A common assignment for high-school and university level classes, the annotated essay is intended to provide a medium for students to explore their own ideas regarding a given topic. An annotation invites writers to provide their own reactions upon reading a selection of references on the subject. Learning how to write a proper annotated essay will provide you with the tools necessary for composing a cohesive discourse on your assigned issue.

Step 1

Read several sources on the topic you have been assigned; pay close attention to certain details or ideas that inspire your personal reflection and opinions. Find a varied spectrum of sources; for example, if your topic is global warming, find references that approach it as fact, fiction and theory to provide you with a multi-faceted understanding.

Step 2

Write notes on the different ideas you either enjoyed or disliked; in other words, the annotated essay provides you with a chance to respond to what you have read. There aren't any right or wrong answers, and you shouldn't consider this an analysis of what you've read; you're merely providing your personal reflections.

Step 3

Compose the annotated essay according to the topics you've read. In other words, directly mention what you are discussing in each paragraph of your essay. For instance, if you've read about a study concerning the dangers of cellphones, use your essay to illustrate how you felt about their methods/procedures, the results of the study or why you felt they were or weren't legitimate.