How to memorise essays and long responses
When it comes to memorising essays or long responses for your exams, there are three big things to consider.
- Should you even try to memorise an essay?
- Do you know how to adapt your memorised response to the exam question?
- How on earth are you meant to memorise a 1,200 word essay??
It’s a lot to weigh up but we can help you out here. If you want an answer to the first question, here’s one we prepared earlier. But wait, there’s more! If you’re super keen to read more about question #2, then go ahead and click here .
And for that third point on how to actually memorise a long essay? Well, all you have to do is keep reading...
1. Break it down
Your essay/long response/creative writing piece could be anywhere between 800 and 1,200 words long. Yeah… that’s a lot. So when it comes to memorising the whole thing, it’s a lot easier to break the answer down into logical chunks and work on memorising it bit by bit.
So if you want to memorise your Discovery Essay, you might have something like this:
- Theme 1 with the assigned text
- Theme 1 with the related text
- Theme 2 with the assigned text
- Theme 2 with the related text
You’re going to want to memorise the paragraphs and pay attention to the structure then you can piece it all together in the exam. Having a killer structure makes it a lot easier to remember the overall bones of this situation and if you’re finding this effective, you can even break those body paragraphs down further like topic sentence > example > explanation > connection to thesis.
2. Use memory tricks
Now, there are lots of different strategies and approaches when it comes to memorising a long piece of writing. Moving in sections, you can try reading it out loud over again (slowly looking at the paper less and less) or the classic look-cover-write-check approach. If you’re really struggling, make some of your own flashcards that have the first sentence on one side and the next sentence on the back so you can test your progress.
You could also enlist the help of some creative mnemonics (memory tricks) to remind you which sentence or section needs to come next. Pick one keyword from each sentence in the paragraph and turn them into a silly sentence to help you remember the structure of the paragraph and to make sure you don’t forget one of your awesome points.
3. Play to your strengths
Not all of us are super geniuses that can just read an essay and then memorise the entire thing but we’re all going to have our own strengths. There’s going to be something whether it’s art, music, writing, performance or sport that just ‘clicks’ in your brain and this is what you want to capitalise on. So for me, I was really into debating and public speaking (hold back the jokes please) and was used to giving speeches and remembering them. So whenever I wanted to memorise a long response, I would write out the essay onto palm cards and then practice it out loud like a speech. Did it annoy my family? Yes. Was I too embarrassed to tell people my strategy? Yes. Did it work? Absolutely. 💯
Whatever your strengths are, find a way to connect them to your essay and come up with a creative way of learning your long response that will be much easier and more effective for you!
4. Start early
So you know how there’s that whole long-term/short-term memory divide? Yeah well that’s going to be pretty relevant when it comes to memorising. You’re going to have a much better chance of remembering your long response if you start early and practice it often, instead of trying to cram it in the night before… sorry.
The good news is, you still have a couple of months before the HSC so try to get your prepared response written, get good feedback from your teachers and then make it perfect so it’s ready to go for the HSC. Then, the next step is to start memorising the essay now and test yourself on it fairly regularly all the way up to your exams. This way, you have plenty of time to really lock it deep into your memory.
5. Test yourself
The final and maybe even most important step is to test yourself. And not with flashcards or the look-cover-check-repeat anymore. Once you’ve got the essay memorised pretty well, you want to spend the weeks coming up to HSC doing past questions so you can practice
- Having the essay memorised
- Being able to recall it under pressure
- Adapting it to any question so that all your hard work will actually pay off
For this to work, you really need to commit 100% to exam conditions (no cheating!) and it’s definitely worth sending those responses to your teacher to get them marked. That way, you will actually know if you’re doing a good job of remembering the core of your argument but also tailoring it perfectly to the question.
Any subject with essays or long responses can be super daunting so if you want to have a pre-written, adaptable response ready to go then it’s worth making sure you can actually memorise it for your exam. Remember to break down the essay into sections, play to your memory strengths and make sure you consistently test yourself all the way up to HSC. That should do the trick. 👌
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How to Memorize an Essay
Last Updated: January 29, 2023 References
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 108,999 times.
