Short Fiction Essay 2 -Annotation


You need to choose a story that was assigned with the three chapters we looked at since the last essay and annotate it. Like last time, this will be the story that you are going to analyze in your upcoming essay. I want you to think of this as a prewriting assignment meant to take you through a careful reading of the story as well as the elements used in it. As I pointed out last time, this is a substantial assignment, and, therefore, your chosen text should have a considerable number of annotations made on it. You need to label each annotation with whatever you are doing with the annotation from the categories below. If you are pointing out the use of an element, you should label the annotation with whichever element you are identifying. All of the elements that we have covered so far are available. There should be at least one example of each bolded word from the three most recent chapters we looked at if at all possible. You should also cover the basics, setting, point of view, main characters and their roles, etc. You will make many annotations. Depending on the size of the paragraph, there could be ten-fifteen annotations for it. A lot of students do ten-fifteen for the entire text at first, which is obviously nowhere close to enough. The categories of annotations that you should make are:

1. Googling things you don’t know or only partially know: vocabulary words, historical people, places, events, etc. Label = Def. or Vocab.  

2. Literary elements that we have covered so far. Label = the element being identified

3. Recording questions, answers to those questions, repetitions (mirroring, in other words, the repetition of a certain word or phrase or situation that you notice. For instance, if one character breaks a glass and another character does the same thing later, or maybe they break a plate or a pencil; that could be something important, something the author is pointing to, an aspect of characterization or plot. Maybe the author continually uses words that have to do with colors when they speak about a certain character, anything at all that you happen to  notice.)  Label = Misc. or Imp.  

Literary authors spend a lot of time carefully crafting these stories. The reason that they are considered great works of literature is because their meanings constantly expand as you spend more time and focus on them.  

Before you begin, you should get a sheet of paper and copy all of the bolded words from the chapters we have covered so far.  Just like with the discussion boards, you will only use one element in your narrowed topic for your paper. You should have an idea of which element that you want to focus on when you finish this annotation. You may mention all of the other elements that you would like to, but they should be in reference to the element that you narrow to. Everything in your paper will be focused on how that element was used in the story that you will choose to write about. Your claim will come in time after you choose your element and then start thinking about it and writing about it for your controlling idea assignment. Remember, you are not annotating to fit a claim. You are annotating to lead to a claim. For instance, if you are a detective. You do not make a conclusion about the crime scene and then investigate the crime scene only for the aspects of it that fit your conclusion. You analyze every bit of the crime scene, and, then, armed with all of that information, you make a specific claim and only then begin to sift through the evidence for the evidence you need to make your claim. This is a fact finding mission, not a fact arranging mission. You will begin to arrange facts when the prewriting begins. However, this is still a type of prewriting activity. It’s just that it is a generalized one that is forcing you to analyze all of the evidence, which will place you on the path to a more specific prewriting assignment when fully prepared. It is more akin to brainstorming than outlining or drafting. 

Below you can find the correct video that will show you how to annotate in Microsoft Word. Make sure that you use the annotating/commenting function in Word as illustrated in the video. If you use a different method, I will count off for it. I am also adding a link to one of the stronger student annotations from last time. Hopefully, it will work, and you will be able to see the document and the annotations. This student did a really nice job of providing an appropriate amount of annotations as well as a wide array of elements and just with following directions in general. There are some issues with understanding the elements themselves, but everyone is having that issue at this point as you all are wrestling with these concepts and how to apply them to the works. I also would have liked to have seen more use of the Vocab. category. I also saw that deficit among most of the class. You should look up words you don’t or only partially understand as well as all allusions by the author to real people and places. 

How to annotate and comment using Microsoft Word (Links to an external site.) 

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