You may feel like a memorization ninja after mastering the Four Steps to Master Memorization, but a mnemonic is a great tool to add to your memorization arsenal. This is particularly useful when memorizing lists or sequences. The idea is to create a short phrase to connect with the items in the list.
Here is an example mnemonic for the Four Parts of Web Site Specification:
While “Functionality, Content, Architecture, and Design” may not exactly roll off the tongue, “Fully Crazed And Dazed” is much easier to remember. It’s silly, it’s short, and it rhymes.
Our memory naturally works best with things that are different and stand out. Otherwise, how could we cope with the abundance of data constantly bombarding our sight, hearing, touch, and taste?
Let’s work with our brain’s natural tendencies!
If I am studying web development processes, the original list (“Functionality, Content, Architecture, and Design”) blends in with the jargon from the field. But “Fully Crazed and Dazed” stands out because it has nothing to do with the material. And it’s catchy.
Maximize Mnemonics for Memorization
To maximize your mnemonics, follow these tips:
- Keep it simple. You don’t want something so complex or far-fetched that you can’t remember it.
- Make it silly. Memory is enhanced when it is different from the material at hand.
- Rhyming words are fantastic.
- Craft a story if you have a long list. Anyone remember “Please excuse my dear aunt sally” from math class?
If you have trouble creating your own mnemonic, try out this Mnemonic Generator.
When you feel confident with this strategy, move on to Sketch Your Way to an A. This is a variation to help you mix up your approach to memorization.
This is part 3 of the memorization series:
- The Most Important Factor to Successful Memorization
- Four Steps to Master Memorization
- Using Mnemonics to Remember Lists and Processes
- Sketch Your Way to an A with This Visual Strategy
- Using Quizlet for Memorization