Memorizing an essay is a great way to ace tests, rock presentations, and increase your overall knowledge. If you want to memorize an essay word for word, take things slowly by studying short parts one at a time. Memorization techniques such as visualization and physical cues can help you recall this information on demand. Of course, sometimes you don’t need to memorize things exactly. You may find it more useful to memorize the main ideas or important quotes instead.
Learning Each Part of the Essay
- Use a partner to test you on what you've memorized. If you miss a word or forget a line, they can prompt you by telling you the next word or two.
- You might also want to arrange to practice in front of an audience of a few people. This will help to add some pressure, which may be beneficial to you later.
- For example, you might study it for 15 minutes and take a 10-minute break before studying for another 15 minutes.
- Try writing out the essay once or twice. This can improve your memory.  X Research source
- Avoid cramming the night before. Memorizing something in 1 session is not the most effective way to learn it. Repetition in small chunks will help more than cramming the essay all in 1 long session.
- For example, the first part of the essay might be about tiger conservation, so you might visualize tigers as you go through this part. The second part may be about their habitat, so you might think about a jungle.
- For example, if the main parts of the essay are about family, cooperation, and communication, you might imagine a photograph (family), a table (cooperation), and a telephone (communication).
- When you need to recall the essay, imagine yourself walking from the photograph to the table and then to the telephone in the proper order.
- Pacing can help improve recall. Some people even find doing a simple dance to be useful as they try to memorize the essay.
- Practice hand gestures with your speech. Put certain gestures at specific spots in the essay.
- If you are allowed to use flashcards, you might write the basic outline on a series of cards. Glance down at these as you go along.
- You might ask a friend in the audience to give a signal if you are forgetting a line.
Remembering the Main Ideas of an Essay
- When you need to remember the essay, you can redraw the chart to help you remember all the different pieces you need to recall.
- You can also draw images in your chart or sketch out the main events of the essay in comic form.
- ↑ https://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/how-to-memorise-an-entire-essay-or-speech/
- ↑ https://www.improvememory.org/blog-posts/how-to-improve-memory/memorization-techniques/how-to-retain-information/
- ↑ http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/productivity/learning/how-to-memorize-quickly .
- ↑ https://www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/7-easy-monologue-memorization-tips/
- ↑ https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-ways-to-memorize-a-speechwithout-sounding-like-a-nervous-robot
- ↑ https://oneclass.com/blog/york-university/9820-part-1-learn-how-to-memorize-top-6-memorization-techniques
- ↑ http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/productivity/learning/how-to-memorize-quickly
- ↑ https://books.google.com/books?id=WgcSDgAAQBAJ&lpg=PT46&dq=memorize%20an%20essay&pg=PT46#v=onepage&q=memorize%20an%20essay&f=false
- ↑ https://zapier.com/blog/best-book-note-taking-system/
- Sleep and a healthy diet can improve your memory overall. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- If you need to present the essay, try practicing in front of family and friends. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
- Record yourself reading the essay out loud and listen to it repeatedly ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- Cramming the essay the night before may not help you remember the entire essay. It is better to start early. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 14 Not Helpful 4
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About This Article
Memorizing your essay can be a great way to nail your test without having to think about it on the day of. Try to learn small chunks, like a paragraph or a few sentences, at a time since they'll be easier to remember. You can also try reading your essay out loud to remember it faster. If you find memorizing the whole essay too difficult, break it down and memorize only the main points. Then, you’ll be able to write your essay around them on the day of your test. If you need to remember quotes, try writing them on flashcards and memorizing them one at a time. For more tips from our Teaching co-author, including how to visualize your essay in a memory palace to help you remember it, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Useful Guide on How to Memorise an Essay?
Updated 17 Nov 2022
Externally administered final exam is really important, given that it comprises half of student’s final assessment result in a subject. This means that no matter how hard they work during classes, if they fail HSC or its equivalent for some reason, their final mark for subject will be severely damaged. It is necessary to put preparation for exams into priority list because trials season is already underway.
