Annotating texts

In the first 5-10 minutes of your exam time, annotate your stimulus text in such a way that you gain a deeper understanding of the text's message, purpose and stylistic features. 

  1. Study the annotated Paper 1 exam below by clicking on it and zooming in. Although it is from an older session (in black and white with 2 guiding questions), you can learn a lot from the student's annotations. What kinds of annotation strategies is the student applying in this example? Make a list of annotation strategies as a class. How can you see that the student will be successful in writing an analysis of this text?

  2. Responsive image
  3. Below is another text for you to download, print and annotate individually. Work quiently on your annotations for 10 minutes, using coloured highlighters, pencils and pens, circling, underlining, drawing arrows or using acronyms (such as CAMPS - context, audience, meaning, purpose, style). After 10 minutes, walk around your classroom to see what others have done.

  4. Example Paper 1 stimulus text
  5. What kinds of annotation strategies have you learned by observing other people's annotations? Why are annotation skills important for both Paper 1 and life in general?


As an IB learner you aim develop thinking skills. Annotating texts is a skill that makes thinking visible. By annotating texts, you begin to see patterns of style and structure. Annotating a text is like casting a big fishing net. What do you haul in? How do you begin to sort your catch? 

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Last modified: Wednesday, 16 February 2022, 7:43 PM