Monday, February 21, 2011

Is Using a Hightlighter a Good Study Tool?

I have seen many students use a highlighter to the point that it is difficult to tell exactly what the student determines to be valuable information. I've learned over the years and by own personal experience that a highlighter is not a necessary  or productive study tool.  With the direct connection between the hand and the brain, writing is still the bests tool for learning new material.  The key is to read and reread.  Sometimes it appears that all the information in a text is important, and, it is or it would note be included, but the key is to know what content is necessary to help a student understand the essential learnings of the material.  The only way to understand content fully is to read it over and over.

If you feel the need to highlight, mark  only what you need to learn for the quizzes or tests. If you highlight too much of the book, the markings will be useless because of the excess of information. Only highlight specific terms and their definitions, as well as items that the teacher says is important or will be on the test.
When you have finished highlighting go over the information you highlighted. Go over the text one more time to see that  you did not skip anything important. This will also give you a chance to review the text and understand the things that are important. Afterwards, you can study your textbook and just focus on the important points that you have already highlighted.
The key to highlighting is not to overuse the marker.  In the long run, there is no quick way to learn new information.  Thes best way, however, is to read and then get out the pen and paper.  Write things out. 


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