• previewing assignment
• Big pictures overview of main ideas and themes
• Skim table of contents, preface, chapter elements
•Step 1: Ask yourself what you know about the topic
Summarize what you already know about topic
•Step 2 : Write questions linked to chapter headings
Examine chapter headings and write down any questions about headings on piece of paper or in margins for book. Read
•After surveying and questioning, retain what you read.
Focus on the key points of your survey – boldface type, raised headings, chapter objectives and summary. oFocus on your Q-stage questions – Read with purpose of answering the “questions” written in the margin of book or separate piece of paper. Write down or highlight ideas related to your questions. oMark up your text, and take text notes – Write notes in margin or separate paper, circle ideas, highlight key points that you want to study for exams. oCreate text tabs – Place plastic index tabs or adhesive notes at the start of different chapters to flip back and forth with ease.
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Find Main Idea
Search for topic of paragraph – Topic of paragraph is not the same as main idea, it is broad subject being discussed – President Barack Obama, hate crimes on campus, or the Internet. oIdentify the aspect of the topic that is the paragraph’s focus – If general topic is President Barack Obama, the author may focus on different aspects of that topic, such as health-care policies, first African American president, or public speaking talent.
Find what the author wants you to know about that aspect; this is the main idea – The main idea of a paragraph on President Obama as a public speaker may be:
President Obama is a charismatic speaker who uses his oratorical skills to encourage the American people in times of crisis.
Prioritize Reading Assignments
Ask what is important to remember
Is the information stressed in headings, charts, tables, captions, key terms, and definitions?
Is the information a definition, a crucial concept, an example, an explanation of a variety or type, or a critical relationship or comparison?
Did your instructor stress the information in class? Is it in syllabus, does your assignment ask you to focus on something specific? Recite
•Once you finish reading a topic, stop and answer the questions raised in the Q-stage of SQ3R even if you already did it during the reading phase, do it again with the purpose of learning and committing the material to memory.
•Recite each answer aloud, silently speak the answers to yourself, “teach” the answers to another person, or write it down. Review
•Review immediately and periodically in the days and weeks after you read the chapter to help you learn and memorize material and prepare for exams.
•Some helpful reviewing techniques:
Reread notes and summarize from memory
Review and summarize in writing the text sections you highlighted or bracketed. Try to condense the material so that you can focus on key ideas
Answer the end-of-chapter review, discussion, and application questions
Recite concepts to self, or record/playback on digital recorder
Flash cards with word/concept on one side with definition on other side
Quiz self with questions raised in Q-stage
Discuss concepts with classmate/study group
Ask instructor about difficult material.
Terms to remember
Scanning – rapid reading in search of specific information. Concentration – focusing on one topic at a time and avoiding distractions so you can learn material