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.

Gelman, B.D., Gruber, M.J., and Ranganath, C. "States of Curiosity Modulate Hippocampus-Dependent Learning via the Dopaminergic Circuit." Neuron, 22 October 2014, 84(2): 486-496. Web.

Students who are eager to learn are more likely to remember what they have learned, something that the authors of this study demonstrate. They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show real-time connections between a person's curiosity about a specific topic, and the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and the brain's reward system. The authors also concluded that a higher level of interest and curiosity in a topic or question leads to better memory and enhanced learning. Including exercises that stimulate curiosity, and providing reward mechanisms as part of the study process, also increases a person's ability to absorb and retain information, as the researchers found. 7spell has a text import feature that allows each user to include and incorporate practice material that matches their interests, while learning the spelling of words in those texts. The system also uses several different reward systems to encourage users to continue working towards their defined goals.

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.


8 Amazing Tricks To Get The Most Out of Your Productivity in Writing

Categories: Tips and Tricks |

Kerrie Haynes

Writing is a very complex process; like every other form of creativity, it requires not only commitment, talent, and hard work, but also an inspiration. Inspiration is a domain that is considered to be simply given at a particular moment, so writers usually think that it cannot be facilitated. However, this is not completely true. There are a few ways to ensure a positive impact on productivity in writing. Before these tips are presented, one should remember that there is always an option to contact websites.

Make it a routine

A routine implies that writer should determine a specific time for every day during which he will write. It is recommended to always write in the same place if possible (the same room or the same table). Although this may seem irrelevant, it is actually very important. By ensuring these circumstances, writers will “train their brain” to start working in a particular time and place.

Make frequent breaks

During the writing, it is hard to be highly concentrated for a long period of time, so the writer should make frequent breaks during his work. When one starts to lose his focus and attention, he should take a break. The duration of breaks and work periods can vary, but one of the most common rules is 45/15, i.e., 45 minutes of writing and 15 minutes of break.

Set mini-deadlines

Writers should try to finish a specific task before taking a break; for example, “After I finish the first two paragraphs, I will take a break”. This will ensure productive work, and the writer won’t spend a few hours for only a few sentences.

Write down the ideas

When it comes to writing, the ideas are probably the most valuable concept; writers usually feel that they don’t have control over whether an idea will occur or not. When an idea pops up, writers shouldn’t think: “Oh, great idea, I will remember it”, as it is very easy to forget it. This is why it should be written down immediately, and even elaborated if possible. A great thing about this is that it can be done while taking a walk or a ride (a lot of writers say that this is the time when they come up with the most of their ideas).

Use online assistance

The internet is a place where various kinds of writing assistance can be found. Some of these are technical, and others are more pragmatic and creative. For example, one can easily find grammar or spelling checker (Grammarly), make sure that his sentences are syntactically correct and natural (Hemingway App), or find a proper synonym for almost any term imaginable ( There are other similar apps, so writers should do their research on this topic.

Don’t procrastinate

The worst thing for a writer is to postpone his writing. The attitude “I’ll do it tomorrow” is never an effective one. By doing this, all that one will end up will be piles of obligation and deadlines, and very little time for their fulfillment.

Avoid distractions

While writing, the best idea is to log off from all of the social networks and to even turn off the mobile phone if possible. Finding a quiet and distraction-free place will allow writers to devote himself completely to the writing.

Conduct a research before writing

Before the writing takes place, the writer should inform himself about a particular topic that he is writing about. This will not only save his time and make his writing more effective, but will also provide different perspectives, and thus, more original ideas.

All of these tips have been shown as very successful ones. The best advice for the writer is to consider all of them and to stick to the ones that turn out to be the most effective.

Kerrie Haynes, is a final year student in the University of Oxford. She is a young journalist and likes to write about kids and education as it is one of the important things in life. You can find her at:

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