Affect vs. Effect Mnemonic

The words affect and effect are sometimes hard for middle school students to understand.  Here is a handy trick to use in your ELA classroom!  Use the following affect vs. effect mnemonic to help teach the difference between the confusing words:   RAVEN


Affect is a


Effect is a


This affect vs. effect mnemonic will not work, however, if students do not know the difference between nouns and verbs.   If students have trouble, tell them to plug in the word “outcome”.  If the word outcome sounds right, instruct them to use “effect”.  If it doesn’t, tell them to use “affect”.  Take a look at the following examples:

The medicine had an immediate outcome (effect) on the pain.

Pollution affects our environment.  Pollution outcomes our environment does not sound right, so I know that it’s affect and not effect.

This is a trick of course, so it only works 95% of the time, but for our seventh graders, it has worked wonders!


Check out our Grammar Gremlins resource to find more tricks like this one!