We theoretically discuss several aspects of sequential superradiant scattering from atomic Bose-Einstein condensates. Our treatment is based on the semiclassical description of the process in terms of the Maxwell-Schroedinger equations for coupled matter-wave and optical fields. First, we investigate sequential scattering in the weak-pulse regime and work out the essential mechanisms responsible for bringing about the characteristic fan-shaped side-mode distribution patterns. Second, we discuss the transition between the Kapitza-Dirac and Bragg regimes of sequential scattering in the strong-pulse regime. Finally, we consider the situation where superradiance is initiated by coherently populating an atomic side mode through Bragg diffraction, as in studies of matter-wave amplification, and describe the effect on the sequential scattering process.