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Annotate PRO: Legal Writing Edition

Annotate PRO Legal Writing Edition Library is a Comment Library that appears inside Microsoft Word 2016 so professors can easily create detailed feedback by pre-writing much of what they know they will say to students.

The Legal Writing Edition Library includes 300+ comments  written by Professor Mitchell Nathanson of Villanova Law School to support first-year law school written work. There are an additional 300+ empty slots that you can use to extend the library to suit your needs. All 600+ comments are easily editable by you through a simple to use web interface.

Any of these comments can be quickly added to a Word document through a lightning fast full-text search capability. You don’t have to remember button labels or arcane editing symbols.

Annotate PRO LWE Walkthrough:

Hover your mouse over an image to stop the slideshow. Use the arrows to move back and forth. Click an image to see a bigger version.

AnnotatePRO Legal Writing Edition has earned rave reviews from law school faculty delighted with the speed at which they can create personalized feedback for their students:

If you’re a Legal Writing professor or teach legal studies, this product could revolutionize your working life—helping you to greatly reduce your grading time without sacrificing the quality of feedback you provide to your students. In fact, you may just find that your students love you for the clarity and specificity of your feedback.

If you are leading a legal writing program, developing a custom Comment Library, easily shared with all faculty, and potentially students, can help bring consistency, help new faculty adjust, and enhance teaching and learning.

What I like best about Annotate is that it allows me to customize the program to reflect my own voice and style. I also love the fact that it allows me to draft quite lengthy comments, all the better to explain complex or multi-step concepts to my students.

Lisa T. McElroy

Professor, Drexel University Earle Mack College of Law

I’ve just downloaded and installed Annotate PRO and it feels like I’m driving a Cadillac with a GPS. My first impression is that it’s fabulous. I look forward to making some after-factory improvements to customize it, but it’s pretty cool as it is.

Thank you for all the work you put in. I make my students write a lot, and your tool will help me be a lot more efficient and patient with my commenting.

Madisun Browne

Professor of Law, Thompson Rivers University

Pricing:

We gladly accept Credit Card payments or can provide you with an invoice for payment via check. Send us your instituion’s vendor requirements and we’ll happily get registered and comply with your purchasing process.

We do not need to have the purchasing process completed before beginning to render service.

FAQ:

How do I install Annotate PRO?

From inside Microsoft Word 2016:

  1. Visit the Insert tab
  2. Click the Store icon
  3. Search for “Annotate PRO”
  4. Click Add to install
  5. Look for the Annotate tab in your Word 2016 Ribbon
    1. Showing custom Ribbons like this is not yet widely available to Mac users. It’s coming soon (summer 2017) and is available to any Mac user who joins the “Office Insider Slow” program, which provides you with early access to near-production features. To join this Microsoft program click Help / Check for updates, then check the “Join the Office Insider program to get early access to new releases” and then choose “Office Insider Slow.”
      1. If your installation of Microsoft Word 2016 is managed centrally you may not be able to join this program.
    2. If you’re a Mac user and you don’t see an Annotate Ribbon, you’ll need to visit the Insert Ribbon, choose Add-ins, and then Annotate PRO each time you want to use Annotate. Don’t worry, Microsoft are crazy committed to macOS (for now) and are committed to parity between Windows and macOS experiences!
  6. Click on the Annotate Ribbon, then Annotate Home
  7. Login or create an account
  8. If you create an account by registering with email, Annotate PRO will send you an email to verify you own the email address used to sign up. You must click on a link in this verification email before proceeding. The email message is sent within seconds but may go to a SPAM folder or similar. If you don’t have access to a SPAM folder, check with your IT department to see if they have quarantine such confirmation emails. The email will:
    1. Come ‘from’ noreply@11trees.com
    2. Have a subject line of, “Verify your email for 11trees, developers of Annotate for Google Chrome and Microsoft Word.”

Once you have validated your email:

  1. Click Add a Library from the Annotate PRO Home page
  2. Click Legal Writing Edition and follow the prompts
Why change Annotate from the old version? I liked the old LWE version!

We created the first version of Annotate in 2008…and thousands of teachers and students have benefitted since.

The first version only worked on Windows; we added a Mac version in around 2011 and soon half or more of our users were on a Mac (walk into any coffee shop and you’ll see the same thing).

Annotate was always caught between Mac and Windows, because Microsoft perennially ignored Mac. We were using two completely different code bases, plugging into Microsoft Word the only ways possible at the time.

Microsoft has completely overhauled the way that developer can extend Office. There are many, many benefits to the change but also a few drawbacks if you’re a diehard Annotate user.

