5 Powerful Ways that Text Marking Improves Reading Comprehension

Using text marking is a proven strategy for teaching reading comprehension. One of the essential skills that students need to develop is reading comprehension. It is the ability to understand and interpret written material accurately, which is crucial for academic success. However, reading comprehension is not something that comes naturally to everyone, especially our students with language deficits. Many students struggle with it, especially when they are faced with complex texts. This is where teaching students to mark text for reading comprehension and note-taking can be beneficial. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of teaching students this important skill.

Text Marking


Marking text for reading comprehension requires students to engage actively with the text. This means that they are not just passively reading the material, but they are actively seeking meaning from it. When students mark text, they are highlighting the key ideas, making connections, and identifying important details. This level of engagement is essential for improving reading comprehension.


When students mark text for reading comprehension, they are creating a visual representation of the material. This visual representation can help students retain information better. Research has shown that visual aids can help improve memory retention. By marking text, students are creating a visual aid that they can refer to later when studying for tests or writing papers.


Marking text for reading comprehension requires students to analyze and interpret the material. This process promotes critical thinking, which is an essential skill for academic success. When students mark text, they are identifying the author’s main argument, evaluating evidence, and drawing conclusions. These are all important critical thinking skills that can help students succeed in college and beyond.


Marking text for reading comprehension can also improve note-taking skills. When students mark text, they are creating a summary of the material. This summary can be used later as a study guide or as the basis for note-taking. By marking text, students are also identifying the most important information, which can help them take better notes.


When students mark text, they are creating a framework for discussion. They are identifying the key ideas and arguments, which can be used as the basis for class discussions. This process can help students engage more deeply with the material and can also help them participate more actively in class.

Marking text for reading comprehension and note-taking is an important skill that can benefit students in many ways. By actively engaging with the material, students can improve their reading comprehension, enhance their memory retention, promote critical thinking, improve their note-taking skills, and create a framework for discussion. These benefits can help students succeed academically and beyond. Therefore, it is essential that teachers prioritize teaching this important skill in their classrooms.

5 Powerful Ways that Text Marking Improves Reading Comprehension
Text Marking Examples

Only 3 Simple Steps to text marking

Teaching our students to mark text does not need to be complicated. With text marking, there are 3 simple steps.

#1 Number the paragraphs

Numbering the paragraphs facilitates discussion and also helps with citing text evidence. Students can now refer to the exact paragraph when citing evidence both orally and in writing.

#2 Circle key terms and vocabulary

Secondly, students circle key terms and vocabulary. This can be a confusing task with students overusing the highlighter. At first, instruct students to highlight any words that are bolded, italicized, etc. Next, students highlight any new or unfamiliar words. Finally, students highlight words that they think are important. At this point, students can discuss which words they highlighted and why.

#3 Underline key facts, explanations, definitions, etc.

The last step is to underline facts, definitions, explanations, reasons, etc. I tell students that if someone doesn’t know anything about this topic, what would be important for them to know?

Check out my latest product on Teachers Pay Teachers to learn more about text marking.

Cover of Comprehension and Connection Learning to Understand Text