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Using Highlighters When Studying – Tips

When it comes to studying, each person tends to have their own approach. However, there are a few common ones that we all use. One such common method involves the use of highlighters. Now, highlighters can be quite advantageous in helping one study.

But, there’s a certain way to do things and this applies to highlighter usage as well. In this blog, we’ll be learning how to use highlighters effectively as part of the studying process. So, let’s take a look.

Don’t Highlight Everything

It can be quite tempting for you to highlight everything that you read. However, that’s a big mistake. The truth is, you aren’t reading right if you find yourself doing this. Now, obviously, everything you read is quite important. That’s why it’s been published in the first place.

However, different parts are important for different reasons. You must first read, understand, and then determine if something needs to be highlighted. If you don’t have a strategy behind your highlighting, you’re just indulging in coloring. You might as well avoid using a highlighter, study everything and be done with it.

Highlighting is for the purpose of marking out important text. By marking everything, you’re doing the exact opposite.


While you highlight, you must also annotate. You can use a pencil or a pen for this purpose. A pencil makes more sense because you can erase it if you make a mistake. Annotations are important because they can help you form connections between multiple concepts or parts of a reading or lesson.

Annotations will also help you review your highlighted text, which can be very helpful when writing papers.

Avoid Instant Highlighting

Before you bring out your highlighters, engage in an initial reading. This initial bit of reading will help you develop a framework of sorts. The second reading is when you leverage this framework and actually make sense of what’s being read.

Read each chapter or segment to get a hold of the basic concept or message. Then, pay attention to the titles and subtitles. After that, you can start marking out or highlighting all the important stuff.

Use a Color-Coded Approach

Now, as we stated earlier, not everything is equally important. Even among all the stuff that needs to be highlighted, you’re going to have stuff that’s extremely important and stuff that’s relatively less important. So, the best way to segment everything accordingly is to use a color-coded approach.

Highlight the most important stuff with one color while marking the rest with other colors. This creates a hierarchy, which can make studying and revision much easier.

Take Notes

Finally, it’s important to realize that highlighting should always be your second step in the studying process. The first step should be taking notes. Nothing beats taking notes. It serves as a filtration process of sorts. You already have the core material to work with. Then, you narrow it down further with highlighting.

So, there you have it. A few effective steps to help you study with a highlighter.

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