5 Smart Ways to Highlight a Text
Underlining a text with a pen can make underlined sections harder to read. Some students use colored highlighters to flag key words and sentences, but this method presents a danger to highlight too much text. Excessive highlighting leads to wasted time during reviews and can also reduce the amount of $$ you could earn at textbook buy-back.
- Read carefully first. Read an entire chapter or section at least once before you begin highlighting. Make two or three passes through difficult sections before you mark it.
- Make choices up front about what not to highlight. Highlight individual words, phrases, or sentences in a section rather than whole paragraphs.
- Recite first. Read back to yourself or study partner to help grasp the essence of the text. This will probably help you be more selective in your highlighting.
- Underline, then highlight. Underline key passages lightly in pencil. Then close your text and go on to something else for some time. Return to your text and assess your underlining. Some of those sections may no longer seem important enough to highlight.
- Use highlighting to monitor your comprehension. Critical thinking plays a role in underlining and highlighting. When marking your text, you are making moment-by-moment decisions about what you want to remember from a text. You're also making inferences about what might be included on a test. Take your critical thinking a step further by using highlighting to check your understanding of the material. See if you are making accurate distinctions between main points and supporting material.
Retrieved from Ellis, D. (2006). Becoming a master student (11th ed.). Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.