Study Skills and Instructional Methods


The SQ4R Method of Study

What is SQ4R?

-SQ4R is a versatile study 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.


What is READING?

-There are many meanings for reading, but the simplest is to CONSTRUCT MEANING FROM TEXT.

-First and foremost you read for MEANING and UNDERSTANDING.

-The correct READING SPEED is the one that gets you that meaning and understanding.

-Reading is an art form and good readers do certain things that get them the meaning that the process is designed to extract.

-Learning anything involves putting yourself in the proper mode that will help insure that meaning can be gotten from the text.

What you need to know to enhance your comprehension:

1. I begin with what I already know (activating prior knowledge).

2. I always try to make sense of what I am reading (context).

3. I ask myself questions; before, during and after reading.

4. I predict and think about what will happen next in the text, or how my questions will be answered.

5. I read with purpose. I know why I am reading and what I am reading to find out.

6. I know that as a good reader I often REREAD parts of, or even, the whole text two or more times in order to make sense of what I am reading.


-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 I have any prior knowledge about this subject to help me extract the meaning that I'm after ?

-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 It

1. Survey what you are about to read

-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 into a 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 objectives.

-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 objectives aloud or in writing.

-Reread text for unanswered objectives.

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 or using the Cornell Note Taking System.

-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,

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


Study Strategies -- SQ4R

1. Survey : Psych yourself up

2. Question: Use previous knowledge

-Intend to remember.

-Anticipate test questions.

3. Read: Be selective

-Create meaningful organization.

4. Recite: Put ideas in your own words

5. wRite: Make "maps" for yourself

-Reduce the information

6. Review: Further reduce the information

-Find personal applications.


1. Survey : Psych yourself up

-a. Title, topic sentence in each paragraph, and introductory paragraph(s).

-b. Headings, subheadings, and italicized words.

-c. Summary at the end of the chapter.

2. Question: Use previous knowledge

-a. Intend to remember.

-b. Anticipate test questions.

-c. Turn each heading and subtitle into a question.

-d. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

-e. Restate the objectives from headings to help fix them in your mind.

3. Read: Be selective

-a. Create meaningful organization.

-b. Read only the material covered under one heading or subheading at a time.

-c. Read ideas, not just words.

-d. Read aggressively, with the intent of getting answers, of noting supporting details, and of remembering.

4. Recite: Put ideas in your own words

-a. Look away from the book and then "recite" (out loud) the major concepts of the section.

-b. Check your answers referring to the book.

-c. Answer the questions that you raised before you began to read.

-d. Answer fully, and be sure to include the reasons the author believes the answer is true.

-e. Recall the answer and do not refer to the book.

5. wRite: Make "maps" for yourself

-a. Reduce the information

-b. Reread or skim to locate and prove your points.

-c. Write down the key terms and ideas in outline form or using the Cornell System.

-d. Always read/question/recite before marking or taking down notes.

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

6. Review: Further reduce the information

-a. Find personal applications.

-b. Look over your notes and headings and subheadings in the text. Get an overall view of the main points.

-c. Recall subpoints under each main point.

-d. Aim to do an immediate review and later review. Studies show that with immediate review you can retain 80% of what you covered.

-e. Go back periodically and test yourself to see how much you remember. Don't put off review until the night before the test.