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How to memorise an entire essay or speech

 

 

How to memorise a complete essay or speech

Christmas and New year is over and for some there looms the prospect of mid
term exams. A lot of these exams will be closed book exams. A closed
book exam tests your knowledge and memory of a subject. One of the ways
in which some students prepare is to actively learn the subject areas and also
look at past questions and anticipate a question which might come up. At
the moment my wife is studying for exams in which she is actively learning
her subjects and also she has written 3 500 word essays on the three areas
of study.

Together we have come up with a system which means that she can memorise a
500 word essay in 1 day and 3 500 word essays in 3 days. Together with
actively learning the subject she is confident that she has prepared well.

In this article I will show you the system we came up with to memorise 1500
verbatim. Sound hard? It is actually quite easy and is a system I used
to when at university studying psychology for 2 1000 word essays.

This method can also be used for memorising any kind of written work or speech.

Before you begin

Before you begin this it is important to actually believe that you can memorise
a complete essay or speech whether it be 500 words or 2000 words. When
I first suggested using this method to my wife she said that she would never
be able to memorise an essay word for word.

Once she got over this and started telling herself that she could do it we
started.

Active learning

First off, this method of memorising an essay should not be substituted for
actively learning a subject. Active learning is when you read, not skim,
the subject area and take note of the key points. Cross reading is also
very good for active learning. This is when you read books on the subjects
by different authors. Some authors are not good at getting information across
so cross reading is an excellent way learning.

The method for memorising an essay or speech.

You will need to write out the essay or speech first. Treat this part
of the process as if you were writing an essay to hand in for marking by your
lecturer. In other words make sure it is worthy of memorising.

When you have written the essay make sure it is grammatically correct as you
will be memorising every comma and full stop.

When you are sure you have a good essay or speech print it off and mark down
the left margin the number of paragraphs e.g. if you have 6 paragraphs write
at the side of each paragraph the numbers 1 – 6. In the right hand
margin write the number of sentences in each paragraph. This is the first
part of the memorisation process.

A quiet place to study

Now, make sure you have quiet space to be able to read, walk and vocalise
your essay. When you are sure you will not be interrupted you can start.

With your printed essay start walking and reading out loud the essay or speech. When
you have read it out loud a few times go back to the first sentence and read
it out loud. Then read it again and again until you have memorised it. When
you are confident you have memorised it word for word go on to the next sentence. When
you have memorised the second sentence, whilst walking vocalise the first two
sentences without looking at your printed essay. If you are okay
with this go on to do the same with your 3rd sentence and so on until you have
memorised your first full paragraph. This can take anywhere between 15 – 45
depending on motivation, alertness, quietness etc.

The reason I ask you to walk is to keep your blood flowing whilst memorising. If
you are sitting down you might nod off, by walking it will prevent you from
nodding off. I find walking up and down an excellent way to concentrate
on reading.

Keep reading, and vocalising your essay or speech until you have memorised
it completely. When you are confident of having memorised it. Vocalise
it without looking at your printed sheet. If you get it right, do it
again, and if you get it right a second time reward yourself with a cup of
tea or coffee or whatever is your want and leave it for a few hours.

When a few hours have passed go back to the essay, read it out loud whilst
walking and looking at the printed sheet and then try to memorise it again.

Once you are confident that you have memorised it completely, at the bottom
of the page write down the first few words of each sentence of your essay,
separated by a comma, and number each line for each paragraph. When you
have done that put in the number of sentences at the end of the list and bracket
it.

For example if I was writing out the first few words of this article for the
first 3 paragraphs it would look like this;

  1. Christmas and New year, A lot of, A closed book, One of the, At the moment
    (5)
  2. Together we have, Together with actively (2)
  3. In this article, sound hard? (2)

Now what you should do is only look at the lost at the bottom of the paper
and read out from that whilst walking. This way you are only looking
at the first few words and finishing the sentence without looking at it. If
you get stuck just go back to the main essay and look at it, until you have
got it completely.

Now memorise the bottom of the sheet of paper with the first few words of
the essay and how many sentences are in each paragraph. This should only
take 10-15 minutes at the most.

This sounds a very convoluted way of memorising an essay but it is a lot easier
than it reads here.

Time taken to memorise

You should be able to memorise a full 500 word essay in about
3 hours, for your first time, using the above method. When you are practiced
you should be able to memorise a 500 word essay in about 60 – 90 minutes.

 

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About Steven Aitchison

I am the creator of Change Your Thoughts (CYT) blog and love writing and speaking about personal development, it truly is my passion. There are over 500 articles on this site from myself and some great guest posters.
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