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How to Recite Text From Memory

by Ultimate Memory

Actors aren't the only people who need to learn the tricks to memorizing large amounts of text. You might need to give a presentation without notes, or remember word-for-word a specific passage of text so that you can quote it later in a debate or on an examination.

Whatever the reason for your need to memorize a passage of text, there is no need to feel overwhelmed by it, even if the text passage is long. You may not be like those ancient Greek orators who were known for their ultimate memory and their skill in reciting entire books from memory, but there are steps that you can take to improve your memory and your ability to recall and recite text.

Read the text

Before memorizing any words, just read the text, at least three times. This will help to familiarize yourself with the material. Note that you need to not only read the text, but understand it as well. This will help begin the process of imprinting the text in your mind. Read the text out loud, since this will trigger nerves in your brain related to your senses of both sight and hearing. The more stimulated your brain is, the more it is capable of holding onto information.

Break it into smaller bits

If the text is lengthy, break it into smaller chunks to make your memorization easier. You can do this by breaking each paragraph into single sentences. Longer single sentences can also be broken into phrases. Put numbers on each block of text and arrange them into sections. Numbering will help you to create links to each sentence in the text. After this, you can start memorizing each block in one section.
As you memorize each bit, recite the previous ones as well as the new line you have memorized. Do this repeatedly until you finish an entire section. This builds the text in your memory and ensures that you won’t forget any line in any given section. Recite an entire section two to three times. Always connect the sections by reciting them together as you move along in the text.


You can also break the text down by "initializing" each word. Initialization serves as a cue to remembering the whole word, and is a way of testing yourself to see that you've memorized the text correctly, as well as being a way to learn the words and sentences in order. "Initialize" each word by writing only the first one to three letters of the word. Here is an example of the preamble of the 1987 Philippine Constitution (something many schoolchildren in Manila must memorize) both before and after it has been initialized:

We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.

W, the sov Fil peo, imp the aid of Al God, in ord to bui a jus and hum soc and est a Gov tha sha emb our idea and asp, prom the com goo, cons and dev our pat, and sec to our and our pos the bles of ind and dem und the rul of law and a reg of tru, jus, free, lov, equal, and pea, do ord and prom this Cons.

You can complete the initialized words as you recite the passage aloud, and then as you write out the passage. After you have memorized it completely, recite it aloud without looking at your notes.

Although following these memory tips will work well, it is better to take more concrete steps to improve memory by investing in memory improvement software like Ultimate Memory, because the best way to train your memory is by using a tested routine that targets specific areas of memory improvement.

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