Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Bonnie C. Konopak


Research has shown that the mnemonic keyword method is an effective study strategy under controlled laboratory-type situations with subjects learning decontextualized facts. Very few studies have actually tested the mnemonic keyword method within the context of a normal fourth grade classroom and learning situation. The purpose of this study, then, was to demonstrate the viability of the mnemonic keyword method as a study strategy when compared to notetaking/outlining, a common study strategy recommended by fourth grade curricula. The subjects were 106 fourth graders enrolled in four classes at a rural elementary school. Data were collected over a four week period which included both instructional and transfer phases. During the first week, intact classes were instructed by the researcher in either the mnemonic keyword method or notetaking/outlining during the reading period. During the second week, the researcher continued instruction in each study strategy by demonstrating how the strategy could be applied to a unit in social studies. During the third and fourth weeks, the subjects were instructed by the classroom teachers who used researcher-provided instructional scripts for social studies and science units. During this transfer phase, subjects were not encouraged to utilize any particular method, but rather were instructed to use their best study strategy to learn the information. Each unit in weeks two through four was followed by assessment measures and study strategy questionnaires. Data were analyzed using a repeated measures MANOVA on the tests administered during the instructional phase, a MANOVA on the social studies transfer, and a MANCOVA on the science transfer. Results indicated that there were no statistically significant results on any of the testing measures. However, the overall results were promising as the subjects instructed in the mnemonic keyword method performed equally as well as those instructed in notetaking/outlining on all measures. This indicates that the mnemonic keyword strategy, while not superior to notetaking/outlining, is indeed a practical study method applicable to normal classroom use.