Reading – SQ4R

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.

•  Summary.

•  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.