Launched in Spring 2014 as part of the Great Works of World Literature program in the English Department at Baruch College, the Annotation Project uses new technologies to enable students to collaboratively annotate literary texts. Students in participating courses write annotations for fellow students and similar readers, who are probably coming to these texts for the first time.

Students’ annotations may provide basic definitions of words and background information, or draw from their cultural and historical knowledge to exhibit new and personal ways of engaging with the texts. Annotators are encouraged to make connections to other texts or relevant people, places, or things and write annotations that help illuminate details, characters, language or images that strike them as important and in need of explanation. Annotators are also encouraged to look at translated texts in the original language and point out interesting translation choices or discrepancies, revealing how translation transforms literature. Throughout the process, students do research to help develop their annotations and explain historical, local, social, religious, and other references they come across.

The Annotation Project has been supported by grants from Baruch College’s Office of Sponsored Programs and Research and a 2014-15 CUNY Research in the Classroom IDEA grant.

To find out more information about the Annotation Project, visit the Annotation Projects page that details past participating courses, the Resources page with links to annotation tools and overviews, and the Classroom Application page with sample assignments.  We hope you enjoy seeing the close reading and reflective annotating of Great Works of Literature students at Baruch. How do these notes illuminate the literature for you? What points and questions would you like to add?