How to Memorize Quotes

Опубликовал Admin
26-08-2021, 09:10
Whether an inspirational remark, poem, or religious passage, memorizing a quote is a gratifying experience: the words become part of you. Actively reading the quote is the first step to memorizing it, so read it as many times as you can. Read it out loud to get a feel for its rhythm and, if necessary, look up unfamiliar words and figures of speech. Copy the quote by hand, and try memory hacks, like incorporating physical activity, mnemonic devices, and creating a memory palace. After practicing, take a nap to help your brain process your newly memorized quote.

Reading a Quote Actively

  1. Read your quote over and over again. The first step to memorizing something is to read it as many times as possible. Read the quote once through completely to get a feel for its overall logic and meaning. Then slowly reread it word by word and, once every few words, take a moment to see the sentence written out in your mind’s eye.
  2. Read the quote out loud to yourself. Softly say the quote out loud to yourself, and listen to each sentence’s rhythm. Try exaggerating the stressed syllables in each sentence, so the quote becomes a bit like a song.
    • For example, say out loud, “so the QUOTE be-COMES a BIT like a SONG." Rhythm can help you remember a quote, but just keep in mind you won’t want to recite your quote in singsong fashion once you’ve memorized it.
  3. Focus on the quote’s key words. If you start by memorizing the quote’s key words, like nouns and important adjectives, you can fill in the conjunctions and prepositions intuitively. Try to internalize how each key word logically proceeds to the next.
    • For example, consider the Bertrand Russell quote, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” Work on remembering how one key word leads to the next: whole problem -> world -> fools and fanatics -> certain -> wiser people -> doubts.
  4. Work on understanding the quote completely. If a quote includes any unfamiliar words, look up their definitions. As you read each clause, try to understand how each of the quote’s parts relate to one another. If you’re trying to remember a quote with an unfamiliar vocabulary or syntax, like a poem or Shakespeare passage, take the time to find out how its language works.
    • Try asking an English teacher for help understanding a quote’s meaning or looking online for an interpretation.

Copying and Repeating

  1. Break the quote into smaller parts. If you’re trying to memorize a paragraph, start by memorizing it one sentence or clause at a time. It’s a lot easier to remember little pieces than it is to memorize chunks. Consider the difference between memorizing 634 - 284 and trying to retain 634284.
    • Try spending a half hour or so copying and reading aloud one sentence, then take a break. During your break, say the sentence to yourself a few times to reinforce it. After your break, move on to the next sentence.
  2. Copy the quote by hand. Write out the quote by hand, and try speaking the words out loud as you copy them. If your quote is more than a few sentences, copy one sentence at a time. If your hand can handle it without cramping up, try to copy the quote at least five times.
    • It might be quicker and easier to type out a quote, but copying it by hand is a better learning and memorization method.
    • If the quote is particularly long, try breaking it up and writing it out on flashcards.
  3. Look away and say the quote line by line. After reading a sentence or clause out loud as you copy it, look away or cover the page. See if you can repeat it by heart. If you need a reminder, glance back at the page, then look away and try again.
    • Once you’ve memorized one line, move on to the next and gradually build the quote up one clause at a time.
  4. Practice memorizing your quote every day. Practicing every day is especially helpful if your quote is more than a sentence or two. Try committing one sentence or line to memory one day then, the next day, build on what you've previously mastered.
    • Practicing a little every day will also help prevent you from getting overwhelmed. If you're too stressed, you might get distracted and have a harder time memorizing your quote.

Trying Memory Hacks

  1. Walk or run while saying the quote to yourself. Once you’ve made some progress memorizing your quote, try going for a walk or run and recite it to yourself. Physical activity can help your brain reinforce the new memory.
    • You can read the quote while you’re walking if you haven't committed it to memory, but make sure to look where you’re going!
  2. Try visualizing a memory palace. A memory palace is a visualization technique in which you associate a word or concept with an object in a room. Imagine your bedroom and try to see in your mind’s eye all of the objects around you. Match your quote’s words to objects in your room and, when possible, link a word or phrase with something that calls to mind its meaning.
    • For example, for the Bertrand Russell quote, you could match “the world” with the globe on your desk, “fools and fanatics” with some stuffed animals, and “wiser people” with the figurines on your bookcase.  
  3. Use mnemonic devices. A mnemonic device typically makes an acronym out of the first letters of a series of words. You could try memorizing or making an acronym for the first letters of your quote’s words to help jog your memory.
    • A popular mnemonic device is PEMDAS or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. It stands for the order of mathematical operations: parentheses, exponents, multiply, divide, add, subtract.
    • Some people think trying to remember something just to remember something else is silly, but memory works differently for everyone. Try a technique and stick with it if it works for you.
  4. Take a nap after practicing. Reward yourself for dutifully studying your quote by catching a cat nap! New memories are fragile, but sleeping helps the brain process and store them.
    • If you nap right after studying your quote, your brain can reorganize your new short-term memories into your long-term memory.
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