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Research Guides

Manifold Guide: Annotating Texts and Creating Reading Groups

Annotating texts

Manifold includes an annotation feature that allows readers to interact with Manifold texts by leaving comments, or annotations. These annotations can be private (viewable only by the commenter), public (viewable to anyone who has access to the project), or organized into reading groups of selected users (allowing for small group discussions, or multiple classes engaging simultaneously with the same text). The process for annotations is very similar to embedding resources.

  1. Open the text you would like to annotate and use your cursor to highlight the sentence or text you want your comment to correspond to.
  2. A menu will appear next to your cursor with the options to: Share, Resource, Annotate, or Highlight.
  3. Select "Annotate,” which will open a pop-up menu on the right hand side.
  4. Enter your annotation into the text box in the pop-up menu.
  5. Before saving, select an option from the drop down menu labeled “Reading Group:” underneath the text box. This menu will offer options for private or public annotations, as well as a list of any reading groups you are a member of. To publish your annotation to a reading group, select it from this list.
  6. Click save, and your annotation will be indicated on the text with a green underline visible to all users (for public annotations), just you (for private annotations), or just your reading group members (for reading group annotations).
  7. As you read through the text, you will see other reader's annotations underlined throughout the text. You can reply to an annotation by clicking on the underlined text, which will open a pop-out menu on the left. Hit the "Reply" button in the pop-out menu to add your reply. 
  8. To highlight a text for personal use, use your cursor to highlight the desired text and select “Highlight” from the pop-up menu.

Creating reading groups

Reading groups are a way to share annotations with a select group of individuals. They live separate from Manifold text/projects, allowing a group to annotate multiple texts or projects within Manifold. You can create a customized landing page for each reading group with links to different manifold projects, individual texts, resources, or resource collections. Check out this example from CUNY: an English professor created a reading group around two featured texts, and also included linked resources for guidance on creating an outline and essay, as well as linking to the Manifold project for the full class.

  1. Reading groups are created outside of your Manifold project page. From any screen within Manifold, select the person-shaped icon in the upper right corner and click “My Reading Groups” from the drop-down menu.
  2. On the reading group landing page, click the green “Create New Group” button, which will open a pop-out menu.
  3. In this menu, enter a name for your reading group, select the privacy level, create a customizable invitation code and invitation URL, and hit save.
  4. Your newly created reading group will now appear under My Reading Groups on the reading group landing page. If you create a “public” reading group, it will appear on the Manifold homepage and be accessible to anyone with an account.

Customizing your reading group landing page

  1. Click on your reading group and you will be taken to a home page with three menu options across the top: Home, Notes and Comments, and Members. Home is where you will edit settings and customize your landing page, Notes and Comments allows you to see all annotations within your reading group and filter them by author, and Members shows you the members of your reading group.
  2. Under Home, you’ll see a text bar that reads “Manage Group: Edit the Home Page or settings of your Reading Group” followed by a toggle  that says “edit home page” and a button that reads “edit settings”.
  3. The "Edit settings” button is the simpler of the two, and it will open up a pop-out menu where you can edit the group name, visibility, and re-copy the invite code and URL.
  4. Toggle the “Edit home page” toggle button to access the settings that control the content of your reading group page.
  5. Once you toggle “Edit home page,” you can scroll down to see options for adding and organizing content within your reading group.
  6. In the text bar that reads “Search + Add Content”, select the green button that says “Add content,” which will open a pop-up window.
  7. In this window, you can search across all Manifold projects for full projects, individual texts, or resources to include in your reading group.
  8. Once you have entered a search, you can add resources to your reading group by clicking the star icon next to your desired resource. Clicking the star will open another pop-up window that allows you to select which reading group you want to add this resource to. Click close, and your selected resources will now show a blue star to reflect that they have been added.
  9. To exit the “Add content” pop up window, scroll to the top and click the X in the top right corner.
  10. Scroll down to the list of items in your reading group, and you will see the content you just added organized by item type.
  11. You can further organize content in your reading group into categories by entering a category name into the “Create a New Category” text field towards the top of the page. This will create a new list of items organized by content type under your new category heading. You can move content from “uncategorized” into categories by holding down your cursor on the equals sign to the right of the content title and dragging it to where you want it to go.
  12. To view changes to your reading group as you add and categorize new content, scroll to the top of the page and exit Editing mode by toggling back the “Edit home page” toggle.

Members and roles

You can add Members and Moderators to your reading group. Members can read and annotate within the reading group, while Moderators can edit group settings and add new members. To view your reading group members and their permission status, click "Members" on the menu bar at the top of your reading group page.

  1. To add a new member to your group, you must send them the Add Code or Add URL for your reading group. You cannot directly add members, they must accept your invitation. Customize and copy your Add Code and Add URL at any time by clicking on the “Edit Settings” button near the top of your reading group page (in the bar that reads “Manage Group”). Potential members must already have a Manifold reader account before they can accept your invitation.
  2. If you send members the Add URL, when they click it they will be taken automatically to the Manifold reading group page and prompted to accept or decline joining the reading group.
  3. If you use the Add Code, members will need to go to the Manifold home page, select Reading Groups from the top menu, scroll to the bottom to the text bar that reads “Join a Group,” and enter the Add Code.
  4. To edit the permissions of a member of your reading group, click "Members" on the menu bar at the top of your reading group page. Next to the name of the correct member, click the "Edit" button and adjust the permissions in the pop-out menu. 
  5. In this pop-out menu, you also have the option to edit the annotation underline style of any member. For example, you could set the Professor or Reader/Grader underline style to "solid line," while setting student annotations to appear as "dashed line."
  6. To remove a member, click "Members" on the menu bar at the top of your reading group page. Next to the name of each member you will see a "Remove" button.