How to memorise essays and long responses

how to memorise essay quickly

Lauren Condon

Marketing Specialist at Atomi

how to memorise essay quickly

When it comes to memorising essays or long responses for your exams, there are three big things to consider.

  • Should you even try to memorise an essay?
  • Do you know how to adapt your memorised response to the exam question?
  • How on earth are you meant to memorise a 1,200 word essay??

It’s a lot to weigh up but we can help you out here. If you want an answer to the first question, here’s one we prepared earlier. But wait, there’s more! If you’re super keen to read more about question #2, then go ahead and click here .

And for that third point on how to actually memorise a long essay? Well, all you have to do is keep reading...

1. Break it down

Your essay/long response/creative writing piece could be anywhere between 800 and 1,200 words long. Yeah… that’s a lot. So when it comes to memorising the whole thing, it’s a lot easier to break the answer down into logical chunks and work on memorising it bit by bit.

So if you want to memorise your Discovery Essay, you might have something like this:

  • Introduction
  • Theme 1 with the assigned text
  • Theme 1 with the related text
  • Theme 2 with the assigned text
  • Theme 2 with the related text

You’re going to want to memorise the paragraphs and pay attention to the structure then you can piece it all together in the exam. Having a killer structure makes it a lot easier to remember the overall bones of this situation and if you’re finding this effective, you can even break those body paragraphs down further like topic sentence > example > explanation > connection to thesis.

2. Use memory tricks

Now, there are lots of different strategies and approaches when it comes to memorising a long piece of writing. Moving in sections, you can try reading it out loud over again (slowly looking at the paper less and less) or the classic look-cover-write-check approach. If you’re really struggling, make some of your own flashcards that have the first sentence on one side and the next sentence on the back so you can test your progress.

You could also enlist the help of some creative mnemonics (memory tricks) to remind you which sentence or section needs to come next. Pick one keyword from each sentence in the paragraph and turn them into a silly sentence to help you remember the structure of the paragraph and to make sure you don’t forget one of your awesome points.

3. Play to your strengths

Not all of us are super geniuses that can just read an essay and then memorise the entire thing but we’re all going to have our own strengths. There’s going to be something whether it’s art, music, writing, performance or sport that just ‘clicks’ in your brain and this is what you want to capitalise on. So for me, I was really into debating and public speaking (hold back the jokes please) and was used to giving speeches and remembering them. So whenever I wanted to memorise a long response, I would write out the essay onto palm cards and then practice it out loud like a speech. Did it annoy my family? Yes. Was I too embarrassed to tell people my strategy? Yes. Did it work? Absolutely. 💯

Whatever your strengths are, find a way to connect them to your essay and come up with a creative way of learning your long response that will be much easier and more effective for you!

4. Start early

So you know how there’s that whole long-term/short-term memory divide? Yeah well that’s going to be pretty relevant when it comes to memorising. You’re going to have a much better chance of remembering your long response if you start early and practice it often, instead of trying to cram it in the night before… sorry.

The good news is, you still have a couple of months before the HSC so try to get your prepared response written, get good feedback from your teachers and then make it perfect so it’s ready to go for the HSC. Then, the next step is to start memorising the essay now and test yourself on it fairly regularly all the way up to your exams. This way, you have plenty of time to really lock it deep into your memory.

5. Test yourself

The final and maybe even most important step is to test yourself. And not with flashcards or the look-cover-check-repeat anymore. Once you’ve got the essay memorised pretty well, you want to spend the weeks coming up to HSC doing past questions so you can practice

  • Having the essay memorised
  • Being able to recall it under pressure
  • Adapting it to any question so that all your hard work will actually pay off

For this to work, you really need to commit 100% to exam conditions (no cheating!) and it’s definitely worth sending those responses to your teacher to get them marked. That way, you will actually know if you’re doing a good job of remembering the core of your argument but also tailoring it perfectly to the question.

Any subject with essays or long responses can be super daunting so if you want to have a pre-written, adaptable response ready to go then it’s worth making sure you can actually memorise it for your exam. Remember to break down the essay into sections, play to your memory strengths and make sure you consistently test yourself all the way up to HSC. That should do the trick. 👌

Published on

July 28, 2017

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Mastering the art of essay writing – a comprehensive guide.

How write an essay

Essay writing is a fundamental skill that every student needs to master. Whether you’re in high school, college, or beyond, the ability to write a strong, coherent essay is essential for academic success. However, many students find the process of writing an essay daunting and overwhelming.

This comprehensive guide is here to help you navigate the intricate world of essay writing. From understanding the basics of essay structure to mastering the art of crafting a compelling thesis statement, we’ve got you covered. By the end of this guide, you’ll have the tools and knowledge you need to write an outstanding essay that will impress your teachers and classmates alike.

So, grab your pen and paper (or fire up your laptop) and let’s dive into the ultimate guide to writing an essay. Follow our tips and tricks, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a skilled and confident essay writer!

The Art of Essay Writing: A Comprehensive Guide

Essay writing is a skill that requires practice, patience, and attention to detail. Whether you’re a student working on an assignment or a professional writing for publication, mastering the art of essay writing can help you communicate your ideas effectively and persuasively.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the key elements of a successful essay, including how to choose a topic, structure your essay, and craft a compelling thesis statement. We’ll also discuss the importance of research, editing, and proofreading, and provide tips for improving your writing style and grammar.

By following the advice in this guide, you can become a more confident and skilled essay writer, capable of producing high-quality, engaging essays that will impress your readers and achieve your goals.

Understanding the Essay Structure

When it comes to writing an essay, understanding the structure is key to producing a cohesive and well-organized piece of writing. An essay typically consists of three main parts: an introduction, the body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Introduction: The introduction is where you introduce your topic and provide some background information. It should also include your thesis statement, which is the main idea or argument that you will be discussing in the essay.

Body paragraphs: The body of the essay is where you present your supporting evidence and arguments. Each paragraph should focus on a separate point and include evidence to back up your claims. Remember to use transition words to link your ideas together cohesively.

Conclusion: The conclusion is where you wrap up your essay by summarizing your main points and restating your thesis. It is also a good place to make any final thoughts or reflections on the topic.

Understanding the structure of an essay will help you write more effectively and communicate your ideas clearly to your readers.

Choosing the Right Topic for Your Essay

Choosing the Right Topic for Your Essay

One of the most crucial steps in writing a successful essay is selecting the right topic. The topic you choose will determine the direction and focus of your writing, so it’s important to choose wisely. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect topic for your essay:

Choose a topic that you are passionate about or interested in. Writing about something you enjoy will make the process more enjoyable and your enthusiasm will come through in your writing.
Do some preliminary research to see what topics are available and what resources are out there. This will help you narrow down your choices and find a topic that is both interesting and manageable.
Think about who will be reading your essay and choose a topic that will resonate with them. Consider their interests, knowledge level, and any biases they may have when selecting a topic.
Take some time to brainstorm different topic ideas. Write down all the potential topics that come to mind, and then evaluate each one based on relevance, interest, and feasibility.
Try to choose a topic that offers a unique perspective or angle. Avoid overly broad topics that have been extensively covered unless you have a fresh take to offer.

By following these tips and considering your interests, audience, and research, you can choose a topic that will inspire you to write an engaging and compelling essay.

Research and Gathering Information

When writing an essay, conducting thorough research and gathering relevant information is crucial. Here are some tips to help you with your research:

Make sure to use reliable sources such as academic journals, books, and reputable websites. Avoid using sources that are not credible or biased.
As you research, take notes on important information that you can use in your essay. Organize your notes so that you can easily reference them later.
Don’t rely solely on one type of source. Utilize a variety of sources to provide a well-rounded perspective on your topic.
Before using a source in your essay, make sure to evaluate its credibility and relevance to your topic. Consider the author’s credentials, publication date, and biases.
Make sure to keep a record of the sources you use in your research. This will help you properly cite them in your essay and avoid plagiarism.

Crafting a Compelling Thesis Statement

When writing an essay, one of the most crucial elements is the thesis statement. This statement serves as the main point of your essay, summarizing the argument or position you will be taking. Crafting a compelling thesis statement is essential for a strong and cohesive essay. Here are some tips to help you create an effective thesis statement:

  • Be specific: Your thesis statement should clearly state the main idea of your essay. Avoid vague or general statements.
  • Make it arguable: A strong thesis statement is debatable and presents a clear position that can be supported with evidence.
  • Avoid clichés: Stay away from overused phrases or clichés in your thesis statement. Instead, strive for originality and clarity.
  • Keep it concise: Your thesis statement should be concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary words or phrases.
  • Take a stand: Your thesis statement should express a clear stance on the topic. Don’t be afraid to assert your position.

By following these guidelines, you can craft a compelling thesis statement that sets the tone for your essay and guides your reader through your argument.

Writing the Body of Your Essay

Once you have your introduction in place, it’s time to dive into the body of your essay. The body paragraphs are where you will present your main arguments or points to support your thesis statement.

Here are some tips for writing the body of your essay:

  • Stick to One Main Idea: Each paragraph should focus on one main idea or argument. This will help keep your essay organized and easy to follow.
  • Use Topic Sentences: Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph.
  • Provide Evidence: Support your main points with evidence such as facts, statistics, examples, or quotes from experts.
  • Explain Your Points: Don’t just state your points; also explain how they support your thesis and why they are important.
  • Use Transition Words: Use transition words and phrases to connect your ideas and create a smooth flow between paragraphs.

Remember to refer back to your thesis statement and make sure that each paragraph contributes to your overall argument. The body of your essay is where you can really showcase your critical thinking and analytical skills, so take the time to craft well-developed and coherent paragraphs.

Perfecting Your Essay with Editing and Proofreading

Perfecting Your Essay with Editing and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading are essential steps in the essay writing process to ensure your work is polished and error-free. Here are some tips to help you perfect your essay:

  • Take a Break: After writing your essay, take a break before starting the editing process. This will help you look at your work with fresh eyes.
  • Focus on Structure: Check the overall structure of your essay, including the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Make sure your ideas flow logically and cohesively.
  • Check for Clarity: Ensure that your arguments are clear and easy to follow. Eliminate any jargon or confusing language that might obscure your message.
  • Grammar and Punctuation: Review your essay for grammar and punctuation errors. Pay attention to subject-verb agreement, verb tense consistency, and proper punctuation usage.
  • Use a Spell Checker: Run a spell check on your essay to catch any spelling mistakes. However, don’t rely solely on spell checkers as they may miss certain errors.
  • Read Aloud: Read your essay aloud to yourself or have someone else read it to you. This can help you identify awkward phrasing or unclear sentences.
  • Get Feedback: Consider getting feedback from a peer, teacher, or writing tutor. They can offer valuable insights and suggestions for improving your essay.

By following these editing and proofreading tips, you can ensure that your essay is well-crafted, organized, and free of errors, helping you make a strong impression on your readers.

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How to memorise English Essays effectively and adapt them to ANY question

Struggling to see how you'll write a whole essay in only 40 minutes? Not sure whether you should memorise an essay or go in blind? We got you! Here's our fool proof step-by-step guide to memorise essays that you can adapt to ANY question.

5 months ago   •   4 min read

Should I have a pre-written English Essay?

The answer to this is yes and no. NO you should not know have only one essay mindlessly memorised word for word that you just regurgitate back onto the page. But YES you do want to have several essay plans with quotes and analysis imprinted in the back of your head that you can call upon under pressure.

If you’re memorising an essay word for word, you’re giving yourself no room to adapt. Subsequently, your essay won't be relevant to the question, rendering all your hard work futile. Furthermore, you won't be able to tackle curveball questions that they are known to give, asking you to reference a certain theme or even worse, a certain scene or character.

In essence, you want to have a few template essays that you can quickly mould to perfectly fit any question.

What you should be doing

Step 1. form opinions and ideas about the text.

First is to actually have a thorough understanding of the text you are studying. Most importantly you need to be able to formulate original arguments and opinions regarding the essay.

I recommend starting by finding three practice essay questions and just having a think about how you would approach answering them. What themes or characters would you maybe reference? Where do you stand with the question, do you agree or disagree and why?

