All of this  research boils down to a practical system for studying and learning, called the PQ4R method by John Anderson, after a strategy originally formulated by Thomas and Robinson (1972).  It’s also called the SQ3R method, but it’s the same idea.


  • Preview — Before reading, survey (that’s where the S comes from n SQ3R) the material you’re trying to learn.  Look at the section headings, note any new terms that are in bold face.  Get yourself ready to learn and remember by establishing an appropriate schema.


  • Query — Based on your survey, make a list of questions that you want answered by the text, so that you can read the text with those questions in mind.


  • Read — Read carefully.   Read with the intent of answering the questions you formulated.


  • Reflect — After you have read the chapter (or, better yet, a smaller section of that chapter), think about how what you’ve read relates to the questions you formulated (this is the fourth R, added by Anderson to the standard SQ3R).  Go over any examples used.  Think about how the material relates to what you already know.


  • Recite — Now put the text aside and try to recall the material that you’ve read by answering the questions you formulated earlier.


  • Review — Go back and compare your recall to what you read, and see if there are any discrepancies that need correction.

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