Rote Memorization - Opinions

20 replies
Anyone still practice rote memorization? Would you recommend these type of exercises to your students? And why?

If you are opposed to this what do you believe works better and why?

Thanks
#memorization #opinions #rote
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    you have to explain the use. Rote memorization of what?
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    • Claude,

      Back in my entertainment years we used rote memorization when studying our scripts. When you read your lines over and over again and then practiced them with others through rehearsing that is one form of rote memorization. This practice allowed us to recall our lines during a performance almost verbatim.

      Through my continuing study of copywriting I've only found a small handful of writers that believe rote memorization is necessary when studying successful sales letters. And I don't mean simply rewriting a letter. More along the lines of reading the letter 10, 15, or 20 times. Then sit and rewrite the letter 3, 5, or 10 times and then repeat the process.
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      you have to explain the use. Rote memorization of what?
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by ThePromotionalGuy View Post

        Claude,

        Back in my entertainment years we used rote memorization when studying our scripts. When you read your lines over and over again and then practiced them with others through rehearsing that is one form of rote memorization. This practice allowed us to recall our lines during a performance almost verbatim.

        Through my continuing study of copywriting I've only found a small handful of writers that believe rote memorization is necessary when studying successful sales letters. And I don't mean simply rewriting a letter. More along the lines of reading the letter 10, 15, or 20 times. Then sit and rewrite the letter 3, 5, or 10 times and then repeat the process.
        I would think that completely memorizing sales letters would be less helpful, than reading them and trying to figure out the parts that made the letter work.

        Being able to see why a sales letter works, is the most complicated and difficult thing I've ever done. But after years of writing sales letters, the great copy just pops out at me. I just re write it and keep it in a file. his weekend, I saw a full page ad for some new laundry soap. The ad said that the soap "was honored to receive the prestigious patent number...." The ad was full of gems like that.
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        One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

        "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
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      • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
        Originally Posted by ThePromotionalGuy View Post

        Claude,

        .... More along the lines of reading the letter 10, 15, or 20 times. Then sit and rewrite the letter 3, 5, or 10 times and then repeat the process.
        PromotionalGuy,

        Here's a better, faster and easier way to get the copy nuances into your subconscious.

        Grab your voice recorder and ask 3 friends to read it out loud. If possible, get the target market, if golfers, for example, get three golf buddies to read it. You can tell them it is for your research. If a general product, get several people to read it, including young people and women too.

        The reason?

        We have an individual style of reading. Some of us are fast, some slow, some sub vocalize, some move their lips...you do it YOUR way with every ad you read. And, that creates a bias in your analysis.

        When you have several people read it, you can HEAR where the stumbling blocks are, you hear the cadence, you hear how your target may read it, if you know your target well enough.

        Once you have at least three versions, then grab those five pieces of paper I suggested in this thread (post #7):

        http://www.warriorforum.com/copywrit...ich-swipe.html

        And see how your readers make the transitions through the 5 steps of the sales process. By hearing different voices read the same ad you get a better feel of the flow and can then discern the elements or persuasion techniques.

        Pick a handful of ads which are in the niche you want to write in and see what other people are doing.

        Also, print out a copy of the Pictogrigm of Persuasion

        Pictogrigm Of Persuasion

        As you are analyzing the ad, check on the PoP to see how the writer got inside the bubble of preoccupation of the target.

        If you give this a try, and get a few people to read a few ads each, use the 5 pieces of paper (AIDCA) and the PoP...you will get the feel for how the copy was written and understanding the WHY is, in my opinion, more important than knowing the words in the ad.

        gjabiz

        PS. Maybe you can ask several people to just read the headlines and subheads, because it is the starting point of all good promotions. Hear other voices, not just your own.
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        • Last night for kicks I started reading this one letter over and over. After about 6 repetitions I could feel the cadence.

          Interesting to note after the first read it just read like a salesletter. By the time I was finished with my experiment I noticed the letter had a rhythm to it I hadn't noticed before.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jomuli3
            Rote memory could be, to some extent, helpful in copywriting.

            But the task is very difficult --- it is very tedious.

            It is like you picking up grapes which have fallen from a vine.
            If they have been lying there for several days, some will surely
            have gone bad.

            Do you pick every fruit you find on the ground? (of course some could
            still be on the vine)

            You are not going to pick rotten grapes.

            The disadvantages of rote memory is that it will force
            you to pick rotten grapes --- words of little significance.

            The best way to go about this is to apply what is called ' The
            Secret of Copywriting Osmosis.'


            This is when you read loudly, highly persuasive copy at least 10 times.
            Copy/hand-write it at least three times.

            The secret of copywriting will be tattooed on your brain
            and you will start speaking and writing like the top copywriters.
            You will surely 'Write like them, Speak like them --- be like them.'

            As you practice ' The Secret of Copywriting Oasimosis'
            take note of phrases that sell or keep attention.
            Phrases like: Frankly speaking, this is just the tip of the iceberg,
            And you know what, and don't forget, Heck, you don't need --- etc

            Figure out the strategies and techniques applied which made the
            letters controls.

            Apply them to your sales letter.

            When I started studying copywriting I read and copied '
            sales letters like 'The Wall Street Journal's --- ' Two Young Men ---'

            This sales letter is only two pages long but raked in an estimated one billion dollars in revenues.

            Rote memory could put you in trouble as you may be cited
            for plagiarism if not used carefully.
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            • Profile picture of the author Tim R
              Originally Posted by Jomuli3 View Post

              The best way to go about this is to apply what is called ' The Secret of Copywriting Oasimosis.'
              So secretive in fact, that the word doesn't even officially exist.
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              • Tim,

                I knew what he meant. He simply misspelled the word, "osmosis". No harm. I believe Paul Hollingshead coined the phrase "The Secret of Copywriting Osmosis". It's a description of an exercise in one of AWAI copywriting courses.


