A Strategy for Reading Textbooks

Below is a simple method that will help you more effectively read textbooks.

P = Preview what you are going to read.

Q = Question what you are going to learn after the preview.

R3 = Read, Recite, and Review.


P = Preview what you are going to read

Form an impression about the subjects and concepts you’ll be reading about.

  • Look over carefully what you are going to read paying attention to main ideas, subjects and headings — don’t focus on the details.


Q = Question

  • Form a question in your mind about what you are about to read and learn.
  • Practice — form a question like “What are the main reasons the Roman Empire fell?”


R = Read, Recite, and Review

  • Read – Read the assignment.
  • Recite – Stop every so often, look up from the book, and put in your own words what you have just read.
    • Practice on this page – “R” stands for read, recite, and review.
  • Review – After you have finished, review the main points.
    • Practice on this page – “I did learn a system to improve my reading comprehension. The main parts are ….”


You Are Finished
After you complete the review step, don’t forget to go back and reread any section that you are not sure of. If you practice this method, your study time is going to be much more productive!

Taking Cornell notes is also a great tool to record main topics and ideas over individual chapters. Please visit the learning center homepage to download a copy for your use.