… is an excellent method for “processing” reading material. It consists of the following five steps:

Survey: Before beginning to read have a look at the table of contents, the (sub-)title (of an article) and/or the chapter (sub-)headings. Check for introductory and summary paragraphs, references, etc. Resist reading at this point, but see if you can identify the major idea(s) of the article / chapter / book. The overall aim is to build a “structure” for the thoughts, facts and details to come.

Question: Ask yourself what this article / chapter / book could be about and how its contents might relate to what you already know about this topic. What is/are the question(s) that it is trying to answer? What question(s) do you have that it might answer? You may always add further questions as you proceed. When your mind is actively searching for answers to ques­tions it becomes engaged in learning.

Read: Read one paragraph / section / chapter at a time looking for the answer to your ques­tion(s). This is active reading and requires concen­tration so find your­self a place and time where you can concentrate.

Recite/write: Say to yourself (loud if possible) or write down (e.g. in the margin) a key phrase that sums up the major point(s). It is often use­ful to use your own words, do not just copy a phrase from the book. Research shows that we remember our own (active) connections often better than ones given to us. If you like you may highlight key words/phrases/passages but take care not to highlight too much.

Review: After repeating these steps for each paragraph / section / chap­ter you have a list of key phrases that provide a sort of outline for the article / chapter / book. Test yourself by covering the key phrases and seeing if you can recall them. Do this right after you finish reading the paragraph. If you cannot recall one of your major points, that’s a part  you need to reread. Review again after some time to see what you have already forgotten and refresh your memory.

Eine deutsche Anleitung zur SQ3R-Methode findest du hier.