Assembled by West Virginia University at Parkersburg
SQ4R: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Relate, and Review
Before you read, Survey the chapter
• The title, headings, and subheadings.
• Captions under pictures, charts, graphs or maps.
• Review questions or teacher-made study guides.
• Introductory and concluding paragraphs.
• Try to get an overview of what lies ahead.
Question while you are surveying
• Turn the title, headings, and/or subheadings into questions.
• Read questions at the end of the chapters or after each subheading.
• Ask yourself, “What did my instructor say about this chapter or subject when it was assigned?”
• Ask yourself, “What do I already know about this subject?”
• Example, the heading “Stages of Sleep” might lead you to ask: “Is there more than one stage of sleep?” What are they and how do they differ?” Asking questions helps you read with a purpose.
Note: If it is helpful to you, write out these questions for consideration. This variation is called SQW4R
When you begin to Read
• Look for answers to the questions you first raised.
• Answer questions at the beginning or end of chapters or study guides.
• Reread captions under pictures, graphs, etc.
• Note all the underlined, italicized, bold printed words or phrases.
• Study graphic aids.
• Reduce your speed for difficult passages.
• Stop and reread parts which are not clear.
• Read only a section at a time and recite after each section.
Recite after you’ve read a section
• Orally ask yourself questions about what you have just read and/or summarize, in your own words, what you read.
• Take notes from the text but write the information in your own words.
• Underline/highlight important points you’ve just read.
• Use the method of recitation which best suits your particular learning style.
• Remember to look for answers as you read and to recite or take notes before moving on.
• Recite key terms and concepts.
• It is easier to remember ideas that are personally meaningful.
• When you study a chapter, try to link new facts, terms, and concepts with information you already know.
Review an ongoing process
• When you’re done reading, skim back over the chapter, or read your notes. Then check your memory by reciting and quizzing yourself again.
• Make frequent review a key part of your study habits.