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Annotations are found on every writing i.e. an article, book or any other publications. They are brief descriptions found on a book, report or handout. Its main aim is to give the reader a heads up on what the story is about.

Types of annotations

Various types of annotations are found on specific books. We have critical annotations commonly found on periodical articles, and research reports. The main reason as to why critical annotations are always included is for the purpose of evaluating a piece of research or an article. It’s fully addressed to the reader.

Summary annotations are use to describe a certain work. A summary annotation appears where there are differing opinions about writing and therefore serves best to avoid misleading of readers.

Format of annotation

Here is an example of an article that has a critical annotation

Opening sentence

The opening sentence gives an introduction of the author of certain writing or be it a book. It goes further to explain what the book is about. For instance the author is Rosie Harris and the topic of the article “Love Changes Everything”. Rosie Harris in his book explains how love can be a turning point.


With the body element more light is shade on a certain topic being talked about. Here more details and knowledge is given to the reader. The author gives his own personal opinion on how love changes everyone’s life be it negative or positive way. His approach and language would make the article of interest to any scholarly reader dealing with this topic.

Closing sentence

The article clearly demonstrates the author’s statements. Notice with the critical annotation the author has not used any previous works done for the same topic. This leaves many readers with many unanswered questions.

Example of a summary annotation

Opening sentence

Using the same author of the article, here Rosie gives more common illustrations known to people who have experienced love and are therefore common to the reader.


With the body paragraph, Rosie uses logical arguments to support his ideas; the article is his personal opinion.

Closing sentence:

Under this annotation the style and vocabulary used would make the article of interest to any reader dealing with this topic.

Characteristics of annotations

Annotations are just like any other good writings out there. Annotations are meant to give the reader a brief information about the article, avoid long annotations readers would be put off just starting from the long writings, avoid repetition of information already in the title, remember your annotation is the key determinant to stir up the interest for your reader its wise to remain objective and avoid personal prejudice.


Style of your annotation will vary according to your article. Go through your annotation ensure proper punctuation, spelling and capitalization is perfect. When deciding on the tense to use you could refer to your book or article to get the flow. However the third person tense should always be used.

Format of paragraph

An annotation is a brief thus should only contain one long paragraph. Include every important detail in the one paragraph and should not exceed 200 words. A good and short annotation will get your readers interested in reading the article or your book

Language and vocabulary

Language in the annotation should be kept simple and clear. Let your language reflect the ideas and conclusions of the author. As applies to the vocabulary it does not change. If you extract some of the quotations from the document ensure to set them in quotation marks.

Format of sentences

Do not drift away when writing annotations for your article. Ensure you keep your sentences flowing just like in the document. Let your sentences be meaningful they can be short but the message prevailed in it is just what the reader needs to know. Using of complex sentences with no prevail of important message is to be avoided.

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