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tElje gtftengum JPregg 



E. G. B. 

4 ?_ 3 (o 


Oral English is taking its place in schools and colleges as a 
subject independent both of literature and of written composition. 
Moreover, the study itself is changing, passing from practice in 
imitation of lofty masterpieces, with the elocutionary style, to 
direct, effective speaking without unnecessar)^ adornment. Many 
authors still make oral work subsidiary to written composition, 
whereas speaking should be primary. Others plan to drill stu- 
dents chiefly in vocal exercises, giving most of the time to prepa- 
ration for talking and little to the talking itself. Many emphasize 
reproduction and neglect production. Some ground their exercises 
on the theory' of general discipline, and neglect considerations of 
immediate utility and vocational needs. Few give the students the 
point of view of the modern, active man or woman of the world, 
who must talk a great deal and wishes to do it with businesslike 
simplicity and brevity. 

To meet these needs this textbook has been prepared. It aims 
to furnish the student brief directions, detailed exercises, and sug- 
gestive topics of everyday interest and utility — the best that have 
arisen during several years of fortunate experience in a school which 
pioneered in developing courses in Oral English. The student is 
assigned a series of problems, each of which he must think out 
and then solve by giving a talk before the class. There is little 
provision for talking al'ouf talking, but there is omnipresent pro- 
vision for doing- in a thought-directed way the things that students 
are already trying — explaining, telling, and arguing. 

The table of contents will show that the classification and 
arrangement are based on pragmatic and educational rather than 
on philological grounds. Part I — the first twelve chapters — ■ 


includes most if not all of the common kinds of talks, together 
with four chapters specifically devoted to the manner of speaking. 
Part II takes up two special subjects : debating and parliamen- 
tary law ; and the appendixes contain reference tables, lists of 
topics, and some miscellaneous exercises valuable to students 
of all ages. 

The text may be followed consecutively, or the work may be 
varied at any time by allowing free choice and experimentation, by 
using the parliamentary organization, or by performing the exercises 
of Chapter XII. 

Oral English is the only study which is used in the pursuit 
of every study, and the one study useful in every vocation and 
avocation of life. Hence its importance. 

Acknowledgment is made to each of the persons who helped in 
making the book. G. A. Rice, Belle Parsons Clewe, C. P. Fonda, 
and Alice E. Craig, of the Los Angeles high schools, Martha Gaddis 
Todd, and Professor A. J. Todd of the University of Minnesota, 
read and criticized the manuscript or certain portions of it. Many 
students and fellow teachers helped in the preparation of the various 
revisions. Arthur Babcock assisted in the directions for improving 
the voice, and Hon. H. Stanley Benedict reviewed the chapter on 
parliamentary law, Grace A. Turkington improved the arrange- 
ment and the rhetoric of the entire manuscript by her searching 
criticisms and painstaking corrections. Edith Gaddis Brewer pre- 
pared the index and has given indispensable assistance throughout 

the four years of labor on the book. 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 





I. How TO Make axd how to Do 3 

II. Argument for Beginners 25 

III. The Speaker's Appearance "before the Audience 44 

IV. Improving the Vocabulary 57 

V. Narrations 77 

VI. Descriptions ' 91 

VII. Simple Business Talks 102 

VIII. Style in Oral Composition 114 

IX. Explanations : Additional Considerations . . . 136 

X. Good Use of the Voice 163 

XI. Speeches for Special Occasions 176 

The Announcement, i 76 — The Nominating Speech, i 79 
— The Introduction of a Speaker, 182 - — ^The Presentation 
and Response, 184 — The Toast or After-Dinner Speech, 
186 — The Oration, 189 — Other Talks, igi. 

XII. Additional Talks and Exercises 195 

Reading, 195 — Current Topics, 201 — The Discussion, 
203 — Impromptu Talks, 207> — Humorous Stories and 
Jokes, 209 — Interviews, 212 — Conversations, 216 — 
Extempore Plays, 220. 


XIII. Argument and Debate 225 

XIV. Parliamentary Law 289 




I. Arranging and Conducting Debates 339 

II. Propositions for Debate 357 

III. Plan for a Mock Trial 369 

IV. Plan for a National Political Convention . . . 373 
V. Lists of Topics for Reference 375 

VI. Reference Tables 3^3 

INDEX 389 


There can be no fairer ambition than to excel in talk ; to be affable, 
gay, ready, clear, and welcome ; to have a fact, a thought, or an illustration, 
pat to every subject ; and not only to cheer the flight of time among our 
intimates, but bear our part in that great international congress, always 
sitting, where public wrongs are first declared, public errors first corrected, 
and the course of public opinion shaped, day by day, a little nearer to the 
right. — Robert Louis Stevenson 



Everyday Explanations. Suppose that a number of 
students are decorating their schoolroom. From time to time 
parts of the work will have to be explained to individuals 
or to groups of students, and many questions will be asked 
about points that are not clear. Either the teacher or one 
of the older students will have to answer such questions. 
Some of these directions or explanations may be put into two 
or three sentences, others will be much longer. Whether 
an explanation is given to only one student, or to several, 
its subject matter is essentially the same. 