This will give you an idea about which themes or aspects of the text interest you and you can focus your analysis down on that.

Step 2. Study by theme

Pick four themes to focus your study efforts on. These themes will make the basis of your essays. Try to pick themes that somewhat relate together so that you can form a cohesive argument.

For example, you believe the composer uses their text to expose the fragility of human motivations by exploring notions of love and pride. You are examining two separate themes but they lead to the same argument, human motivations can be easily manipulated or changed.

For each of your four themes have a set of quotes and their analysis memorised. Even better, memorise a few possible topic sentences that you could pair up with these quotes.

Step 3. Break it down

Once you've collected your themes and quotes it's time to see how they all piece together in an essay. Find a practice essay question and spend some time creating a well-crafted essay. This will test how well your quotes and analysis work in an argument to an essay question.

When you finish try to get feedback on your work from either a teacher or tutor. You want this essay to be as well written as possible because this will form the base for future essays.

Once you are happy with your essay deconstruct it. This could be by highlighting key bits of analysis and quotes or turning them into dot-point summaries - chuckable portions that are easy to memorise. I found the best way was to use a table but you can experiment with what works for you (flowcharts, flashcards, dot points). By deconstructing it like this you aren't mindlessly memorising an essay word for word but actively visualising the inner workings of your words and imprinting key ideas into your mind.

Below are some examples of how you can format it. You will want to customise it based on the type of essay or module you are tackling.

how to memorise essay quickly

Step 4. Practice, Practice, Practice...

This last step is the most important. Although it seems time-consuming and quite a pain, the only way to train your brain for under-pressure essay adaption is to write essays over and over again until it becomes instinct.

Use your above planner to do another practice essay under timed conditions and see how you go. You may find yourself short on time and struggling to compose your ideas. You may even come to find your first essay plan is rigid and your themes don't at all work with this new question. No biggie, go looking for some new quotes to add to your essay planner and edit your ideas to make them more adaptable.

Once you finish that essay, you guessed it, you'll attempt another one! You will want to do this at least three more times before your exam, practising using your quotes and ideas against new essay questions. If you get tired or are short on time you can just brainstorm how you would tackle the questions by dot-pointing your paragraphs. Eventually, this will become instinct and you'll do this effortlessly.

how to memorise essay quickly

Want more personalised tips to drastically improve your English mark? A private tutor can make the biggest difference!

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Author Topic: how to memorise essays in less than a day  (Read 35310 times)

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Re: how to memorise essays in less than a day

Theaspiringdoc.

What I do to memorise essays is to read it out first, then look away from the paper and recall what you just read. Do this a few times until you’ve remembered most of it. If you want do it paragraph by paragraph and then rewrite the paragraph without looking at your paper. Then read the 2nd paragraph, recite it and write the 1st and 2nd paragraph from memory and so on. This is just something that works for me!
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Hi there, i have an essay to write in class this thursday (8th March) and i've just finished writing it. II have the memory of a goldfish, so I find it really hard to memorise essays. I need some tips as to how to memorise an essay in less than 2 days.. Any tips are appreciated, Thanks
  • Rewriting the text. This helps (especially handwriting) as you have to go over words repeatedly. Consciously make an attempt to read each word, like you're talking to yourself in your head.
  • Recording your own voice reading it back to you and listening to this, or getting a friend to do a favour and read it to you. Even if you find your voice annoying, you get used to it after a while. It's a really good way to memorise because you can be doing other things while phrases are being dumped into your brain.

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Okay, maybe this is just specific to me, but it seriously helped especially during prelims. I was having tests every day and for my English Extension I had 1 night to remember both my narrative and essay and I did word-by-word. All i would do is print out a copy, get and empty notebook and write. I would start with my bodies as they were most vital, then I would copy it down while reading it. This really helps. Then i would flip it over and see how much i could write before forgot what I needed, so would flip it over, read it, and cover it until I needed it again. Then do the same with you other paragraphs. After that I would go back to the first and try to do the whole essay still doing the read and cover thing I had going on, I think I did that twice and at this point you can see a massive improvement in how much you remember. Keep writing it and writing it.  I would really try and stick the first sentence of every paragraph as this will jog your memory, I always found if I couldn't remember the first sentence I couldn't remember anything. Its very tedious but it seriously sticks.

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Firstly, say it at least a few times. Try glancing at the screen briefly.

It might help to also write down what you're trying to memorize. Even when writing, make sure to glance at the screen as briefly as possible.

It's best to repeat this step until you know the flow of the text.

Secondly, say it without mistakes . Below are the first letters of each word.

Unlike the previous step, keep looking at the text to ensure that you're not skipping words.

Make sure you're comfortable with every line of the text.

Thirdly, say it without pausing . Below are the first words of each line.

If you have to learn a lot of text, try memorizing it in parts first and then all together. This is so that you don't take ages to get past this step.

If you're unsure about a word, go back two steps and reread that part.

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You learn best by hearing , seeing , or doing , so find out what type of learner you are and have matching memorization techniques.

In addition, ask people who know you well and/or are familiar with memorizing (teachers, actors, etc.) to help you out.

Make sure to experiment - the only way to find out how you memorize best is by trying to memorize in different ways.

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Exam Study Expert

BEST Memorisation Techniques For Exams: The Secret Science Of How To Remember What You Study

by William Wadsworth | Last updated Aug 14, 2023 | First published on Feb 28, 2019 | 19 comments

William Wadsworth

by William Wadsworth

The Cambridge-educated memory psychologist & study coach on a mission to help YOU ace your exams . Helping half a million students in 175+ countries every year to study smarter, not harder. Supercharge your studies today with our time-saving, grade-boosting “genius” study tips sheet .

Pretty recently – the last decade or so – scientists have reached broad agreement that there is one memorisation technique for exams and tests that, above all others, will solve the age-old question of how to remember what you study.

Before I tell you what the technique is, I was shocked to learn that as few as 7% of college-level students (and possibly even fewer students at high school) say they are using this technique as their main revision strategy.

So what’s the technique?

It’s called “ retrieval practice ”, and it’s based on the act of trying to pull information out of your memory.

It seems counter-intuitive at first that trying to remember something helps you to learn it, but you’ll be astonished at how powerful this strategy can be for getting information locked away in memory, ready for when you need it.

Read on to discover:

  • how retrieval practice works
  • why it’s so useful
  • and precisely how you should be using retrieval practice memorisation techniques to prepare for exams – including some common mistakes people often make when applying it.

how to memorise essay quickly

What is “retrieval practice” and how can it help you to remember what you study?

When psychologists talk about “retrieving” something from memory, they mean recalling it, or remembering it. So “retrieval practice” just means practising remembering a piece of information you previously read, heard or saw.

A common misunderstanding – one I held myself for many years when studying for exams in high school – is that testing yourself on what you know only serves to “check” how much you know at that point, i.e. it won’t help you actually learn information.

We now know that’s not true.

A gigantic review of hundreds of studies testing how well various memorisation techniques prepared students for exams or tests concluded that, above all other techniques, retrieval practice (or “practice testing” as the review called it) was the most powerful.

The results from many of these studies were astonishing: students often improved by a whole grade (or more!) when learning using retrieval practice.

Part of the problem is that our own intuitions as students about what learning techniques are working for us are often flawed.

I highly recommend you take a look at a guest post I’ve written for my friends at Titanium Tutors, where I explain a fascinating experiment that beautifully demonstrates how our intuitions often lead to us making bad decisions about how to revise – and what we can do about it.

Benefits of using retrieval practice to learn for exams, and how it helps you to learn information

Retrieval practice works in a number of ways:

  • Helps you lock information into memory: the very act of pulling a piece of information out of your memory means you can remember it more easily later on.
  • Helps you find the gaps in your knowledge: by testing yourself, you’ll have a better idea of what you know and where you need to do more work.
  • Helps you apply information to new contexts: it’s not just about learning the facts, studying using retrieval practice makes it more likely that you will be able to figure out unfamiliar problems based on what you know, make leaps of intuition, and apply knowledge in new ways. These are all skills often demanded by the questions that unlock top marks in exams.

The first of these is probably the most important of these effects, but also the most surprising: it can seem strange at first that simply trying to remember something will strengthen your memory of that information, making it easier to remember it later.

But think of it like this: a big chunk of success in most exams comes down to simply being able to remember the information from your course. In other words, the exam tests your memory of what you learned.

Let me give you an analogy. If you’re training for the Olympics, you’ll train for your chosen sport first and foremost by practising that sport .

For example:

If you’re a long jumper, your most important training will be practising jumping.

But if you’re a weightlifter, your most important training will be practising lifting weights.

And if you’re a 100m runner, your most important training will be practising sprinting.

how to memorise essay quickly

So given that, if you’re a student preparing for exams that are largely tests of memory, your most important training should be practising remembering information .

Sure, you’ll need to do other things too – the runner will need to spend time in the gym doing leg exercises, and the student will need to spend time (re-)reading unfamiliar material, or working on their exam technique, or how they structure their essays. But the focus for getting knowledge under your belt and into your memory should be retrieval practice.

I often say to my more sporty students that the moment in which you’re trying to remember a fact is the “rep” (a “rep” is a single component of an exercise that makes you stronger – a single press-up, a single bicep curl, or a single pull-up in a set).

Fascinatingly, whether you succeed in pulling the fact you’re searching for out of your memory or not, you’ll still have done some good !

How to memorise for exams with retrieval practice strategies

So how to apply all of this when studying?

Here are some of my favourite retrieval practice based memorisation techniques for exams and tests you can start using today:

  • Write what you know from memory on a blank sheet: a plain sheet of paper is a very under-rated study tool! Put your books away, then scribble down everything you can remember about a topic. After you’ve squeezed out as much as you can from memory, you might like to go back and add in any missing details in a different coloured pen. Next time you train yourself on this topic, aim to have fewer missing details – until you have none at all come the week before the exam!
  • Draw concept maps from memory: a slightly more sophisticated variant on the “blank sheet” method is drawing concept maps based on what you know of a topic. A concept map links ideas together visually, putting ideas in boxes, and linking them together with arrows to show how they relate. Unlike mind maps, they are quick to draw, placing more importance on getting the right information down on the page, with a sensible structure around it, rather than spending too long making the final result sumptuously beautiful (I know it’s fun… but you’re not going to be graded on your artwork at the end of the day! Unless you’re studying Art, of course…) Here’s an example of a concept map summarising what you might need to know about rates of reaction in chemistry:
Got stuck sequencing my GCSE rates lessons until I made a concept map inspired by @Mr_Raichura ’s #CogSciSci talk. It works! pic.twitter.com/a7oRW1IueW — Elizabeth Mountstevens (@DrMountstevens) August 18, 2018
  • Practice questions: Work through exercises from your text book or revision guide. Answer real exam questions. Or even make up your own quiz questions – I know some students who like to revise by first reading through their notes, making a list of their own “quiz questions” they know they will need to be able to answer to prove they know that topic properly. Then they put their notes away, and take the quiz.
  • Train with flash cards: start by making them, and then use them! Flash cards are my favourite way to learn large amounts of information quickly, and through long experience (both my own, and coaching students), there are some very specific steps you need to take to get the most out of studying with flash cards.

Psst… why not grab a free copy of my “science of learning cheat sheet”, which includes a deep-dive “DOs and DONTs” to get the most out of retrieval practice techniques like flash cards:

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Whichever of these techniques you’re using, keep your notes away until you’ve had a good try at remembering. Then you can check your notes (or the mark scheme, if you’re doing past exam questions) and give yourself feedback on where you went wrong.

This feedback step, understanding where you missed things or slipped up, is a very important part of the overall learning process, so don’t skimp on it.

If you find you can’t reliably remember a particular aspect of a topic, you’ll know to prioritise giving that issue some extra time until you have it nailed.

Don’t make these mistakes when using retrieval practice

Even the best memory techniques in the world won’t work properly if not applied correctly. Some traps to avoid when you’re using retrieval practice techniques in your studies:

1. Some difficulty is good, but if it’s too hard, make it easier…

If you can barely remember anything in a topic, no matter how hard you try, you probably need to back up a step.

