Explain How High-lighting Text Can Be Used Effectively

Explain How High-lighting Text Can Be Used Effectively

Many college students use highlighting as a reading tool. Nevertheless, despite its popularity, highlighting tends not to be a very constructive reading strategy. This handout shares effective reading strategies that you tin can use instead of or in addition to highlighting and shares tips for highlighting well.

The temptation of highlighting

Why do students highlight? Commonly students highlight because they want to focus on the important parts of the text and highlight—literally and figuratively—those parts for later on report. The problem is that instead of
thinking critically
nearly the content, they primarily spend their mental energy
sorting
the content into what’south of import and what’s not. Focusing on which details to highlight tin can get in the way of a deeper understanding of the big pic.

In addition, many students who highlight while reading and so utilise these highlighted sections of the text as the main substance of their studying, rereading this content every bit their master report strategy. Rereading in this mode tin can contribute to illusions of competence—the feeling that we know more than we actually know. Why? Later looking at content that’due south phrased a particular way and presented on the same role of a page a couple of times, that content tin can pretty chop-chop get familiar to a reader. Many of us misfile this familiarity with a good agreement of the material. And even if nosotros
remember
or even
understand
these highlighted nuggets, there’s no indication that we’re seeing the bigger motion picture and are able to
apply,
analyze, or
evaluate
the textile—the types of higher order thinking that professors usually invoke in their examination questions.

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Effective reading strategies

As the paragraph above explains, highlighting isn’t 100% bad in and of itself, depending on
what
students highlight and
how
they apply that content afterward. Some students like highlighting or underlining considering it helps them practice something with their easily and become more engaged with the text. If that’southward you, great—don’t stop if it works for you. Just read ahead to notice out how yous can do more to engage while reading and studying.

Constructive strategies to utilize when reading are ones that appoint your brain in deep thinking most the text. Here are just a few ideas:

Preview the text.
Before starting to read, look through the chapter and note text features like headings, bold words, charts, graphs, images, and cease of affiliate questions. Use this information to course an idea of what the affiliate is going to focus on.

Know your purpose.
Set a purpose for reading before you start. (Recollect well-nigh what y’all need to exist able to know or practice later reading). Go on that purpose in listen while yous read, and check to see if you accept reached information technology by the terminate.

Annotate.
Take brief notes in your ain words about the main concepts and central words in the margins of your text. This is a quick and engaging manner to take notes.

Ask and reply questions.
Turn headings into questions and and then respond them as yous read. Form questions while you read and try to answer them later. Answer questions provided past the book.

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Summarize.
End after every paragraph or page and write a brief summary of the main concepts in your own words. Summarizing tin exist more effective than highlighting or annotating because it helps you lot improve gauge what you practise and don’t understand about a reading.

Highlighting tips

  • Simply highlight after you lot’ve reached the cease of a paragraph or a section. Cease and recollect about what y’all read and decide the principal concepts earlier you highlight. This will help you pinpoint fundamental concepts and decrease mindless highlighting.
  • Limit yourself to highlighting one sentence or phrase per paragraph. Look for the sentence that all-time expresses the principal concept.
  • Highlight cardinal words and phrases instead of full sentences. When looking dorsum over these words and phrases, quiz yourself on them before reading farther.
  • Consider color-coding: choose one colour for definitions and key points and another color for examples.
  • Using your own words, write summaries of the primal concepts you’ve highlighted in the margins or in a separate ready of notes.
  • If reading online, yous can often convert an commodity into a PDF document (for example, by printing to PDF). And so you lot can you highlight using the annotation features of a PDF reader such every bit Adobe Acrobat Reader or Pro.
  • If you are using Vital Source for online textbooks, check out this article for more than info on how to highlight and annotate Vital Source textbooks every bit yous read.

Fore more reading strategies, cheque out these handouts from the Learning Center:

  • Reading Comprehension Tips
  • Reading Textbooks Finer
  • Taking Notes While Reading
  • Annotating Texts
  • Written report Harder, Not Smarter
  • Higher Order Thinking
  • Concept Maps
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Connect with resources

  • Make an engagement with an academic charabanc to discuss how to apply effective reading strategies, make a study schedule, or talk near any other academic result.
  • Attend office hours for each of your classes and talk to your professor about the course materials, readings, and specific study strategies.
  • Attend a workshop most effective reading and study strategies.

Works consulted

Dembo, M. and Seli, H. (2013).
Motivation and learning strategies for college success: A focus on self-regulated learning.
(fourth ed.). (2013). New York: Taylor & Francis.

Holschuh, J. and Nist, Due south. (2000).
Active learning: Strategies for college success
. Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon.



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You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if yous use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Learning Center, University of Due north Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Explain How High-lighting Text Can Be Used Effectively

Source: https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/using-highlighters/