Center for Academic Success & Records

Active Reading

The process of "active reading" helps students recall and apply information through helpful strategies like note taking, underlining texts. Following are some basic tips to get you started.

  1. Highlight or underline only after you have read the entire paragraph.
  2. Highlight only the main points.
  3. Highlight key phrases or words that make a complete thought.
  4. As a rule of thumb, you should never highlight more than one-third of a paragraph.
  5. Make notes in the margin summarizing the main points of the paragraph for easier access to the information.
  6. Make notes in the margin like "important, supporting evidence" or "?" to call attention to that area if you need to ask the professor about it.

Using these hints will help you get more actively involved in reading. No more passive reading for you! You may be surprised when you find yourself remembering more, learning more, and studying more efficiently for your tests.