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Academic Success

Organize your Homework

Organize your homework and watch your grades improve! One way to do this is to incorporate a color coding system into your homework routine.

Here's how it works:

  1. Gather a set of inexpensive, colored supplies.
    You may want to start with a pack of colored highlighters, then find folders, notes, and stickers to match them.
    • Sticky notes
    • Folders
    • Highlighters
    • Colored labels, flags, or round stickers (for sale items)
  2. Select a color for each class. For example, you may want to use the following colors with a system like this:
    • Orange=World History
    • Green=Math
    • Red=Biology
    • Yellow=Health or PE
    • Blue=Geography
    • Pink=Literature
  3. Make a mental connection between the color and the class to remember your system. For instance, you might relate the color green to money—to make you think of math.

    You may have to play around with the color system to make each color makes sense for each class. This is just to get you started. The color connection will be clear in your mind after a few days.
  4. Folders: Obviously you'll use each folder to keep track of homework for each class. The type of folder isn't important; just use the type that is best for you, or the type that your teacher requires.
  5. Sticky notes are useful when doing library research, writing down book and article titles, quotes, brief passages to use in your paper, bibliographical citations, and reminders. If you can’t carry around several packs of sticky notes, then keep white notes and use colored pens.
  6. Colored flags are for marking pages or reading assignments in books. When your teacher gives a reading assignment, just place a colored flag at the beginning and ending points.

    Another use for colored flags is marking a date in your organizer. If you carry around a calendar, always place a flag marker on a date when an important assignment is due. That way, you'll have a constant reminder that a due date is approaching.
  7. Highlighters should be used when reading over your notes. In class, take notes as normal—and be sure to date them. Then, at home, read over and highlight in appropriate color.

    If papers get separated from you folder (or never make it into your folder) you can easily recognize them by the colored highlights.
  8. Labels or round stickers are for your wall calendar. Keep a calendar in your room or office, and place a color-coded sticker on the day that an assignment is due.

    For instance, on the day you receive a research paper assignment in history class, you should place an orange sticker on the due date. This way, everyone can see an important day approaching, even at a glance.

    Color coding can come in useful in a number of ways, even for a very disorganized student. Just think: if you see a random paper floating around you’ll be able to know at a glance if it’s a history note, research paper note, math paper.
  9. More tips on organizing homework