Elaborative essay: a better way to memorize (2023)

Elaborative writing is a way to memorize information more efficiently and keep it in mind.long-term memory. This memory method combines already known information with new information.

Research has found that when you make connections between what you're trying to learn and what you already know, your brain processes the new information more deeply.

This article explains how tentative elaboration can be used as a memorization aid and how it compares to tentative retention, another method of memorization.

Elaborative essay: a better way to memorize (1)

What is the long essay?

Long-term memories are those that range from days to decades. The short-term memory, on the other hand, includes those from a few seconds to a few days.

There are two types of memory training: nurturing and elaboration. Both involve repetition to move new information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. However, each type of essay works differently.

Maintenance rehearsal is the direct repetition of information in order to memorize it. This type of test is also calledmemory test. This type of rehearsal can be mental, where you think and repeat the information in your head. It can also be verbal, where you speak and repeat the information out loud.

Repeating the digits of a phone number until dialed is an example of a maintenance test.

The elaboration test is more complex than the retention test. Use different coding strategies to link new information to already known information.

Strategies can include:

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  • Informationsorganisation
  • think of examples
  • Create an image in your mind
  • using amnemonic device

What is a memory device?

A mnemonic is a learning technique that uses different strategies to encode and recall new information. It's based on the idea that your mind can remember identifiable details.Using acronyms and rhymes to remember new information are examples of mnemonics.

Does the test work?

While everyone benefits from using the essay to remember things, some groups may find it particularly useful, including:

  • this withlearning disabilities
  • principled peopleCraziness
  • People with medical conditions that cause "brain fog" (e.g.Fibromyalgia)

Several research studies have evaluated the effectiveness of rehearsing information for later retrieval.

For example, a 2015 study found that rehearsing the details of music videos immediately after watching them improves recall of the videos weeks later.Participants in this study were not told how to rehearse. Therefore, this study demonstrated the effectiveness of the assay in general rather than a specific type.

However, there is evidence that the maintenance test is primarily effective at getting information into your short-term memory. The elaborate essay is more effective for encoding in your long-term memory.


Much of the research on verbose writing relates to college students. However, some research has also evaluated how useful this method can be in the early stages of pregnancyCraziness.

Memory is often one of the first areas to be affectedAlzheimer's diseaseand other types of dementia.Some research has shown that sophisticated sampling strategies can be helpful.

In a study published in 2016, researchers found that using a simple memory technique helped correct memory deficits in people with mild cognitive impairment and improved mental functioning in early dementia.

How Alzheimer's affects short-term memory

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Elaborative writing strategies

there are many differencesdevelop test strategiescan use to remember new information.

Translate in your own words

After reading something new, try itrephraseInformation with words you are already familiar with.

For example, suppose you are reading thisatherosclerosis is the deposition of fatty plaques on artery walls (butplatesis a new term for you). To paraphrase it this way: Atherosclerosis occurs when fat and cholesterol in the arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart, harden.

It translates new information into already stored knowledge. Your current understanding of cholesterol will help you remember what plaques are. This will help you develop your vocabulary and your ability to understand new concepts.

You can go one step further and explain the concept to someone else in your own words.

use images

Suppose you want to remember the names of different cloud types. Using pictures can help you remember the name and shape of each type.

For example, a cluster is swollen with rounded tips. To memorize both the term and the form, you might think:

  • CumulusSounds likeaccumulate.
  • I can build a tower of bricks if I collect enough and stack them.

Then you can draw a tower of building blocks to remind you of a towering cumulus cloud.

Also, you can use colors to help you. For example, assign the color yellowCloudsThe clouds might remind you of your yellow rubber boots. It might help you remember that these clouds carry rain.


Clustering, also known as "chunking," is an effective strategy that groups smaller categories into larger ones to make them easier to remember.This is especially effective for memorizing lists of things.

For example, let's say you're packing for a trip and need to think about toothpaste, snacks, shampoo, headphones, deodorant, a book, a sleeping bag, and a pillow.

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Think about how these different items are related and break down your list accordingly. So in this case you can sort the items like this:


  • tooth noodles
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant


  • Sleeping bag
  • pillow

Travel activities:

  • Buch
  • headphones
  • Appetizers

The grouping is based on information you already know as it is based on established connections and associations in your memory.

Use mnemonic strategies

Mnemonic strategies can be useful for learning names or terms and for following instructions and completing tasks.Some examples of mnemonics are:

  • Keyword-Signale: A new word makes you think of an existing word in your vocabulary.
  • Music: Sing new information to a familiar tune.
  • Acronyms: Each letter represents a word.
  • Acrostic: A sentence helps you remember information.
  • Rhymes: For example, to remember which direction to turn a screw, you can say, "righty tighty, lefty loosey."
  • The Method of Places: This involves imagining gathering new information in a familiar space.
  • Word-to-Number Concatenation or Concatenation Method: For example, let's say you're going shopping and you need apples and cheese. You can use a common rhyming example, one = gun, two = shoe, to help you remember your list. Apples are your first item. Think "a gun can shoot an apple across space". Cheese is your second. Think "a shoe stinks as bad as a Limberger wedge".


Elaborative rehearsal is one of two types of memorization. It uses many different strategies to push new information into long-term memory.

It is based on connecting the information you already know with the new information. Mnemonics are often used in elaborate essays.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the two types of writing?

    There are two types of writing: nurturing and drafting. The maintenance test (also known as memorization) involves repeating information (out loud or in your mind). The elaborate essay is more elaborate and includes additional mnemonics such as mnemonic aids.

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  • What Type of Writing Strengthens Long-Term Memory?

    Elaborative rehearsal is most effective for long-term memory. By using memory aids like organizing, using pictures, or testing the information you need to learn, you are more likely to have a stronger long-term retention than using a retention test.

  • Does the research support the time-consuming writing?

    Yes. Studies have shown that long writing is an effective way to retain information.

  • Is construction inspection more effective than maintenance inspection?

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    It depends on what information you need to remember and for how long. While the tedious test is effective for information you want to remember long-term, there may be instances (such as remembering a phone number) where the maintenance test may be appropriate.


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