When you are beginning the school year, begin thinking about how you can plan ahead. Consider your major tests, papers, and projects beforehand. When assigned a book report or a test on a book you have read, begin by annotating the text. Look for important lines that define the plot and characters. Analyze their roles as either the protagonist, antagonist, flat character, or round character. Define their role in the story and how they move the plot forward. Look for key elements such as setting, the main event in the story, and literary themes, literary devices, or motifs. How does the books compare or contrast to others you have read that are similar and in the same genre?Research the author’s contemporaries and tell how this book stands out from others in the genre. Research the genre and found out more about it and what the genre was like during the time it was written. Focus on one of these elements to write about. When taking a test, make sure to write key quotes, the author’s biographical information, when it was written, famous lines made by the characters and their qualities, as well as literary devices, such as metaphors, and symbolism. Look for key elements that are symbolic in the story. Prepare for other projects by working on an annotated bibliography early. Make sure to document all sources in MLA format and write about the purpose of the article or chapter in the book you are using. Keep these sources on notecards and the annotations, as well. Put the number at the top in alphabetical order, in order to use the information to cite in your paper or project. Use purdue owl and night cite websites to help you document your sources. Remember to always use a .gov, .edu, or a .org site. Do not use Wikipedia. Make sure that the .org site is credible. Only use the most pertinent information that summarizes the author’s purpose and your stance. Answer why you used that particular quote to explain your stance or purpose. All annotations should be a paragraph and can include a quote or two that defines the thesis of the text you are reading. Keep track of all of your sources, as well as outlines, and drafts, in order to prepare you for the final research project. Make sure to research your topic thoroughly, especially if it is scientific. Only use the most recent sources for all scientific topics. Try to uses sources within the last twenty years for other papers, as well. Only use credible articles for an academic audience online or periodicals from the public library. Ask a librarian for assistance and they will help you find periodicals online. Prepare well in advance and do not wait until the last minute.
About JulieJulie is a tutor and featured blogger with Academic Advantage Online Tutoring who enjoys Reading, Writing, Studying the arts, humanities, and sciences.