Writing & Library Research Methods Lesson Plan: Article Annotation

Lesson objective(s):  Reading an academic article carefully and for meaning

Total estimated time: 1 hour

Additional outcome(s):

Model how an argument is built, begin to identify the ways in which authors are interacting with each other

Course work or assignment underway:

This is part of a unit which will culminate in students writing an analysis of the ways that sources are deployed within one academic article of their choice. This assignment will come near the beginning of that unit to get students thinking about arguments and sources.

Work and/or reading completed before class:  

            Assigned academic article

Sequence of Classroom Activities

Students will have read a long and fairly complex academic article before coming in to class (~15 pages).  They can work in pairs to do this activity.

The annotation will take place in several stages. First, students will be asked to underline the paragraphs in which the author appears to begin a new phase of his or her argument. This will include the paper’s thesis but also the smaller arguments that the author makes in to support the thesis. These sentences will often use words like “although” or “however.”  (15 minutes)

Next, I will ask them to go through and identify the places where the article invokes other authors.  They will use one mark for agreement, one for disagreement, and another for places where they are not sure or the author seems to partially agree and partially disagree.  (15 minutes)

Finally, I’ll ask them to mark with a different symbol the other kinds of evidence that the author supplies.  (10 minutes)

Once this is finished, we will come together as a class to outline the author’s argument and summarize the arguments with which the author is engaging. (15 minutes)

Reflection on the lesson’s success or alternative approaches:

The next activity will ask students to map the relationships among authors, so it will build on this one.

Posted in Critical Reading, Thesis & Argument

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