The Science

7spell is scientifically designed, and utilizes principles based on decades of research in learning, retention, and psychology. Here is a summary of the theory and research behind 7spell's effectiveness.

Craik, F., and Tulving, E. "Depth of processing and the retention of words in episodic memory." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol 104(3) (1975): 268-294. Print and PDF.

In this seminal study performed at the University of Toronto, Canada, the authors performed a series of tests in which they gave the study participants a sequence of words to learn, with information related to each word as it appeared in order. They discovered that when the information provided stimulated the participant's brain to process the word on a more involved level (referred to as "deep encoding" or "degree of elaboration" in the study), that word was more effectively learned and remembered. With 7spell, the user is given a wide range of additional information about each spelling word, including the word's definition - one of the key factors in enhanced memory, according to this study - as well as usage examples, synonyms, and antonyms.

Garcia, S.M., Tor, A., and Schiff, T.M. "The Psychology of Competition: A Social Comparison Perspective." Perspectives on Psychological Science, November 2013, 8(6):634-650. Print and web.

Each person is influenced by a unique set of factors related to their own status and progress towards goals, but is also affected to a greater or lesser degree by the achievements and perceived standards of the people around them. This analysis of past and current studies looks at the way people view and are motivated by individual goals as well as societal achievement (competition). The authors conclude that effective use of motivational strategies must take both into account. This is something that 7spell accomplishes by providing each user with the ability to set personal goals, earn reward points, and view their own progress tracking reports, and also to publish all of those results on public social media platforms.

Kivetz, R., Urminsky, O., and Zheng, Y. "The Goal-Gradient Hypothesis Resurrected: Purchase Acceleration, Illusionary Goal Progress, and Customer Retention." Journal of Marketing Research, February 2006, 43(1):39-58. Web.

In a study focusing on the influence of reward-scheme programs on behavior, the authors found that when people see visible progress towards their goals they are more likely to increase the activity required to reach those goals. The study also confirms that most people are also motivated by receiving rewards for completing specific activities, even if those rewards are not immediately transferable to actual material or monetary benefits. Status points, rewards, and real-time progress tracking are all methods used in 7spell to encourage frequent spelling practice by awarding points for the completion of exercises and activities. Because the user can access their progress charts at any time, they will always be able to see how close they are to achieving their personal spelling goals.

Buton, M., Winterbauer, N., and Todd, T. "Relapse processes after the extinction of instrumental learning: Renewal, resurgence, and reacquisition." Behavioural Processes, May 2012, 90(1): 130–141. Print and web.

Instrumental learning, also called "operant conditioning," is a method by which behaviors are learned in connection with a stimulus, a reward, or both. In this research done at the University of Vermont, the authors studied the ways in which the information connected to a specific behavior is retained when the stimulus is removed, and how subsequent repetition or reward reinforces information recall and a resumption of previously learned behaviors. They conclude that there are two primary methods of reinforcing active memory and behavior: by creating a different way to test the subject's memory, and by providing the opportunity for intensive focused repetition of that stimulus-behavior response. These two methods are widely used in the 7spell activities and games to create the link between instruction and memory that is so crucial in effective spelling learning on the student's part.

Xue, G., Mei, L., Chen, C., Lu, Z-L., Poldrack, R., Dong, Q. "Spaced Learning Enhances Subsequent Recognition Memory by Reducing Neural Repetition Suppression." Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2011;23(7):1624-1633. Print and web. http://doi:10.1162/jocn.2010.21532

In this study comparing long-term and short-term memory, the study authors tested the neural activity of participants as they memorized a set of images. Half of the study participants used massed learning techniques, in which each new image was presented multiple times in a row; the other half were given the images in a spaced repetition mode, where the images were shown in alternating order. Although each participant saw each image the same number of times, the people in the spaced-repetition exercise were able to accurately remember more images, and for a longer period of time. Repetition is a key technique in learning spelling, and 7spell incorporates spaced repetition in two ways. First, the system uses randomized selection of spelling words from the user's current list to populate the activities and exercises, ensuring an interval between word reviews. Second, the system's Word Discover feature provides pop-up instant review of the words on that list, again in random order. By providing users with multiple opportunities throughout the day to read and review their words, 7spell provides all of the benefits of the spaced repetition methodology in its spelling instruction.

Blocki, J., Cranor, L., Datta, A., and Komanduri, S. "Spaced Repetition and Mnemonics Enable Recall of Multiple Strong Passwords." Cornell University Library, January 3, 2015. PDF.

Spaced repetition is a memory training tool that relies on frequent and consistent review of information; mnemonics is a memory technique that involves multiple ways of looking at that information, such as the incorporation of images or story lines. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University focused on the combination of spaced repetition and mnemonics in evaluating how best to train people to remember specific pieces of information: computer passwords. They found that by combining the two methodologies, the results in both ease of learning and retention were increased. 7spell uses each method separately and together to help users learn and remember new spelling words by using the same words in multiple exercises, presenting spelling words in a variety of formats, and encouraging users to add information related to each word to make a personal connection that helps them to remember that word and its correct spelling.


