Blog of Sara Jakša

Learning tactics - Underlining

Underlining is another of learning techniques. Here I am grouping underlining, coloring text and all the other similar techniques, that mark the important parts of the text.

Underlining is another of frequently used learning methods. The school book underlined with different colors is a frequent sign is our university and in the movies.

Underlining work on the principle of difference. So, if some part of text is different from another, then that text jumps into our eyes. That makes text easier to remember.

But underlining is still just deciding what information is important, no learning it. That is why it is referred as a shallow learning technique - the ones that do not need a lot of energy, but the return is also not the best.

Even taking this into account, there are still at least 2 pitfalls, that the learner can fall into when underlining.

But there are still two pitfalls, that a learner can fall in.

The first one is underlining too much. The more text is underlined, the less deferential it is. That makes him harder to remember. Or if there is more underlined as not underlined, than the not underlined text appears more important, so it will be easier to remember.

Even in experiments, the most successful people were the ones, that underlined the least. Since they had to think critically, what to underline. They also found out, that most people underline too much, if not given restrictions.

The second pitfall is underlining not important things. Since underlining makes underlined information easier to remember, that can make the learner remember less.

So, to practice underlining, choose a piece of text. Then restrict the number of words or sentences allowed to underline. That is going to be the technique, that will make the most of underlining.

And do not forget. Underlining only makes important parts easier to remember, but the learning does not take place while underlining. There still have to be a learning phase as well.