Mnemonic Devices (Memory Aids)








Try these strategies


1.  Acronym: One word. The letters help you remember the terms. Example BRASS = breathe, relax, aim, sight, squeeze         How to shoot a rifle.

2.  Acrostic: an invented sentence where the first letter of each word is a cue to an idea. Example: G-Clef in music Every Good Boy Does Fine or Every Good Burger Deserves Fries

3.       Rhyme-Keys:  a 2-step memory process:  1. Memorize key words that can be associated with numbers (one-bun) 2. Create an image of the items you need to remember the key words ( A bun (one) with cheese on it will remind me of dairy products)

4.       Loci Method:  Imagine placing the items you want to remember in specific locations in a room with which you are familiar.  Example: To remember Presidents: Place a dollar bill on the door( Washington).  Walk into the room and see Jefferson reclining on a sofa and Nixon eating out or the refrigerator.

5.       Keyword Method:  Select the foreign words you need to remember , then identify an English word that sounds like the foreign word.  Now imagine an image that involves the key word with the English meaning of the foreign word.  Example:  In Spanish, the word “cabina” means phone booth.  When you see the word “cabina,” you should be able to recall this image and thereby retrieve the meaning “phone booth.”

6.       Image-Name Technique: Invent a relationship between the name and the physical characteristic of the person. Example:  Shirley Temple- her curly (rhymes with    “Shirley’) hair around her temples

7.       Remembering Telephone Numbers: Match the number to the corresponding letter that you would find on your telephone keypad.  For example: 667-6337 could be Mopoffs  

8.       Chaining: Create a story where each word or idea you have to remember will cue the next idea you need to recall.  Example:  Napoleon, ear, door, Germany: Story: Napoleon had his ear to the door to listen to Germans in his beer cellar.  A modified method may also be used.  Try this technique with the list of the most populated U.S. cities found below. For example:

  Albuquerque sound like turkey.  Imagine the turkey drinking an orange Fanta (Atlanta) …etc.