Textbook Highlighting and Marking

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Explains how to read and mark your textbook for easy note taking

Explains how to read and mark your textbook for easy note taking

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  • 1. Textbook Highlighting and Marking Gayla S. Keesee Education Specialist Paine College, Augusta, GA Mack Gipson, Jr. Tutorial and Enrichment Center rev. 10/2006
  • 2. Common Methods for Marking Textbook Materials
    • Highlighting
    • Marking
  • 3. Highlighting and Marking
    • Textbook marking is an important skill for finding the main ideas and for identifying organizational patterns.
    • If it is well done, text-marking helps you make the best use of your text, and it is an excellent preparation for making study notes.
  • 4. Marking and Highlighting Effectively
    • Use a good pen.
      • Pencil marks smear and will fade. Highlighters are good for color-coding different kinds of information.
    • Read a section first, then go back and underline or highlight.
    • Everything looks important the first time through. You need to see the whole picture in order to mark selectively.
  • 5. Marking and Highlighting Effectively
    • Use the boldfaced headings to form questions.
      • After you read the section, go back and highlight the parts that answer your questions.
    • Pay attention to the signal words in the passage.
    • Good authors help their readers navigate through the text with transition words. Use these clues to help organize information.
  • 6. Marking and Highlighting Effectively
    • Mark only the main points.
      • Look for topic sentences—usually first or last sentence in a paragraph. As you identify and highlight main ideas, look for facts, statistics, or examples that support them. Be selective about underlining examples or details.
    • Underline phrases, not sentences.
    • Highlight as few words as possible in a sentence. Just mark the key parts (nouns, verbs). Rereading the marking should give you a short, accurate summary of the text.
  • 7. Marking and Highlighting Effectively
    • Be consistent and complete.
      • Mark all items in a set or list. The author probably had a good reason for grouping ideas together.
    • Highlight accurately.
    • The information should convey the content of the passage.
  • 8. Marking and Highlighting Effectively
    • Develop a regular and consistent marking system.
      • Determine how and what you will mark.
      • Highlight terminology, headings, sub-headings.
      • Use color, brackets, and asterisks to separate main ideas and details.
  • 9. Highlighting the Right Amount
    • Too Little?
      • You miss valuable information.
    • Too Much?
      • You don’t identify the most important ideas.
    • Just Right!
    • No more than one-quarter to one-third of each page
    • Generally, not more than 20% to 30% of the material
  • 10.
    • Circle unknown words.
    • Number lists of ideas, causes, and reasons.
    • Place asterisks next to important ideas or definitions.
    • Place brackets around important passages.
    • Draw arrows to show relationships.
    • Underline main ideas with full lines and minor details with broken lines.
    Marking a Textbook 3 2 1 * [ ]
  • 11. Marking a Textbook
    • Use numbers in the margins to indicate a series of points or items being discussed.
      • Pay attention to signal words such as first, second, next, most important, as a result, on the other hand.
    • Draw rectangles around names or places that might be used on a test.
    • Use small Post-It Notes to jot down key words.
    • Transfer these notes to your summary or outline.
    • Ideas
    • Causes
    • Reasons
  • 12. Marking a Textbook
    • Write summary words or phrases in the margin.
      • This is especially effective in passages that contain long and complicated ideas .
    • Put question marks next to confusing passages.
    • Use the margins to write what you feel is important, questions for your instructor, or notes to yourself.
    • Use pen
    • Main ideas
    • Details
    Good idea RR later
  • 13. Margin Notes
    • Ex = example
    • T = good test question
    • Sum = good summary
    • Def = important definition
    • RR = reread later
  • 14. Abbreviate
    • = (equal) + (and)
    • & (and) # (number)
    • w/ (with) w/o (without)
    • Dept (department) eg (for example)
    • ie (in other words) NYC (New York)
    • pol (politics) lib (liberal)
    • subj (subject) cons (conservative)
    • assoc (association) bio (biology)
    • bkgrd (background) rdg (reading)
    • Gov (governor) info (information)
    • gov’t (government) cont’d (continued)
    • Use symbols and graphics.
    • Use only the first syllable of the word.
    • Use first syllable and first letter of second syllable.
    • Eliminate final letters.
    • Omit vowels.
    • Use apostrophes.
  • 15. Testing Your Marking
    • Did the process of marking my book help me understand it?
    • Does the marking show the main ideas of the passage?
    • Does the marking show the organization of the passage?
    • Can I find important information quickly?
    • Have I used my system consistently?
    • Does the marking translate easily into useful study notes?
  • 16. Reflective Questions
    • Why should you highlight and mark chapters when you read them?
    • What guidelines should you follow for effective highlighting?
    • Why should you supplement your textbook highlighting with marking?
    • Why do highlighting and marking work as a way to prepare for study?