As I read through the texts assigned throughout the year, I actively read. By this I mean I “Mark up the margins of [the] text with words and phrases: ideas that occur to [me], notes about things that seem important to [me], reminders of how issues in a text connect with class discussion or course themes, etc.”(Gilroy). By doing all of this, it allows me to have an overall better understanding of the article as a whole. When I go back to read the text a second time, or if I’m using it as a source in an essay, or maybe I just really like a quote or an idea, marking up the text enables me to conquer all of the above. One of my favorite techniques of active reading is underlining, starring, or putting brackets around my favorite ideas within the text. By doing this it is quick access for me to scan the pages for what is important and what’s not. For example, in Beck’s “Life’s Stories”, specifically on the first page, I bracketed a quote that I truly identified with, that said “A life story doesn’t just say what happened, it says why it is important, what it means for who the person is, for who they’ll become, and for what happens next”. I underlined and bracketed this sentence because I felt it could benefit my essay as evidence to include. My next favorite technique is engaging in the text by making comments in the margins. I decide when to make a side comment when I have a question, when I strongly agree with something, or if I want to quickly summarize something. For example, in the last uploaded annotation, I wrote a comment next to a paragraph summing up what it said in my own words. I said, “Sometimes talking it out can make you realize it’s not as bad as you think”. I thought that the paragraph made a great point, and summarizing it quickly would allow me to remember what the paragraph was about. With things that are too big or complicated, simplifying is a great tool. Another example of writing in the margins can be seen on my 3rd page of annotations. I wrote a comment that showed I agree with what was said, being a “self-to-text” comment. Beck stated that people take stories around them and borrow them to make there own self-conceptions. As a response back I said, “I feel that I do this, and its a common way people develop stories…I never knew I did this until now!”. By making a “self-to-text” reference it builds my engagement with the text. The informal writing responses that we do In class is also a great way to make connections with the texts. Writing out responses to the questions enhances my understanding, and can create new thoughts that were not there before. Overall, active reading is a tool for success, and allows for the reader to be engaged, and “a way to have an ongoing conversation with yourself as you move through the text”(Gilroy).