How to Highlight a Book

These are a busy dissertation writer’s tips for highlighting a book:

  1. Use yellow for any statements that grab you.
  2. Use orange for a statement that grabs you but is right next to another statement that already grabbed you, so you can keep them separate.
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  3. Highlight in such a way that what you highlight forms a complete sentence. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, and it will help you as you scan the book in the future or take notes.
  4. Use pink for organizing statements, such as “This chapter has two primary objectives, first… second….” This will orient you on the page quickly. I often do this before I actually read a given section.
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  5. In an important book I go through my highlights after reading and pretty well copy them all down into Evernote. I try to make my notes form a narrative that describes the book’s contents.
  6. I write in the margins. I didn’t always. I use Pigma Micron pens for that.
  7. I like clickable highlighters so I don’t have to fiddle with a cap.


Author: Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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