Digital Annotation

Digital annotation can be a powerful pedagogical exercise and experiment. From inserting handwritten marginalia to a medieval manuscript

Image of handwritten marginalia to a medieval manuscript design

to adding post-it notes to webpages

Image of adding post it notes on page design
Screenshot from Mark C. Marino’s hypertext novella “Marginalia in the Library of Babel” (online), which uses Diigo software to tell a story.

to incorporating an essay onto a digital image:

Image of incorporating an essay onto a digital image design
Juston McKee’s annotation assignment for ENG 563 “Experimental 21st-Century Novel”

There are many different tools for annotating digital images and text files. Here are a list of free, available and easy-to-use tools for producing digital annotations.

Sample Student Project & Lesson Plan used to produce it

Video recording of Cory Stapleton’s creative-critical essay for ENG 527: “Digital Literature” (Professor Jessica Pressman, Spring 2016)

Digital Annotation Assignment from Professor Jessica Pressman’s ENG 527 “The 21st-Century Experimental Novel” syllabus:
This assignment invites you to use digital technologies to engage with the novel. You might use a free tool like Diigo, Popcorn, MarkUp, GoogleDocs, or something else. You will close read a section of the text—a page, a paragraph, etc.—by carefully explicating the relationship between form and content in the text AND by using the digital tools to how and where you see what you see. Tutorial:

Professor Chris Werry (Rhetoric and Writing Studies) uses in first-year writing classes, for the collaborative reading and analysis of texts. On this website, he shares how you cans use the tool to do the following:

  • Have students “chart” a text (annotate the rhetorical moves) and share annotations with everyone in class.
  • Provide “model” readings of a text by sharing your annotations with your class.
  • You can comment on the work students do online.
  • Have students do some (or all) peer review work using Hypothesis.

Note: SDSU does not support the integration of in Canvas. But you can use it through the Assignment tool. Learn more.

UPDATE (August 26, 2020): ITS is currently piloting the integration of in Canvas. Learn how to use in Canvas from this September 14, 2020 live demo (link to slides).

Faculty point of contact: