I am new to English literature classes and I am wondering what kind of notes I should take at the end of each chapter. My textbooks are American literature like "The Natural." I have 9 of them to...

I am new to English literature classes and I am wondering what kind of notes I should take at the end of each chapter. My textbooks are American literature like "The Natural." I have 9 of them to read.

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blacksheepunite eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The type of notes you take depend on what you'll be doing with them after. If you'll be writing essays and know your topic in advance, you can focus your notes around that.

You can get the most help here by listening carefully to your instructor. Pay particular attention to the questions she or he asks you before you start reading (even if they don't seem to be connected at the time). Then mark the spots that seem connected to the questions you were considering before you read. Also, mark every passage that your instructor talks about in class.

My notes are usually an eclectic assortment of comments in the margins (I don't highlight my books, but I do gloss the margins). I also define words that I don't know or words I know but that don't make sense in a particular sentence. I look for obvious literary techniques too--irony, metaphor, symbolism, recurring motifs--they're usually important. When I'm reading lit crit, sometimes I also argue with the authors.  

If you are concerned that...

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Rebecca Owens eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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