Going back and re-reading your notes at this point is OK, and if you’re struggling to go from re-reading to remembering at least a good chunk of what you’ve just read, you need to break it up into smaller chunks.

Take what you’re trying to learn one segment at a time, get comfortable retrieving each segment on its own, then start to string them together.

Or for tricky memory jobs, try using intermediate prompts as “stepping stones” to jog your memory while also giving it space to do at least some retrieval practice. 

Here are a few fun and creative ideas for how you could use “stepping stones” in practice, to build up gradually to remembering the whole thing from scratch. The video is about remembering English literature quotes (hard!), but some of the ideas here could easily be applied to other subjects, from recalling maths formulas to learning anatomical terms:

2. But if it’s too easy, you need to make it harder

On the other hand, if you break something up so small that it becomes trivial to remember, you’re not giving yourself enough of a memory workout and the benefits will be limited.

Say you’re trying to learn the formula for a chemical compound – you could learn it one atom at a time, and test yourself on each atom in the seconds after looking at it. With such small amounts of information and no delay before trying to remember it, you won’t even break a sweat as you recall each atom perfectly – but what you’ve learned won’t stick in memory for long.

So if it feels too easy, try going for larger chunks of knowledge, or leaving more of a gap between re-reading information and doing retrieval practice on it.

3. Don’t let yourself get away with not fully knowing something!

Let’s say you’re working with flashcards. You might feel like you almost knew it, flip the card, find something familiar, and say “ah yes, I did know that”.

But beware! You didn’t, did you?

Train with discipline: give yourself a good moment to rummage through your brain for the information, and if it’s not there, note it down as a missed effort and come back to it again.

Remember, even failing to remember something is useful memory training as long as you gave it a good try!

Though obviously your goal is to succeed in remembering things, so pay special attention to the things you couldn’t remember at the end of the session, and in your review at the end of the day.

4. Remembering something once doesn’t prove you’ll know it forever

Just because you know it today, doesn’t mean you’ll remember it tomorrow, or next week. Some scientists recommend aiming for at least 3 successful retrieval attempts before deciding you “know” something – though you might need more, depending on how long you’ve got before your exam, and how complex the information is.

5. If you’re trying to remember something complex, write it down

If you’re trying to remember a long formula, big number, quote, list, or diagram, you won’t be able to hold it all in your brain at once.

Say you need to remember a list of 7 factors.

By the time you’re trying to remember the sixth item, you can’t be sure whether you’re remembering a sixth that you hadn’t already thought of, or whether you’re actually just re-listing one of the items you’d already come up with!

So get the component parts out of your head and down on a sheet of paper as you think of them, so your memory is freed up to focus on remembering the missing information, and you can be certain you’ve got it all.

At first, retrieval practice won’t feel like the easiest way to memorise for exams, but stick with it!

You’re in elite study territory now: any student that decides to apply all of this properly will have a massive head-start on their peers when it comes to learning information for their exams.

Retrieval practice is incredibly powerful, but, let’s be honest, trying to pull information out of your brain is going to feel like harder work than just sitting back and re-reading your notes again!

A lot of students feel they prefer other ways to study for your exams: re-reading, highlighting, making notes or summarising are all very popular choices.

But here’s the thing:

Our own intuitions about what study techniques work best are really bad! Studies have repeatedly shown that “feel good” study methods that students like best (probably because they don’t take quite so much effort!) are having relatively small benefits, comparing to slightly more effortful but much more effective memorisation techniques for exams like retrieval practice.

Trust the science, and give it a go: you will be astonished at the results!

Ooooh, and just before you go… don’t leave without your copy of my “Science of Learning Cheat Sheet”: my four all-time fave strategies for studying smarter. Retrieval practice is absolutely on the list – but make sure you check out the other techniques too!

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19 Comments

thank you . this very useful for to study for my exam

This is an interesting and informative post on memorization techniques that can help students remember what they study during exams. It’s great to know about the science behind effective memory retention, and I look forward to learning more from this article.

How do you do the method on a day before your exam?

How can I remember what I read on the day of exam

1. Re. how to do the methods the day before an exam – it’s exactly the same. You might also like to check out my guide to exam-week / test-taking technique https://geni.us/exams .

2. Re. how to remember what you read on the day of the exam: “READ” is the key word that jumped out at me here! If all you’re doing is reading, it’s really hard to remember. Check out more effective study methods at https://examstudyexpert.com/how-to-study-effectively/

Am definitely trying out the retrieval practice cos am about to write an exam

Brilliant – good luck with it! It will probably feel hard at first – that feeling is the feeling of your memory building, keep going 🙂

Thanks for this enlightening . It really open my understanding to some things that u have been doing that are actually mKingm my brain weaker

Okay, this is seriously the first time I actually really enjoyed what I was reading and continued it till the end (considering English is not my mother language and I normally get tired and bored pretty fast). I also listened to one of your podcasts. Your content is really fascinating and helpful. Thank you.

That’s lovely feedback – thank you so much for sharing, Florentina. I hope you’re finding some useful ideas – anything else we can do to support, just let me know!

This was one of the first articles I read from this website – and I’m so glad I did! Tried and tested these tips myself and they work wonders – smart studying is the way to go 🙂

This is one of the most incredible blogs I’ve read in a very long time. The amount of information here is stunning. Great stuff; please keep it up!

I’ve been using retrieval practice for several years, after reading about it in a book by researchers in the field. Some other things that are necessary: 1. Retrieval practice is great for improving factual information for factual exams, but is less helpful for exams that require applying remembered knowledge to new situations. The main issue here is that students need to do more than just remember things, they need to apply that knowledge. So: 2. Practice applying remembered information to new situations. 3. When doing “brain dumps” or “mind maps” filling in the missing information is important, but students should also _correct_ their mistakes. 4. A related method that I use: write questions in the margins of lecture notes and Powerpoint slides related to the information in the slide. 5. After reading the slide, and writing and reading back the question, ask yourself to answer the question. And, ask your, “What did I just learn in this slide (or paragraph or abstract or paper or movie or video or flash card)?

I should add, 6. All of this takes time, so don’t cram or study at the last minute. 7. Check out the “Method of Inquiry” (related to my point #4) from researchers at Ryerson University in Canada.

Thanks for such a quality comment, Beccles. Are you a current student? Would love to do a mini-interview (5-10 mins) with you for the Exam Study Expert podcast about your experiences with retrieval practice, and your tips for success. Would you be up for that? ( https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/exam-study-expert-study-tips-psychology-hacks-to-learn/id1456034719 )

Great tips for students!

I am preparing for my exam that I failed once. I was into feel good study mode, and now I discover this retrieval process. I will use this from now on and will try to stick with it. Better to stick with a scientific proven methods than repeating my feel good technique which didnt give me results.

Wishing you every success in your re-take! If you come up against any questions on using the techniques, I’m always happy to try and answer them – put them here or drop me an email ( https://examstudyexpert.com/about/contact/ ).

Good luck 🙂

Thank you for sharing this excellent article. I used this article to show my assignment in college. Excellent job.

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  • Introducing: the greatest back-to-school study tip of all time - - […] journaling is based on the two most powerful principles of effective learning known to science: retrieval practice and spaced…

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As a medical student, I did have to undertake some exams that required writing essays. One of the questions I often get asked is how you can apply techniques such as active recall and spaced repetition – that I frequently discuss as being ‘the best’ revision techniques – to essay-based subjects. During my third year at university, I adopted the following approach to preparing for my own essay-based psychology exams – it proved highly effective in my own exams and I hope that you can make effective use of it too.

The system can be broadly broken down into two stages:

  • The Creation Stage
  • Objective to create first class essay plans for every conceivable essay title that they throw at us in the exam.

2.  The Memorisation Stage

  • Objective of committing all of these essay plans to memory by systematically using active recall, spaced repetition, spider diagrams and flashcards.

The idea is that, by using these two stages, by the time the exams arrive you’ll have memorised so many essay plans that they will either come up in the exam or the essays will be similar enough that you will have the knowledge to draw up and form coherent and well-structured essay that answer the question effectively.

Creation Stage

There are three main questions in the creation stage:

How to decide what essay titles to pick/prepare

The objective here is to ‘scope the subject’ and find essay titles that cover the entire breadth of the syllabus. The easiest way to do this is to both look through the past papers and start by planning the essays that have come up in the past and then examine the syllabus and identify areas that lend themselves to essays. Once you’ve planned out those essays, you’ll have a better idea as to what style of questions are asked and what material is often covered. This should give you a breadth of essays titles that span the course – if you find that there is still an area of the syllabus that hasn’t been address, try to come up a suitable question and add it to your essay plans to compile.

How you plan the essay

Personally, I would give myself one day per essay plan. Although it’s best to try to have this process ongoing throughout the year, I did the bulk of my essay plan preparation in the Easter holidays (perhaps not ideal!).

My process involved starting off with a question then use Google to get as much information as possible about that particular topic. I would start off with Google because it can give you a good broad overview as well as useful links to review papers that would often provide key details or interesting examples.

Once I had created my essay plan I would then look at the lecture notes and the recommended reading. This meant that a lot of my material was more original than everyone else’s because most other people would’ve built their essays based around the lecture notes, whereas I was building my essays from a Google search supplemented by lecture notes.

Once I had got my research document, I would spend a few hours writing out the essay – consolidating all the information into this one essay that I am ultimately going to learn.

How you make sure your essay plan is really good.

But how do we make an essay plan good? There are 3 key ingredients in my opinions:

  • Answering the question
  • Adding a bit of spice.

The introduction is the most important part of the essay because you can address all three of these key ingredients and signal to the examiner how you are going to go about compiling the essay and answer the question.

Here is an example of one of the introductions from an essay that I prepared on whether judgement and decision making is cognitive (logical) or affective (emotional).

The historical view in the social sciences has always been that judgements are based solely on content information, with individuals being assumed to form judgements by systematically evaluating all available content information in an unbiased manner. However, over the past three decades a considerable amount of research has challenged this assumption by showing that judgments may be formed not only on the basis of content information (cognitive judgements) but also on the basis of feelings (affective judgement). It is now well accepted that judgement can be both affective and cognitive. Whether it is one or the other depends on a multitude of factors: (1) the salience of the affective feelings, (2) the representativeness of the affective feelings for the target, (3) the relevance of the feelings for the judgement, (4) the evaluative malleability of the judgement and (5) the level of processing intensity. I will discuss these in turn and ultimately argue that generally speaking in day-to-day life, the circumstances are generally those that result in affective rather than cognitive judgements and decision making.

As you can see, I signpost the essay explicitly using numbered points as well as answering the question and outlining to the examiner the direction that my argument is going to go.

The Memorisation Stage

By this point, you should have a good number of essay plans that you’ve created in documents – now the aim is to ‘upload’ those essay plans to our brain. I approached doing this using three main techniques:

Anki Flashcards

With my essays, I used Anki flashcards to memorise paragraphs and main points whether from an essay or key points from a particularly relevant research paper. The aim was to create blocks of content with every Anki flashcard being its’ own ‘block’ which I could then draw upon either for the essays that I had planned or for unfamiliar essays but ones which I could answer using the material from the flashcards.

However, specific paragraphs or points from research papers aren’t helpful unless you can associate them with particular essays – that’s where spider diagrams come into the equation…

Spider Diagrams

Having memorised content blocks from my essays using Anki flashcards, I made one page diagrams of every single essay. The idea being that you would be able to discern the structure of the essay through the spider diagram as well as notice key words that are relevant for that topic and/or that you find particularly helpful in triggering your memory about the key points that you need to raise in answering that question.

Every day I would draw out various spider diagrams from memory and if there were any books that I didn’t know, I would look them up in the master research document or in Anki and actively work on learning those parts.

Over time, this became a highly effective way to systematically use active recall to ensure that I knew absolutely everything.

Retrospective Revision Timetable

The final part of the system involved systematic spaced repetition. If you’ve seen any of my other content, I am a big proponent of retrospective revision timetables. This approach counters the conventional idea of planning a prospective revision timetable which has a number of issues – namely trying to predict the future and inflexibility, amongst others – and instead involves creating a spreadsheet that starts with a list of subjects, topics or essays that we have compiled through scoping our subject and then inputting the dates on which we study those areas as well as colour code the system to provide a visual representation as to which areas we might need to cover again. You can read more about these sorts of timetables  here , where I explain them in more depth.

