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CuriousLoner's avatar

What works best for you to memorize something?

Asked by CuriousLoner (1796 points ) October 8th, 2012

I need to memorize a creed, possibly another one. For now least this one since it is about 3 paragraphs.

In general I need to remember a lot of random things! Any advice? Is it possible to actually improve ones memory or merely something you are born with so to speak?

I know the obvious answer to study it, but that does not always work well for me. I am more of a hands on learner versus sitting down studying something. However for these kind of things I don’t believe there is a real hands on approach.

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14 Answers

Shippy's avatar

I often wonder how actors learn so many lines. But what has worked for me in the past was to do a “mind map”. I’d take an A5 sheet and place key words on it, then stick it in the toilet or somewhere! I would look at the keywords often and eventually the memory was firmly placed in my mind. Repetition though, does also help, and is probably used the most.

CuriousLoner's avatar

@Shippy I could try it. I usually find writing something down to help, but for this it didn’t seem to help much like it has before. Don’t know why…

Shippy's avatar

@CuriousLoner Perhaps the actual reading is not interesting to you? If so make it humorous in your mind, you can even draw little cartoons. Humor is a great way of making one remember, also a play on the words.

_Whitetigress's avatar

I heard when something is recited 100 times it becomes stored in the “long term memory” section of the brain.

Bellatrix's avatar

Adding to the mind map idea, which I agree with @Shippy is a good one. I used to make flow charts of key concepts I needed to remember.

In addition, try to take each sentence and explain it to someone. So it sticks in your mind. Perhaps number each line so you can say Line 1… then read it and explain it. I find explaining things to other people helps me understand the concepts better but it also helps me remember things.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
dabbler's avatar

I like to start with the last paragraph and when that’s memorized work back a paragraph at a time to the start. By the time you get the first paragraph done you’ll stroll through the rest of it. Your confidence with the whole thing will be substantial and there is no anxiety about getting stuck in the middle.

woodcutter's avatar

I try to associate it with something I’m already familiar with even if it has nothing to do with it. What ever sticks at the time.

Nullo's avatar

Repetition, with less and less reliance on the paper.

Seek's avatar

Whenever I have to memorise something (or want to, for that matter) I find it necessary to find a vocal rhythm. There’s a reason everyone knows every commercial jingle they’ve ever heard – the rhythm is supplied, and the words just go there.

Nullo's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr reminds me that I used to make up songs to the words, for ease of memorization.

Ron_C's avatar

Repetition is the mother of learning, I don’t remember who said that, probably my third grade teacher as we were going through the multiplication tables. None the less, it’s true.
It is also wise to use the spell checker!

wds2's avatar

I will generally just read it a few times a few times then quiz myself and see how far I can get. The key to this is quizzing yourself throughout the day, not just at a certain time.

_Whitetigress's avatar

Oh to answer your OP.

Loving that something.

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