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Sometimes, your teacher may assign a piece of text for you to read and discuss later with the whole class or a small group.

Other times, you might be given the reading and a prompt for an assignment, such as an essay.

To prepare for a larger assignment or discussion, conduct pre-writing, or writing that happens before the main writing assignment.

Pre-writing includes brainstorming ideas, writing an outline, or creating annotations.

Using annotations during pre-writing helps you gather your ideas before you start a formal paper or class discussion.

To begin, make a copy of the starter project.

Add your name to the title.

Then, read the prompt.

Next, read the article, keeping the prompt in mind.

You know the question you need to answer, so pay attention to any clues or specific references to the subject of the prompt.

Look for details that support a specific point of view or idea.

Highlight those passages.

Then, read the article again and look for details that support another point of view.

Highlight those in a different color.

Consider whether one of those arguments made is stronger in your opinion.

Reflect on your opinions about the points of view provided.

To provide support for your response, read the article again.

Highlight any additional clues that may help you support your conclusion.

Those clues could include statistics, quotes from an expert or experiment, details that are repeated several times, or major themes.

Finally, include the additional annotations you learned in the main lesson, such as unfamiliar terms and their definitions, the main idea and supporting details, and passages you find confusing or interesting.

After you finish highlighting ideas that relate to the prompt, read the prompt again.

If you can answer it in a few sentences, you’re ready to start writing your essay or participate in the class discussion.

If you’re still struggling, read the article again and make additional annotations.

Nice work!

Now, it’s your turn: Make a copy of the starter project, and add your name to the title; read the prompt and the article; highlight passages that relate to the prompt, including specific points of view, statistics, and quotes; and highlight additional annotations to help support your answer to the prompt.

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