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.
EditLearning Each Part of the Essay
- Make a schedule. Plan out how long you have to memorize the essay. If you have more time, you can study a little each day for twenty or thirty minutes. If you only have a day or two, you can memorize it in thirty-minute chunks with a break of an hour or two in between.
- Memorize a little bit each day. Start early when you need to memorize something. Give yourself one day for every paragraph or page. Master one section each day. Once you have memorized two sections separately, try putting them together.
- Break the essay down into parts. Memorization is easiest when done in small chunks. Break the essay down into small sections. Depending on the length of the essay, each section might be a few sentences, one paragraph, or even one page.
- Read the essay out loud to start learning it. Reading the essay out loud is important because it forces you to read and speak every single word in the essay. This will help you remember it.
- Test yourself after reading. After you have studied the text for a while, put it down, and recite as much as you can from memory. At first, you may not remember much, but every time you practice, you will recall more and more.
- 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.
- Start from the end if going from the beginning is not working. If the essay is long, you may find it easier to start at the end. Begin by memorizing the last sentence or paragraph, then move back to the sentence or paragraph right before that one.
- Break up your study session to memorize quickly. If you only have a short time to learn the essay, you should study it in small doses with breaks in between each session. Use memory boosting techniques, such as visualization and walking back and forth, to help make your memorization more effective.
- For example, you might study it for fifteen minutes and take a ten-minute break before studying for another fifteen minutes.
- Try writing out the essay once or twice. This can improve your memory.
- Avoid cramming the night before. Memorizing something in one session is not the most effective way to learn it. Repetition in small chunks will help more than cramming the essay all in one long session.
- Visualize parts of the essay. Associate different parts of the essay with images. You might imagine the essay coming to life as you recite it. When you need to recite the essay, recall the images to help you remember the words.
- 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.
- Use memory palace techniques. Imagine a room or building that represents your essay. For every main point, place a piece of furniture inside. Associate each piece of furniture with a point you have to remember.
- 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.
- Link passages to physical movement. Gestures can help you memorize parts of the essay by associating words with movements. You might tap out a certain pattern when you start a paragraph, or gesture outwards to emphasize a particular word.
- Pacing can help improve recall. Some people even find doing a simple dance to be useful as they try to memorize the essay.
- Give yourself cues if you will present the essay. As you memorize the speech, give yourself a prompt or cue that can remind you which part goes where.
- 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.
EditRemembering the Main Ideas of an Essay
- Reduce it to an outline to remember the main points. Write an outline of the essay’s main ideas, concepts, and arguments. Make sure you only include the most important information, and organize it in the correct order. You might memorize the outline instead of the entire essay.
- Make flash cards if you want to learn quotes. If you need to recall quotes from literary or academic essays, write the quotes on flash cards. Memorize the quotes one at a time. Make sure you also learn the author, year, and any other information that may be tested.
- Draw the main ideas of the essay if you are a visual learner. Sketch out a flowchart or map of the main ideas of the essay. Put the thesis in the center of the chart, and draw lines out to its supporting ideas.
- 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.
- Sleep and a healthy diet can improve your memory overall.
- If you need to present the essay, try practicing in front of family and friends.
- Cramming the essay the night before may not help you remember the entire essay. It is better to start early.