Everyone has heard of people who can memorize hundreds of alphabets, numbers, and symbols in a matter of minutes and speak them out loud immediately.
Not gonna talk about that here!
The point here is more subtle, and students often look for help regarding this as it is useful in academics and for beginner debating. Students often wonder how to memorize an essay.
The question is not simple to answer as every brain functions differently. Some techniques can help one person but not the other. There are no set rules, and there are no prescriptions for it either. But if some people can do it, why can't you.
And you are not the only one who finds it difficult to memorize long texts, paras, or essays.
Find It Difficult to Memorise an Essay? - You Are Not Alone
People have short attention spans, and focus can switch in a period of minutes. This makes it very difficult to memorize things that are not common in your day-to-day schedule and activities.
For example, remembering the street name and turns while in a taxi outside your city. You won't remember anything unless you drive there by yourself a few times.
This means that practice and repetition play an important role in it. The students also focus on the individual words and not the whole para; thus, they keep forgetting the lines before.
For example, when looking at a map and driving, if you only focus on each turn and not on the general direction of your travel from point A to point B, you will only remember the last few turns.
This tells us that a student doesn't focus on the overall crux of the para and keep forgetting what came before.
These are a few reasons why not everyone is able to memorize as easily as some people. Understanding a little bit about the memory and aspects related to it will make it more clear where the problem lies.
What Is Memory and How It Works?
Our brain stores everything that we see, hear, read, and experience. This means that everything that we have gone through is stored somewhere as a memory. The tougher part is the process of retrieving it.
Brain attaches unique markers to each memory to help us get back that information, and all we have to do is to trigger these markers. There are three R's that are related to our memory;
Record: When you observe something with the purpose of using the information later. You focus on it with the confidence that you will remember it at the time of need. Do we?
Retain: This is when you go through the information a few times before the time of us. This gives you a bit more confidence that you will not forget this information.
Retrieve: The time of truth, the information is needed, and one has to recollect all the information that they memorized. This can be exam time or debate session. Here, you will know how much you have remembered from the total content.
If you observe yourself closely and establish the link between the things that you remembered and why? You can easily know the capabilities and the style of functioning of your brain.
Here are some techniques that are used by students to memorize essays for a long time and retrieve them when they are needed.
How to Memorise an Essay? - 11 Useful Techniques
There are several techniques which help you in retrieving the most information at the time of need. Every brain functions in its own way, so one must understand what suits their brain better. They can do this by using different techniques and comparing the results.
The 11 techniques given here is used widely to memorize long essays and text content. Especially students can follow it to get the most out of their memory.
Ready Yourself: Relax the way you like. Some drink tea; some listen to music, whatever works for you. This helps you in getting free from distractions in mind and free up space to collect the essay efficiently.
Make Audio: We remember things that are in the AV format more easily than things in the written format. Read the essay loud and clear while recording it. Use intervals between and keep the tempo down; this helps in creating a crisp and clear recording.
Write It Down: When we write, we also read it in our mind. This works with two of our senses that help in the memorizing process. Write the essay again and again in crisp words. We also learn from visual retention, and this acts as that part of our retention process.
Break It Down: After every writing work, break the essay into sections that are from the same part of the narrative. This divides the long information into small doses of information that are easier to remember. One can now remember the theme of each section as the highlights from the story. This means that you have made a mental outline of the text.
Build a Palace: Read the information that is present in front of your eyes make images based on them in your mind. Place each information at different parts of the palace. Use the part of the palace as a reference point for the retrieval of the information. You have to attach hints with these parts that will lead you to the information.
Build a Path: Draw a path around the palace connecting each section inside where you placed the information. The path should be designed according to the order of the information given in the essay. Hints placed at each position like an introductory door, a window of the third argument, pillar of conclusion, stairs of explanation, etc., will help you in retrieving information. The path should be memorized in an order that is familiar to you, like when you enter your home or a known building. This should be easier to remember.
Repeat It: When all things are placed in order and are in the palace. Try walking the path several times. In the beginning, you will make mistakes, and everybody does. Keep repeating it, and the mistakes will start becoming fewer. Now, you can focus on trying to memorize each section to the last word. Repeat them and write them to get the last full stop correct.
Become Storyteller: Ask someone to sit in front of you as you narrate the story to them. They must have the essay in hand to point out the mistake but not the content. You have to retrieve the information from your palace yourself. Use expressions and hand gestures like you are performing a dance. This means that you are making use of your muscle memory, which gets trained easily.
Use Audio: The recording you made can be used now. When you are free and doing some casual work, put in the earphones and listen to the recording. Keep repeating along with the recording often before it. This will help iron out small mistakes that you may make in the flow of words. It will become like a song to you, which is easier to remember.
Rest: Keep your brain in a thoughtless or relaxed state for a while. Clear it of all echos that you may have after such rigorous exercise. You can start by first remembering the path, taking hints, and retrieving the information. Whenever you get stuck, take help from the notes.
Repeat Again: Repeat this exercise after regular intervals to retain and retrieve maximum. Small mistakes are acceptable when you are memorizing an essay, and you can maneuver around them in your own words.
This process has been used by many public speakers when there were no facilities for using a teleprompter. The technique helps you memorize long passages and essays and reproduce them word for word if practiced honestly.
There are also some tricks that are used by many people but will be considered as cheating in some situations.
Tricks to Increase Retention Ability
Here are some tricks or ingenious methods to improve one's retention and retrieval ability.
Pictures: Convert words into pictures and make a story around those pictures. This can help in remembering important phrases that are part of the text. Place these pictures in the palace.
Assign Spots: Assign each spot in the house to a place in the memory palace. This will keep you reminding of the information that is attached to it.
Keywords: Keep notes of important keywords that can summarize the whole para with you. You can take a look at it now and then. Please, do note that you don't use it where notes are not allowed.
Rhymes: Memorize important keywords in the form of songs or rhymes that are easy to remember. Recite them till you remember them and try to retrieve information from them when needed.
Mnemonics: The are abbreviations that are not formal but used to remember a particular set of information. For example, 'No Plan Like Yours To Study History Wisely'stands for the order of English dynasties Norman, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Windsor.
These are some tricks that will you retain information in the form of objects easily. But one should also remember some of the mistakes that can result in loss of information. You must avoid these when you are preparing yourself for such an organized task.
Mistakes Made While Trying to Memorise an Essay
Even after learning the best ways of retaining and retrieving information, some students make simple mistakes that result in their loss. Here are some of them which result in information leakage as the brain gets occupied by junk and throws out the important stuff.
Video Games: They can help strategy development techniques, but that uses space in the brain that you have reserved for your task.
Over Sleep: It is healthy for the brain, but unnecessary lying in bed and thinking useless stuff may drain your brain and leave it tired.
Electronic Gadgets: Social Media is one of the biggest reasons for short attention spans among students. The small burst of information and move on have a negative impact on your focus.
TV: It is the old form, and the new form is digital TV. They have engaging content, which takes a lot of time to get detached from. This wastes time and leaves the brain tired.
Here you go! Are you ready to attempt memorizing that essay now? You should try right away and analyze the way in which your brain function. You will find that you gain information either from the audio or visual method. You can also try writing and gestures. Use the best method for the best results.
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