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The most efficient way to highlight a textbook

Published on 22 October 2018·Latest update at 25 March 2019

Highlighting the important parts of your textbook can be a great way to study or make a summary. Though you always take the risk that you end up with an entirely highlighted textbook. You can prevent this by using the right strategy to use your markers. Because it does really have some benefits to highlight, but you will need a strategy before you begin. Just as with reading a textbook.

Read first, before using the marker

Always start with reading the whole paragraph before you highlight even a word. By reading the whole part of the text, you will create structure and you will have an overview of all the information in the text. You also won’t get distracted of studying the information, since this is the only thing you need to focus on.

Don’t highlight too much

It can be quite tempting to highlight everything, though this is not the best strategy. Think about what you will see later on, when you take a look at the page again. It’s harder to repeat a big piece of text than a few important sentences. And just stating the obvious: only highlight the important main topics of the text.

Use other ways to highlight

Besides just highlighting the text with a colored marker, you can also use these markers in a different way. Use them to draw small symbols in the corner of the page or next to the text, to draw your attention. You could also reflect on what you read and write down little comments or thoughts next to or in between the lines. Think about the link between different topics or drawing a certain figure to make the text clearer.

Rather use other methods?

It might give you such a good feeling to highlight your textbook, though there are also some people who say this isn’t so effective as you would like. A studies from Kent University says that the marker will make you only focus on individual facts. Because of this, you will have a lack of overview and you don’t see the connections between the topics very clear. You can rather use flashcards or quiz yourself about the study material, as the people of Kent University say.

Efficient highlighting

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