Highlighting can be an effective tool for reading comprehension. However, what this sample most likely illustrates is how highlighting may be done randomly, with no specific pattern or purpose for learning. This example does show an attempt to identify unfamiliar words and/or important sentences. The problems, as you probably noted, are that long sections are highlighted and that the student has not attempted to dialogue with the text. When it is time to review that reading for a test, to write an essay, or to prepare for a class discussion, the student is left with a text that has some color to it, but not much else. The student would have to spend extra time trying to determine why these areas were highlighted in the first place.

Here, the student has been taught how to use both highlighting and marginal notes as an aid for comprehension. Take a look at the passage and answer the questions that follow.

PDF icon - Student highlighted and marginal notes example