Dictionary.com Word FAQs
What tricks can I use to remember spellings? How are mnemonics used?
The main things you should do to improve your spelling involve using dictionaries, using a spelling notebook, listening carefully to the way words are pronounced, utilizing visualization, and improving motor memory. Paying close attention to the way words look (visualization) can be an important aid to improving your spelling. You look at a word like a painting. You work toward picturing it with your eyes closed. As far as motor memory, this is likened to good typing or playing a musical instrument. If you do something often enough, your body will remember the patterns of sensation so well that you can do something without thinking. How? When you come across a misspelled word in your writing, you should correct the mistake - and then write the word correctly several times in cursive and type it several times, too. This is so that no matter which way you write the word in the future, you will be trained to write or type the correct spelling. You will get the feel of words and be more likely to catch misspellings in the future. Mnemonics can be used for small groups of words that just will not stick in your mind. A mnemonic is a word, phrase, song, etc. that helps you remember things. An example is ROYGBIV for the order of the rainbow's colors (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). You must devise these mnemonics on your own, though; your own creation is likely to be more useful to you. Creating mnemonics forces you to pay closer attention to a word and its structure. Still, as far as tricks go, they are not as useful as improving your spelling by repetition. Anything you can do to keep going back over words that give you trouble will help to erase the difficulty.