Memory Principles



1.     Interest:  In order to remember something thoroughly, you must be interested in it.  You must have a reason to learn it.


2.     Intent to Remember:  Has much to do with whether you remember something or not.  A key factor to remembering is having a positive attitude that you will remember.


3.     Basic Background:  Your understanding of new materials depends to a great degree on how much you already know about the subject.  The more you increase your basic knowledge, the easier it is to build new knowledge on this background.


4.     Selectivity:  You must determine what is important and select those parts to study and learn.


5.     Meaningful Organization:  You can learn and remember better if you can group ideas into some sort of meaningful categories or groups.


6.     Recitation:  Saying ideas aloud in your own words is probably the most powerful tool you have to transfer information from short-term to long-term memory.


7.     Mental Visualization:  Another powerful memory principle is making a mental picture of what needs to be remembered.  By visualizing, you use an entirely different part of the brain than you did by reading or listening.


8.     Association:  Memory is increased when facts to be learned are associated with something familiar to you.


9.     Consolidation:  Your brain must have time for new information to soak in.  When you make a list or review your notes right after class, you are using the principle of consolidation.


10. Distributed Practice:  A series of shorter study sessions distributed over several days is

      preferable to fewer but longer study sessions.



Hopper, Carolyn.  Practicing College Study Skills: Strategies for Success. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.  web site:






Text Box:  







Meg Leake   Cat   Jupiter

New York   Saturn   Superior   June

Pluto   turtle   lettuce

Pennsylvania   napkins

Eagle   tomato   Indiana   donkey

April   shark   milk   Huron   butterfly

Mars   bread   Earth   Ontario

Rabbit   Uranus   Texas   lion

Venus   elephant

Mercury   Tennessee   Erie

November   1492

September   Neptune   Michigan








Text Box:  




Now write down all of the words that you have just learned!





















Write down the names of all of your classmates!










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