Scholarly Article Annotation

This assignment was adapted from one used by Dr. Karin Akre at Hunter College. While it focuses on scientific research papers, it could be further adapted for use in the humanities. The idea is that academic articles are difficult and collaborative annotation can help students navigate the new ideas and difficult language. But, as in this one, more advanced students can annotate more analytically as part of such an assignment.


Reading scientific papers is tough. But once you’ve gotten used to them they make a lot of sense – they all organize the information according to the scientific method. Annotating as a group should help you get used to things. I’ll be curious to see whether the group annotation articles make more sense to you than the others that we’ll read. Let me know!

For each article listed in italics on the Course Schedule, you’ll need to make three annotations using the web annotation tool To get started using, simply click on Sign Up, then register for an account with a username and email address.


Read the article! When you find parts that confuse you, look up what it means or refers to and create an annotation. If someone has already annotated it, click and read the annotation.

To annotate, highlight the text you are annotating, click the dialogue icon, and a sidebar will open up for your annotation. To add images, click on the image icon in the tool bar. Your image will need to have a URL.

NOTE: HIGHLIGHT AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. Focus in on the specific word or phrase you want to define or explain. You can annotate a word or phrase within someone else’s highlighted area.

Create two annotations that provide facts (definitions, explanations, etc) or images (maps, animals, etc), and one that adds an insight (connect to another field or another topic) or asks a question.

Ideally the annotations should help you understand the article. It’s tricky because the first people to annotate won’t get as much out of it… So you should do one read early on, and make your annotations at this time. Then, at the end of the week go back to read the article again – it will be much easier with all the annotations! At the very least, studying the article again for tests will be a time you can take advantage of all the annotations.