SQ3R Reading Method
This useful strategy aids reading comprehension and is especially helpful for difficult textbook material. Each part of the process is helpful by itself, so do not feel that you must follow all of the steps. Use what works for you.
Before you begin a new chapter, skim the material and get a feel for the main topics and ideas in the text. The process below should take 5-10 minutes.
- Read the introduction
- Look at the headings and subheadings
- Look at the pictures, charts and graphs (anything visual)
- Read the chapter summary
- Look at the study questions at the end of the chapter
Use questions to guide your reading.
- Take the first heading in the chapter and turn it into a question before reading the paragraphs in that section. For instance, if the heading is “A Limited Partnership”, read it as “What is a limited partnership?” Now you have created a purpose for reading because you are looking for the answer to the question.
As you read look for answers to the questions you created. Use the following tips when reading:
- Usually the first sentence of each paragraph states the main idea.
- Look for transition words such as next, for example, in contrast, in addition, to help you follow the author’s point.
- Make notes in the margin or in a notebook as you read. Paraphrase main points and ideas; do NOT simply copy information from the textbook.
- Highlight only the most important points. Too much highlighting can make it difficult to separate the main point from support details.
After reading, look at the questions you created or those at the end of the chapter.
- Can you answer them? If you cannot, go back, reread the appropriate
sections, and take notes.
- Take the time and recite or recall whatever you can
remember as soon as you finish reading.
- After you study new material, it is extremely important to conduct an overall review within 24 hours for maximum comprehension and memory. You can lose 80% of what you have learned if you do not review within the next day.