One of the important aspects which can give your academic performance a huge setback and tough fight is the study habits employed by you. So, whether you are a college student, high school or doctoral candidate; seminars and lectures would not be fruitful if you stick and follow the useless self-study procedures and research.
However, majority of the students in the US make a huge mistake in this scenario. The high-profile researchers from the Kent State University have evaluated the study pattern of most students and published their results in their medical journal. As per the results only few students live up to their reputations. They often employ practices like highlighting, re-reading, summarizing, etc. which are just low utility habits and they would actually affect the performance.
Reading Two Times Will Help in Understanding
The question is does it really work. Somewhat! Various studies have shown that re-reading helps in memorizing data and is beneficial for students who have to work with two dimensional data like grammatical rules, terminology, structural details, formulas, etc. With regard to comprehension, it is different.
When it is about the criterion task, then you can say that the effect of the rereading will be durable. But researchers feel that most of the effects are related to recall based memory steps while the benefits it has on comprehension is still vague. That is why there is a great need to distinguish between your analytical and mnemonic capacity. Here you need to think whether a lot of regurgitate of the material has to be done or not. Sometimes you may get a positive answer, but if it is not. Thereby it means that you are just wasting your time.
Highlighting the Content Will Help in Understanding
Now with regard to underlining and highlighting, you have to really understand the concept. Without, the properly mapping of the argument is done in the passage, you are just distorting it. This is the reason why highlighting can not only be a waste of your time, but would pull down your performance.
Researchers have come to the conclusion that in most of the situations, it has been found out that highlighting does very little in boosting the performance of the student. It may be beneficial for students who have knowledge required to highlight contents more effectively or when the given text is difficult. However, on higher level tasks, it will hardly hurt the performance and will need inference making.
While reading in sequence, it is important that your highlights are not or should not form disjointed in-dept details and should provide a bullet point summary of the passage. Else, you brain will be following two different versions of a given text. Together with the given commentary and annotation, proper highlighting shows a significant aspect of the transition from a high school academics to the next level called as higher education. So, if you have not reached the first year college writing, then it is better to ask your adviser or faculty. They would easily be able to help you.
Summarizing Helps in Improving Retention and Comprehension
Just like highlighting, summarizing is an example of metadata. This metadata is the supreme grail of all academic analysis and is the supreme foundation of all scientific inquiries. Simply, restating a normal chapter from a textbook for central argument is quite difficult and is not something which is preferred until you reach the final year of your college. Unless you are a graduate student, this will most certainly lead to misrepresentation of the various aspects of the passage or the internal logics. And professors can be the irremediable sticklers for logics as they would be often teaching from their own textbooks or resources.
Therefore, instead of simply giving your own and verbal summary, it is best if you could interact and interpret the argument in various ways. Some of the best examples of effective study habits are schematic representation, case applications, etc.