University of Delaware

READING & ANNOTATING TEXTS

Getting the Big Picture

  1. Set the Scene: Set up a good working space dedicated to study, including decent light, a desk or other solid writing area, and a comfortable (but not TOO comfortable) chair—don't “repurpose” your bed or an area that puts you in too passive a position to actively work with the material.
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  3. Take Control: Reading a textbook is more than just slogging through the assigned pages the night before your exam. The SQ4R System described on the following pages will help you to make the most of your reading:
    • SURVEY
    • QUESTION
    • READ
    • REFLECT
    • RECITE
    • REVIEW
    You'll find a lot of overlap as you apply SQ4R—after surveying the text material, you regularly will be juggling your Qs & Rs.