If you are a student who loses all abilities of English composition under pressure, we suggest considering memorising responses. For sure, it’s necessary to adapt some responses to particular questions during exams. But having one or several pre-written essays in your memory become real key to success. At least, well-prepared students are less nervous, and it is easier for them to concentrate on tasks and use remembered information in their excellent responses. So, if you want to know how to memorise an essay, our experts share couple of techniques that’ll definitely work.
Clarifying Some Organizational Moments for Good Start
You are probably asking yourself: “How on earth am I supposed to remember essays that are 4 pages long?” and responses to this question are a matter of attitude. If students believe that this task is challenging, it’ll turn into it, especially if they need to do it in one night. But if they consider it an opportunity, their memory will gladly assist, as there are many methods they successfully use, especially if they still have plenty of time for preparation.
Memorising an essay is very similar to memorising speech. In both cases, structure, sequence, and content are of great importance. So, if you already know how to memorise a speech and have some experience of public speaking, we suggest you apply this knowledge to remember an essay. Whether students have some helpful experience or not, we have prepared a list of steps they take, making sure their memory will do them a favour during trials season.
The best way is to start as early as possible
The more time is available for preparation, the more varying techniques they apply for ensuring good outcomes. If you have no experience of learning speeches by heart, starting early is especially important, because you still need to discover approaches that are best for you. Furthermore, starting preparations early have fewer reasons to freak out during exams. Such responsible attitude often translates into better concentration on tasks and eventually higher marks. With this in mind, start right now.
How about making schedule to practice memorising each day?
Students who still have time will probably think that skipping two or three rehearsals on some days will not affect the outcome as they already know how to memorise an essay. But this is very dangerous pass, and they eventually end up learning essay in one night. To avoid this stressful experience, organize work by making schedule. While preparing for exams, follow these schedules despite the temptation of leaving tasks for tomorrow. When planning daily activities, include at least 30 minutes each day for practicing essay memorising. If you cannot devote this amount of time for some reason, read essay at least once during that day. Keep in mind that science suggests that our memory works best in the morning. Learning something in order to memorise is especially beneficial during the morning hours when they still haven’t flooded their minds with daily news and other information.
It is sound to find a quiet place where you can concentrate on memorising.
Don’t try to practice memorising in crowded classroom. Most likely, this will be just a waste of time waste. Peers will distract you. Consider applying chosen techniques for effective memorising at place where there are no distractions. Instead of trying to cope with noises, find quiet harbour where you can concentrate on texts. Using library or their own bedroom students can secure themselves from unnecessary distractions.
How to Remember an Essay: Techniques that Work
Let’s proceed and review some techniques to apply to actually memorise large pieces of text, be it an essay or speech.
Use memorising methods that better suit you
Even if it is only one night left before exams, students still have good chance to learn the essay fast if they know where to start and which method to apply. Some people memorise information better when they listen to it. Others prefer writing something down to remember it. Finally, for some people re-reading the text multiple times is the best technique bringing good results. If you have started early enough, use these three methods and find out which works best. Consider re-writing essay or some chosen part several times and see if you repeat it by heart. Read essay out loud and make a record using a smartphone or other device. Listen to the record during spare hours or daily activities, like washing plates or riding a bus. Try re-reading essay as frequently as possible. If students already know which method is best for them, they should concentrate on it rather than wasting time on less effective activities.
Breaking essays down into pieces
How to memorise an essay that has 4 pages at once? It may be challenging indeed. Therefore, break essay into logical pieces and memorise it piece by piece. Make sure that each part you distinguish has its own theme or idea. This’ll make memorising even easier. Rather than concentrating on words, try comprehending the meanings they carry, as these meanings comprise themes and ideas presented in text. Don’t worry about forgetting whether third or fifth sentence begins with “however” or “still.” You should feel free to use synonyms as you believe is appropriate because meaning is what eventually matters the most.
