Reading Skills

  • Reading involves more than just skimming through your text.
  • SQ3R helps you understand your text better and helps you sort information.
  • Survey and question before you read. Recite and review afterwards.
  • Using techniques such as Mapping and the Cornell Method help you study
    more efficiently, just like in note taking.


SQ3R: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review

Learning new information through repetition and by developing your own understanding of the material can make succeeding in a course more manageable. I have found that reading the textbook, then hearing the class lecture on what I have read, and finally taking notes in a way that is organized to me is a triple dosage of the information, visual, audio, and written. Professors may quickly review material that they have expected you to have obtained from the text—or may not cover some topics on which you will be tested—and so reading the assigned chapters on your own can have a big impact on your grasp of the material and on your success in the class. –Sophia Stone

I make flashcards for any bolded or important words and concepts-Brittany Kondratenko

Use the pictures and diagrams in the textbooks to better understand and visualize various concepts, subtask the readings into different sections because there is a lot of information to absorb in each chapter- Jazmine Davis ‘14

Don’t be afraid to write in your textbook! It is a great way to help you remember key things and you can still sell your books back, in fact more people want used books with writing then new ones. –Ashton Linkenhoker ‘13

I have found my most effective way of studying would be to tell yourself (or say a prayer) to be focused and attentive to what you are planning to accomplish. I listen to music while working. A good instrumental for background music is always an option. Classical music. I have studied, helps one with focus during study hours. I also turn off my cell phone because I know that when I can’t focus, I tend to text my sister or my friends and in an instant, I get side-tracked. –Murine Lasakweno

When studying, I find that talking myself through a problem or a particularly difficult reading helps me stay focused on what I am doing.-Sarabeth Watkins

When it comes to reading, my advice is to treat it as an active process not a passive one. Many students mistakenly think that reading is just your eyes floating over the page and your brain like a computer, processing the words. Just because you look at the words, however, does not mean that you understand them! Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “One must be an inventor to read well” (The American Scholar). This means that you must bring something to the work to read well. The words on the page are tools; tools which you must engage to make meaning. If you do not pick up the tools-do not engage the language-then you will fail to read well.” When reading literature, in addition to thinking about what it means, think about how it means. How does the language-diction, syntax, figures of speech, imagery, etc.- produce the meaning you see? –Dr. Egan Professor in English Literature