Dash: White Thoreau Annotation Essay examples

Submitted By olaitan96
Words: 843
Pages: 4

Summary and Annotation of Thoreau’s Walden

Rough Draft Due: February 3rd
Final Due: February 5th

All of us have times when our eyes slide across the pages we’re assigned; we get to the end of the reading and close the book with no idea what we have just read. Annotation is a technique that helps you to read productively and responsibly so that instead of worrying about whether or not you’ll be called on in class you’ll be prepared to volunteer something interesting to say. It’s basically an expanded version of taking notes in the margins that asks you to think critically about what you’ve read rather than simply turning the pages.

For this assignment start by writing a brief 1-2 paragraph summary of the entire reading. Remember when writing a summary to include the title and author of the piece, a brief historical, cultural, or literary context, the main idea or thesis of the piece, and the most important supporting details. A summary doesn’t tell your readers whether or not you liked the piece, it just explains what it is about.

Then choose a one to two paragraph section from the reading to annotate. Identify the page number the section is located on. Type the sentence, phrase, or word you want to refer to from the section, and then do whichever of the following apply:

1. Define any words or phrases you don’t know
2. Explain references or allusions to outside texts
3. Explain the historical context if necessary and how the message might still be relevant today or why it is no longer relevant
4. Make connections to your personal experiences
5. Make connections to other readings from the class
6. Note big picture questions the reading makes you think about
7. Note interesting rhetorical and stylistic choices made in the writing and whether or not they are effective

See sample below.

Grading Criteria:

Includes a thoughtful, accurate, and succinct summary
Identifies annotated paragraph and what page it starts on
Includes at least 5 annotations, each of which start with the sentence or phrase that will be referred to
Makes well thought out, big picture connections
Makes small clarifications about the text
Has minimal grammar mistakes
1.5 or double spaced
Megan White
English 250
Ms. White

Thoreau Annotation: Facebook, Locusts, and Wild Honey


Your Summary Goes Here…I don’t want to give the summary away by including my own. I’m sure you’ll do well with your summary.

Annotation: paragraph starting at bottom of page 17-page 18

1. “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract us from serious things.” While I agree with Thoreau that many inventions are trivial and distract us from the true nature of life and living life to the fullest in the moment, (snuggies aren’t exactly causing inner peace and solving the problems of the world) some inventions, such as penicillin, have greatly improved our quality of life. It is important to think critically about inventions and technology, however. For example, most people would agree that computers are incredible tools that make our lives easier and connect us to the rest of the world, but they also often lead to sitting around for hours watching funny cat videos on youtube rather than living our lives to the fullest. Thoreau’s objection to…