Write detailed outlines for essays you memorise
Memorising essays part by part may become even easier if students consider referring to structure concept. Your essay has an introduction, a body consisting of several paragraphs, and a conclusion. These structure components may be well illustrated in detailed outlines. Students should mind that this technique may be very helpful if they face the challenge of remembering their essays in one night. Creating detailed outlines will allow them memorising contents fast. Although you’ll probably not remember all words precisely after just one night of learning, main ideas, good structure, and most of the content will definitely remain in memory. Applying this method helps easily recall information during exams. Use essay to develop such an outline. Here is sample outline you may use when wondering how to memorise an essay (just insert information from essay):
- Thesis statement:
Body Paragraph (theme/idea 1)
- Topic sentence:
- Supporting detail 1:
- Explanation for supporting detail 1:
- Supporting detail 2:
- Explanation for supporting detail 2:
… (repeat as many times as many supporting details you find in paragraphs)
- Concluding sentence/transition:
Repeat the same for remaining body paragraphs (mind that each of them should address its own theme/idea)
- Restate thesis statement:
- Summarize main ideas:
When you learn essays paragraph by paragraph using detailed outlines, consider logical connections between specified parts. For instance, you may notice that thesis statement, which is usually the last sentence of an introduction, clearly outlines sequence in which body parts should be presented. It lists particular themes (or main ideas) that’ll be discussed in each body section. In turn, body paragraphs begin with topic sentences that describe contents in short. Concluding sentence of paragraph usually includes transitional words or phrases that provide hints regarding content of the next paragraph. Also, there are definitely some logical connections between themes presented in each part. If students intend memorising argumentative essays, they admit how each paragraph supports thesis statement, which is their main argument. By understanding major relationships between different pieces of information (for instance, cause and effect relationship), students know how to remember an essay easier, as separate blocks of text will easily comprise a single whole.
Associate each part of text with a memorable item or event
People who often deliver speeches agree that making associations is very helpful. Some of them recommend associating whole texts with journeys you know well. For instance, imagine essay as journey from home to school. While remembering an essay using such mental map, outline key points in text and associate them with some items you see along the way. Also, students associate complex characteristics with simple things. For instance, if they want to remember such person’s characteristics as “delightful” and “responsible,” they should consider thinking of such associations as “light” and “keys” correspondingly. This approach allows memorising both contents and sequences in which various information should be presented.
Re-read the text every day before going to bed
Although as it has been already mentioned, memorising is most effective in the morning, results will be even better after re-reading texts before going to bed. Would you agree that this is not very time or energy consuming activity? Indeed, it is quite easy to just read texts. Do it every day before falling asleep, and in several days, you’ll notice that you start reading essay by heart. Our mind is curious mechanism, and it has the capacity of remembering data it repeatedly receives, so how to memorise a speech should not be an issue anymore.
Test yourself when you have a free minute
Don’t forget about training and test yourself whenever you have time. Instead of just waiting for exams, use memory and write down or repeat essay by heart as frequently as possible. For sure, this activity is more time consuming than re-reading. Still, students should try using this technique at least once in a while, as it will reveal text pieces they don’t remember well. Mind that you become stressed during exam and use training, making sure that you recall information almost automatically. Remember that routine training eventually results in excellence.
You Can Ask Tutor to Write an Excellent Essay for Memorising
Although memorising an essay may seem challenging task, now you know some effective methods that turn it into real opportunity. While others wonder how to memorise an essay, you already know some answers. If students start early and memorise in a manner that allows them to make logical connections between pieces of information, they’ll succeed. Furthermore, feeling well-prepared, they’ll be less likely to worry as much as to become distracted from writing.
When choosing to memorise an essay for an English exam, you give yourself a chance to receive the highest grade without much effort. Indeed, very few people can produce high quality essays under pressure of exam conditions. Many students become too nervous and really freak out so greatly that they can’t put their mind into writing. This impacts their attentiveness, concentration on tasks, as well as their word choice and perception of essay structure. In contrast, pre-written essays are truly excellent, especially when they are composed or edited by an experienced tutor, like those employed by EduBirdie. While preparing for exams, you can always receive essay assistance from experienced tutors for whom your academic success is a major concern.
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- How to Memorize an Essay: The Proven Way to Improve Your Knowledge
- How to Memorize an Essay and Improve Your Overall Knowledge?
Great ways to memorize each word of an essay
How to turn the memorization process into real fun, simple tips on how to learn a substantial essay preparing for an exam, improve your subject knowledge by making notes and doing exercises, what is a mind map, and how to use it for essay learning.