This structure which combines active recall, spaced repetition, flashcards and spider diagrams was probably the most effective system that I used whilst at university. In the exam, about two thirds of the essays that we had to write, I had already planned. Although the other four essays that I had to write were ‘new’, I had built up such a systematic and in-depth knowledge of the subject that I could more easily draw upon ‘blocks’ of content from my Anki decks which I could then ‘drop’ into these essays to answer them effectively.

I hope this has provided you with a more logical structure with which to utilise active recall, spaced repetition, spider diagrams and flashcards to ensure that you can approach your essay-based exams with more confidence.

Please see the other blog posts in this ‘How To Study’ series for more hints, tips and guidance on studying and revising.

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Forgot where you put the keys? Experts (and a trivia buff) share tips to boost memory

Andee Tagle

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Margaret Cirino, photographed for NPR, 6 June 2022, in Washington DC. Photo by Farrah Skeiky for NPR.

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Where did I put the keys? Tips to improve memory

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You don't have to be a trivia buff to be great at remembering things.

Monica Thieu , a four-time Jeopardy! contestant and winner of the game's 2012 college championship, uses memory techniques like mnemonic devices and flash cards to retain world capitals, TV shows, Olympic cities and more.

"With practice, absolutely everyone can make their memory stronger," says Thieu, who also researches memory, human cognition and emotion as a postdoctoral scientist at Emory University.

Listen to the podcast episode: Where did I put the keys? Tips to improve memory

That's because memory is selective. What our brains choose to remember is something we can train, says Charan Ranganath , director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at the University of California, Davis, and author of Why We Remember . "It can be biased, warped and reconstructed."

If you want to improve your memory, even if it's just remembering where you parked or where you put your keys, try these science-backed strategies from our experts.

Pay attention to what you want to remember

"The first necessary ingredient in creating a memory that lasts longer than the present moment is attention," says Lisa Genova , a neuroscientist and the author of Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting . "We need that input — otherwise that memory doesn’t get made, even if your eyes see it."

When people gripe about having memory problems, they're often having attention problems, she adds. For example, if you blame your memory because you can't find your parking spot, you probably weren't paying attention to it in the first place. So slow down and focus on what you want to remember.

Don't always depend on GPS. Your sense of direction will thank you

Don't always depend on GPS. Your sense of direction will thank you

Create a rule and a habit.

If you repeatedly lose track of an object like your keys, wallet or cellphone, pick a designated spot in your home and keep it there when it's not in use, says Genova. That way, you don't have to expend effort trying to remember where you placed it.

"If you put it in the same place every time, you've made it [a fact], sort of like your address and birthday: My keys always go in this bowl. There's a rule and a habit," she says.

The more details the merrier

To form memories you'll naturally keep, make them as immersive as possible, says Thieu. This is especially helpful when you're tackling a subject that you find difficult to connect with.

Let's say you're trying to learn more about the Renaissance era. Commit the period to memory by absorbing information about it through a variety of mediums, says Thieu. Make a playlist of music from the era. Watch period dramas set at that time. And "any time you have an opportunity to learn something in a richer way, do it" — like going to a theater performance on the subject matter.

Our brains love to remember anything that's "meaningful, emotional, surprising or new," says Genova. So the more details you can give your brain to latch onto, the stronger that a memory becomes and the easier it is to recall later.

For relationship advice (plus health, finance and parenting tips and more),  subscribe to Life Kit’s newsletter .

Trigger your memory

When your brain creates a memory, it naturally weaves together all the sights, sounds, tastes and smells associated with that memory, says Genova. So use those connections to your advantage.

Let's say you're studying for a vocabulary test. If you always listen to Dua Lipa while you're studying and "have a chance to listen to Dua Lipa while you take the test, it might help you remember those words," says Genova. Psychologists call this process "context-dependent memory."

Genova suggests enhancing your study space with smells, music or certain tastes. Try chewing a piece of cinnamon gum, for example, while you're preparing for a big exam — and then again while you're taking it. Your senses can act as triggers for the rest of your memory to fall into place.

Negotiating isn't just for job offers. Here's how to use it in everyday life

Negotiating isn't just for job offers. Here's how to use it in everyday life

"chunk" long strings of information.

If you have a big load of information to recall at once, Ranganath suggests a strategy that researchers call " chunking ." It's a way to organize longer strings of information to make them easier to recall. Let's say you want to remember the phone number (130) 555-1212. "That’s 10 digits, which is a lot to juggle around in my mind."

So "chunk" it into three parts, he says: 130, 555, 1212. Instead of recalling each number individually, you can recall the entire group — and then retrieve each individual number more easily.

Create a "mind palace"

Need to remember to grab eggs, milk and coffee creamer from the store? Ranganath suggests a method that memory researchers, as well as memory champions, call a "mind palace" — or the method of loci , which means "places" in Latin. You may have seen this ancient mnemonic device on TV shows like Sherlock .

This technique allows you to pair a place you know well, like your childhood home, with new information. Picture yourself placing the items of your grocery list around the house. Place a carton of eggs on your couch. Put milk on the kitchen counter. Put some creamer on the coffee table. Later on at the supermarket, recall this path through your house as you're shopping. It'll help you remember your grocery list.

How to start a new habit: think small

How to start a new habit: think small

Try good old flash cards.

Don't overlook the power of reviewing flash cards, says Thieu. "Some of the best trivia experts I know do a lot of flash-carding."

Thieu likes to watch old Jeopardy! reruns and create flash cards for the information in each episode. Then, she'll use the cards to quiz herself. She also uses this technique to drill lists of more specific trivia information — say, the world's longest rivers or deepest lakes.

Take your flash-carding one step further by testing yourself before you learn the information, to see what you already know, and then afterward to see what you were able to remember. A pre-lesson test primes your brain for what you'll need to recall later on.

"We learn the most when we challenge ourselves — and that's an extraordinarily powerful tool for retaining information in the long run," says Ranganath.

Go easy on yourself

Lastly, don't expect your memory to be perfect, say our experts. It's normal to occasionally misplace your keys or forget to pay a bill.

"Life is an open-book test," says Genova. You're not cheating if you look something up or write it down. It could save your mental energy for something more meaningful.

The audio portion of this episode was produced by Margaret Cirino. The digital story was edited by Malaka Gharib. The visual editor is Beck Harlan. We'd love to hear from you. Leave us a voicemail at 202-216-9823, or email us at [email protected].

Listen to Life Kit on Apple Podcasts  and Spotify , and sign up for our newsletter .

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5 Tips For Memorising Your Essay Before Exams

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Your final exams are looming and along with it comes a million study tasks you really don’t want to face. Practice papers, drafts and essay scaffolds, most of which are mildly bearable at best. But how do you make it through the one soul wrenching, mind numbing task no one likes? I’m talking about memorising essays; a seemingly impossible feat that only a few students will master.

It’s true, memorising hundreds sometimes thousands of words is not easy. But it really doesn’t have to be as tough as you think! There’s a bunch of different methods out there, some work and some don’t. So check out these five tried and tested methods to find which ones work for you

1. Try something different

When you’re knee deep in study and feel like you’re just not making progress, try taking a break and come back with a different approach. Remember that sometimes the weirder ideas work best. Try recording your essay and playing it back to yourself. This is a pretty easy one that doesn’t take all your effort and you can listen to your essay on the bus, while running and when going to sleep. Sure, you might cringe at the sound of your own voice but once you get over the initial disgust it’s not all that bad and it’ll make the words stick in your mind.

2. Read before you sleep

This one is super useful when you’ve left the essay until the night before. Avoid wasting time on memorising it word for word. Instead, read over it a few times and pick up on the key ideas of each paragraph then hit the hay. Studies have shown that when we sleep for as little as 15 minutes after studying, our brains review and relearn the information while sleeping.

Additionally, our neural connections of the topic solidify 50% quicker than without sleeping. The catch is that the work you do before sleeping has to be legit, you have to be focused and alert, not falling asleep. When you wake up you’ll remember these key ideas and ready to pick up the rest a whole lot easier.

3. Read, cover, write, check

Again, this is more of a last minute tactic and rote learning like this doesn’t really work in the long run. If you want to be able remember your essay in three months time then jump down to no. 5.

But the read, cover, write, check method is pretty self explanatory and one you probably used in primary school. Read one sentence, cover it, write it or say it aloud and then check if you were right. Repeat for the following sentences until you’re able to regurgitate your entire essay in order.

4. Use key words

This one is good for cramming a lot of work into a little amount of time. Start by numbering each paragraph, then count how many sentences each paragraph contains. After that, take a look at each sentence and pull out a few trigger words eg. ‘Shakespeare displays this idea by overturning Othello’s loyalty.’ Pull out ‘displays overturning loyalty’. Then work on memorising just these trigger words, that way you can memorise 20 words per paragraph rather than 200.

5. Start early-ish

I know, I know, starting early is super unrealistic and you’ll probably only kick into gear with less than a week till the exam. Just keep in mind that effectively memorising actually takes a fair while. By giving the essay time to stew in your mind, you’ll later be able to recall it without spending hours at a time tediously forcing yourself to pick it up. Try to pump out that essay a few weeks prior to the exam date and give yourself as much time as possible to keep going over it.

by Matilda Reid

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How to Memorize an Essay and Improve Your Overall Knowledge?

Great ways to memorize each word of an essay

How to turn the memorization process into real fun, simple tips on how to learn a substantial essay preparing for an exam, improve your subject knowledge by making notes and doing exercises, what is a mind map, and how to use it for essay learning.

Memory is a valuable tool people use to accumulate knowledge and use it afterward. Memorizing essay unlike a classification essay, is not as difficult as it may seem at first. The main thing is to find a suitable method of memorization and to organize the work in the right way. Want to memorize an essay quickly and effectively to ace tests in a particular area of knowledge? Here are the proven methods of storing information in your memory so that you can use it whenever you need it. Check the helpful tips and tricks to memorize the whole story word by word. Are you stuck in writing your essays and want to pay someone to do my homework ? Entrust your tasks to our professional academic assistance service and get your assignments done by experts!

Everyone will benefit from the ability to keep in mind the critical details of a future presentation or speech. To learn the material quickly, you need to eliminate all external stimuli and create a working environment. For active memorization , it is better to use several channels of perception and to adhere to this algorithm:

  • Read the entire text several times, understand its meaning.
  • Use associations (memorize a picture drawn by the imagination while reading).
  • Divide it into logical parts and make an outline.
  • Write reference words or quotes to the essential points.
  • Retell each part separately, then put all the pieces together.

If you need to learn the story by heart or memorize an essay , you're recommended to do the following:

  • If possible, listen to the audio version based on the printed text.
  • Rewrite each paragraph of the essay several times.
  • Cover the end of sentences and enter the missing words from memory. Reproduce the text actively either orally or in writing. 

Pictograms are a way to replace words and sentences with pictures. It is not necessary to be an artist — the more straightforward and funnier the photos, the better.  Visualization is the most effective way to recollect the knowledge in any area. It is also a great tip on how to focus on school work .

Haven’t you memorized it yet? Make the process as fun as possible using game techniques to remember:

  • Replace part of words with pictures and recreate the full text. Gradually paint overall new words and draw pictures in their place, each time retelling part by part.
  • Make a copy of the text and cut into small pieces. Gather it as a puzzle, simultaneously reading the resulting sentences — the brighter and funnier the font, the better. 

Need to memorize a considerable essay? Just follow the step-by-step guidelines below:

  • Divide it into parts and work with each of them separately.
  • Make a plan or enter the primary data in the table.
  • Repeat the essay regularly, making short breaks.
  • Use multiple channels of perception (for example, visual and auditory ).

Keep in mind that the details are stored in memory automatically if you're interested in the subject. Writing in a clear language is amenable to memorize. Make sure it sounds easy for perception. If not, do your best to make it as simple as possible and clear up all the incomprehensible points.

