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The Effect of Text Organization and Alignment on Memory
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by Andrea J. Snyder - Youngstown State University
Categories: Cognitive | Learning
Memory of text with various organizations and alignments was investigated. Each of the 200 volunteer students received 1 of 4 versions of text. The 1st and 2nd versions were of the original text, 1 with a ragged right edge (i.e., left edge aligned) and the other justified (i.e., both edges aligned). The 3rd and 4th versions were modifications of the original text to include coherence and linking organization aids. Again, 1 had a ragged right edge and the other was justified. Students took either a multiple-choice or summary quiz regarding text content. With the alpha set at .05, there were significant main effects for test type and alignment type, but no effect for text type or any significant interactions. Later, the summary quiz-only ANOVA revealed a main effect for alignment also. The research supports textbook writers using justified text alignment.