What is the SQ3R method and why was it developed?
SQ3R (also known as the SQRRR method) is an acronym for a 5-step reading and study method originally suggested by Francis Pleasant Robinson in his book Effective Study. Robinson (1906-1983) was a professor of psychology at Ohio State University (OSU). During World War II, droves of army personnel were sent to colleges and universities to attend intensive training in skills relevant to winning the war. Robinson headed the Learning and Study Skills program at OSU, and based on his research devised the SQ3R method and other techniques to help military personnel to learn specialized skills in as little time as possible.1 In his commentary ahead of Veteran’s Day in 2002, Thomas G. Sticht called it “The reading formula that helped win World War II”.
Multiple spin-offs of the SQ3R method, including PQRST and SQ4R have subsequently been suggested.
All of these methods provide a systematic approach to reading, and suggest that you write down a set of questions first and then read actively with the aim of answering those questions. Note that all acronyms contain a Q.