Two steps forward (the good):

  • Modern look and feel.
  • Support from Microsoft – they’re serious about this new approach.
  • Will work on iPad!  We’re not there yet, but this will be a pretty easy addition, we think.
  • Cloud libraries: wherever you can log into Microsoft Word (using Word Online, for instance) you can use your Annotate PRO library. No more worrying about work vs. home computers, or Mac vs. Windows.
  • Full text search: instead of searching the ribbon for the right comment, you can just start typing and Annotate PRO will surface matching comments. Zing! Pow!
  • Easy sharing with fellow faculty and students. We can automate assigning custom libraries to users with specific email addresses. So everyone logging in with an “@youruniversity.edu” address can automatically get a custom library and/or access to our College Edition Library.

One step backwards (the not so good):

  • No offline access. See this FAQ post for more info and to comment/complain/wish.
What is a Custom Comment Library?

Annotate PRO is forever free and comes with a Library containing one Group and ten blank slots you can fill. You can create up to three Groups in this library for a total of thiry comments.

Paid users, and users with client institutions that have the right permissions, can create additional Libraries – each containing many Groups and Comments.

Users can select multiple Libraries for use at the same time, creating (effectively) one big Library that is searchable in a variety of ways.

Users from client institutions with the right permissions can share Libraries they create informally OR formally. You can read more about creating and sharing new Libraries in Annotate PRO for Microsoft Word 2016 and Google Chrome.

So a school or program could develop a library specific to their curriculum, using our College Edition as a starting point, then automate sharing of that library to all teachers.

Another school might develop a library specific to peer review or English Language Learners (providing dual language responses, for instance, and leveraging our Google Translate integration).

A university might create a library intended for peer tutors and TAs, to speed training and improve consistency amongst many graders.

Just Contact Us to learn more!

How do I purchase Annotate PRO for Legal Writing?

Annotate PRO for Legal Writing is free until June 30, 2017. So you can kick the tires, make sure you like what you see…

You can’t buy Annotate PRO, as an individual, yet! We haven’t implemented a payment process:) We wanted to get the new Annotate out into the world, post haste.

We are are working with schools for 2017-2018 academic year licenses. Just Contact Us to begin that process.

After June 30th, 2017:

  1. Individual buyers should install Annotate PRO; purchases are handled inside the app.
  2. Institutional buyers should Contact Us with their preference for PO or Credit Card payment.
Can I use Annotate PRO on an iPad?

Sure!

Annotate PRO for Word 2016 works fantastically well on the Word 2016 iPad app.

To try it, join our iPad beta program.

Microsoft, to their great credit, have made their cool new Apps for Office solution work on Office for iPad, too.

So if you’ve got Microsoft Word on your iPad you’ll be able to use Annotate PRO there – same library, same full-text search, plus the ability to draw/highlight on documents.

iPad Pro users, in particular, are delighted with the results.

We will get around to publishing our iPad/Word 2016 app so you can install through the iOS store…but there is a fair amount of red tape to doing so – maybe a holiday (2017!) present to users?

Can I use Annotate PRO on an Android tablet?

No.

You can try to use Word Online on your tablet, but your experience will vary with the version of Android, power of your tablet etc. We don’t anticipate it will be a great experience.

And we aren’t aware of any plans on the part of Microsoft to bring Office to Android tablets.

Google, for its part (as the creators of Android) have been working for years to bring ChromeOS and Android together.

ChromeOS is based on the Chrome browser and is the operating system behind millions of Chromebooks. Chromebooks, by very definition, will never run Microsoft Office. Android tablets cannot run Chrome Extensions, either – which means you can’t use the Annotate PRO for Google Chrome Extension.

 

Why would I want my students to have Annotate PRO?

Peer review is one the greatest under-used pedagogical strategies.

But student writers, no matter their level, often struggle with providing coherent, constructive feedback.

Annotate PRO can dramatically improve students’ responses to each other, and their assessment of their own work, by providing them with the language of response.

They can highlight some text in their own or a fellow student’s work, then search a Comment Library for an appropriate response.

We can work with your institution to design a Comment Library specifically for peer review, so that the observations (the text the student chooses) is written at the appropriate level and includes questions to help the student dig further into the particular issue.

For instance, a Comment concerning argument might begin:

  • Your writing could be stronger here – I don’t think you really believe what you’re saying.

The peer reviewer would select the above text, but then be prompted to continue, making suggestions to help the student writer state their opinions more vehemently along with ideas to improve the logic of the underlying argument.

At the very least, having access to the Comment Libraries used by their faculty will further demystify writing and help them understand more deeply what good writing looks and feels like.

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