This method of gaining new knowledge is especially suitable for visuals (those who better perceive information through sight), but anyone can use and increase his/her chances to succeed. The result will be noticeable in any case. Check the ways to memorize an essay:

  • Divide the text into several parts. Work with each area of knowledge separately. 
  • Read the first part, look up unfamiliar terms and phrases.
  • Rewrite some parts 1-2 times.
  • Fill in the individual phrases with the office corrector. Add them from memory. 
  • Check yourself. Rewrite the essay again. 
  • Paint over twice as many fragments as you remember. Fill in the blanks. 
  • Repeat until you can fully reproduce the paragraph.
  •  Put all the pieces together and retell the story. 

If there is very little time to learn a particular area, and you need to memorize everything quickly and finish homework faster , consider the technique of constant repetitions.

  • Write paragraphs on small sheets of paper. It is better to choose bright markers to highlight key ideas in a specific area of knowledge.
  • Hang them around the house: above the kitchen table, in the bathroom, on the mirror in the hallway, on the balcony. 

Visiting these places, or merely passing by, you’ll understand that the eye “catches” the sentence, and knowledge is stored in memory successfully. This method will give a good result and speed up the memorization process.

It is essential to understand the meaning of the essay and understand what you are going to talk. That’s why you should convey everything in your own words.

  • Read the text aloud thoughtfully. Write out unfamiliar terms to improve your knowledge on the subject. 
  • Break the material into logical parts (intro, key thoughts, and facts, ending). 
  • Make a detailed plan for each part. Describe it in the form of short abstracts, quotes, or questions. 
  • Retell a few times, looking at the original if necessary. 
  • Retell the text without looking at the original, and then without using the plan.
  • Strong points in the form of quotations can be distinguished directly in an original way. Highlight them with a pencil.

It is a thought map that allows you to structure the information in any area of knowledge without any difficulties. You're free to depict a map as you wish and retell the story using a map. This technique will be helpful to those who need to learn but not necessarily reproduce it word by word quickly. 

  • Highlight the critical issues in a particular area of knowledge. Write or draw it, circle it.
  • Portray secondary thoughts in the form of branches in any direction. Someone draws to the right and left, someone from top to bottom. There are no restrictions.
  • Get a detailed plan in a convenient format, based on which it will be easy to retell all in your own words.

Those who like to draw can replace sentences with pictures. It will make the process of gaining knowledge more exciting and even help you learn the information better, being confident in your understanding.

Whatever way to study the area of knowledge you choose, it is vital to memorize material consciously. Learning a text by heart is not the goal itself, but just a stage to achieve it. The main thing is to start using the acquired knowledge in speech and writing. To reproduce the gained knowledge, you need to have a clear picture of the article purpose and critical points. Remember: if you lack either time or motivation to prepare for an exam, turn to professionals who know how to boost your knowledge effectively. 

Writing is a skill you will need throughout your academic and business life. Well, unless you will work as a free laborer or engineer, you will have to fill out various forms and prepare documents. In any case, every citizen should be literate. It is the image of the country. That is why high school...

Need to learn how to do homework faster? Go no further if you are one of those students wondering whether the amount of assignments is fair and how to manage your busy schedule successfully. In this blog post, our academic writing experts share insights into how to finish homework tasks until your d...

Are you a parent who wants to encourage his kid to study? Or you are a student who just wants to find out how to do homework effectively. No matter who you are and how hard the homework is. Our homework service made an article that will teach our readers how to make homework fun and deal with it eff...

Art Of Smart Education

How to Memorise HSC English Essays Using Only Key Points

Memorise HSC Essays

When it comes to the HSC, trying to memorise HSC essays can seem almost impossible. With so many to draft, write and memorise, it can feel like you’re staring down an impossible task and asking yourself, ‘How do I memorise an essay?’

We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to memorise HSC essays — and shouldn’t!

What you should be focusing on is using key points , and we’ll guide you through this with our advice on how to smash out awesome essays based on memorised key points when it comes to the HSC.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Why You Shouldn’t Just Memorise HSC Essays The Benefits of Memorising Key Points How to Memorise Key Points

Why Shouldn’t You Just Memorise HSC Essays?

We’re not going to lie, there’s definitely some solid logic behind both sides of the debate on whether or not you should memorise HSC essays.

While we think attempting to memorise an essay is a great way to build up confidence and prepare for your exams, we know it’s not a technique that works for everyone.

With that in mind, let’s check out some of the benefits and drawbacks.

  • Confidence – knowing your essay before you even walk into the exam room reduces any anxiety about not knowing what to write.
  • Preparation – in order to memorise HSC essays you have to study and prepare, so you’ll be setting up good study patterns.
  • Time saver – once you get into the exam you won’t end up spending any of your writing time trying to think up an idea or draft a plan for an essay.
  • Quotes – it’s pretty much a given that you’ll only learn a certain amount of quotes for one essay, so having an essay pre-planned around those quotes avoids any chance of them not suiting what you’re trying to write.
  • Answering the question – many people forget that they have to adapt their planned essay to the actual question, leading to essays that don’t actually suit or answer the question being asked.
  • Memory – learning a whole essay is tough! Taking the time and effort to memorise HSC essays which can be 1000 words just isn’t reasonable for many people.
  • Adapting – if the question asked is even a little different to what you prepared for you’ll be forced to adapt your essay, meaning you have to think fast and change things you’ve already drilled into your head.  

As you can see the pros are pretty awesome, but the cons definitely present some major drawbacks when you try to memorise an essay. So how do you get the best of both worlds?

It’s simple! You don’t memorise HSC essays – just the key points of an essay!

Why Memorise Key Points?

You’re probably wondering why memorising key points is going to be any better than trying to memorise an entire essay – and I get it, I do! I mean, where’s the logic in only learning pieces of a whole, right?

Wrong. Here’s why.

#1: It makes memorising easier

There’s no questioning that it’s easier to remember 16 dot points over a full, 1000 word essay.

The fact that there’s less content to learn will not only make it easier to get the info stuck in your head, it’ll also cut down on the time it takes to do it. Plus it’s way less daunting than trying to remember 3-4 pages of essay.

#2: It makes adapting easier

As mentioned before adapting is important and can be tricky when you’ve memorised a full essay, but if it’s only your key points you have stuck in your brain it’s pretty simple to adapt how you write about them.

It’s just a case of building the essay around the question, using your key points as the bricks and filling in the rest as you go.

#3: You can answer any question

This kinda goes with the last point, but being able to adapt your response easily means you can also make it suit any question.

Again, you’re avoiding the possibility of getting in there and writing something you know back to front, but doesn’t answer the question.

#4: It prevents rote learning

This is less about the essay itself and more about how you learn, but when you get into the habit of memorising an entire  response and just rewriting it in the exam, it creates rote learning.

Rote learning is basically just learning from memory recall and it can be useful, but it’s not the best way to learn to adapt your knowledge (and essay!) to different questions and situations. Just learning key points helps prevent that.

#5: It gives you confidence

Even though you’re not going in there with a full essay planned and memorised you’ll still be entering your exam knowing exactly what you need to know to formulate a strong response.

This will naturally make you feel way more prepared and help avoid any extra panic or anxiety on exam day.

How Do You Memorise Key Points?

Memorising key points is actually pretty simple, much more so than trying to memorise HSC essays!

It’s really just a case of figuring out what the most important elements of your essay, essay plan or analysis are and then studying them.

Follow our simple 5-step formula and you’ll have your key points memorised in no time at all without having to memorise an essay.

Step 1: Write an Essay

Okay, before you come with the pitchforks yelling about how this was supposed to be about key points, hear me out.

In order to know what your key points are, you actually have to have an idea of what you could write for an essay response. And what’s the best way to do that? You got it; write an essay.

The purpose of this section is for you to figure out what themes you want to work with, how you’re going to analyse your texts, what techniques and quotes you’ll use, etc.

The essay you write doesn’t have to be a perfect Band 6, but you want it to have all the features and functions of something you’d hand in to be marked.

Unsure how to write a strong essay? Check out this step by step guide to writing a Band 6 worthy essay here!

You can even use an essay you’ve already written if you don’t feel like writing a new one!

In that situation it’s super important that you go through the essay and edit it. Maybe you got some feedback from your teacher you need to address, or you’ve found some better quotes to use, just make sure it’s up to date and of awesome quality.

Step 2: Pull out TTEA

This is where we start breaking down and figuring out our key points so that we can learn them.

The best and quickest way to do them is by actually printing out your essay (or just grabbing it if it’s hand written) and highlighting anything that fits the TTEA structure.

What is TTEA, you ask?

Theme –  What theme are you talking about and in what way? Technique – What technique are you analysing? Example – What is your quote/textual reference? Analysis – Why does it all matter?

Basically these are the key points you’re pulling out of your essay to start memorising.

You’ll have to go through and highlight these in each body paragraph of your essay in order to figure out just what your key points will be.

If you feel like there are other things you need to include in your key points (e.g. context, comparisons, etc.) feel free to highlight them too.

That said, remember to highlight only the most important elements of your essay – we don’t want to end up with the whole thing coloured in with fluorescent marker.

In the end it will look a little like this (as an example, this paragraph is on Frankenstein ):

Memorise HSC Essays - Frankenstein Para

You’ll notice that in this case there’s also a lot of context in the paragraph, so I’ve gone ahead and highlighted the key parts of that too.

Other paragraph structures that may be useful to know include PEEL , TEEL and STEEL ! You’ll also want to know how to write effective linking sentences for your paragraphs.

Step 3: Study Your Key Points

So now that you’ve gone and highlighted all this stuff what are you going to do with it? Study it!

In order to get your key points into a study-ready format you’ll need to turn the TTEA things you highlighted into a set of super succinct notes.

Dot points are usually the best way to go, and I always found it good to break them up paragraph by paragraph.

This means you should end up with 4-5 dot points* per paragraph , making 16-20 dot points overall – way less than what you’d need to memorise HSC essays in full.

Disclaimer: If you have more than one quote per paragraph (which you definitely should) you can also choose to turn each quote into an individual dot point. I did this for the sake of organisation, making each quote and the techniques it included a single dot point, so this did mean I ended up with a fair few more than 4 dot points per paragraph.

My dot point format often ended up a little something like this:

  • Theme statement
  • Quotes (repeat for each quote, usually 4-5)
  • Analysis point

Yours may follow this same pattern or be totally different, it’s up to your personal preference and what you want your notes to look like.

That all said, each set of notes will end up looking something like this.

Memorise HSC Essays - Petal Frankenstein

These are now your key points!

That means it’s time to start studying them and trying to memorise them for your essay. Most people like to start by just reading over these notes a few times, but that’s definitely not the only or even the most effective way to learn them.

Some of the best techniques for learning your key points include:

  • Flashcards – write your text and theme on the front and the context, quotes, techniques and analysis points on the back. Then only look at the front and try to remember what the back says. If you can remember them all you’re good to go, if not flip the card over and try again!
  • Quizzing – you can quiz yourself just by not looking at the notes and trying to recall them, but giving them to a friend or family member to quiz you is way more fun. Just hand over your key points and have someone else ask you questions about them to see how well you remember them.
  • Re-write them – getting some practical study in is always an awesome way to start memorising things, but it’s especially useful when learning how best to use key points. That means you’re going to want to start writing practice responses!

Step 4: Write a Practice Response

I can hear the indignant screams already; “You said this wasn’t about essays!” “This is the second essay you’ve made me write!”.

I get it, I do, but here’s the thing – if you want to be able to use your key points to effectively write an essay in your exam, you’re going to have to practice it at least once first.

Even though you’re not trying memorise HSC essays, the only way to test how well you can actually utilise your key points for an essay in an exam situation is by doing it. That means grabbing a past paper question and your key point notes, sitting down and getting stuck into it. This way you’re putting your knowledge to practical use as well as teaching yourself how to actually use your key points to develop an essay.

The best way to do it is by giving yourself 5 minutes to create a quick essay plan first. It’s as simple as reading over the question and then jotting down how you’ll fit each of your key themes/texts to the question – the rest should just flow naturally.

Let’s try an example!

Question: Understanding context is essential to understanding a text.