Memory is a valuable tool people use to accumulate knowledge and use it afterward. Memorizing essay unlike a classification essay, is not as difficult as it may seem at first. The main thing is to find a suitable method of memorization and to organize the work in the right way. Want to memorize an essay quickly and effectively to ace tests in a particular area of knowledge? Here are the proven methods of storing information in your memory so that you can use it whenever you need it. Check the helpful tips and tricks to memorize the whole story word by word. Are you stuck in writing your essays and want to pay someone to do my homework ? Entrust your tasks to our professional academic assistance service and get your assignments done by experts!
Everyone will benefit from the ability to keep in mind the critical details of a future presentation or speech. To learn the material quickly, you need to eliminate all external stimuli and create a working environment. For active memorization , it is better to use several channels of perception and to adhere to this algorithm:
- Read the entire text several times, understand its meaning.
- Use associations (memorize a picture drawn by the imagination while reading).
- Divide it into logical parts and make an outline.
- Write reference words or quotes to the essential points.
- Retell each part separately, then put all the pieces together.
If you need to learn the story by heart or memorize an essay , you're recommended to do the following:
- If possible, listen to the audio version based on the printed text.
- Rewrite each paragraph of the essay several times.
- Cover the end of sentences and enter the missing words from memory. Reproduce the text actively either orally or in writing.
Pictograms are a way to replace words and sentences with pictures. It is not necessary to be an artist — the more straightforward and funnier the photos, the better. Visualization is the most effective way to recollect the knowledge in any area. It is also a great tip on how to focus on school work .
Haven’t you memorized it yet? Make the process as fun as possible using game techniques to remember:
- Replace part of words with pictures and recreate the full text. Gradually paint overall new words and draw pictures in their place, each time retelling part by part.
- Make a copy of the text and cut into small pieces. Gather it as a puzzle, simultaneously reading the resulting sentences — the brighter and funnier the font, the better.
Need to memorize a considerable essay? Just follow the step-by-step guidelines below:
- Divide it into parts and work with each of them separately.
- Make a plan or enter the primary data in the table.
- Repeat the essay regularly, making short breaks.
- Use multiple channels of perception (for example, visual and auditory ).
Keep in mind that the details are stored in memory automatically if you're interested in the subject. Writing in a clear language is amenable to memorize. Make sure it sounds easy for perception. If not, do your best to make it as simple as possible and clear up all the incomprehensible points.
This method of gaining new knowledge is especially suitable for visuals (those who better perceive information through sight), but anyone can use and increase his/her chances to succeed. The result will be noticeable in any case. Check the ways to memorize an essay:
- Divide the text into several parts. Work with each area of knowledge separately.
- Read the first part, look up unfamiliar terms and phrases.
- Rewrite some parts 1-2 times.
- Fill in the individual phrases with the office corrector. Add them from memory.
- Check yourself. Rewrite the essay again.
- Paint over twice as many fragments as you remember. Fill in the blanks.
- Repeat until you can fully reproduce the paragraph.
- Put all the pieces together and retell the story.
If there is very little time to learn a particular area, and you need to memorize everything quickly and finish homework faster , consider the technique of constant repetitions.
- Write paragraphs on small sheets of paper. It is better to choose bright markers to highlight key ideas in a specific area of knowledge.
- Hang them around the house: above the kitchen table, in the bathroom, on the mirror in the hallway, on the balcony.
Visiting these places, or merely passing by, you’ll understand that the eye “catches” the sentence, and knowledge is stored in memory successfully. This method will give a good result and speed up the memorization process.
It is essential to understand the meaning of the essay and understand what you are going to talk. That’s why you should convey everything in your own words.
- Read the text aloud thoughtfully. Write out unfamiliar terms to improve your knowledge on the subject.
- Break the material into logical parts (intro, key thoughts, and facts, ending).
- Make a detailed plan for each part. Describe it in the form of short abstracts, quotes, or questions.
- Retell a few times, looking at the original if necessary.
- Retell the text without looking at the original, and then without using the plan.
