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Mnemonics Memory System

A mnemonic device, or memory device, is any learning technique that aids information retention or retrieval in the human memory.

Mnemonics Memory System

Mnemonics are memory devices that help learners recall larger pieces of information, especially in the form of lists like characteristics, steps, stages, parts, phases, etc. We knew back in 1967 from a study by Gerald R. Miller that mnemonics increased recall. He found that students who regularly used mnemonic devices increased test scores up to 77%!


A mnemonic is a tool that helps us remember certain facts or large amounts of information. They can come in the form of a song, rhyme, acronym, image, phrase, or sentence. Mnemonics help us remember facts and are particularly useful when the order of things is important. Below, we'll explore several examples of mnemonics that'll help us remember everything from tricky spelling words to U.S. presidents.

Music Mnemonics

How many lyrics to songs do you remember? How did you come to remember them? The same method you used to recall song lyrics also can work just as well in academics. Music can be used to help students recall important details to main ideas and many learners have made songs out of information when a list of items must be learned. Advertising on radio and TV uses music to help potential customers remember their products when shopping. With sufficient repetition of commercials, advertisers have discovered that when shoppers see their product in the stores that often the shopper will start reciting a soft repeated phrases from the commercial or start singing the lyrics to the promotion melody. The results has been increased sales of the product.

You can make a song or jingle using any type of music you choose for any list of items. Music Mnemonics work best with long lists. For example, some children learn the ABC's by singing the "ABC" song. Other children learn all the states in alphabetical order using the "50 Nifty United States" song.

Name Mnemonics

In a Name Mnemonic, the 1st letter of each word in a list of items is used to make a name of a person or thing. Sometimes, the items can be rearranged to form a more re collectable name mnemonic.

ROY G. BIV = colors of the spectrum (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.)

Pvt. Tim Hall = Essential amino acids (Phenylanine, Valine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Isolucine, Histidine, Arginine, Leucine, Lysine.

Expression or Word Mnemonics

This is by far the most popularly used mnemonic. To make an Expression or Word mnemonic, the first letter of each item in a list is arranged to form a phrase or word. Examples:

Boyles' Law: At constant temperature, pressure is inversely proportional to volume.
Boyle's law is best of all because it presses gasses awfully small.

The categories in the classification of life are Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, Variety

Kings Play Cards On Fairly Good Soft Velvet.

In English, the 7 coordinating conjunctions are For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So = FANBOYS.

Model Mnemonics

In a Model Mnemonic, some type of representation is constructed to help with understanding and recalling important information. Examples include a circular sequence model, a pyramid model of stages, a pie chart, and a 5-box sequence. Models should be used in addition to words and lists because they make recall at test time much easier. With a large model such as the Krebs Cycle, it is easier to learn and remember if it is divided into quarters and learned one quarter at a time; hence, the cross hairs.

Ode or Rhyme Mnemonics

An Ode or Rhyme Mnemonic puts information in the form of a poem. Examples include: A commonly used Rhyme Mnemonic for the number of days in each month is:

30 days hath September, April, June, and November.
All the rest have 31
Except February my dear son.
It has 28 and that is fine
But in Leap Year it has 29.

Note Organization Mnemonics

The way textbook and lecture notes are organized can inhibit learning and recall or promote it. In the sense that the organization of notes can promote recall, it is a memory device. Three examples of organizing note formats that promote recall are as follows:

Notecards:Notecards are an easy way to organize main ideas and relevant details to be recalled. If main ideas are formatted into possible test questions, notecards can give learners practice in seeing questions and recalling answers as they must do on exams.

Outlines: Outlines clearly separate main ideas from details. This helps organize the information in the mind making it easier to remember.

Cornell System :The Cornell System is another way to use a Note Organization Mnemonic to promote recall. A vertical line is drawn 3 inches from the left margin of notebook paper. Main ideas or questions from them are placed to the left of the line and details or answers placed to the right.

Image Mnemonics

The information in an Image Mnemonic is constructed in the form of a picture that promotes recall of information when you need it. The sillier the Image Mnemonic is, the easier it is to recall the related information. These images may be mental or sketched into text and lecture notes. Don't worry about your artistic ability. As long as you know what your sketch means, Image Mnemonics will help you learn and remember.

You can use an Image Mnemonic to remember BAT (the depressant drugs mentioned above - Barbiturates, Alcohol, and Tranquilizers). Visualize or sketch in your notes a limp, depressed bat that took Barbiturates, Alcohol, and Tranquilizers.

Connection Mnemonics

In this type of mnemonic, the information to be remembered is connected to something already known.

Examples include: Remembering the direction of longitude and latitude is easier to do when you realize that lines on a globe that run North and South are long and that coincides with LONGitude. Another Connection Mnemonic points out that there is an N in LONGitude and an N in North. Latitude lines must run east to west, then because there is no N in latitude.

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