Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsOnce you have identified which text you want to read, you can use the SQ3R strategy to read and take notes. The SQ3R strategy helps you to read more efficiently and take notes of the most important information for your writing tasks. The S is for Skim. Skimming means looking at a text to get a more general idea of what the text is about. Look at the title, pictures, headings, introduction, paragraph leaders and conclusion. Skimming also helps to trigger any information you already know about the topic Q is for Questions. Asking questions helps you pay attention to your reading purpose and focus. Write down any questions you have and make the headings into questions,

Skip to 1 minute and 4 secondsfor example, some questions you might ask would be: What is water privatisation? When did water privatisation start? What are the reasons for water privatisation? The first R is to Read. Here you read the text to answer the questions you created. Read again carefully and while you are reading you should engage with the text. This means underlining key information, annotating the text, making notes in the margins. Stop after each paragraph or section and think about the answers to your questions – answer out loud or write down the answers to your questions in your own words.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 secondsIf you say or write the points in your own words – you are more likely to remember the key information and reread any parts that are unclear. You can look up any unfamiliar words in a dictionary too. By engaging with the text, you are reading with a purpose and ensuring that you understand all the points – this means that when you begin to write, you fully understand all the points from the reading text and you can use these ideas to support your own points. The next R is for Recall. This means to write down what you recall or remember from the text onto a set of notes.

Skip to 2 minutes and 37 secondsMaking notes of the main points from memory means that it is more likely that you remember the key information and more importantly that your notes are in your own words. You can make notes in the recall stage in different ways, for example by using a mindmap – which is a visual representation of the key points. After you read, making a mind-map helps you to organise what you remember from the text and to show relationships between the points. Don’t forget to add the source of the information. You need to cite this source when you use these notes in your writing task After you have made notes, you need to Review.

Skip to 3 minutes and 23 secondsThis means you need to check your notes again with the text to see that you have understood the information in the text and taken accurate notes One alternative to using mindmaps for note-taking is the use of the Cornell note-taking system. The Cornell system is useful because it encourages you to make notes and at the same time comment on the notes you have made. By keeping these in separate columns, when it comes to writing, it is absolutely clear what ideas are from the source texts and what are your own comments. Different comments can include questions, clarifications, comparisons, and links to other texts.

SQ3R: process of note-taking

The SQ3R strategy helps you to read efficiently and take notes of the most relevant information for your academic essay. Take a look at what SQ3R means:

- The **S** is for skim
- The **Q** is for questions 
- The there are 3 R's. 
- The first **R** is for read
- The second **R** is for Recall
- and the third **R** is for review.

In this video, Jonathan explains the SQ3R technique in more detail and shows you two different methods for making notes at the recall stage; by creating a mindmap or Cornell notes. In the next Step, you will have the chance to put this into practise by creating your own set of notes.

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This video is from the free online course:

An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study

University of Reading