Mnemonics (the initial “m” is silent) are clues of any kind that help us remember something, usually by helping us associate the information we want to remember with a visual image, a sentence, or a word.

Mnemonic Device Example

Visual image

Associate a visual image with a word or name to help you remember them better. Positive, pleasant images that are vivid, colorful, and three-dimensional will be easier to remember.


To remember the name Rosa Parks and what she's known for, picture a woman sitting on a park bench surrounded by roses, waiting as her bus pulls up.

Acrostic (or sentence)

Make up a sentence in which the first letter of each word is part of or represents the initial of what you want to remember.


The sentence "Every good boy does fine" to memorize the lines of the treble clef, representing the notes E, G, B, D, and F.


An acronym is a word that is made up by taking the first letters of all the key words or ideas you need to remember and creating a new word out of them.


The word "HOMES" to remember the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. 

Rhymes and alliteration

Rhymes, alliteration (a repeating sound or syllable), and even jokes are a memorable way to remember more mundane  facts and figures. 


The rhyme "Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November" to remember the months of the year with only 30 days in them.


Chunking breaks a long list of  numbers or other types of information into smaller, more manageable chunks. 


Remembering a 10-digit phone number by breaking it down into three sets of numbers: 555-867-5309 (as opposed to 5558675309).

Method of loci

Imagine placing the items you want to remember along a route you know well or in specific locations in a familiar room or building.


For a shopping list, imagine bananas in the entryway to your home, a puddle of milk in the middle of the sofa, eggs going up the stairs, and bread on your bed.