Reading Comprehension (SQ4R) – Part 3: Record, Recite and Review
In the last in this series of articles, we look at the well-respected reading comprehension strategy SQ4R
For over almost 15 years, we’ve been using SQ4R with our students to help them with textbook reading comprehension. At StudySpot, the final three Rs are Record, Recite, and Review. In the Recording stage, readers create a set of notes that summarize the text. These notes can be in a variety of formats (e.g., outline, point-form, semantic web, mind map, etc.), but the key idea is that the notes condense the original and target the key concepts and ideas the text presents. The recording stage allows students to put their own stamp on the material and can help them comprehend and retain the information for later recall.
In the Reciting stage, students engage in short-term recall and rehearse the material they’ve included in their notes. It’s a good idea to revisit these notes often over the next couple of days as students strive to keep the material fresh. Covering the notes and recalling the information out loud is one of the more effective ways to accomplish this.
In the Reviewing stage, students begin formally ‘studying’ the content. Students can practice answering the key questions they came up with in the Question section. They can create summaries of the material as a way to ‘test’ their understanding. The key point is to shift the information from short-term recall to long-term understanding through whatever studying techniques are necessary.
As you can see, SQ4R takes students pretty much from the first encounter with a text chapter all the way to the test or exam. In includes reading and note-taking as well as short and long-term studying. One interesting point: In reviewing SQ4R on the internet, it becomes clear that while there is remarkable consistency in the Survey, Question, and Reading stages of SQ4R, the final three stages differ considerably. Whether the final three stages are Recite, Relate, Review or Write, Recite, Review, or Record, Recite, Reflect or any combination, it will have little impact on the success of the strategy. Why? Because, compared to most students’ reading attempts where they passively plow through the material without any pre-reading stages (SQ) and then ignore it again until a few days before the test, SQ4R in whatever format is miles ahead.