Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tips for Textbook Reading Highlighting, and Notetaking

One post request I've received a lot recently regards how I read chapters in my class textbooks and retain the information. I am a huge fan of highlighting and note taking during and after reading and thought now would be a great time to share some of the tips that work for me with y'all. I know a lot of people are in the time frame where their first round of tests are coming up and textbook reading is essential so I've included my tips for reading, highlighting, and note taking and what strategies work best for me!


Don't ignore the headings! The headings give you an overarching idea of what you'll be reading about which will help to keep you on task and be informed about the reading. 

If you feel like you aren't retaining what you're reading try reading the text aloud. It takes longer but is a great way to make sure that you aren't wasting your time "reading" without comprehending. 

Don't rush through the information when you are aiming to thoroughly read it. If you're going to skim it then just skim it but don't expect to remember the information as well as when you fully read the text. 

Try reading the chapter before class so that you already have some background knowledge of the information discussed prior to when your teacher is lecturing!


You should aim to highlight no more than 30 - 40 % of the text. Be sure not to get too highlighter happy!

Highlight important names, dates, places, and key facts so that you can easily locate them when looking back through the book.

Use the same color throughout the entire book to make it seem a little less chaotic. I am a yellow highlighter kind of girl and it is very rare for me to highlight anything with any other color!

note taking 

Label the page with the book title, chapter, and personal reading notes so that you don't confuse the information you find important with what the teacher lectures to you about.

Put the highlighted information into your own words to better retain what the textbook is stating. 

After taking notes on all that you've highlighted reread your notes and underline the key words and vocabulary. Try to explain different elements of what you have read as well.

When a test approaches having already underlined the key terms will help you to make a study guide or flash cards easier! 

So those are my tips when it comes to textbook reading, highlighting, and note taking and hopefully the tips will help some of y'all as you approach the first tests of the semester. If you want to see me talk through these different points I made this post in video form for y'all as well! 


  1. Love these tips! I am definitely an over-highlighter! I like using two colors- one for dates, and another for everything thing else!


  2. Great tips! I always read my text out loud, it keeps me focused :)

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  3. Note-taking is such an under-appreciated skill. Keep on kicking textbook booty! If you've signed up for any lit courses, you might like my blog:

  4. I always end up highlighting everything in the textbook so I really have to watch myself! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Nice tips! I like people who always do it. I found essayjedii review to ask someone to help me with my paper, but, thanks to your advices, I'll write it by myself. I hope the book I read have more influence on me than some writing service.

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