Hypothesis is an interactive social annotation tool that allows for markups on readings for a class. Engage deeper with readings by creating meaningful annotations, highlighting important points, or collaborating and responding to other students.

Create an annotation

  1. To create an annotation, select a small amount of text and then select the Annotate button
    highlight text on the page or document and then click the Annotate option
  2. Write your annotation inside the textbox on the sidebar. Formatting is available and includes basic formatting (bold, underline, italic, hyperlinking, ordered and unordered lists) and rich content (images/gifs, LaTeX equations). Click Post to [your course name] button.
    Insert text, or other type of information/media, for your annotation

Replying to other annotation

Annotations and comments that other students have made will be listed in your sidebar.

  1. To reply to another annotation, click the Reply button below the annotation of the person you want to reply to.
  2. Write your annotation reply inside the textbox on the sidebar and click Post to [your course name] button.
    once you have your text/media added, click post button that includes the title of your course

Visual language

Icon Description Icon Description
toolbar in hypothesis showing the help guide icon Hide/display Help guide toolbar in hypothesis showing the display and hide icons for the hypothesis tools Hide/display the sidebar
toolbar in hypothesis showing search option Search for a keyword or name of another annotator toolbar in hypothesis showing the show and hide annotations icons Turn annotations on/off
toolbar in hypothesis showing reply option Reply to an annotation toolbar in hypothesis showing edit and delete options Edit or delete your annotation or reply
toolbar in hypothesis showing bold, italicized, quote and insert link options Formatting inside the textbox (bold, italic, quote, link) toolbar in hypothesis showing insert image, equations, numbered lists and bulleted lists options Formatting inside the textbox (image, LaTeX equations, numbered list, bulleted list)


I can see the text, but can’t highlight or annotate it

Inform your instructor immediately. There may be an issue with the file.

I can’t see other people’s annotations

Try all of these before contacting your instructor or ITS:

  • Make sure you are posting to the correct section or group you are assigned to.
  • Update available annotations by clicking this red button if you see it on the sidebar:
  • Use a different web browser that is up to date.

If you have tried all the above and are still experiencing issues, contact your instructor and provide screenshots.

My instructor/others cannot see my annotations

Make sure that you are clicking “Post to” to make sure your annotations are saved to the appropriate class/section/group. If you post to “Only Me,” the annotations are only visible to you.

Additional resources