What is SQ3R and how will it help students?

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SQ3R is a system where you use techniques for reading more proficiently. The SQ3R reading technique is arranged into a framework. It was developed as an aid for students to help them get the most out of their reading. It involves using 5 techniques to aid retention and for a better appreciation of a text. This involves using the acronym + number, SQR3 which, when broken down stands for Survey, Question, Read, Review, and Recall. In this essay, I will explain further the features of these techniques and how they help students.

To begin with, a survey involves getting a shallow overview of the book or text you want to read. The learner/reader needs to have a quick glance to try to understand what the central theme / topic will or may be. This entails scanning and skimming the text/book. This allows the reader to establish how the information is structured and how to approach the text / book. The reader will need to see how the text / book is organized. The index and bibliography will help to see if the reading relates to the reader’s background knowledge. The chapters of the book, the chapter introduction, and the contents of the book need to be looked at to get an arrangement of the book. There will be headings and subheadings to locate information. The start and end of the paragraphs can be looked at to gather meaning. There may be graphs charts, pictures to show. All of these points give the reader vital initial clues to appreciating the reading that much better.

To continue in the order of SQR3, questions arise. They occur while you are surveying. This, as an important part as any, is because the questions readers ask themselves can help them to comprehend the text /book better. A good learner will ask what, how, why, when questions to gather the content. The heading can be turned into a question. These can be a learner’s study questions. Of course, if the question is written by the learner, this helps to structure the text in their own mind, but the learner must understand the questions the author raised too. The survey can highlight general questions these can be made more specific. The questions can relate to issues brought up in the text and the student’s objective in reading the piece.

So, after all the preliminary stages it is now time to read. This is the stage where all the questions contemplated before can be answered. The important word here is interrogation. The reader is interrogating the text to discover claims, statements, and ideas the author has put in the text.  The reader should also try to relate the text to already existing knowledge. The reader has to be critical. In the reading, facts as well as opinions need to be distinguished. There is also the reality that good readers need to have a good vocabulary. This is also combined with a good reading speed. 

Once the reading is finished the reader must be able to recall the information. He or she should be able to read through the questions written beforehand and relate the answers. The reader should run their ideas through his or her mind a few times. The information they have is just in the short term memory and the student wants to turn the information into long term memorized information. Regular attempts to recall help this process. This is done while trying to ascertain the main ideas. Notes and ideas about the text can be written down. Also, notes made in the margin of the text can be reviewed.

To finish the task of reading and complete SQR3 the text can be read again. Here the reader reviews the reading of the text. Of course, there is a need to look at what has been recalled and check the validity of the information. Once the reader has run through the exercise of recalling the information, he or she can move on to the stage of reviewing it. This review can be done by rereading the document, by expanding their notes, or by discussing the material with colleagues. A particularly effective method of reviewing information is to have to teach it to someone else! A review of all the questions and answers and the major points is a must. The learner needs to repeat the recite stage for the material as a whole and think about how the material they have just read fits in with the overall body of knowledge covered by the subject they are studying.

To conclude this essay, SQ3R is shown to be a useful technique for extracting the maximum amount of benefit from a learner’s reading time. It helps the learner/reader to organize the structure of a subject in their mind. It also helps them to set study goals and to separate important information from irrelevant data.

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