SQ3R Reading Method
Survey • Question • Read • Recite • Review
Before you read, Survey the chapter:
- the title, headings, and subheadings
- captions under pictures, charts, graphs or maps
- review questions or teacher-made study guides
- introductory and concluding paragraphs
Question while you are surveying:
- Turn the title, headings, and/or subheadings into questions
- Read questions at the end of the chapters or after each subheading
- Ask yourself, "What did my instructor say about this chapter or subject when it was assigned?"
- Ask yourself, "What do I already know about this subject?" Note: If it is helpful to you, write out these questions for consideration. This variation is called SQW3R
When you begin to Read:
- Look for answers to the questions you first raised
- Answer questions at the beginning or end of chapters or study guides
- Reread captions under pictures, graphs, etc.
- Note all the underlined, italicized, bold printed words or phrases
- Study graphic aids
- Reduce your speed for difficult passages
- Stop and reread parts which are not clear
- Read only a section at a time and recite after each section
Recite after you've read a section:
- Orally ask yourself questions about what you have just read, or summarize, in your own words, what you read
- Take notes from the text but write the information in your own words
- Underline or highlight important points you've just read
- Reciting: The more senses you use the more likely you are to remember what you read. Triple strength learning: Seeing, saying, hearing. Quadruple strength learning: Seeing , saying , hearing, writing!!!
Review: an ongoing process
- After you have read and recited the entire chapter, write questions in the margins for those points you have highlighted or underlined.
- If you took notes while reciting, write questions for the notes you have taken in the left hand margins of your notebook.
- Page through the text and/or your notebook to re-acquaint yourself with the important points.
- Cover the right hand column of your text/note-book and orally ask yourself the questions in the left hand margins.
- Orally recite or write the answers from memory.
- Develop mnemonic devices for material which need to be memorized. Make flash cards for those questions which give you difficulty.
Days Three, Four, and Five
- Alternate between your flash cards and notes and test yourself (orally or in writing) on the questions you formulated.
- Make additional flash cards if necessary.
- Using the text and notebook, make a Table of Contents - list all the topics and sub-topics you need to know from the chapter.
- From the Table of Contents, make a Study Sheet/ Spatial Map.
- Recite the information orally and in your own words as you put the Study Sheet/Map together.
- As you have consolidated all the information you need for this chapter, periodically review the Sheet/Map so that at test time you will not have to cram.
5 Smart Ways to Highlight a Text
Underlining a text with a pen can make underlined sections harder to read. Some students use colored highlighters to flag key words and sentences, but this method presents a danger to highlight too much text. Excessive highlighting leads to wasted time during reviews and can also reduce the amount of $$ you could earn at textbook buy-back.
- Read carefully first. Read an entire chapter or section at least once before you begin highlighting. Make two or three passes through difficult sections before you mark it.
- Make choices up front about what not to highlight. Highlight individual words, phrases, or sentences in a section rather than whole paragraphs.
- Recite first. Read back to yourself or study partner to help grasp the essence of the text. This will probably help you be more selective in your highlighting.
- Underline, then highlight. Underline key passages lightly in pencil. Then close your text and go on to something else for some time. Return to your text and assess your underlining. Some of those sections may no longer seem important enough to highlight.
- Use highlighting to monitor your comprehension. Critical thinking plays a role in underlining and highlighting. When marking your text, you are making moment-by-moment decisions about what you want to remember from a text. You're also making inferences about what might be included on a test. Take your critical thinking a step further by using highlighting to check your understanding of the material. See if you are making accurate distinctions between main points and supporting material.
Retrieved from Ellis, D. (2006). Becoming a master student (11th ed.). Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.