Topic: Annotation assignment on the novel Things fall apart by China Achebe

Annotation Assignment Rubric

The annotation assignment requires students to select a one-page passage from Things Fall Apart and electronically mark up the text, adding interpretive commentary, explanatory notes, identifying metaphors and providing links to relevant online resources, images, sounds. Think of annotations as notes and multimedia versions of the type of notes I provide for Robert Hayden’s Middle Passage.

The annotation should feature four longer interpretive comments (150 words each) and three additional resources: images, links, or multimedia files. Your comments may focus on:

  • The language, structure and themes of the passage. What is significant about the choices Achebe makes relating to dialogue, metaphors, repetition, etc. What themes do you note in the passage and how do they relate to course content?
  • References—direct or implicit—to contemporary political, social, historical and cultural contexts. What can we learn about colonial Nigeria from the passage? What about Igbo culture? What do we learn about Okonkwo’s way of life from the book? How does this relate to the time period in which Achebe was writing the book?

Your annotated passage should be followed by a bibliography in APA style that lists the resources you used for the passage and your multimedia resources.


  • When writing your interpretive notes, ask “why do I think this matters?”. When identifying metaphors or turns of phrase that seem interesting to you, remember to explain why they are interesting.
  • Your additional resources should be relevant to the passage rather than merely decorative. Ask yourself how an image, link or multimedia file offers readers a deeper understanding of the passage.
  • If you’re having difficulty devising an approach to the assignment, or if you want to discuss ideas-in-progress, come to my office hours or email me to set up an appointment
  • You can use a variety of formats to do this assignment, in general I would suggest Microsoft Word, and use the footnotes function, or create comments in Adobe Acrobat.
 Exemplary (3 points)Developing (2 points)Insufficient (1 point)Unacceptable (0 points)
Complexity 3 pointsComments are clearly well thought out, researched and make connections either to the overall themes in the book or historical or present issues.Comments are generally well thought out, requiring a bit more research, and more obvious connections to themes, class content or historical issues.Comments are not at all thought out, they merely identify without explanation. Few, if any connectionsNo comments longer than 150 words in the assignment.
Completeness 3 pointsThe annotation includes all required elementsThe annotation includes most required elementsThe annotation includes one or two of the required elementsThe annotation has none of the required elements
Connection 3 pointsThe additional resources have a clear connection to the relevant passages, deepening the reader’s understanding of the text.The additional resources mostly show a clear connection and offers some deeper reflections on the textThe additional resources sometimes/rarely show a clear connection to the passage and offers little in the way of enhancing an interpretation of the textNo connections to the text, making no deeper connections between analysis and multimedia content.
Clarity 3 pointsWriter expresses their ideas clearly with no grammatical errorsWriter expresses their ideas clearly with one or two grammatical errorsWriter expresses their ideas mostly clearly, some grammatical errorsAnnotations are difficult to follow, many grammatical errors
Citations 3 pointsCitations are properly used when borrowing ideas or words in APA format and bibliography is in correct formatCitations are largely used properly when borrowing ideas in APA format, bibliography is in correct format with few errorsCitations should be used more frequently when borrowing words or ideas, not always in APA format, bibliography is mostly in APA formatNo citations used, no bibliography.

Type of service-Academic paper writing
Type of assignment-Essay
Pages / words-4 / 1100
Academic level-Freshman (College 1st year)
Paper format-APA
Line spacing-Double

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