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The SQ4R Method of reading effectively

SQ4R is a flexible reading strategy because it engages the reader during each phase of the reading process. Readers preview/SURVEY (S) the text material to develop predictions and set the purpose for the reading by generating QUESTIONS (Q) about the topic. They READ (1R) actively, searching for answers to those questions. They monitor their comprehension as they summarize WRITE (2R) & RECITE (3R). They evaluate their comprehension through REVIEW (4R) activities. Two general learning components must be addressed as you begin the reading process and the SQ4R method will activate them:

First, place the reading in CONTEXT. What is the reading about and do you have any prior knowledge about this subject to help you extract the meaning that you are looking for? The SURVEY and SYSTEMATIC reading puts this process into motion. You get an overview that will "jog your memory" as you search for prior knowledge on the subject. Ask questions about what you don't know. Make the questions simple and general if you don't have much prior knowledge and more specific if this is an area of study that is familiar to you. Using these questions will GUIDE YOUR SPEED AND COMPREHENSION as you attempt to answer them.


How to Use SQ4R

Survey what you are about to read

1. Systematic Reading

Think about the title: What do you know about this subject?

What do I want to know?

Glance over headings and/skim the first sentences of paragraphs.

Look at illustrations and graphic aids.

Read the first paragraph.

Read the last paragraph or summary.

2. Question

Turn the title and sub-titles into wh-element question. This becomes the major purpose for your reading.

Write down any questions that come to mind during the survey.

Turn headings into questions.

Turn subheadings, illustrations, and graphic aids into questions.

Write down unfamiliar vocabulary and determine the meaning.

3. Read Actively

Read to search for answers to the questions set.

Respond to objectives and use context clues for unfamiliar words.

React to unclear passages, confusing terms, and questionable statements by generating additional questions.

4. Recite

Look away from the answers and the book to recall what was read.

Recite answers to the questions aloud or in writing.

Reread text for unanswered questions.

5. Write

Make "maps" for yourself.

Reduce the information

Reread or skim to locate and prove your points

Write down the key terms and ideas in outline form

Always read/question/recite before marking or taking down notes

Check yourself against the text. Correct and add to your answer.

6. Review

Answer the major purpose questions.

Look over answers and all parts of the chapter to organize the information.

Summarize the information learned by creating a graphic organizer (concept map) that depicts the main ideas, by drawing a flow chart, by writing a summary

You can also summarize by participating in a group discussion, or by writing an explanation of how this material has changed your perceptions or applies to your life.

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