Annotating Your Textbook More Strategies for Reading your HealthcareTextbook what ?

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Annotating Your Textbook

  • More Strategies for Reading your HealthcareTextbook


  • Annotating is selectively underlining important information or details, and writing marginal notes, on an essay, article, or textbook chapter.

WHY Annotate?

  • One of the most effective techniques to help you become an active reader is annotating what you’ve read. It helps you think more carefully and fully about information.
  • Here are some strategies for annotating a textbook.

HOW? Remember to use SQ3R!

  • Survey/Preview the reading selection to discover the contents, and how the information is organized.

*Star & Highlight the Main Ideas

  • After reading each section in the chapter (from one subheading to the next subheading), star & underline key words, phrases and main ideas

Write the Main Idea in the Margin

  • Mark the main ideas and write them not as
  • sentences, but with key words or summary words, next to each section in the margin of your textbook.

Underline Selectively & for Emphasis

  • Turn your subheadings into questions.
  • Underline those details that answer your questions, or directly support, prove, or explain the main idea.
  • Note the details by also marking them numerically- 1,2,3 etc

Write Key Words in Margin

  • When you finish marking or underlining a section of the chapter, write key words in
  • margin.
  • Use key words that will briefly explain the information you’ve underlined in that section.

Design your own system of symbols for annotating

  • A [brackets] for main ideas
  • A single line for details
  • A long bracket for important paragraphs
  • An asterisk * for important information to remember
  • Numerals to show a listing of examples or details
  • Write ex to mark examples
  • Write a defined word in the margin to indicate its definition
  • Write question marks for key points that may be unclear to you

Circle Key Words

  • Key Words tell you~
  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • The following are some examples of different kinds of signal words that point to the major details.
  • Become aware of them!

Words that signal examples or illustrations

  • For Example
  • For Instance
  • To illustrate
  • Including
  • Such as

Words that signal sequence or spatial locations

    • First Distal
    • Second Proximal
    • Last Supine
    • After Lateral
    • Initially Upward
    • Next Interior
    • Previously Exterior
    • Until Outward

Words that signal comparison

  • Similarly
  • Likewise
  • Like
  • As
  • Just as

Words that signal contrast

  • However
  • Even though
  • But
  • Conversely
  • Nevertheless
  • Yet
  • Whereas
  • On the other hand
  • In contrast

Words that signal Cause and Effect

  • Thus
  • Accordingly
  • Since
  • Therefore
  • As a result
  • Because
  • Causing

Let’s give annotation a try

Read, Print & Annotate:

  • What is the controlling
  • idea?
  • What is the main idea
  • of each paragraph?
  • What are the important
  • details?

Chapter Section:

  • Remember:
  • Use margin notes.

Before you start reading…..

  • Ask yourself, what is the organization? ( It is probably a time order, so you know the emphasis of the chapter is the sequence of developments).
  • Think of what you already know about the subject, and some questions that you have about this topic.
  • Write some questions next to the chapter heading.
  • Give yourself a purpose for reading.

Let’s get started

  • Did you print the article?

Be sure to……

Now…..look at the chapter:

  • Turn the heading “ The First Trimester” into a question and write it next to the title.
  • Read through the section once rapidly to get a general idea of what it is about. Circle any unknown words and clarify their meaning.
  • You are ready to annotate that section
  • Go to the next subsection and repeat the steps listed above…question, read, annotate.

When you have finished annotating …………………Compare

  • You can now look at the
  • example of annotation that follows:

How did you do? Now, you can review:

  • Read aloud the underlined text, and the and summary notes you have created.
  • Could you study this information rather than rereading the article?
  • Can annotation be helpful for your learning?

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