Reading a Textbook Using SQ4R Study Method

Survey the Chapter

(A warm-up activity, increases your interest, motivation, and confidence to learn new information)

    • Read the title of the chapter.
    • Read the introduction carefully.
    • Read the chapter objectives carefully.
    • Read the chapter headings and subheadings.
    • Examine the visual aids (charts, graphs, diagrams, photos, cartoons, etc.).
    • Read the marginal notes.
    • Glance at the terms in bold or italic letters.
    • Read the chapter study questions. Read the summary carefully.


    Write Questions

    (To help concentrate on what you are reading)

    • Ask who, what, why, which, when, where, or how.
    • Write the questions in a notebook in a 2½" margin on the left.
    • Write a question for each heading and subheading.


    Read the Information One Paragraph at a Time

    (This gives the memory time to process the new information)

    • Find the topic sentence with the author's main idea.
    • Look for supporting details for the topic sentence.
    • Read actively to answer the questions you posed.
    • Reread difficult passages.
    • Use a dictionary to define unfamiliar words.


    Select a Form of Note Taking to Record Information

    (Writing is a motor skill, which forms a channel into your memory)

    • Write the answers to the questions that you posed from each heading and subheading.
    • Write and define words that are bold or italic onto flash cards.
    • Make hierarchies or visual maps to help you understand the information.


    Recite the Important Information from the Paragraph

    (Activates the auditory channel into your memory)

    • Reciting requires you to explain the information clearly.
    • Recite in your own words, if you cannot recite it, you do not understand it.


    Review the Information Learned in the Chapter

    (Will put the information into long-term memory)

    • Answer the questions at the end of the chapter.
    • Answer the questions you wrote.
    • Study and recite from the notes you took in the Record step.
    • Write a summary of the chapter in your own words.
    • Frequent reviews will shorten study time for final exams