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Intended Learning Outcome:

To question academic texts


SQ3R stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review. It gives a structure to use when assessing texts. There are five stages to the strategy:

1. Survey – Look through the chapter title, introduction and headings/stand-out text. This gives an overview of the text.

2. Question – Turn the chapter title into a question that you will then be able to answer by reading the text.

3. Read – Read the chapter to answer the questions posed in stage 2. You may wish to make notes.

4. Recite – try to answer the questions from memory without referring to the text or your notes.

5. Review – Review the text by re-reading sections or looking over notes you have made.


Discuss the strategy with students and explain its purpose – to give more meaning and purpose to academic reading.

Ask students to read a text related to the session’s learning applying SQ3R. (You may wish to have two groups reading two different texts to discuss/compare the texts at the end of the task).

Put students in pairs/small groups to talk about the meaning of the text.

Have a plenary to discuss their findings.


If you use more than one text you may wish to have articles that contradict each other to generate discussion/debate.


Large Group Teaching:

With large groups, you can either run this as a solo activity and then put students into groups to discuss/ adjust their decisions or you could have small-group discussions which contribute to a whole-group activity of generating one list. You could use more than one text about one subject and each group contributes to form a jigsaw of an overall picture of the subject.

Online Teaching:


Students can appraise a text and able to discuss it in their studies.

Next Steps:

You can use the texts read as the basis for some writing in class.

Links to other activities:

Further reading:

This is also in The BIMM Study Skills Guide



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