The SQ4R Study Method: Question

The "SQ4R" study method is an evidence-based strategy to maximize the gains you get from studying. The name is an abbreviation, with each letter describing one step of the process. (And yes, SQ4R is an upgrade to SQ3R.) This is the second of a series of posts (collect 'em all!) that describe all six steps. So far, you've surveyed a chapter in your textbook. This installment: Q.

The "Q" stands for question. Here's a question: What do I question? Good question.

While you are surveying a chapter, ask yourself this question: "What question is this chapter trying to answer?" or "What's the point of this chapter?" And then be more specific, going into more detail, "What's the point of this section?" You should also ask yourself, "What questions do I have about this topic that this chapter might answer?"

You can try turning headings into questions. For example, when reading a section called "The stages of sleep," ask "What are the stages of sleep? How many stages are there? How are they different?" You can also turn things around and ask very broad big-picture-type questions like, "Why is this reading assigned?" and "Why is this chapter included in this book?" Asking yourself these kinds of questions is important to start you thinking about what you know (or don't know) and what you're about to read (yes, that's coming--be patient).

You'll notice that I've tried to help you with this step in my lecture notes. At the start of every lecture topic, I give the objectives for the lecture as a series of questions. This will help prepare you for what's to follow, and you can use my questions to help you review after I've finished the lecture. You're welcome!

Here's one last question:

Why aren't you studying? questioning?


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