The feeling of thinking: Social annotation with emojis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


We extend research on social annotation in education by implementing a new annotation technique in the literature classroom. Over the course of one year, we invited students to socially annotate literary texts using emojis that reflected their affective responses to those texts. This approach was inspired by new functions of social annotation systems, discussions of affective pedagogy, and developments in literary theory. We used a coding scheme linked to the literary theory of Rita Felski to analyse students’ annotations and theorise our results. Via surveys and interviews, we inquired into students’ experiences of this annotation strategy. Students evaluated the experience positively, and our analysis suggests that this practice made contributions to their learning which align with Felski’s account of literary “attachment”. We conclude that annotating literature with emojis provides a concrete means of implementing affective pedagogy in literature education. Copyright © 2024 National Association for the Teaching of English.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnglish in Education
Early online dateMar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2024


Clapp, J., & Banerjee, B. (2024). The feeling of thinking: Social annotation with emojis. English in Education. Advance online publication.


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