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Annotated Literary Texts


Annotated Literary Texts is a space where students and faculty can mark up literary texts with commentary. This space is part of the Collaborative Writing Project, a ring of associated spaces on the Geneseo wiki devoted to using and reflecting on collaborative authorship as a pedagogical and scholarly tool.

You can add a text to this space by creating a child page of this home page. Alternatively, you may wish to create a child page as the jumping-off point for a group of related texts. See, for example, Passages from David Copperfield, a child of this page with its own children - each one a short passage from Dickens's novel.

Ways of annotating text

Annotations can take many forms. For example, you can

  • provide interpretive commentary on a word or phrase.
  • explain a literary allusion.
  • explain a historical reference.
  • make a comparison with another passage within the work or a passage within another work.
  • link to resources on the web, including audio and video, that put the word or phrase in an interesting light.
  • attach your own audio or video file (size limit: 10 mb) to the passage providing interpretive or other commentary.

This list is not exhaustive. If you think of other useful ways to annotate texts, by all means do so. There is only one restriction: your annotation must be a a genuine attempt to elucidate the text. Flippant or frivolous additions to this site will not be tolerated. If you make such an addition, it will be removed, and you may lose your privileges on the wiki.

In addition to adding fresh annotations, don't hesitate to improve the annotations made by others or to use the Add Comment feature in order to discuss an annotation.

How to create an annotation

To annotate a text, click the Edit tab of the page containing the text. Choose a word or short phrase from the text to link to your annotation. If you're in Wiki Markup view, put square brackets ([]) around the text and save the page. When you save the page, the word or phrase within the brackets will become a link. Click the link to create a new page containing your annotation. If you prefer Rich Text view, highlight the link text and create the link using the link button on the formatting toolbar. Be sure to save the page before following your link.

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You cannot create a link using square brackets when in Rich Text view. Rich Text will render square brackets as ... square brackets. In Rich Text you must use the toolbar to create a link.

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To create a link in Rich Text view using the toolbar, first double-click the word or phrase you want to annotate (if a phrase, keep it short!), then click the link icon (or choose Insert > Link) from the toolbar. In the dialog that comes up, select "Web Link" in the left menu. You should see the word(s) you selected pre-filled in the box labeled "Link Text." Put the identical words in the box labeled "URL" (replacing the prefilled "http://"). Then click "Insert." See illustration below.

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Be sure to Save your edit before following your new link to create the new page. Whether you created the link in Wiki Markup view or Rich Text view, you can now click on it to go to the annotation page.