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How to Annotate a Poem: The 5 best tips to make annotating easier

When presented with a new poem, one of the things that most teachers encourage you to do before anything else is to annotate it. But, knowing how to annotate a poem is much easier said than done.


In the first of our Study Smart, Study Less series, we'll take a look through how you can learn to annotate quickly and effectively. We have five main tips to make annotating a poem easier for you, so let's get started and see what they are!



1. Symbols


When annotating a poem, you may feel as though every line requires a sentence or two worth of annotations. But this is not true!


One of the best things about annotations is that they help to reduce the amount that you have to write. You can use symbols to shorten down words and use different colour coded methods to help you visualise the techniques or themes being used throughout the poem.


Symbols are one of the best ways to reduce the amount of space and time you take up whilst writing annotations, as well as keeping your poem neat and easy to read! We recommend creating a key that explains what each of your colours/symbols mean, just in case you forget. Check out our infographic below which visualises what we mean.


2. Your Thoughts