Annotation Papers

Due: Tuesday, October 22 & Sunday, November 3

Assignment Description

For this paper, you will annotate and respond to a passage from Orlando. In your response, you will make a well-organized argument (with a thesis statement) about your reading and how it relates to a theme from the novel. Length: 500-600 words.

The annotation/writing procedures below are suggestions. It’s a guide for organizing and presenting your ideas. You are not required to follow this guide, but your chances of success are higher (and your task easier) if you use its basic structure.

Annotation Paper # 1 passage: “‘Another metaphor, by Jupiter!’…. and fell into a deep dejection” (Woolf 74-75).

Annotation Paper # 2 passage: “‘Shel, my darling,’… the space is filled to repletion” (Woolf 185-186).


First, read and annotate the text. When annotating, comment on the following:

  • Clarification: indicate your questions about context or meaning, and explain tricky sentences or significant moments in your own words.
  • Literary Devices: identify devices AND explain how they work.
  • Narration: consider the presence of the narrator and how he tells the story.

After annotating, do the following:

  1. Write a brief summary of the passage, in your own words. This will be your introduction. (Your thesis statement will go at the end of your introduction)
  2. Review your annotations, and look for patterns or themes (significant ideas). Pick one or two points that seem important and interesting to you. Tip: use your chosen points to create claims (which will become your body paragraphs) about your reading of the passage.
  3. From your chosen points, construct an argument, with a thesis statement, that addresses a theme from the novel. You will explicitly argue how your reading of the passage enhances or deepens your understanding of the text.
  4. Use the “Claims, Evidence, Analysis” structure to organize your argument into paragraphs (there should be at least two body paragraphs).
  5. Using your notes and evidence from the passage to back up your claims and to guide your analysis. Blend your evidence, introducing and explaining your quotes. If stuck in analysis, always return to the quote, and find more to say.

Submit your Annotation Papers below: