SQ3R Method for Thorough Study

by Stephen on June 18, 2012

3R’s for Academic Survival

Here is a lean and wiry system containing all the essential techniques for mastering textbook assignments. This is an “exam passer”.

R1    READRead the chapter paragraph by paragraph. Read and re-read until you can answer the question: “What did the author say in this paragraph?”
R2    RECORDOnce you are able to describe what is in the paragraph, you will want to retain that learning by underlining, making notes in the margin, or making notes in your notebook.
R3    RECITECover up your notes or printed page and recite aloud.

Remember! If you can’t say it now, you won’t be able to say it tomorrow in class, nor write it in a week on an exam; so while you still have a chance, try and try again, until you can say it.

SQ3R Method for Thorough Study

Step 1: SURVEYLook over material critically. Skim through the book and read topical and subtopical headings and sentences. Read the summaries at the end of chapters and books. Try to anticipate what the author is going to say.

WRITE these notes on paper, in sequence; then look over the jottings to get an overall idea or picture. This will enable you to see where you are going.

Step 2: QUESTIONSInstead of reading paragraph headings such as “Basic Concepts of Reading,” change to read, “What are the Basic Concepts of Reading?” These questions will become “hooks” on which to hang the reading material.

WRITE these questions out; look over the questions to see the emphasis and direction; then attempt to give plausible answers before further reading.

Step 3: READRead with smoothness and alertness to answer the questions. Use all the techniques and principles demonstrated in class.

WRITE notes, in your own words, under each question. Take a minimum number of notes-use these notes as a skeleton.

Step 4: RECALL**Without looking at your book or notes, mentally visualize and sketch, in your own words, the high points of the material immediately upon completing the reading.

a. This forces you to check understanding.
b. This channels the material into a natural and usable form.
c. This points up what you do not understand.
d. This forces you to think.

Step 5: REVIEWLook at your questions, answers, notes and book to see how well you did recall. Observe carefully the points stated incorrectly or omitted. Fix carefully in mind the logical sequence of the entire idea, concepts, or problem. Finish up with a mental picture of the WHOLE.

**Note: More time should be spent on recall than on reading.

Adapted from F.P. Robinson. Effective Study.
New York: Harper and Bros. 1946. Chapter II.

Academic Skills Center, Dartmouth College 

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