Memorise HSC Essays - Practice Response

Looking at our notes from before we can pretty much just jot down how we might link it to the question. In this case it’s really important that we had that dot point on context, so by drawing on that we’ll be able to build up a really strong essay around it!

how to memorise essay quickly

Pro Tip: If you feel like the question isn’t really suiting your key points you can always twist it by playing devil’s advocate!

I always recommend keeping your notes on hand the first time you try to write your essay based on your key points, just to give that sense of security, but if you feel super confident with your knowledge then give it a try without them!

Step 5: Rinse and Repeat

You know what they say – memory comes through repetition. That means you have to keep doing these things over and over to really get those key ideas stuck in your brain.

While I recommend doing at least a few practice essays (even some timed to make sure you’ll get everything down in the exam time limit) how you choose to study is up to you.

If you’re the read and re-read type or the kind who loves to be quizzed every other night then go with that – it’s all about what works for you!

Just keep practising and before long you’ll know every key point and quote at the drop of a hat. You’ll be ready to write those Band 6 essay responses in no time!

Preparing for the Common Module? Check out our step-by-step guide to HSC English Paper 1 with study tips and tricks!

Now you give it a try!

Remember that the big takeaway from this is that by knowing your key points you’ll be memorising enough information to get you ready for an essay, but the amount of effort you put in is always going to influence your final outcome.

That means that if you write 5 practice essays and study your key points every day for a week you’ll probably get a different end result than if you write your notes out once and then let them collect dust on your desk.

The effort that you put in is the results that you’ll get out, so get out there and start studying those awesome key points instead of trying to memorise an entire essay!

Not sure whether or not to memorise your essay? Check out our article on Memorising vs Improvising Essays !

Looking for some extra help with HSC English?

We have an incredible team of hsc english tutors and mentors.

We can help you master HSC English essay writing and ace your upcoming HSC English assessments with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at one of our state of the art campuses in Hornsby or the Hills!

If you live in other areas of Sydney, we have tutors that can come to you! Get in touch with our Hoxton Park tutoring team or our  Wollongong HSC English tutors !

We’ve supported over 8,000 students over the last 11 years , and on average our students score mark improvements of over 20%!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational HSC English tutor and mentor, get in touch today or give us a ring on 1300 267 888!

Maddison Leach  completed her HSC in 2014, achieving an ATAR of 98.00 and Band 6 in all her subjects. Having tutored privately for two years before joining Art of Smart, she enjoys helping students through the academic and other aspects of school life, even though it sometimes makes her feel old. Maddison has had a passion for writing since her early teens, having had several short stories published before joining the world of blogging. She’s currently deferring her studies until she starts her Bachelor of Communication at UTS in the spring.

  • Topics: 📚 Study , ✏️ English

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  • How to Write a College Essay Fast | Tips & Examples

How to Write a College Essay Fast | Tips & Examples

Published on November 5, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on December 8, 2023.

Table of contents

Organize: set yourself deadlines with breaks, brainstorm: your values and related stories, outline: choose a montage or narrative essay structure, write: be specific, personal, and unique, revise: content, clarity, and grammar, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

Whether you have hours, days, or weeks, set deadlines for yourself with built-in breaks. In general, you should divide your time accordingly:

  • 10% brainstorming
  • 10% outlining
  • 40% writing
  • 30% revising
  • 10% taking breaks between stages

If you have a few hours …

Brainstorming 15–30 minutes
Outlining 15–30 minutes
Writing 2–3 hours
Revising 1–2 hours

If you have a few days …

Brainstorming Day 1
Outlining Day 1
Writing Days 1, 2, and 3
Revising Days 2 and 3

If you have a week …

Brainstorming Days 1 and 2
Outlining Days 1 and 2
Writing Days 2–5
Revising Days 6–7

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

To brainstorm your topic fast, start by doing the following exercises.

Questions Example brainstorm
Top 5 things I want colleges to know about me
My top 5 core identities
related to my personality and character
3 things that make me different from other applicants
5 meaningful life moments from the past 3–4 years
If you already have a prompt, brainstorm 3–5 stories that relate to your prompt. prompt #1: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Choose the stories that have the most compelling value or narrative. Make sure these stories are:

  • Meaningful to you
  • Specific (not a broad summary of your life)
  • Unique to you (another student couldn’t replicate it)

If you have a single story that showcases how you overcame a challenge or chronicles your personal growth over time, you should use a narrative structure . This type of essay tells a story, usually in chronological order. If you have very limited time, this structure is easier.

If there’s a common theme among several of your stories, you could use a montage structure , which strings together several stories (for example, to showcase different aspects of your identity). If you have more than a few hours to work on your essay, you may want to try out this structure.

To make your essay stand out , write your story in a way that no other student can replicate. As you write, keep these tips in mind:

  • Zoom in on specific moments rather than summarizing a long period of time.
  • Be vulnerable and share your honest feelings and thoughts.
  • Use your authentic voice and an appropriate tone .
  • Keep the focus on you, not another person.
  • Describe sensory details to create vivid scenes.

Make sure to build in enough time to revise your essay . Ideally, you should aim for three rounds of revision to check for content, clarity, and grammar.

If you don’t have time to fix everything, focus on making sure your writing is clear and grammatically correct. You can do this with the help of a grammar checker and paraphrasing tool . If you want to check your entire document at once, you can use an essay checker .

In your first reading, focus on content:

  • Does it answer the prompt?
  • Does it focus on me, not someone else?
  • Does it have a clear and well-structured narrative?
  • Do my stories “show, not tell”?

In your second reading, focus on clarity and flow:

  • Is my essay easy to read?
  • Are my word choice and tone conversational but respectful?
  • Do I have a good mixture of complex and simple sentence structures?

In your third reading, focus on grammar and punctuation:

  • Is my writing grammatically correct?
  • If I bend language rules, is it clear that it’s intentional and not a mistake?

If you have time, get help from an essay coach or editor; they’ll have specialized knowledge of college admissions essays and be able to give objective expert feedback. Scribbr essay editors can help you revise your essay in 12 hours or less.

Meeting the word count

If your college essay goes over the word count limit , cut any sentences with tangents or irrelevant details. Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay. Scribbr’s essay editors can also help reduce your word count by up to 25%.

If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Academic writing

  • Writing process
  • Transition words
  • Passive voice
  • Paraphrasing

 Communication

  • How to end an email
  • Ms, mrs, miss
  • How to start an email
  • I hope this email finds you well
  • Hope you are doing well

 Parts of speech

  • Personal pronouns
  • Conjunctions

If you’ve got to write your college essay fast , don’t panic. First, set yourself deadlines: you should spend about 10% of your remaining time on brainstorming, 10% on outlining, 40% writing, 30% revising, and 10% taking breaks in between stages.

Second, brainstorm stories and values based on your essay prompt.

Third, outline your essay based on the montage or narrative essay structure .

Fourth, write specific, personal, and unique stories that would be hard for other students to replicate.

Fifth, revise your essay and make sure it’s clearly written.

Last, if possible, get feedback from an essay coach . Scribbr essay editors can help you revise your essay in 12 hours or less.

If your college essay goes over the word count limit , cut any sentences with tangents or irrelevant details. Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay.

When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding your message and content. Then, check for flow, tone, style , and clarity. Finally, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Courault, K. (2023, December 08). How to Write a College Essay Fast | Tips & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/college-essay/write-essay-fast/

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How to Structure an Essay

essay structure

Essay writing is a fundamental skill, a basic task, that is expected of those who choose to pursue their undergraduate and master’s degrees. It constitutes a key requirement for students to complete a given course credit. However, many students and early career researchers find themselves struggling with the challenge of organizing their thoughts into a coherent, engaging structure. This article is especially for those who see essay writing as a daunting task and face problems in presenting their work in an impactful way.  

Table of Contents

  • Writing an essay: basic elements and some key principles  
  • Essay structure template 
  • Chronological structure 
  • Problem-methods-solutions structure 
  • Compare and contrast structures 
  • Frequently asked questions on essay structure 

Read on as we delve into the basic elements of essay writing, outline key principles for organizing information, and cover some foundational features of writing essays.  

Writing an essay: basic elements and some key principles

Essays are written in a flowing and continuous pattern but with a structure of its own. An introduction, body and conclusion are integral to it. The key is to balance the amount and kind of information to be presented in each part. Various disciplines may have their own conventions or guidelines on the information to be provided in the introduction.  

A clear articulation of the context and background of the study is important, as is the definition of key terms and an outline of specific models or theories used. Readers also need to know the significance of the study and its implications for further research. Most importantly, the thesis or the main proposition should be clearly presented.  

The body of the essay is therefore organized into paragraphs that hold the main ideas and arguments and is presented and analyzed in a logical manner. Ideally, each paragraph of the body focuses on one main point or a distinct topic and must be supported by evidence and analysis. The concluding paragraph should bring back to the reader the key arguments, its significance and food for thought. It is best not to re-state all the points of the essay or introduce a new concept here. 

In other words, certain general guidelines help structure the information in the essay. The information must flow logically with the context or the background information presented in the introductory part of the essay. The arguments are built organically where each paragraph in the body of the essay deals with a different point, yet closely linked to the para preceding and following it. Importantly, when writing essays, early career researchers must be careful in ensuring that each piece of information relates to the main thesis and is a building block to the arguments. 

Essay structure template

  • Introduction 
  • Provide the context and share significance of the study 
  • Clearly articulate the thesis statement 
  • Body  
  • Paragraph 1 consisting of the first main point, followed by supporting evidence and an analysis of the findings. Transitional words and phrases can be used to move to the next main point. 
  • There can be as many paragraphs with the above-mentioned elements as there are points and arguments to support your thesis. 
  • Conclusion  
  • Bring in key ideas and discuss their significance and relevance 
  • Call for action 
  • References 

Essay structures

The structure of an essay can be determined by the kind of essay that is required.  

Chronological structure

Also known as the cause-and-effect approach, this is a straightforward way to structure an essay. In such essays, events are discussed sequentially, as they occurred from the earliest to the latest. A chronological structure is useful for discussing a series of events or processes such as historical analyses or narratives of events. The introduction should have the topic sentence. The body of the essay should follow a chorological progression with each para discussing a major aspect of that event with supporting evidence. It ends with a summarizing of the results of the events.  

Problem-methods-solutions structure

Where the essay focuses on a specific problem, the problem-methods-solutions structure can be used to organize the essay. This structure is ideal for essays that address complex issues. It starts with presenting the problem, the context, and thesis statement as introduction to the essay. The major part of the discussion which forms the body of the essay focuses on stating the problem and its significance, the author’s approach or methods adopted to address the problem along with its relevance, and accordingly proposing solution(s) to the identified problem. The concluding part offers a recap of the research problem, methods, and proposed solutions, emphasizing their significance and potential impact. 

Compare and contrast structures

This structure of essay writing is ideally used when two or more key subjects require a comparison of ideas, theories, or phenomena. The three crucial elements, introduction, body, and conclusion, remain the same. The introduction presents the context and the thesis statement. The body of the essay seeks to focus on and highlight differences between the subjects, supported by evidence and analysis. The conclusion is used to summarize the key points of comparison and contrast, offering insights into the significance of the analysis.  

Depending on how the subjects will be discussed, the body of the essay can be organized according to the block method or the alternating method. In the block method, one para discusses one subject and the next para the other subject. In the alternative method, both subjects are discussed in one para based on a particular topic or issue followed by the next para on another issue and so on.  

Frequently asked questions on essay structure

An essay structure serves as a framework for presenting ideas coherently and logically. It comprises three crucial elements: an introduction that communicates the context, topic, and thesis statement; the body focusing on the main points and arguments supported with appropriate evidence followed by its analysis; and a conclusion that ties together the main points and its importance .  

An essay structure well-defined essay structure enhances clarity, coherence, and readability, and is crucial for organizing ideas and arguments to effectively communicate key aspects of a chosen topic. It allows readers to better understand arguments presented and demonstrates the author’s ability to organize and present information systematically. 

