Posted by: magnussonllc | March 6, 2010

Increasing Your Retention of Written Information – The SQ3R Tool

SQ3R is a useful technique for fully absorbing written information. As professionals we often have to read memos, reports and other written documents and are expected to absorb the data quickly. The tool helps you to create a good mental framework of a subject, into which you can fit facts correctly. It can help you to set study goals. It also prompts you to use the review techniques that will help to fix information in your mind and you will remember the data for a longer period of time 

By using SQ3R to actively read a document, you can get the maximum benefit from your reading time.

How to use the tool:

The acronym SQ3R stands for the five sequential techniques you should use to read a book:

  • Survey:
    Survey the document: scan the contents, introduction, chapter introductions and chapter summaries to pick up a shallow overview of the text. Form an opinion of whether it will be of any help. If it does not give you the information you want, discard it.
  • Question:
    Make a note of any questions on the subject that come to mind, or particularly interest you following your survey. Perhaps scan the document again to see if any stand out. These questions can be considered almost as study goals – understanding the answers can help you to structure the information in your own mind.
  • Read:
    Now read the document. Read through useful sections in detail, taking care to understand all the points that are relevant. In the case of some texts this reading may be very slow. This will particularly be the case if there is a lot of dense and complicated information. While you are reading, it can help to take notes in Concept Map format.
  • Recall:
    Once you have read appropriate sections of the document, run through it in your mind several times. Isolate the core facts or the essential processes behind the subject, and then see how other information fits around them.
  • Review:
    Once you have run through the exercise of recalling the information, you can move on to the stage of reviewing it. This review can be by rereading the document, by expanding your notes, or by discussing the material with colleagues. A particularly effective method of reviewing information is to have to teach it to someone else!
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: