I hate annotation. The act of writing in a book feels like a sin. That being said, when it comes to taking an English class annotation becomes a necessary evil, especially when that class is on Shakespeare.
Shakespeare is one of those writers that you need to read and reread over and over again to really grasp what he is trying to say. When it comes to annotating his work I like to paraphrase what he is saying in modern language then go through again and find any writing techniques he uses. I have a numbered list in a notebook of writing techniques such as, similes, alliteration, etc. and with that I underline words or sentences and put a small number of which it corresponds in the book itself. Writing in actual words tends to distract me from the work itself when I am reading through again so I tend to avoid that.
Writing notes on a film is a whole different ballgame. Sure, you can pause and rewind a movie, but that disrupts the flow and makes it all the more confusing. Re-watching a movie over and over to find stylistic choices is a lot harder and more time-consuming than rereading specific passages of the text.
Making notes on a text is definitely a lot easier than film but film is a more enjoyable and dynamic experience. It is so much better to see someone else’s interpretation of a piece of literature and not have to pull some sort of deeper meaning out of it like you have to do for text. The symbolism is more easily viewed, and there isn’t as much guessing when it comes to film.
Honestly, I know for a fact that my annotation style is not successful. I’ve always been a “learn by reading and observing” type more than a “learn by writing” type. My notes are pretty bare bones, but i try. I cant stand it when people try to read too far into plays, or poetry, or any other style of writing. Sometimes a bush is just a bush, no symbolism intended. This is probably the main reason why I am not a major in English.
Hearing that someone hates annotation is probably every person with an English degrees worst nightmare, but it is just something I do not personally find helpful. Sure, when it comes to writing the final exam ill probably be kicking myself for not having the patience to read through everything a million times just to be able to figure out what is important enough to make note. When it comes to readings I do in the future, outside of the academic world, I look forward to being able to enjoy something without having to read between the lines for some significant meaning that may not be so significant at all.