Reading College Material
Try the SQ3R Method
Step 1: Survey
Skim through the book and read topic headings and/or first sentences of paragraphs. Read the summaries at the end of chapters. Guess at what the author is going to say. Write these notes on paper, in sequence; then look over your notes to get an over-all idea or picture.
Step 2: Question
Instead of reading paragraph headings such as "Basic Concepts of Reading," change to read "What are the Basic Concepts of Reading?" These questions become "hooks" on which to hang the reading material. Reading to answer questions or having a dialogue with content increases understanding and retention of material.
Step 3: Read
Read with smoothness and alertness to answer the questions. Often, reading aloud increases alertness to material as well as comprehension of material. Write notes in the margins of the text. Take a minimum number of
notes and let these serve as an outline for review.
Step 4: Recall
Without looking at your book or notes, mentally visualize and sketch, in your own words, main points of the material. Do this immediately after reading. Map information by putting it in charts, tables or pictorial form.
Step 5: Review
Look at notes in the textbook and bold headings in text as well as lecture notes to see how well you recall information. Observe carefully the points stated incorrectly or omitted. Consider the logical sequence of an entire idea, concept or problem. Finish up with a mental picture of the WHOLE. Note: More time should be spent on recall and review than on reading.