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Hypothesis Quick Start Guide (Students)


Hypothesis is a tool for adding annotations, i.e. highlights and comments on any webpage. You can highlight any text and add your comments. Your comments will be visible to all other readers in the assignment.

Sign Up for a Hypothesis Account

Go to to register. All you’ll need to sign up for a Hypothesis account is your SU email address, a username and a password. After clicking Sign Up, you will receive an email confirmation to register your new account.

Create new Hypothesis account window.

How To Annotate

  1. Navigate to the Canvas assignment containing the link you are assigned to annotate.
  2. Click Load Hypothesis in a new window (if prompted).
  3. You will see three icons stacked vertically near the top right-hand side of the window. Click on the top (left-facing arrow) icon to open (and close) the sidebar.

Hypothesis sidebar.

  1. When the sidebar is open, click Log in at the top of the sidebar to log in to your account.

Opened Hypothesis sidebar.

  1. Scroll down in the sidebar to see existing annotations.

Existing annotations in Hypothesis sidebar.

  1. Click highlighted text to see existing annotation.

Highlighted text showing existing annotation.

  1. To create your own annotation, select text and click the Annotate button. The other button is for private highlights.

Arrow pointing to Annotate Text button.

Enter your annotation content in the composition window and click Post to Public. You can also click the adjacent arrow to make the annotation private or Only Me.

Arrow pointing to field where you write your annotation.

Note:  You can always view all your annotations in a stream at your My Annotations page on Hypothesis. Your annotations are editable and deletable there as well.

Arrow pointing to Hypothesis profile button.

  1. Add images, links, and video or format your text using the editing buttons at the top of the composition window.

Composition window editing buttons.

You can also make page-level annotations by clicking the same note button in the sidebar.

Button for page-level annotations.

Additional Resources

For more help using Hypothesis, email

Updated 6/11/2019