December 09, 2008

#01-194: Reading the Newspaper: SQ3R - Part II

letters "SQ3R" and "Part II"

Note: SQ3R stands for "Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review." It's an excellent way to build vocabulary as you read a newspaper or other text. In this lesson we'll focus on the second step, "Question."

Get Ready: Think about the last thing you read. What questions might someone ask about it? How would you answer those questions?

In Lesson #01-193, we started looking at "SQ3R," a method for reading that will help you get the most out of reading a newspaper. (The name means "Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review.")

In the second step, "Question," we take information from the "Survey" step and ask ourselves a few questions.

We were looking at an article titled "Banks urged to make more loans."

How many questions can you think of about such a headline? For example:

  • Which banks?
  • Urged by whom?
  • Loans to whom?

And so on.

We can also create questions about pictures (Who is in the picture? What is he or she doing?) and, especially, the "lead."

Here, again, is the lead (first paragraph or two) from that article:

"The State Council said yesterday it would adopt more favorable policies and update the financial system to encourage the country's commercial banks to grant more loans to support economic growth."

Now, the lead may answer some questions. To the question "Which banks?" we can answer "the country's [that is, China's] commercial banks." The "urging" is being done by "The State Council."

The only remaining question, then, is "loans to whom?" Meanwhile, you may find more questions to answer, such as: How will the new policies work?

As you move into the body of the article, keep these questions in mind:

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why? and
  • How?

When we ask Who, there are often two sides: Who did something, and to Whom? The lead tells us both:

  • Who did it?: The State Council
  • To whom did they do it?: the country's commercial banks

Next, What did he, she, it, or they do? Most headlines will have a verb: that's a clue as to the main event of the article. Here, the State Council "urged" the banks. The verb in the lead can be a little tougher, as a lead usually tries to squeeze in as much information as possible. This lead has six verbs! (said, adopt, update, encourage, grant, support)

Where something happened may or may not be important. In this article, it doesn't really matter where the State Council was meeting, as long as we know that we're talking about China.

When may or may not be important. If something is going to happen in the future, the reader may want to be aware of it. But in most cases, the news we get is about the immediate past. (If it's in the distant past, it's no longer "news"!) This lead tells us the "urging" happened "yesterday."

Finally, the Why and the How are often buried deep in the later parts of the article. In this article, however, the lead tells us the "Why": "to support economic growth."

Now we are ready to read the body of the article, and in Lesson #01-195 we'll apply the "3R" portion of "SQ3R": Read, Recite, Review.


Read more:

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. adopt
  2. buried
  3. clue
  4. distant
  5. encourage
  6. grant
  7. immediate
  8. method
  9. policies
  10. verb

  1. allow; offer
  2. a system; a way of doing something
  3. far away; in this case, long ago
  4. a piece of information that helps us find an answer
  5. recent; nearby
  6. hidden; put in a place that's hard to find
  7. word that shows action (like "run") or a state or condition (like "be")
  8. accept; put into use
  9. inspire to act
  10. fixed procedures or courses of action

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for December 9, 2008

This lesson received 166 visits on my old site between February, 2012, and August, 2021.

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. h; 2. f; 3. d; 4. c; 5. i; 6. a; 7. e; 8. b; 9. j; 10. g