10 Unusual Ways to Make Writing Fun

Categories: Tips and Tricks |

Julie Petersen

Writing is a very challenging task most of us face on a regular basis. It all starts at school when we practice in writing essays, then we start working and write reports and business letters to our partners. One of the main keys to success in writing is practice. The more you write the more proficiency you’ll have. Successful writers have gone through a lot of challenges and setbacks before obtaining the “successful” social status. They practiced, failed many times, learned from mistakes, and kept trying until they made it.

When we don’t enjoy a specific activity, we feel bored, frustrated, and uninspired. Our productivity levels are also low, and everything concerning that activity is considered to be “painful”. Also starting a non-enjoyable activity is often challenging; the procrastination kicks in and that’s it, you’re no longer in control.

Many students hate writing and can’t enjoy doing it. Unfortunately, most of the college’s assignments are based on essays, research papers, and projects that also require writing. That also means that if your writing is efficient your grades will be higher. If you are a student struggling with writing you have two options to choose from. First, you need to find an interesting way to practice writing, the one you would enjoy. Second, if you already decided that you don’t want to connect your life with writing you can always find services that will do all the work for you. But choosing a good writing company is a very hard task as well, so check the writing services reviews. You may check them on the best custom writing services reviews  or any other reliable website.

During today’s article, we’ll talk about ten unusual ways to make the writing process easier. If you can manage to add some fun and enjoyment, you’ll improve your writing and your mood when doing it. Keep in mind that reading our tips won’t do any good if you don’t take serious action.

Create Goals and Compete with Yourself

Writing is a lonely activity. You don’t have colleagues or clients to talk to, and you only have to focus on putting those words down on that paper. Ever thought of competing with yourself? Well, every writer should do this. It’s a productive habit and activity that can only improve your writing performance.

Start making some yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. See where you’re at now, and establish where you want to be in the next few months. Keep up with your goals and see how empowered you’ll feel.

Don’t Be So Serious

Writing is supposed to be fun. Of course, it depends on the genre, purpose, and person, but overall, it definitely shouldn’t be a painful activity. Some writers make art; some prefer to transmit their knowledge and skills to the masses, while some professionals just write for the money.

Either way, you shouldn’t take writing too seriously, even if it’s your main preoccupation. Include a joke or two into your content, write in your unique style, and add new elements as the time passes.

Reward Yourself Properly

Did you know that we can trick our brains to do more of what we want even if that usually requires a lot of effort? You see, if you treat yourself with respect and care, you should be able to motivate yourself every day. Start rewarding your every day’s efforts, or maybe only do it whenever you reach a big goal.

If you can associate pleasure to the results you want, you’ll be able to see great improvements in your mindset and work productivity.

Set a Big Goal Once in a While

We need something exciting, something big! Everyone wants to be something, have something, or do something! In our case, we can set big goals concerning the number of words we write, the number of blog posts maybe, or the number of essay assignments. Either way, don’t forget to set a big plan once in a while.

When you accomplish what you’ve planned, you’ll gain a huge confidence boost, and therefore writing won’t be such a boring and painful activity.

Take Breaks & Meditate

Short and relaxing breaks are essential in order to stay focused while writing. Involve something fun or productive while you’re taking these breaks. If you have enough space and conditions, you can start meditating and relaxing for a few minutes.

If you have space to run, maybe a nice walk will refresh you. Either way, don’t stay too much in front of that PC or paper, take a few breaks and make them worth it.

Tell Interesting Stories

When you’re writing something boring, your activity is also boring. In order to spice things up, start telling some interesting or funny stories throughout your text. Don’t add them if they can’t send a purposeful message.

You’ll usually find enough interesting stories to tell and also associate them with something that you’ve been meaning to say.

Listen to Music

Classical music is an awesome writer’s choice. If you’re planning to stay sharp and focused, you’d better try some Mozart. Another choice would be to select a genre of music and start listening while you write.

Whenever you want to get back to writing, you’ll listen to that type of music and you’ll feel more motivated.

Write About or with Your Passion

If your time or activity allows it, always focus on your passions and interests. For example, if you’re a student, you should focus on writing about subjects that really interest you. If you’re a freelance writer, maybe find a client who can provide tasks related to your interests; it could be business, pets, adult, fiction, and so on.

Make Changes

Whenever you get bored, switch the font with another one; Start using different colors, formats, and tools. If you’re handwriting, you can maybe get an awesome pen and an awesome paper. Perhaps you can even change the environment in which you’re working.

Making changes is great because you’re improving your perception of the world, gaining experiences, and analyzing what’s working best for you.

Keep a Writer’s Notebook

Always keep a notebook with you. You will never know when an interesting thought or idea will come to your mind. As writers, we have a lot of ideas and probably even funny stories and jokes held in our thoughts. We can always use those brilliant or funny ideas while we write.

There’s nothing great than exposing your unique angles to a bigger number of individuals. Keeping a small writer’s notebook is a great writing performance optimization strategy for any type of writer!

Writing is not so painful if you know how to perceive it. There are many ways in which you can make your writing process more enjoyable and bearable. It’s up to you; you can keep on hating it, or you can start working to establish a “balanced” state and mood whenever you perform it.

Either way, remember that your writing skills are going to influence your professional life big time. Some job opportunities will come, and if you’re prepared for them, you can totally reach massive amounts of success in your field.