Best method to memorize a textbook?

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1 December, 2013 - 19:59
Joined: 2 years 3 months ago

I wanted to add a link from this thread to the newer thread about memorizing nonfiction books. It's an interesting discussion.

29 August, 2014 - 12:55
23 May, 2016 - 11:31
Joined: 1 year 1 month ago

Hello Yan.

I found this comment very useful and informative.


There are many other techniques I've developed but I don't know whether it will work for you. Some of them have to do with speed reading, time management, visualization, etc.

Could you please elaborate more about the "speed reading and time management" techniques you mentioned while reading a book.


26 May, 2016 - 08:34
Joined: 2 years 8 months ago

Anthony Metivier has an interesting podcast about it.

4 January, 2017 - 08:40
Joined: 5 months 2 weeks ago

If creation of Memory Palace is that difficult for you, use this technique. Let's say you got 10 chapters to memorise. Associate first chapter with one location. Construct a unique visual image corresponding to the first topic of the first chapter. It is best if you can link the topic to a person or in other ways it is helpful to have a person as a visual image. It is very important that this person reminds you of that topic and vice versa. Now create a story with this person as a main character. Make the story underline all important concepts in the logical order in which they are presented. Create different person for each concept and different story for each elaboration. Link these people together and put them in the location. For each chapter create a location. That said, you will have 10 locations which you need to put in a logical order(journey/palace). Also you will have quite a many people. Each will tell you a different story which you can decode to create facts. The key here is to practise active recall as frequently as possible. With time you will get advanced and won't require much time to create story and that is when you will be competent to memorise a textbook in an equivalent time as you take to read it verbally.

22 March, 2017 - 09:00
Joined: 3 months 2 days ago


I certainly didn't memorize the whole book. I would suggest you don't either. It's a waste of locations made for the purposes of memorization.

All I did was to use the law-book, flip to the back and hey presto ! It's already laid out for you. The reference pages. I memorized a list of words. The definitions are with the words but, I learned the words first. If you do the same, what you will find is that some of them will already be familiar and you might not bother with these. If you do that, these are the ones you will forget and make you stressed out by getting the tip-of-the-tongue syndrome.

In a typical diploma book on law there aren't that many definitions. Concentrate on the name alone and memorize it. Each subject will have one or two hundred. Don't bother with the definitions until you know these.

Then, use other locations already numbered using the Dominic System. Make it from say 1850 - 2050 to account for future statutes. You can fill these in as you go along. Some dates will be empty locations except from the year number. You will use them in time as you come across other acts.

Case law. In Britain, case law always contains the names of two people. All you need is to memorize the name of those two people, unless it's against the state in which case, in Britain, it's the name of the Person v. the Crown. So, it's still the same as two names. Like Donoghue v. Stevenson. Maybe that would be the television host on Stevenson's rocket. Number these 00-99 using the Dominic System.

Have a journey for each of these things. If you are studying at degree level, it would need a lot of locations. Five hundred is a reasonable amount.

Index of words/definitions - 200 locations.
Acts of Parliament - 200 locations.
Case law - 100 locations.

Many of these locations will be empty, except the words and their definitions. Many of the definitions you will already know when given the keyword trigger so, you will only have to work when you memorize more technical or unfamiliar ones like incorporeal hereditaments if you are doing property law/conveyancing. In Britain, a lot of the terms are Latin.

The locations for Acts of Parliament and case law can be added to at will. If you work on getting these locations ready, you can memorize them during the class. Just go to the date location in your head when the teacher mentions it and listen.

Here's what will happen. You are given a new law, statute or whatever. You will be given the name of the act and a date. Immediately you know the location from that date. Go to that location in your mind. You don't have to memorize the name of the act at this point. The teacher will explain the law of this act. Immediately, the teacher will use words you have already memorized that are in the definition of legal words index so, you don't have to create new images. You already have them in your head.

Now, you will have, a date in a location and a definition you have added to it. Not the whole definition, just the key word image you used when you memorized the index. The definition will be in a separate location with those so, don't overfill the date location with unnecessary information.

At some point in the class, prior to the end, the teacher will give you the name of the Act of Parliament. Since this may be long, you can memorize this when you get home. Again, You don't want to miss what the teacher has to say. At the same time, you don't want to overwrite the things you have already memorized.

Go over what you learned at the class immediately after or at the nearest opportunity. The sooner you do this, the better.

Often, the longer name for the Act of Parliament will already have been made into a mnemonic by the college so, just take that and put it into the appropriate date location. For example, even though I wasn't studying criminal law, I can't forget that in Britain, the Police and Criminal Evidence act is usually referred to as PACE because it often comes on the news. If not, make a mnemonic from the words. You already know the date is the storage place for acts so, you don't have to memorize that again.

I dont understand very well how you link the "Location Date" with "Location Definition".

Ex: Now, you will have, a date in a location and a definition you have added to it. The definition will be in a separate location with those so.

How i'll remember "data->definition" if they're in different locations.
It would not be better if i catch "journey date" and input the definition in some "loci spaces"?

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