                Originally Posted by Tim R View Post

                So secretive in fact, that the word doesn't even officially exist.
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                • Profile picture of the author Jomuli3
                  Originally Posted by ThePromotionalGuy View Post

                  Tim,

                  I knew what he meant. He simply misspelled the word, "osmosis". No harm. I believe Paul Hollingshead coined the phrase "The Secret of Copywriting Osmosis". It's a description of an exercise in one of AWAI copywriting courses.
                  Thanks for the constructive correction.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    I don't know what rote memorization is but I can vouch for memory systems. I've been using the major system and loci method for 6 years or so.
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  • Profile picture of the author bad golfer
    I've made mp3 recordings of sales letters so I could still learn while working on something else. Rote memorization wasn't the goal, just to really ingrain the rhythm and pace of a good letter. However, I've listened to a few, like Bencivenga's "Lies, Lies, Lies", so many times I can repeat sections from memory.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Considering how language is acquired I'm sure on that level it
    would help. But I'm not sure if the results would justify the
    effort.

    After you have read/written a number of sales letters then the
    typical language gets under your skin making the next letter
    easier to write.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Wouldn't recommend anyone to sit down and write sales letters out by hand. It's a crazy idea that got started a few years ago.

    Kinda like saying you watched the movie Total Recall a hundred times and now you're out in force from another planet or some nonsense.

    Get real people.
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    • Max5ty,

      So Halbert, Kennedy, Bly, and Masterson were all wrong?

      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Wouldn't recommend anyone to sit down and write sales letters out by hand. It's a crazy idea that got started a few years ago.

      Kinda like saying you watched the movie Total Recall a hundred times and now you're out in force from another planet or some nonsense.

      Get real people.
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      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by ThePromotionalGuy View Post

        Max5ty,

        So Halbert, Kennedy, Bly, and Masterson were all wrong?
        Yeah.

        They've all been eclipsed in their money making endeavors by smarter people.

        If you're into worshiping them, I'm sorry to bust your bubble.

        How much did you pay to buy their course?
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        • Max5ty, you are too funny. I love it when you young folks think you can get under the skin of this old guy.

          After 45 years of selling to the public, I've been insulted better than that. Come on you can do better than that.

          While were at it maybe you can learn me sum copywritten seecrets that only ya'll knows. If not than why not stay on topic and actually add something to the discussion that will enhance the craft.

          Oh wait, wait, wait! You can't because you're an idea person who doesn't bother with us little folks.

          To have an audience with you we must come to the alter of Max5ty and denounce those false teachers. What a maroon! Go troll elsewhere.
          Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

          Yeah.

          They've all been eclipsed in their money making endeavors by smarter people.

          If you're into worshiping them, I'm sorry to bust your bubble.

          How much did you pay to buy their course?
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Wouldn't recommend anyone to sit down and write sales letters out by hand. It's a crazy idea that got started a few years ago.

      Kinda like saying you watched the movie Total Recall a hundred times and now you're out in force from another planet or some nonsense.

      Get real people.
      No. It's like saying that if you watched Total Recall a hundred times...you would start to understand the editing choices, the reasons for specific music at specific times, the background..and how it adds to the scene, and you would get many hints on how to make a great science fiction movie.


      Great directors watch a lot of movies. They study the movies and see them with a more educated eye than we do. It's the same with copywriters. They read a lot of copy, and eventually they begin to see the patterns of great written persuasion.

      Have I written out sales letters hundreds of times? No. But I've sat in the library (years ago) studying ads that repeated, and tried to figure out what made them work. And then trying to write an ad, based on what I've learned.

      And, after a couple of decades, I can read a sales letter...and the patterns emerge, clearly. But then I talk to a male copywriter that can write in a woman's voice...and I see how pitiful my skills really are.

      I've never seen a more complicated and difficult skill.
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      One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

      "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    This is much better than rote memorization...put 3 of the best sales letters under your pillow at night and say a thousands time a day, "I am a great copywriter."

    If you follow this approach, you will be a million dollar copywriter within 7 days or less...100% Guaranteed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    I just finished up practicing for tomorrows piano group meeting. There was one passage that my fingers just refused to play properly.

    So I practiced it over, and over, and over, and ...

    The funny thing is the more rote practice I do, somehow my brain starts to hear the piece differently. And my fingers start to automatically play the right notes with guidance from my brain to convert mere notes to music.

    I wonder if it is possible that same concept applies to learning copywriting from a known good control?

    Maybe, just maybe like music, the brain has to engage before putting the fingers to work.

    If so, does this mean it is not just rote practice (memorization)?
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    • You bring a valid point Marvin. When I was finished last night with my experiment I was not seeing a sales letter. I could actually see the writer's writing pattern. I didn't notice it after the first read through.

      I've read it countless times how that copy has to flow down the page. Now I know what I'm looking for.


      Originally Posted by Marvin Johnston View Post

      I just finished up practicing for tomorrows piano group meeting. There was one passage that my fingers just refused to play properly.

      So I practiced it over, and over, and over, and ...

      The funny thing is the more rote practice I do, somehow my brain starts to hear the piece differently. And my fingers start to automatically play the right notes with guidance from my brain to convert mere notes to music.

      I wonder if it is possible that same concept applies to learning copywriting from a known good control?

      Maybe, just maybe like music, the brain has to engage before putting the fingers to work.

      If so, does this mean it is not just rote practice (memorization)?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8905244].message }}

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