Results of Recent Study
on Effective Notes and Increased Retention
you have identified important information, there are several techniques
that can help you organize and remember it. There is not, however,
one best method for remembering everything. Experiment with different
memory techniques to see which ones work best for you!
new information to something you already know. And isolated idea/fact
is hard to remember. If you associate or connect it with information
that already makes sense to you, it will be more meaningful and easier
to organize and remember.
information into a vivid, clear mental picture. For example, to remember
the necessary elements of a novel, form a picture with all the important
characters dressed in the style of the period, doing something which
shows what the character is like. If you have trouble picturing this
in your head, draw itthe sillier the better!
information that is hard to associate or visualize, try a memory technique.
Some effective memory devices include the following examples.
a word from the first letter of each word in a series. Example: HOMES
for recalling the Great LakesHuron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie,
a nonsense phrase so that the first letter of each word is the information.
Example: Every Good Boy Does Fine for the E, G, B, D,
F lines of the treble music staff.
example, remember whether the denotative or connotative meaning of
a word is the dictionary meaning by denotative and dictionary both
beginning with d.
up short, catchy sayings that include the essential information. For
example, In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
and Use the Information You Want to Remember!
Regular review and use of information will significantly improve
retention and recall.
than one long study session, plan frequent short study sessions.
nighters never work!
Always include a review of previously learned information (yes,
even if you have already had that test!) as well as learning
When comparing the most commonly used
forms of note-taking—Cornell, concept mapping, outline, note cards—studies
recently revealed that the strategy that leads to most effective retention
is the use of note cards.
The predominant difference from other formats
is that with note cards the student is able to separate learned information
from that which has not been retained. The benefit derives from the ability
to periodically review the material that has been learned while placing
more emphasis on that which has not been stored in memory.
Here is are some web sites that
explain the effective use of note cards.
Study Note Cards Learn the many uses of making note cards for studying. (University of Manitoba)
Creating Note Cards to Make Studying Easier: Spanish Example The site has examples and video explanation. ( Center for Research on Language Acquisition)
Using Note Cards Effectively: Chemistry Example (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Work with Note Cards from Both Reading and Lecture Notes Simple instructions with good illustrations (The Learning Toolbox)
Be sure to check the Internet for free downloads of note cards for your computer or phone!
Curve of Forgetting
The Curve of Forgetting describes how we retain or get rid of information that we take in based on a one-hour lecture. (University of Waterloo)
Note: The discussion refers to 100% of what you took in. This does not necessarily mean 100% of all information presented.
Short strategies to increase memory (California
Polytechnic State University at San Louis Obispo)
Get to know your memory skills and the tools to improve
retention (Muskingum College)
Background, purposes, advantages, and specific
memory strategies (Muskingum College)
Learning and Remembering
How can you become more efficient when you study? (University of Waterloo)
Concept- or Mind-Mapping This site has fun, interactive demonstration of making a mind map. (Study Guides and Strategies)
Concept Maps: Examples of Anatomy The site also has good links to other mapping resources. Try to ignore the flashing image and the floating menu. (lionden.com)
Types of Maps See some examples of typical mind maps and adapt them to your needs. (University of Michigan)
Learn how sensory, short-term and long-term memory
work, then use this information for more effective study and retention.
Mnemonics to Learn More Effectively
Close the annoying ad on the left to access a lot of information
and related links. (Mind Tools)
This site has numerous examples from specific disciplines. Check it out! (Eudesign)