- Strong points in the form of quotations can be distinguished directly in an original way. Highlight them with a pencil.
It is a thought map that allows you to structure the information in any area of knowledge without any difficulties. You're free to depict a map as you wish and retell the story using a map. This technique will be helpful to those who need to learn but not necessarily reproduce it word by word quickly.
- Highlight the critical issues in a particular area of knowledge. Write or draw it, circle it.
- Portray secondary thoughts in the form of branches in any direction. Someone draws to the right and left, someone from top to bottom. There are no restrictions.
- Get a detailed plan in a convenient format, based on which it will be easy to retell all in your own words.
Those who like to draw can replace sentences with pictures. It will make the process of gaining knowledge more exciting and even help you learn the information better, being confident in your understanding.
Whatever way to study the area of knowledge you choose, it is vital to memorize material consciously. Learning a text by heart is not the goal itself, but just a stage to achieve it. The main thing is to start using the acquired knowledge in speech and writing. To reproduce the gained knowledge, you need to have a clear picture of the article purpose and critical points. Remember: if you lack either time or motivation to prepare for an exam, turn to professionals who know how to boost your knowledge effectively.
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5 Tips For Memorising Your Essay Before Exams
Your final exams are looming and along with it comes a million study tasks you really don’t want to face. Practice papers, drafts and essay scaffolds, most of which are mildly bearable at best. But how do you make it through the one soul wrenching, mind numbing task no one likes? I’m talking about memorising essays; a seemingly impossible feat that only a few students will master.
It’s true, memorising hundreds sometimes thousands of words is not easy. But it really doesn’t have to be as tough as you think! There’s a bunch of different methods out there, some work and some don’t. So check out these five tried and tested methods to find which ones work for you
1. Try something different
When you’re knee deep in study and feel like you’re just not making progress, try taking a break and come back with a different approach. Remember that sometimes the weirder ideas work best. Try recording your essay and playing it back to yourself. This is a pretty easy one that doesn’t take all your effort and you can listen to your essay on the bus, while running and when going to sleep. Sure, you might cringe at the sound of your own voice but once you get over the initial disgust it’s not all that bad and it’ll make the words stick in your mind.
2. Read before you sleep
This one is super useful when you’ve left the essay until the night before. Avoid wasting time on memorising it word for word. Instead, read over it a few times and pick up on the key ideas of each paragraph then hit the hay. Studies have shown that when we sleep for as little as 15 minutes after studying, our brains review and relearn the information while sleeping.
Additionally, our neural connections of the topic solidify 50% quicker than without sleeping. The catch is that the work you do before sleeping has to be legit, you have to be focused and alert, not falling asleep. When you wake up you’ll remember these key ideas and ready to pick up the rest a whole lot easier.
3. Read, cover, write, check
Again, this is more of a last minute tactic and rote learning like this doesn’t really work in the long run. If you want to be able remember your essay in three months time then jump down to no. 5.
But the read, cover, write, check method is pretty self explanatory and one you probably used in primary school. Read one sentence, cover it, write it or say it aloud and then check if you were right. Repeat for the following sentences until you’re able to regurgitate your entire essay in order.
4. Use key words
This one is good for cramming a lot of work into a little amount of time. Start by numbering each paragraph, then count how many sentences each paragraph contains. After that, take a look at each sentence and pull out a few trigger words eg. ‘Shakespeare displays this idea by overturning Othello’s loyalty.’ Pull out ‘displays overturning loyalty’. Then work on memorising just these trigger words, that way you can memorise 20 words per paragraph rather than 200.
5. Start early-ish
I know, I know, starting early is super unrealistic and you’ll probably only kick into gear with less than a week till the exam. Just keep in mind that effectively memorising actually takes a fair while. By giving the essay time to stew in your mind, you’ll later be able to recall it without spending hours at a time tediously forcing yourself to pick it up. Try to pump out that essay a few weeks prior to the exam date and give yourself as much time as possible to keep going over it.
by Matilda Reid
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How to Memorise an Entire Essay or Speech
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How to memorise a complete essay or speech
Christmas and New year is over and for some there looms the prospect of mid term exams. A lot of these exams will be closed book exams. A closed book exam tests your knowledge and memory of a subject. One of the ways in which some students prepare is to actively learn the subject areas and also look at past questions and anticipate a question which might come up. At the moment my wife is studying for exams in which she is actively learning her subjects and also she has written 3 x 500 word essays on the three areas of study.
