Recently I’ve been getting assignments to annotate 1 or 2 short stories in English every day. Are there any good techniques to use when annotating short stories?

  • 2
    This may not quite fall in the scope of the site. Could you perhaps elaborate on what you are expected to do, exactly?
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 3:44
  • Who had written them? Why are you annotating them? What sort of annotations are you doing? Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 18:52
  • We are annotating for some theme, and to answer guiding questions. The short stories have a very broad range of writers. Sometimes we may annotate about Edgar Allan Poe then the next day annotate about Ray Bradbury’s short stories.
    – WwW
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 0:24
  • I'm not sure if annotate is the word you are actually looking for...
    – Weckar E.
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


My method was always minimum 2 reads.

First read I do minimal annotations, unless something really strikes me or confuses me, and anything that makes sense later may get changed.

Second read through I really annotate. Depending on what kind of class this is, you may want to write down any questions you have, words you don't recognize, symbols or recurring themes you notice. If you're in a class where you're critiquing each others work you have to make the judgement call of how much criticism you want to give versus how much praise or general feedback.

When I was critiquing other peoples stories in writing class I usually ended up turning in the story itself with my notes on it marking confusing bits, impressions, especially good lines, parts I was vague on, things that prompted questions, and a couple paragraphs of questions, impressions, whether I thought the story in question was focused enough or thought it needed refocusing.

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