of preparation for college and the evertday life beyond formal education.


We will begin working with Hypothesis by annotating some of the primary texts for the course, passages from William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. The entire text of the play can be found at the Folger site here. Your first assignment is to add at least one original annotation and offer a reply to a classmate’s on each Act as we read them: