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Art Therapy

Strategies for Reading Sources Better

The SQ3R Reading Method is a reading comprehension method named for its five steps: survey, question, read, recite, and review. It is a useful method for retaining more information when reading books or articles.

Survey -- Look over the text and pay attention to titles, summaries, headings, captions, graphs, diagrams, bold print, italicized words, images, and other important information related to the structure of the text. With advance knowledge of what information the text contains, you will be better focused when reading.  

Question -- Come up with questions about the content as you survey the various sections of the text, and write them down. When formulating your question use terms such as who, what, where, when, why, how, compare, contrast, describe, explain, list and trace.

Read -- Actively look for answers to your questions as you read the text.

Recite -- Answer the questions out loud (or on paper) in your own words. Are you able to answer in your own words? If not, re-read the section again and formulate another response to the question. You may want to revise your question, now that you are more familiar with the topic.

Review -- Reread your notes, highlight, take additional notes, or ask more questions.

Reading & Interpreting Sources

ReadingAfter you have decided that a source is potentially useful, read it carefully and critically, asking yourself the following questions about how this research fits your writing project:

  • How relevant is this material to your research question?
  • Does the source include counterarguments that you should address?
  • How persuasive is the evidence? Does it represent opposing viewpoints fairly? Will the source be convincing to your audience?
  • Will you need to change your thesis to account for this information?
  • What quotations or paraphrases from this source might you want to use?

Adapted from Easy Writer (4th ed.)