Example for Grade 8: Explanatory – Memory Training - ID: 1026

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Memory Training

  • Purpose: Explanatory
  • Grade: 8
  • ID No. 1026

Student Response

Scoring & Annotations

The class grew still as the test was passed out. Mr. Archer’s voice rang out sharp like a funeral bell in the silence, directing a simple command: “Begin.” Pages rustled as the students turned over their tests. Silena looked down onto her test paper. A small shock ran through her as she realized that she couldn’t even remember the answer to the first question, even though she had spent the entire night before studying. If you can relate to Silena in this short scenario, you’ve probably been frustrated with your memory at times. Fortunately, your memory can be improved with focus, mental tools, and most importantly practice.

To begin with, distractions can be a cause of forgetfulness. Multitasking, doing two or more tasks at once, can interfere with your mind trying to encode information into your memory. Source #1 suggested that if information is not encoded into memories properly, they can cause forgetfulness. An example from Source #1 shows a scenario with watching a television show while studying notes. Trying to watch the television show can interfere with encoding the information from the notes into your memory. Therefore, the next day, you may find out that you don’t remember the answers on the test. Moreover, a study by Dr. Franco Fabbro at the University of Udine from Source #3 showed that when advanced interpreting students spoke while listening to a story at the same time, fewer details were remembered. Listening and speaking simultaneously was an interference to the students’ memory, making memorizing the information difficult. In order to improve memory, the first step is to prevent distractions and focus on the information you are trying to memorize.

Next, using mental tools can help improve your memory. According to Source #2, the “mental athletes” at the USA Memory Championship weren’t born with their astonishing memory skills. Instead, they used mental tools to help themselves remember. These included remembering objects by placing them in a “memory palace”, or imagining them scattered throughout a familiar building. They also used a person, action, and object respectively to represent groups of digits in a long number, and memorized names by creating a picture in their mind. An example from Source #2 of memorizing a name stated, “Cohen becomes ‘cold hen,’ an unhappy chicken sitting on a nest filled with ice cubes.” These funny images and tricks will help stick the information into your memory. Clearly, using mental tools is the next step to improving your memory.

Lastly, practice is the most vital step on improving your memory. In Source #3, neuroscientist Dr. Michel Paradis at the McGill University stated, “You can be good at one type of memory and poor at another. But you can improve each type of memory with practice. If you want to increase your memory, EXERCISE IT!” This statement shows that however poor your memory is, you can always improve it by training it and exercising it. In addition, according to Source #1, memories are made through brain cells that cooperate together and send each other messages. Source #1 states, “Each time one cell sends a message to another, the connection between those two cells gets stronger. With each new experience your brain changes a little.” Each time you practice your memory, your cells work together and cooperate. Everytime they work together their connection gets stronger, and your brain changes for the better. These changes help your memories to grow stronger. To sum up, practice is the most important step to improving your memory.

In conclusion, everyone can improve their memory by putting away distractions, using mental tools, and most importantly practicing their memory. Simply by training the mind, everyone can strengthn their memories and remember better than before. The next time you meet a new person, try using a mental tool and create an image out of their name. You’ll never forget anyone’s names again!