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How to Remember the Parts of the Cell

Cytoplasm. Nucleus. Endoplasmic reticulum. Organelle. These words might sound alien, but breaking down the parts of a cell and their functions will help you remember.


  • Step 1: Visualize Stare at the diagram of the cell in your book, and focus on what it looks like. Close your eyes, and try to picture the diagram in your mind. See how many details you can remember.
  • TIP: Visit interactive sites online that explore the parts of the cell.
  • Step 2: Distinguish animal cells from plant cells Remember the differences between animal and plant cells. Plant cells are encased in a cell wall. They also contain chloroplasts that absorb sunlight for photosynthesis.
  • Step 3: Draw analogies Compare the parts of the cell and their functions to something you are more familiar with. For example, a cell can be compared to a school, with the principal as the nucleus. This is called an analogy.
  • Step 4: Build a model Build an edible model of a cell. Make a cake or gelatin mold, using frosting and candy for the different parts of the cell. While making, and later eating, your model, think about these parts and their jobs within the cell.
  • Step 5: Put it into practice Put the memorization techniques into practice. During your test, visualize the cell. Think about the analogies you came up with and the parts of your model and feel confident that you'll ace the test!
  • FACT: In 1665, Robert Hooke coined the term cell when describing what he saw when examining slices of cork under a microscope.

You Will Need

  • Diagram of a cell
  • Analogy
  • Cake or gelatin mix
  • Candy
  • Internet access (optional)

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