Marking A Textbook

Marking A Textbook

Why mark a textbook?

Marking a text helps one understand the text better, both now and in the future.

Guidelines for Marking a Textbook

  1. Read first, then mark. Never mark until you have finished reading a full paragraph or a headed section. This procedure will help prevent marking everything that looks important.

  2. Be extremely selective. Underline as few words as possible. Seldom should you underline whole sentences. Instead, underline only the key words. The most common mistake students make is to underline too much.

  3. Use your own words. In the margin note points you want to remember. You also might write down any questions you want to ask your instructor.

  4. Be swift. You don’t have all day for marking. Read, go back for a mini-review, and make your markings. Then attack the next portion of the chapter.

  5. Be neat. Neatness takes conscious effort, not time. Later when you review, the neat marks will encourage you and save you time since the ideas will be easily and clearly perceived.

  6. Use a system for underlining. Try using several colors for underlining/ highlighting. Use one color for definitions and another for important terms or use one color for main ideas and another for details. Try to develop a system that works well for you.


Over marking defeats the purpose of quick identification of important points. Suggestions for marking are shown in the chart below.
Book Marking Chart