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How To Annotate & Edit On Genius

Genius

How To Annotate & Edit On Genius Lyrics

A Genius annotation is a note that explains the deeper meaning behind lyrics. There are a few different kinds of annotations:

You can also contribute to existing annotations:

Here are the rules you should always follow when annotating:

  1. Don't Restate The Lyric -> Click here to learn more
  2. Write Like A Human -> Click here to learn more
  3. Watch Grammar & Spelling -> Click here to learn more
  4. Do Research & Hyperlink Sources -> Click here to learn more
  5. Highlight All Relevant Lyrics -> Click here to learn more
  6. Master Formatting -> Click here to learn more
  7. Include Media That Adds Depth -> Click here to learn more
  8. Be Objective -> Click here to learn more
  9. Be Concise & Specific -> Click here to learn more
  10. Be Evergreen -> Click here to learn more

Here are some more nuanced practices you can follow to make sure your annotations are always great:

Use The Active Voice: Sentences in the active voice are structured so the subject performs the action stated by the verb. Active voice is generally easier to understand. -> Click here to learn more

Use Primary Sources: Wikipedia and other encyclopedic sources are great places to learn, but shouldn't be hyperlinked in annotations unless it's absolutely necessary. Never link Urban Dictionary. -> Click here to learn more

Order By Importance: The most important information should go at the beginning of the annotation. Save images, GIFs, and videos for the middle or the end, and never start an annotation with a quote. -> Click here to learn more

Avoid Hiding Info Behind Links: Don't force your readers to go hunting for the sauce. Sauce it up in the annotation and allow your links to complement what you wrote. -> Click here to learn more

Only Quote The Best Stuff: Quote what artists have said, not what others have written about them. Cut quotes to the parts that make the most sense for your annotation. -> Click here to learn more

Line-Level vs. Song-Level: Info that's pertinent to specific lyrics should go in annotations on the relevant lines, and info about the entire song should go in the song bio or Q&A. Avoid annotating section headers. -> Click here to learn more

Editors use the Annotation Commandments to decide whether an annotation should be accepted and edited to become an official "Genius annotation," or rejected if it doesn't match our editorial standards. Click here to learn about earning the Editor role.

Here are the basics of editing:

Accepting & Editing: You have to accept an annotation first before you edit it. Edits can range from fixing typos to overhauling the whole thing, but the goal is to make improvements. You'll get contribution credit based on how much of the annotation you change. -> Click here to learn more

Rejecting: To reject an annotation, you have to select one of three main reasons: "Restating the Line," "It's a Stretch," or "Missing Something." Selecting "Other" requires you to leave a note briefly explaining your rejection. -> Click here to learn more

Integrating & Archiving: You can integrate or archive suggestions and proposed edits that other users leave on annotations. Integrating brings the user's suggestion into the annotation and gives them contribution credit based on how much of the annotation they change. Archiving removes the suggestion from the annotation. -> Click here to learn more

Deleting: It's sometimes necessary to delete annotations previously accepted by other editors if they're not up to standard. You'll also need to delete annotations if you're accepting and deleting a lyric correction annotation. -> Click here to learn more

Changing the Referent: Click the "Edit Lyrics" button and copy-paste the corresponding annotation ID to change the referent. Changing the referent can ensure the annotation covers all repeated lyrics, or covers adjacent lines that closely relate to the annotation's main idea. -> Click here to learn more

Here are some more complicated tools and tricks for editors:

Merging Annotations: To merge two annotations, copy the contents of the first annotation, integrate the info you copied into the second annotation, delete the first annotation, and adjust the referent. -> Click here to learn more

Research Methods: The citations at the bottom of Wikipedia articles and Google Books samples are goldmines. Replace boring links and lackluster sentiments with relevant and unique info that enhances the annotation. -> Click here to learn more

Fact-Checking & Avoiding Bias: Be conscious about problematic lyrics or sensitive information. If an annotation states something definitively that hasn't yet been confirmed, tweak the language to be accurate, objective, and analytical. -> Click here to learn more

Refining Language: No matter how well-written an annotation is, it can always be improved. Brush up on your grammar skills and be meticulous about word choice, structure, organization, and expression. -> Click here to learn more

Pushing the Boundaries: There are fringe scenarios where unorthodox annotation styles work, and that's how annotation culture evolves. Don't be afraid to experiment, as long as you're saying something interesting and don't violate the editorial standards. -> Click here to learn more

Tate Talks are forum posts about annotation culture. They act both as resources and as centers of discussion for specific elements of annotating & editing. If you're interested in writing a Tate Talk, send @Empath a message. The best Tate Talks will be featured below and credited to the author.

Here are some quick definitions for terms related to annotating & editing on Genius:

More on Genius

About “How To Annotate & Edit On Genius”

This guide explains everything you need to know about annotating and editing on Genius. It starts with the basics of annotating, and transitions into advanced practices for veteran editors.

Table of Contents:

  • Are there any editorial tags I can use on Genius?

    • @genius-editorial-board

    This is an all-purpose editorial tag that sends a notification to everyone subscribed to the Genius Editorial Board forum, which is only accessible to Editors+. Click here to follow the Editorial Board.

    • @red-removers

    This tag sends a notification to the Red Removers squad who can help reject or accept & edit unreviewed annotations. Click here to follow the Red Removers.

    • @new-release-squad

    This tag sends a notification to the New Release Squad who can team up to tackle new, popular song pages. Click here to follow the New Release Squad.

  • Are there translations of this guide?

  • How do you create a hyperlink?

    Please refer to this annotation for a [hyperlink] guide.

  • Can you add onto an annotation that is already there? (I don't see a way to edit

    You are allowed to propose edits as a contributor after pressing the edit button below an annotation. The proposed edit can then be accepted or rejected by an editor.

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