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Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing: Highlight

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Be selective when you highlight. Only highlight the most useful and important information. 


  • Consider using a color-coding system: blue for key words, yellow for important ideas, pink for explanations, and so on.

  • Use visuals to help you determine what’s important – bolded words, texts in boxes, headings.

  • Look for verbal signals such as transition words that could indicate a conclusion, a contrast, or an emphasis.

  • Use other symbols and marks to identify important ideas or connections in the text. For example, place a star next to especially significant ideas, or underline an important idea and highlight the keyword(s) it contains.