Yes, while expert recommend following an essay structure, early career researchers may choose how best to adapt standard essay structures to communicate and share their research in an impactful and engaging way. However, do keep in mind that deviating too far from established structures can hinder comprehension and weaken the overall effectiveness of the essay,  By understanding the basic elements of essay writing and employing appropriate structures such as chronological, problem-methods-solutions, or compare and contrast, researchers can effectively organize their ideas and communicate their findings with clarity and precision. 

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College essays that worked and how yours can too.

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CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - JULY 08: A view of Harvard Yard on the campus of Harvard University on ... [+] July 08, 2020 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have sued the Trump administration for its decision to strip international college students of their visas if all of their courses are held online. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The college essay is a pivotal piece of the college application showcasing your individuality and differentiated outlook to admissions officers. What makes an essay truly shine? Let’s dive into the words behind three standout essays highlighted by university websites and a school newspaper's brand studio so you can get into the right mindset for crafting your own narrative.

Embracing Differences: Finding Strength In Uniqueness

Essay Excerpt: ‘Bra Shopping ’ (Harvard)

Featured by the Harvard Crimson Brand Studio , Orlee's essay recounts a student's humorous and insightful experience of bra shopping with her grandmother, weaving in her unique family dynamics and challenges at her prestigious school.

What Works:

  • Humor and Honesty: The student's humor makes the essay enjoyable to read, while her honesty about her challenges adds depth.
  • Self-Awareness: She demonstrates a strong sense of self-awareness, embracing her uniqueness rather than trying to fit in.
  • Resilience: Her narrative highlights resilience and the ability to find strength in differences.

For Your Essay : To write an essay that embraces your uniqueness, start by identifying a quirky or challenging experience that reflects who a key insight into your experience. Think about how this experience has shaped your perspective and character. Use humor and honesty to bring your story to life, and focus on how you have embraced your differences to become stronger and more resilient.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of 2024

Best 5% interest savings accounts of 2024, finding connections: humor and self-reflection.

Essay: ‘Brood X Cicadas ’ (Hamilton College)

As an example on Hamilton's admissions website, Nicholas writes about the cicadas swarming his hometown every 17 years and draws a parallel between their emergence and his own transition to college life. He uses humor and self-reflection to create a relatable and engaging narrative.

  • Humor: Nicholas uses humor to make his essay entertaining and memorable. His witty comparisons between himself and cicadas add a unique twist.
  • Self-Reflection: By comparing his life to the cicadas’, he reflects on his own growth and readiness for change.
  • Relatability: His narrative about facing new experiences and challenges resonates with readers who have undergone similar transitions.

For Your Essay: To infuse humor and self-reflection into your essay, start by identifying an ordinary experience or object and think about how it relates to your life. Write down funny or insightful observations about this connection. Use humor to make your essay more engaging, but ensure it still conveys meaningful self-reflection. This balance can make your essay both entertaining and profound.

Persistence and Multicultural Identity: Life Lessons From Tortilla Making

Essay: ‘ Facing The Hot Griddle ’ (Johns Hopkins University)

In this essay published by Hopkins Insider, Rocio uses the process of making tortillas to explore her multicultural identity and the challenges she has faced. Her story beautifully weaves together her Guatemalan heritage and her experiences growing up in the United States.

  • Metaphor and Symbolism: The process of making tortillas becomes a powerful metaphor for the student’s journey and struggles. The symbolism of the masa harina and water mixing parallels her blending of cultural identities.
  • Personal Growth: The essay highlights her perseverance and adaptability, qualities that are crucial for success in college.
  • Cultural Insight: She provides a rich, personal insight into her multicultural background, making her story unique and compelling.

For Your Essay: To write an essay that explores your identity through a metaphor, start by thinking about an activity or tradition that holds significant meaning for you. Consider how this activity relates to your life experiences and personal growth. Use detailed descriptions to bring the activity to life and draw connections between the process and your own journey. Reflect on the lessons you've learned and how they've shaped your identity.

A winning college essay isn’t simply about parading your best accomplishment or dramatizing your challenges. It’s not a contest for which student is the most original or entertaining. Rather, the essay is a chance for you to showcase your authenticity, passion, resilience, social awareness, and intellectual vitality . By sharing genuine stories and insights, you can create an essay that resonates with admissions committees and highlights your unique qualities.

For you to have the best possible essay, mindset is key. Here’s how to get into the zone:

  • Reflect Deeply: Spend time thinking about your experiences, challenges, and passions. Journaling can help you uncover deep insights.
  • Discuss and Share: Talking about your stories with friends, family, or mentors can provide new perspectives and emotional clarity.
  • Immerse Yourself: Engage in activities that you are passionate about to reignite the feelings and memories associated with them.
  • Draft Freely: Don’t worry about perfection on the first try. Write freely and honestly, then refine your narrative.

The secret to a standout college essay lies in its authenticity, depth, and emotional resonance. By learning from these successful examples and getting into the right mindset, you can craft an essay that not only stands out but also provides a meaningful insight into who you are. Remember, your essay is your story—make it a piece of writing that you will always be proud of.

Dr. Aviva Legatt

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Humans may soon live to be 1000 years old, says renowned scientist

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UNDATED (WKRC) - A renowned scientist claims humans may soon live to be around 1,000 years old.

According to BGR, futurist Raymon Kurzweil believes he has found a way to extend the life of a human for thousands of years. Per the outlet, citing Kurzweil's new book, nanorobots may be the key to slowing the aging process and extending human life.

Experts have raised concerns about extending the life of humans for thousands of years. It has not deterred acclaimed scientists from researching new anti-aging therapies, however, which continues to be a common focus of their research, per BGR.

Unlike many scientists who seek only to slow the deterioration of the body, Kurzweil wishes to use nanotechnology to "cure aging itself," according to the outlet.

In his new book, entitled The Singularity is Nearer , and in an essay published in Wired , Kurzweil explores the idea of blending biotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI) to help overcome the aging process.

According to BGR, as cells reproduce over the years, they accumulate errors, which result in aging. Anti-aging therapies aim to reduce the number of errors, which allows the body to repair itself more quickly.

Per BGR, Kurzweil understands that his projections may sound absurd in our current day, but said he believes advancements in medical nanorobots will soon cure aging across the board.

According to the outlet, a single human body might require several hundred-billion nanobots to repair and augment degrading organs to assure their function remains in peak condition.

how to memorise essay quickly

how to memorise essay quickly

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Discover the power of Copilot in Dynamics 365 Project Operations for faster time entry

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In today’s rapidly evolving service landscape, organizations must manage their entire operations lifecycle efficiently—from initial client interaction to final service delivery and profitability. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations stands out as the comprehensive solution designed to meet the unique needs of service-centric organizations. It seamlessly integrates service-based operations, from sales and project management to resource allocation and financials, ensuring a smooth journey from prospect to profit.

Dynamics 365 Project Operations: Connect your service-centric organization, effortlessly 

For service-centric businesses, managing operational complexities requires a robust platform that provides end-to-end visibility and control over the entire service lifecycle. Dynamics 365 Project Operations is engineered to fulfill this need. It brings together crucial functions into a single, connected solution, including deal management, project delivery, financials, resource planning, and customer engagement.

With Dynamics 365 Project Operations, service organizations can:

  • Enhance client engagement : Manage customer relationships effectively from initial prospecting to project delivery, ensuring consistent and personalized client experiences.
  • Streamline project execution : Coordinate and manage complex service delivery processes, ensuring projects are delivered on time, within scope, and on budget.
  • Optimize resource allocation : Allocate resources efficiently, balancing demand and capacity to maximize productivity and reduce costs.
  • Boost financial performance : Gain deep financial insights to manage project profitability, from budgeting and forecasting to billing and revenue recognition.
  • Facilitate collaboration : Connect teams across geographies and functions, fostering collaboration and ensuring access to real-time data and insights.

The crucial role of time tracking

Accurate time tracking is a cornerstone of operational efficiency for service-centric organizations. It directly influences key aspects such as billing, project costing, and overall profitability. Delays or inaccuracies in time entry can ripple through the organization, leading to postponed invoicing, misalignment in project cost tracking, and ultimately, a negative impact on profit margins. Ensuring that time entries are precise and timely is not just a matter of administrative accuracy; it’s a critical factor in maintaining financial health and operational integrity.

Recognizing the importance of efficient time management, Microsoft has introduced a groundbreaking feature within Dynamics 365 Project Operations that aims to revolutionize how service organizations handle time entry.

Introducing Copilot in time entry: Elevating efficiency and accuracy

To address the complexities and challenges associated with time tracking, Dynamics 365 Project Operations now includes a time entry feature, equipped with Microsoft Copilot abilities. This AI-powered assistant is designed to simplify and enhance the time entry process, making it more intuitive, accurate, and less burdensome for employees.

Copilot in time entry

Simplify the time entry experience and reduce steps for project team members

Revolutionizing time entry with AI

Traditional time entry can be a significant pain point for service organizations. It often involves manual, time-consuming processes prone to errors and inaccuracies. This not only affects financial accuracy but also disrupts project management and resource planning.

Copilot in time entry addresses these challenges by offering an intelligent, AI-driven solution that simplifies the entire process. Here’s how it revolutionizes time entry for service-centric operations:

  • Intelligent suggestions : Copilot uses AI to provide intelligent time entry based on projects and tasks, making it easier to capture time accurately.
  • Context-aware assistance : It offers contextual recommendations, allowing users to input detailed and precise time entries without having to recall every task manually.
  • Streamlined process : By automating repetitive and administrative aspects of time tracking, Copilot frees up employees to focus on higher-value tasks.
  • Reduced errors : The system’s automated checks and suggestions help minimize errors, ensuring that time entries are accurate and compliant with project requirements.

Business outcomes and benefits for service-centric organizations

The Copilot in time entry feature is a game-changer for service-centric organizations, delivering substantial benefits that enhance operational efficiency and financial performance:

  • Boosted productivity and efficiency : By simplifying the time entry process, Copilot allows employees to save time and focus more on delivering high-quality service to clients. This boost in productivity translates into better project outcomes and increased client satisfaction.
  • Enhanced accuracy and compliance : Automated, AI-driven time entries can lead to greater accuracy, reducing the likelihood of discrepancies and errors. This leads to more precise billing, better compliance with contractual terms, and improved financial tracking.
  • Increased employee satisfaction : By reducing the administrative burden associated with time tracking, Copilot improves employee satisfaction. This allows them to concentrate on their core responsibilities, enhancing their engagement and performance.
  • Actionable insights for strategic decision-making : Reliable time tracking data provides valuable insights into resource utilization, project costs, and operational efficiency. This empowers service organizations to make more informed decisions, optimize their processes, and drive strategic growth.

Embracing the future of service operations

The introduction of Copilot in time entry to Dynamics 365 Project Operations highlights Microsoft’s commitment to innovating and enhancing service-centric operations. It showcases how AI can be harnessed to streamline complex processes, reduce administrative overhead, and improve overall efficiency.

For service-centric organizations, Dynamics 365 Project Operations, enriched with Copilot capabilities, is the key to managing the entire lifecycle effectively—from initial client engagement to project completion and beyond. By adopting these advanced tools, businesses can enhance their operational excellence, boost financial performance, and sustain a competitive edge in a rapidly changing market.

Discover how Copilot in time entry can revolutionize your service operations. Learn more about Dynamics 365 Project Operations and explore the transformative potential of AI-driven time tracking by visiting Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations .

Rupa Mantravadi

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How to Memorize Quickly

Last Updated: June 24, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed. . Alexander Ruiz is an Educational Consultant and the Educational Director of Link Educational Institute, a tutoring business based in Claremont, California that provides customizable educational plans, subject and test prep tutoring, and college application consulting. With over a decade and a half of experience in the education industry, Alexander coaches students to increase their self-awareness and emotional intelligence while achieving skills and the goal of achieving skills and higher education. He holds a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Education from Georgia Southern University. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,031,260 times.

Memorizing quickly is an important talent to have. Whether for school, work or simply to improve yourself, exercising your memory adds to your capabilities as a person and helps to keep your brain healthy. The art of memorization is ancient and history is filled with clever ways of committing things to memory. By applying modern psychology, these approaches to memorization can be divided into five core methods.

