Active reading (SQ3R - 5 steps strategy)

Active reading strategies can significantly increase learning new information. This particular technique is adapted from the SQ3R reading method.

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Outline

Active reading strategies can significantly increase learning new information.

SQ3R

This is one of the most popular active reading strategies.

SQ3R

1. Survey - What can I learn from the text?

Before reading skim the material:

  • Skim the table of contents and find three to five main ideas that will be presented in the text.
  • Pay attention to names, headings and subheadings.
  • Look at the captions under images, tables, diagrams and maps.
  • Pay particular attention to the introductory and final paragraphs, which often contain a summary of the text.

2. Question - What do I hope to learn from the text?

Before reading a section, formulate questions and do the following:

  • Rephrase headings into questions.
  • Look whether the author has formulated questions at the beginning or end of the section.
  • Recall what you already know about the topic and what you still want to learn about it.

3. Read - Look for answers to your questions

  • Read captions under images and diagrams. Pay attention to highlighted information.
  • Be open-minded – pay attention to new ideas and differing opinions.
  • Stop and reread difficult and unclear parts.

4. Recite - Consider what you want to remember from the information obtained.

  • Think about what you've read and summarise the main ideas expressed in the text.
  • If you realise there is something you have not fully understood, reread that section.
  • Take notes, expressing ideas in your own words.

5. Recall - Reread your notes and link the information with your own experience.

  • After reading the whole text, reread your own notes and pay attention to the main ideas and connections between the ideas.
  • Link what you have learned with your own experience and other sources of information.