For Tuesday (8/29)

For Tuesday, August 29, you have one assignment: read and annotate Phil Levine’s poem, “They Feed They Lion.”  You can find Levine’s poem – – like the rest of our online texts – –  in the sidebar to the right – – or click on the links in this text.

How to annotate?

Before describing what makes a helpful annotation, here’s what you’ll need to do to start annotating.

First, go to the “They Feed They Lion” page.  On that page, you’ll notice a small but odd set of icons in the upper right-hand corner.  They look like this:


Click on the little “<” symbol and a drawer will slide out.  It will look like this:

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Since you don’t have an account on Hypothesis, our annotation tool, you’ll have to create one.  Click on the “Create an account” button and fill in your details:

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N.B. When you choose a username – – choose a name that I will recognize.  E.g. “LHanley” is going to make life a lot easier for me than “MadProfX,” etc.

Once you’ve created an account and logged into the Hypothesis sidebar (on the Levine page), you’re ready to start annotating.  Here are the basics for how to mark text and add comments. (Don’t worry about mention of the “extension”  – – that’s already been installed on the motherblog.)  Make at least two annotations, or at least two replies to existing annotations.  N.B.  Make sure your annotations are set to “public,” so that we can all read them.

Second, what is a good annotation?  A good annotation can do several things – – record a response, propose a connection, supply useful information, or pose a helpful question. Basically, annotating is a way of writing what you’re thinking while you read.  An unhelpful annotation simply paraphrases the word or line of text.  I kind of like Mr. Varnell’s tips over on

This first assignment may engage you in two new things: getting started on online annotation and the work of annotating itself.  Don’t worry at all about what the poem “means.”  For now, just focus on using the annotations to capture the questions or reflections that occur as you ready.  And, don’t stress if things seem clumsy or awkward at first.  The more you practice, the more natural – – and easier – –  annotation will become.  E.g. relax and just start commenting on Levine’s poem.

You’re all set now.  Go forth and annotate.  (Questions? Problems? Contact me:  Enjoy!