As a learning technique SQ3R or SQRRR is of immense importance to law students because this specific technique has been developed to quickly internalize and retain written material. The method was developed and introduced scientifically by Francis Pleasant Robinson in 1946, and since then it has withstood the test of time. Developing the skills to absorb written information may be more vital to law students than any other sector, though the skill is required for all students.
SQ3R stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recall and Review. Developing SQ3R as a habit can help you obtain maximum benefit from your reading and helps you fix the information in your mind. However, just following the activities sequentially is of little use unless you are aware of what those activities signify in relation to the espoused process. The following small paragraphs would help to clear that up.
Survey: Remember that SQ3R was first devised in the 1930s and scientifically preached in the 1940s, so associated nuances of words change with change in social context and usage. What was called ‘survey’ then, is what today we call ‘scanning’ or ‘skimming’ through text. It signifies the process of rapidly and completely going through the table of contents, headings and subheadings of a text to identify passages of maximum relevance to the student. It helps to prioritize and select parts to focus on in-depth and optimize the use of time.
Question: Note down questions on the subject or matters of study that strike you after finishing the ‘survey’ part. Skim through the document again to ensure that you have not missed anything important. The questions you note down are going to form your study goals for the document. Getting the answers to those questions would help you structure the information and form the required concept in a defined manner.
Read: After finishing the ‘survey’ and noting down the ‘questions’ that you find are important, it’s the time to really ‘read’ through the document. Read through sections you had noted as important in detail and take notes.
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Recall: Once you have finished reading the important sections of the document with the intention of finding the answers to your ‘questions’ note down any important or extra information that you marked and found relevant. Now comes the stage of ‘recall.’ Try to remember the core facts and run them through your mind. Find and identify the key points and find out how the rest of the information fits in around those key points. Your recall is complete only when the information you can recall makes a coherent whole.
Review: Review the quality of information you have gathered, its accuracy, and quality by going through the document again and checking through the notes you had made with suitable alterations or modifications. Discuss the matter with other students and your professor. One of the best methods to firmly embed gathered information is to find another student who needs help and try to teach him or her.
If turned into a habit, SQ3R can be a lifelong companion that would propel you to success and excellence. When the system is dissected and analyzed it seems tedious and lengthy to many, but the difficulty is only in getting adjusted. Once, you form a habit, SQ3R becomes second nature and makes a more successful law student and lawyer out of you.