How do you know what you should highlight when reading through your college textbooks?

When you begin reading your used college textbooks, start by first looking over the whole chapter. Look for title headings, bold words or summaries to try and get an idea of what the chapter is about. Reading the beginning and ending paragraphs is a good idea as they usually provide an introduction and summary to the section.

Now begin reading and highlighting your textbook. Look for important information that may be used later in a quiz or midterm and highlight it. Some things to look for are words in bold, specific dates, specific people (as well as why they are important), definitions, formulas and equations. If the information can be arranged into a few different categories, using different color highlighters can be helpful. This way you can use the blue highlighter for one category, the yellow for another and the pink for another.

One word of caution - if you highlight more than half the text, it is too much. Ideally the chapter should be around 10% to 30% highlighted. Remember the idea is to only highlight the most important information. This information will be useful when you go back to study for a test of quiz.



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