STEP ONE: Survey the entire chapter or article.
Look over the chapter or book; note the chapter title and subtitles.
These are usually the main ideas. If there is a summary, read it. This
may take 1 to 5 minutes.
Try to study in one place so you will become conditioned to study
in that chair. Don't do anything else in that chair. Start studying
immediately after sitting down; don't procrastinate. Learn to enjoy
learning in that chair.
STEP TWO: Question what the main points will be in the next
section (1-3 pages).
From the survey of the chapter or from the subtitle, create a
question in your mind that should be answered in the first page or
two. Make the question interesting and important to you. Maybe you
will want to pretend to be face-to-face and asking the author a series
of questions. The author's response to you is in the next few pages.
STEP THREE: Read to answer your question and/or to learn
what the author knows.
Read the first page or two of the chapter, keeping your question in
mind and focusing on what the author has to say. Be sure the author
is answering the question you asked; if not, change the question.
Think as you read! What ideas are expressed? What are the supporting
Always read with a purpose, namely, finding answers to important
questions. Try to find the reasoning and the facts that support those
STEP FOUR: Recite what you have read.
This is the most important part. Using your own words, repeat to
yourself what you have read. You may want to read only a couple of
paragraphs if the material is difficult. If you are reading easy material
with lots of examples, perhaps you can read several pages. Read as
much as you can remember. Do not look at the book as you recite; it
is necessary for the knowledge to get implanted into your brain. Of
course, if you can't remember what the author said, you'll have to re-
read some of the material. Try to minimize the re-reading.