SQ4R Reading/Study Technique


Survey: Overview of chapter

  1. Read learning objectives.
  2. Read introductory paragraph.
  3. Read chapter title, headings and subheadings.
  4. Look at charts, pictures, graphs.
  5. Read chapter summary, “words to remember,” other help at end of chapter.
  6. Read chapter questions.

Question: Purpose for reading

  1. Turn a heading or a subheading into a question by asking “who, what, when, where, why or how.”
  2. If no headings, turn a topic sentence into a question.

Read: For Comprehension

  1. Read one section actively to answer the question asked.
  2. Compare or contrast with earlier materials studied.
  3. Answer to the question should be the main idea of paragraph or section– highlight it.
  4. Locate details and underline in pencil.
  5. Study tables, graphs, and charts for that section, relating them to text reading.
  6. Make 3X5 note cards for vocabulary.
  7. Make annotations in text margins.

Recite: For Understanding

  1. Read aloud highlighted answer to question asked.
  2. State aloud from memory.
  3. To understand – talk aloud to yourself about what is highlighted and underlined.
  4. Do all of SQ4R process on one section at a time.

Rephrase: Brief notes of chapter

  1. Write brief chapter outline; or
  2. Write a brief summary on one notebook page.

Review: For Retention

  1. Answer text questions.
  2. Study highlighted and annotated information in text.
  3. Use helpful memory cues.
  4. Review vocabulary note cards.
  5. Compare text notes to lecture notes.
  6. Repeat this review weekly.


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