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Does anyone have their student write/type up Book Notes for their literature study, according to the recommendations in WTM or any other method? If so, would you mind sharing what they look like? Either a template or a detailed description would be very much appreciated. My daughter has been creating Book Note pages all year long but neither one of us is very confident she's doing it correctly. I appreciate the help. Thank you.

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I don't remember what all that entails, and my guess is that it is the process and not the product that is important .  I don't know if these would be of interest to you, but if you want other ideas that might be related search google for one pagers  and also sketch notes.

 

 

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Annotations (in the margin of the book), are ultimately for the purpose of "thinking while reading", discussion, analysis, or writing about the Literature -- not as an "end unto themselves", so any format (i.e. consistent way of marking, and what to "look for" in the text) is for the reader's convenience, and is not used for "record keeping". In looking at SWB's summary about Book Notes from her handout "The Great Books As Literature", it looks to me as though Book Notes are very similar to annotations -- used for helping you "think while reading", and to discuss or write about the work -- so content and format of Book Notes would be whatever is useful for your student as she reads the Literature.

Below, I quote the pertinent bit about Book Notes from that handout. If needing a template or ideas of what to include in Book Notes, SWB suggests Mortimer Adler's techniques from How to Read a Book -- so, perhaps review those chapters from Adler's book for ideas of what to include in your student's Book Notes?? BEST of luck, whatever you decide! Warmest regards, Lori D.

________________________________

"Keep a three-ringed notebook labelled Great Books:
a)  Context
b) Book Notes
c) Compositions

For each book on the list, the student should follow this pattern:
a) Create a context page.  Glance at the appropriate pages in the Timetables of History and the History of the World.  Read the corresponding section in the Short History of Western Civilization.  Then, write a one-page summary setting the book in historical perspective.  Give basic information about the author, his times, his country, and his purposes in writing; summarize great events going on in the rest of the world.  File this page under Context.
b) Read through the text, pencil in hand, using the techniques suggested in Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book.  File all the notes you take on the book in the Book Notes section of the Great Books notebook.
c) Discuss the text.  Talk about its purposes, its strengths and weaknesses.  Have a conversation about the ideas.
d) Write about the text: an evaluation, an argumentative essay proving some point about the book, or an analysis of the book’s ideas.  Put the finished composition (at least two pages) in the Compositions section of the notebook."

Edited by Lori D.
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PS -- Just want to add that if doing Book Notes is killing the joy of reading/discussing the Literature, making connections and comparisons with other Lit and other Humanities areas, analyzing and finding "life lessons" that apply to oneself, then absolutely feel free to stop entirely! Book Notes can be a helpful tool for some people -- but for others it is a soul-crushing box-checking busywork because for those people, that is NOT what helps them dig deep into the Literature or  think about what they are reading. 😉

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8 hours ago, Kendall said:

I don't remember what all that entails, and my guess is that it is the process and not the product that is important .  I don't know if these would be of interest to you, but if you want other ideas that might be related search google for one pagers  and also sketch notes.

 

 

Thank you. Yes, I totally agree that's it's the process not the product. I was looking for formatting ideas. I come across an example that I like and I'll look into the ones you mentioned. Thanks for your response.

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7 hours ago, Lori D. said:

Annotations (in the margin of the book), are ultimately for the purpose of "thinking while reading", discussion, analysis, or writing about the Literature -- not as an "end unto themselves", so any format (i.e. consistent way of marking, and what to "look for" in the text) is for the reader's convenience, and is not used for "record keeping". In looking at SWB's summary about Book Notes from her handout "The Great Books As Literature", it looks to me as though Book Notes are very similar to annotations -- used for helping you "think while reading", and to discuss or write about the work -- so content and format of Book Notes would be whatever is useful for your student as she reads the Literature.

Below, I quote the pertinent bit about Book Notes from that handout. If needing a template or ideas of what to include in Book Notes, SWB suggests Mortimer Adler's techniques from How to Read a Book -- so, perhaps review those chapters from Adler's book for ideas of what to include in your student's Book Notes?? BEST of luck, whatever you decide! Warmest regards, Lori D.

________________________________

"Keep a three-ringed notebook labelled Great Books:
a)  Context
b) Book Notes
c) Compositions

For each book on the list, the student should follow this pattern:
a) Create a context page.  Glance at the appropriate pages in the Timetables of History and the History of the World.  Read the corresponding section in the Short History of Western Civilization.  Then, write a one-page summary setting the book in historical perspective.  Give basic information about the author, his times, his country, and his purposes in writing; summarize great events going on in the rest of the world.  File this page under Context.
b) Read through the text, pencil in hand, using the techniques suggested in Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book.  File all the notes you take on the book in the Book Notes section of the Great Books notebook.
c) Discuss the text.  Talk about its purposes, its strengths and weaknesses.  Have a conversation about the ideas.
d) Write about the text: an evaluation, an argumentative essay proving some point about the book, or an analysis of the book’s ideas.  Put the finished composition (at least two pages) in the Compositions section of the notebook."

Thanks Lori.  I have this exact passage highlighted in my copy of TWTM 🙂 And you're absolutely right, if writing book notes was killing the love of reading in my daughter, I totally wouldn't be doing it. I was looking for an example of what others type up and stick in the notebook. I'm a very visual person so templates and examples help.  Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.

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stlily:

You might find the following article helpful -- it's my attempt to give students a perspective on why we annotate, i.e., the role annotation skills play in advanced study, like college courses: 

Your student may also benefit from this edited version of a famous chapter from Mortimer Adler's How to Read a Book:

Hope this helps. 

—Roy Speed

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8 hours ago, royspeed said:

stlily:

You might find the following article helpful -- it's my attempt to give students a perspective on why we annotate, i.e., the role annotation skills play in advanced study, like college courses: 

Your student may also benefit from this edited version of a famous chapter from Mortimer Adler's How to Read a Book:

Hope this helps. 

—Roy Speed

Hi Roy. I read the article you wrote on annotating books and it was EXCELLENT! I also read the other two related articles: Annotations, part 1 and the one on Close Reading.  Very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing.

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