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Effective Memorization Strategies

EFFECTIVE MEMORIZATION STRATEGIES Memorization, as defined by Wikipedia, is the process of committing something to memory. It is a process that everyone undertakes to store in memory for recalling later. Memorization is an ongoing, lifelong process.

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Examples of some of the items that we strive to memorize on a daily basis are telephone numbers, addresses, music, lists and maps. The memory demands for students in college are much greater than they are for adults due to the amount of information they are bombarded with on a daily basis.

Being able to memorize information efficiently and accurately is very important to all college students. Adults generally have acquired much of the skills and knowledge that are required on a daily basis. It can be very challenging in a college setting to study whether it be in a dormitory or apartment. Constant commotion of people coming and going is not very conducive to memorizing text. It is recommended that students find a work-space where they are able to concentrate. The ideal location is one free of distractions such as a library.

In 1996 Brown and Miller categorized memorization techniques. Their categories were: memorizing through repetition (rote), memorizing through mnemonic techniques, memorization through grouping, memorizing through association, and memorizing through visual, auditory and konesthetic systems. * There are several different techniques that can be used to improve memorization. Rote memorization is a technique that focuses on remembering facts by a means of repetitition. Everyone can remember back in grade school when we were introduced to the times tables.

Multiplication facts such as two times two equals four are examples of learning by using rote memorization. Other examples are learning the states and their capitals and sight words which are taught in elementary school. An article written by Grace Fleming states “Rote learning is often viewed as bad practice, although some would argue that rote memorization is a necessary first step in learning basics. ” Opponents of Rote memorization use the argument that this process involves learning facts without developing a deep understanding.

In earlier days rote memorization was sometimes referred to as “drilling” E. D. Hirsch Jr. , a education reformer, does feel that drilling is essential. In circumstances where recall of information must be automatic such as mulitplication tables, “you need something like drilling. ” He warns though that teachers need to strive to make sure the drilling isn’t boring. Mnemonics is another memorization strategy. It is a very powerful tool that works extremely well for memorizing lists. The word Mnemonics is derived from the name of the Greek goddess of memory who was called Mnemosyne. It is based on the fact that it is much more easier for the human mind to remember personal, humorous or otherwise meaningful information than arbitrary sequences In Biology class students are required to learn to learn the biological classification system which is kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. A student might commit to memory the phrase “Keep Pond Clean Or Frogs Get Sick. ” Using the first letter of each word in this phrase would prompt a student into remembering the list. This is known as the sentence technique.

An example of the word technique would be using the word HOMES to memorize the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario Michigan, Erie, Superior. This can be referred to as word play. Mnemonics works best when there are strong association between the mnemonic and the what they stand for. Mnemonics link strategy is a system of remembering items by creating an association with these unrelated items. For example, a person might have to go to the grocery store to buy potatoes, chicken and a broom. In their mind they could picture a chicken sweeping up potatoes with a broom.

When they reached the store and visualized this it would be easy to complete their shopping. This method is sometimes referred to as imaging. Some people find it easier to memorize using associations. Memorizing a new subject by associating it with a process you are very familiar with can help some students. Using Biology again as an example, you can relate cell structure to a factory. The cell body could be the boss in a factory. You could think of the ribosomes asmessengers in this factory. Grouping is another effective memorization technique.

Students can be required to learn hundreds of facts. Trying to memorize a list this long would be impossible. To simplify memorization of this list the student can divide the subject into groups. Memorizing through visual, auditory and kinesthetic systems can be a very useful tool for some students. Research has shown that each sense is processed in a different part of your brain. Using these systems can enhance learning by using more of your brain. Some students have very good retention when they make flashcards to study for a test.