How to Read – SQ3R

How to Read – SQ3R

THE SQ3R Reading Method is the most efficient and effective ever developed. All North American colleges and UK universities promote this reading methodology and they will expect you to be familiar with it when you arrive your Freshmen year. Even if you choose not to attend college, efficient reading skills are important in the business world, the military, and technical occupations.

Academic reading requires good note-taking and thoughtful annotations. All of your assigned readings will be given with the idea you retain much of what the reading was about to the extent that you can use it conversantly and knowingly in class discussion and in your writing.

Skimming is not reading. Just casting your eyes over a primary source or an article will not leave you with a deep understanding about the topic. Your memory is simply not capable of retaining all the rich information contained in the reading. Further while you might get the main idea, unless you take notes and make annotations you have not worked with the information in order to turn it into knowledge. The notes and the annotations when recited and reviewed will lead to longer retention and better grades on all your assignments and tests.

SQ3R is a rigorous methodology that will, in the long run, save you time and effort. As stated earlier, this is the method endorsed by universities as the single-most effective way to read textbooks, scholarly articles and secondary sources. What follows below is the step-by-step method; while intimidating at first, it will become second nature and you will appreciate the benefits of the SQ3R method as you raise your standard, not only in Social Studies, but in each and every class you take at B.H.S.

SQ3R: Survey! Question! Read! Recite! Review!


Before you read, Survey the chapter: ·      READ the conclusion FIRST!

·      Find and paraphrase the THESIS!

·      the title, headings, and subheadings

·      review the questions or study guides

·      introductory and concluding paragraphs summary

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: It is helpful to write out these questions.

When you begin to Read: ·      Look for answers to the questions first raised

·      Answer questions at the beginning or end of chapters or study guides

·      Re-read captions under pictures, graphs, etc.

·      Note all the underlined, italicized, bold printed words or phrases

·      Study graphic aids

·      Reduce your speed for difficult pages

·      Stop and re-read parts which are not clear

·      Read only a section at a time and recite after each section

Recite after you have read a section before you write it down in your Cornell Notes. ·      Orally ask yourself questions about what you have just read or summarized, in your own words

·      Take Cornell Notes from the text but write the information in your own words

·      Underline or highlight important points you have just read

·      Use the method of recitation which best suits your particular learning style – remember the more senses you use the more likely you are to remember what you read:

TRIPLE STRENGTH LEARNING: Seeing, saying, hearing

QUADRUPLE: Seeing, saying, hearing, writing!!!

REVIEW: an on-going process of 10-20 minutes daily reading your notes, reducing them, and using revision techniques to master the knowledge. DAY ONE:

·      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 margin of your Cornell Notes


·      Page through the text and/or your Cornell Notes to re-aquaint 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.

·      Make “flash cards” for those questions that give you difficulty.

·      Develop mnemonic devices for material which needs to be memorized.


·      Alternate between your flash cards and notes and test yourself (in writing) on the questions you formulated.

·      Make additional flash cards

·      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 this make a study sheet/spatial map/mind map

·      Note that you have consolidated all the information you need for that chapter, periodically review the sheet/map so that at test time you will NOT have to CRAM.