Things You Should Know

  • Try rote memorization; make a list of everything you need to know and repeat them until they’re committed to memory.
  • Follow the chunking method, which involves organizing information into groups or categories and memorizing piece by piece. [1] X Research source
  • Chain items into a single sentence made of everything you need to know or use mnemonics to create a key sentence representing what you have to memorize.
  • Memorize through association by creating an imaginary journey or walk-through to associate with the facts you need to remember.

Memorizing through Association

Step 1 Understand how the associative method works.

  • Memories that are easy to split up and spatially organize are best suited for the associative method - things like the stanzas of a poem, components of a machine or the procedure for cooking eggs.
  • Memories that can't be divided up are less well-suited - like the basic idea of Abstract Expressionist painting, the history of the War of the Roses or remembering how to ask someone out.

Step 3 Imagine a set of second memories and associate them with what you have to remember.

  • For this reason, if you have a list of discrete items that don't fit together in any way, it'll be harder to shape your second "key" memories. For our example, we'll simply imagine being a tiny little man walking around inside a 1911 slide.

Step 4 Rehearse walking through or traversing your mental map and bringing up what you have to memorize.

  • " First we'll encounter the barrel bushing, and inside it, I can see the barrel poking out. Behind the barrel and the breech face as we walk further back I'll see a tiny hole through which I can see the firing pin, and to its left will be the extractor against the side of the slide; when I make it to the very back, I'll reach the hammer stop. "

Step 5 Practice traversing and exploring your mental map.

Rote Memorization

Step 1 Know that rote memorization is better for some types of memory than other types.

  • Rote memorization is very good for manual tasks and short lists of items like a shopping list, starting a car, or ironing a shirt.
  • Rote memorization is not very good for memorizing a large number of separate items or single complex ideas like the elements of the periodic table from left to right, the idea of dialectical materialism, or the components of a car engine. [5] X Research source

Step 2 Make a list of what you need to memorize.

  • At first you'll get a lot wrong - don't get frustrated! This is just your brain getting used to the work. Keep at it, and within a few minutes, you'll be able to remember everything you've memorized.

Step 1 Know what chunking is good for.

  • If you've ever memorized a phone number, you might have noticed the way we write them - they're set up to be chunk-memorized. For instance, the White House phone number, (202) 456-1111 is easier to remember as three numbers - 202, 456 and 1111 - than it is to remember as a single complex number, 2,024,561,111.
  • Chunking isn't a great strategy for big, complex things and concepts that don't break down into parts easily. For example, it's not easy to figure out what "memorizable" chunks would be for memorizing the concept of civil rights, the definition of nationhood or a list of similar phone numbers. [8] X Research source

Step 2 Divide what you have to memorize into smaller, easier-to-memorize pieces.

Chaining Items into a Sentence or Concept

Step 1 Understand what chaining is good for.

  • Chaining is great for a limited number of items in an arbitrary list without any seeming relation to each other (for instance, the list tree, bird, keyboard, bottle ). It's hard to apply a strategy like chunking because there aren't any real categories to break stuff down.

Step 2 Make a sentence or image composed of all the items you have to memorize.

  • Peanut butter and espresso bean sandwich wrapped in ethernet cable with a screwdriver going through it.

Step 3 Repeat and memorize your sentence or image then practice producing the items you've memorized from your sentence or image.

  • Peanut butter and espresso bean sandwich wrapped in ethernet cable with a screwdriver going through it = peanut butter, espresso beans, bread, ethernet cable, screwdriver bit

Using Mnemonics

Step 1 Understand what mnemonics are.

Expert Q&A

Ted Coopersmith, MBA

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  • ↑ https://psychcentral.com/lib/memory-and-mnemonic-devices
  • ↑ Ted Coopersmith, MBA. Academic Tutor. Expert Interview. 10 July 2020.
  • ↑ https://blog.penningtonpublishing.com/spelling_vocabulary/how-to-memorize-using-the-association-technique/
  • ↑ https://resilienteducator.com/classroom-resources/what-is-rote-learning/
  • ↑ https://www.brainscape.com/blog/2011/04/rote-memorization-important/
  • ↑ Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.. Educational Consultant. Expert Interview. 18 June 2020.
  • ↑ http://thepeakperformancecenter.com/educational-learning/thinking/chunking/chunking-as-a-learning-strategy/
  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/enhancing-your-memory/
  • ↑ https://www.sciencebuddies.org/stem-activities/dont-forget-a-memorization-exploration
  • ↑ https://psychcentral.com/lib/memory-and-mnemonic-devices/

About This Article

Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.

If you want to get better at memorizing information quickly, make a list of the things you need to memorize, then read that list several times. Try covering part or all of the list with a piece of paper until you can recite the whole thing without looking. If you have a lot of information, try breaking it up into smaller chunks, then memorizing each chunk one at a time. To learn how to create a sentence out of the items you’re memorizing, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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  2. How to Memorise Your Essays Quickly

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COMMENTS

  1. 3 Ways to Memorize an Essay

    Learning Each Part of the Essay. Download Article. 1. Make a schedule. Plan out how long you have to memorize the essay. If you have more time, you can study a little each day for 20 or 30 minutes. If you only have a day or 2, you can memorize it in 30-minute chunks with a break of an hour or 2 in between. [1] 2.

  2. How to Memorise Long Text in the Shortest Amount of Time Possible

    3. Combine the first chunk with the second chunk. Once you have a handle on your chunks, it's time to put them together so you can eventually memorize the whole text. Start with the first text and try to recite it from memory. But this time, instead of stopping with the first chunk, move on to the second chunk.

  3. How to memorise essays and long responses

    So when it comes to memorising the whole thing, it's a lot easier to break the answer down into logical chunks and work on memorising it bit by bit. So if you want to memorise your Discovery Essay, you might have something like this: Introduction. Theme 1 with the assigned text. Theme 1 with the related text. Theme 2 with the assigned text.

  4. Ultimate Guide to Writing an Essay: Tips and Tricks

    Here are some tips to help you select the perfect topic for your essay: 1. Consider Your Interests. Choose a topic that you are passionate about or interested in. Writing about something you enjoy will make the process more enjoyable and your enthusiasm will come through in your writing. 2.

  5. How to revise effectively in just one day

    Apply the previous steps to every topic until you have everything covered. Learning to revise quickly is really just a simple process of writing, condensing, taking a break, reviewing and then moving on to the next topic. Easy peasy. Aim to have all your material covered by 10pm at the very latest - you need to sleep!

  6. How to Memorise Your Essays Quickly

    Find out the best tips for memorising your HSC English essays as Jonny answers student questions in a live workshop. For our specialised HSC resources, pleas...

  7. How to memorise English Essays effectively and adapt them to ANY question

    What you should be doing. Step 1. Form opinions and ideas about the text. First is to actually have a thorough understanding of the text you are studying. Most importantly you need to be able to formulate original arguments and opinions regarding the essay. I recommend starting by finding three practice essay questions and just having a think ...

  8. how to memorise essays in less than a day

    Re: how to memorise essays in less than a day. What I do to memorise essays is to read it out first, then look away from the paper and recall what you just read. Do this a few times until you've remembered most of it. If you want do it paragraph by paragraph and then rewrite the paragraph without looking at your paper.

  9. Memorizer (Memorization Tool)

    You learn best by hearing, seeing, or doing, so find out what type of learner you are and have matching memorization techniques.. In addition, ask people who know you well and/or are familiar with memorizing (teachers, actors, etc.) to help you out. Make sure to experiment - the only way to find out how you memorize best is by trying to memorize in different ways.

  10. BEST Memorisation Techniques For Exams: The Secret Science Of How To

    Here are some of my favourite retrieval practice based memorisation techniques for exams and tests you can start using today: Write what you know from memory on a blank sheet: a plain sheet of paper is a very under-rated study tool! Put your books away, then scribble down everything you can remember about a topic.

  11. How to Memorise Paragraphs: 7 Steps (with Pictures)

    Read only the first phrase, slowly, three times whilst reading it on the script. [3] 4. Then without looking at the script, try to repeat it again. [4] 5. Now, read the first and second phrase out loud slowly, whilst reading them on the paper. 6. Read them without using your script.

  12. How To Memorise An Essay ! 1000+ words

    Note: British/Australian spelling of memorize is "memorise" In this short film, Shay shares his top 3 study tips in regards to memorising lots of information...

  13. How To Study: The Essay Memorisation Framework

    2. The Memorisation Stage. Objective of committing all of these essay plans to memory by systematically using active recall, spaced repetition, spider diagrams and flashcards. The idea is that, by using these two stages, by the time the exams arrive you'll have memorised so many essay plans that they will either come up in the exam or the ...

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    This tip on how to memorise/memorize (depending on where you are) essays is one that I found to be very useful during high school. E... **OPEN ME**Hey everyone!

  15. Forgetful? Try these science-backed techniques to improve your memory : NPR

    Our brains love to remember anything that's "meaningful, emotional, surprising or new," says Genova. So the more details you can give your brain to latch onto, the stronger that a memory becomes ...

  16. 5 Tips For Memorising Your Essay Before Exams

    3. Read, cover, write, check. Again, this is more of a last minute tactic and rote learning like this doesn't really work in the long run. If you want to be able remember your essay in three months time then jump down to no. 5. But the read, cover, write, check method is pretty self explanatory and one you probably used in primary school.

  17. How to Memorize an Essay and Improve Your Overall Knowledge?

    This method will give a good result and speed up the memorization process. Method 3: It is essential to understand the meaning of the essay and understand what you are going to talk. That's why you should convey everything in your own words. Read the text aloud thoughtfully.

  18. How to Memorise HSC English Essays Using Only Key Points

    Step 2: Pull out TTEA. This is where we start breaking down and figuring out our key points so that we can learn them. The best and quickest way to do them is by actually printing out your essay (or just grabbing it if it's hand written) and highlighting anything that fits the TTEA structure.

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    To make your essay stand out, write your story in a way that no other student can replicate. As you write, keep these tips in mind: Zoom in on specific moments rather than summarizing a long period of time. Be vulnerable and share your honest feelings and thoughts. Use your authentic voice and an appropriate tone.

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    1. Take 15 minutes to write the essay. Now that you have your thesis statement and your outline, focus on composing content for each part of the essay. [7] Try to spend two to three minutes on each body paragraph. Then, take three minutes on your conclusion paragraph and go back to your introduction.

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    Hi guys, welcome to the Academic Hacker!! Today, I'll be going through with you guys the best way to memorise essays in one day more quickly and effectively ...

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    1. What is an essay structure? An essay structure serves as a framework for presenting ideas coherently and logically. It comprises three crucial elements: an introduction that communicates the context, topic, and thesis statement; the body focusing on the main points and arguments supported with appropriate evidence followed by its analysis; and a conclusion that ties together the main points ...

  25. Proofreading abbreviations and what they mean

    Learn about 25 different proofreading abbreviations and what they mean to edit and revise your work quickly. ... whether you're reviewing someone's essay or analyzing feedback on your own writing. Utilize these twenty-four proofreading marks for swift revisions and enhance the quality of your writing.

  26. College Essays That Worked And How Yours Can Too

    Humor and Honesty: The student's humor makes the essay enjoyable to read, while her honesty about her challenges adds depth. Self-Awareness: She demonstrates a strong sense of self-awareness ...

  27. Humans may soon live to be 1000 years old, says renowned scientist

    In his new book, entitled The Singularity is Nearer, and in an essay published in Wired, Kurzweil explores the idea of blending biotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI) to help overcome the ...

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  29. Discover the power of Copilot in Dynamics 365 Project Operations for

    Enabling fast, flexible, cost-effective service with Microsoft Copilot in Dynamics 365 Field Service Get started with Dynamics 365 Drive more efficiency, reduce costs, and create a hyperconnected business that links people, data, and processes across your organization—enabling every team to quickly adapt and innovate.

  30. 5 Ways to Memorize Quickly

    3. Repeat and memorize your sentence or image then practice producing the items you've memorized from your sentence or image. You'll use your sentence or image as a key that will bring up what you've memorized. Peanut butter and espresso bean sandwich wrapped in ethernet cable with a screwdriver going through it. =.