Together we have come up with a system which means that she can memorise a 500 word essay in 1 day and 3 x 500 word essays in 3 days. Together with actively learning the subject she is confident that she has prepared well.
In this article I will show you the system we came up with to memorise 1500 words verbatim. Sound hard? It is actually quite easy and is a system I used when at university studying for my psychology degree for 2 x 1000 word essays.
This method can also be used for memorising any kind of written work or speech.
Before you begin
Before you begin this it is important to actually believe that you can memorise a complete essay or speech whether it be 500 words or 2000 words. When I first suggested using this method to my wife she said that she would never be able to memorise an essay word for word.
Once she got over this and started telling herself that she could do it we started.
First off, this method of memorising an essay should not be substituted for actively learning a subject. Active learning is when you read, not skim, the subject area and take note of the key points. Cross reading is also very good for active learning. This is when you read books on the subjects by different authors. Some authors are not good at getting information across so cross reading is an excellent way learning.
The method for memorising an essay or speech.
You will need to write out the essay or speech first. Treat this part of the process as if you were writing an essay to hand in for marking by your lecturer. In other words make sure it is worthy of memorising.
When you have written the essay make sure it is grammatically correct as you will be memorising every comma and full stop.
When you are sure you have a good essay or speech print it off and mark down the left margin the number of paragraphs e.g. if you have 6 paragraphs write at the side of each paragraph the numbers 1 "“ 6. In the right hand margin write the number of sentences in each paragraph. This is the first part of the memorisation process.
A quiet place to study
Now, make sure you have quiet space to be able to read, walk and vocalise your essay. When you are sure you will not be interrupted you can start.
With your printed essay start walking and reading out loud the essay or speech. When you have read it out loud a few times go back to the first sentence and read it out loud. Then read it again and again until you have memorised it. When you are confident you have memorised it word for word go on to the next sentence. When you have memorised the second sentence, whilst walking vocalise the first two sentences without looking at your printed essay. If you are okay with this go on to do the same with your 3rd sentence and so on until you have memorised your first full paragraph. This can take anywhere between 15 "“ 45 depending on motivation, alertness, quietness etc.
The reason I ask you to walk is to keep your blood flowing whilst memorising. If you are sitting down you might nod off, by walking it will prevent you from nodding off. I find walking up and down an excellent way to concentrate on reading.
Keep reading, and vocalising your essay or speech until you have memorised it completely. When you are confident of having memorised it. Vocalise it without looking at your printed sheet. If you get it right, do it again, and if you get it right a second time reward yourself with a cup of tea or coffee or whatever is your want and leave it for a few hours.
When a few hours have passed go back to the essay, read it out loud whilst walking and looking at the printed sheet and then try to memorise it again.
Once you are confident that you have memorised it completely, at the bottom of the page write down the first few words of each sentence of your essay, separated by a comma, and number each line for each paragraph. When you have done that put in the number of sentences at the end of the list and bracket it.
For example if I was writing out the first few words of this article for the first 3 paragraphs it would look like this;
- Christmas and New year, A lot of, A closed book, One of the, At the moment (5)
- Together we have, Together with actively (2)
- In this article, sound hard? (2)
Now what you should do is only look at the list at the bottom of the paper and read out from that whilst walking. This way you are only looking at the first few words and finishing the sentence without looking at it. If you get stuck just go back to the main essay and look at it, until you have got it completely.
Now memorise the bottom of the sheet of paper with the first few words of the essay and how many sentences are in each paragraph. This should only take 10-15 minutes at the most.
This sounds a very convoluted way of memorising an essay but it is a lot easier than it reads here.
Time taken to memorise
You should be able to memorise a full 500 word essay in about 3 hours, for your first time, using the above method. When you are practiced you should be able to memorise a 500 word essay in about 60 "“ 90 minutes.
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Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business. He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.
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