Again, suppose some boys are learning to play volley ball. 
A difficulty may arise, the game may stop, and one of the 
players who knows the game thoroughly may begin to 
explain the rules to the others. He will continue his ex- 
planations until the obscure points are made clear, and will 
address his remarks to one person, or to several persons, or 
to the whole group of players, as the occasion demands. 

We might cite many other cases to show that the student 
who gives a talk in school is doing nothing essentially differ- 
ent from that which is done every day at play, at school, 
and at home. Of course the talk before a class should be 



more carefully planned ; but any student who can tell an- 
other how to decorate a room, or who can tell his friends on 
the playground how to take part in a game, should have no 
difficulty in facing a class and giving an interesting talk. 

There are innumerable situations in school and in every- 
day life where one person finds himself explaining some- 
thing to others. If several workmen are about to lift a 
plate of glass into place in a store front, one of them will 
direct the movements of the others. If a group of girls is 
planning a picnic or a party, probably not one of them will 
fail to express her ideas about the event. The quarter back 
on the football team gives directions for each play, using 
the technical language of signals. The foreman in a shop 
makes oral explanations to his men, and the men in turn 
explain details of their work to each other. The member 
of a committee explains his views to his fellow members. 
The boy on the street tells the stranger how to reach the 
railway station. And so we might continue indefinitely. 

The Talk in Class. In spite of the fact that every 
person, young and old, every day explains, describes, and 
argues, many students have the idea that giving a talk be- 
fore the class or in the school auditorium is a difficult pro- 
ceeding. As strange as this, is the idea that those who can 
talk well cannot work well and that those who can do 
things cannot talk well. The athlete, when called upon to 
speak, will sometimes say, "Talking isn't in my line; it's 
my business to play baseball." Or the successful business 
man will say, as he begins his talk, " I realize that I'm not 
much of a speech maker." Yet these same persons, on the 
playground and in the business house, every day give talks 
which are clear, interesting, and enthusiastic. In order to 


succeed in a more formal effort, all that anybody needs is 
to consider in advance the purpose of the talk, to plan an 
outline of the facts and ideas to be presented, to practice 
it alone, and to summon the aid of a little confidence born 
of the desire to succeed. 

Every young person should have an earnest desire to be 
able to speak well before others. If any student has no such 
desire, he need only observe the life of street, store, home, 
playground, farm, school, and office to have it aroused in 
him. Without the ability to express himself well, no person 
can reach his highest usefulness. 

What Explanations are. In the illustrations considered 
above we have spoken of the situation in which one person 
tells others how to perform some act or how to carry out 
a process. Such talks are called explanations. The kind 
of explanation most often heard is that in which a process 
or series of operations is traced through several steps to 
the accomplishment of a purpose. We have this kind of 
oral explanation when one person tells another how to 
solve a problem in arithmetic, how to play tennis, how 
to make a dress, or how to build a boat. It is with such 
explanations that we shall deal in this chapter, and we 
shall leave to a later chapter other and less simple forms. 
This book is itself an explanation, for it shows how to 
prepare and give talks ; this chapter also is an explanation, 
for it explains how to explain. 

We shall now consider two phases of our subject : first, 
how to prepare for the explanation ; second, how to give 
the talk. 

Studying for the Talk. It is obvious that to explain any- 
thing, the speaker must first understand it himself, and 


this requires study. We shall therefore consider the study 
necessary for a successful explanation : ( i ) the extent of 
the study, (2) the sources of information, (3) recording the 
facts, and (4) making the outline. 

The Extent of the Study. We shall discuss here the 
material actually needed for the talk itself. This may be 
summarized as follows : 

1. The equipment (or the preliminary conditions) for the 
successful carrying out of the process to be explained. 

2. The steps or parts of the process itself. 

3. The result to be achieved or the uses to which the 
finished object is to be put. 

Suppose, for example, we are to explain how to make and 
adjust a paper cover for a book. Our study must extend 
far enough to make us familiar with the following details : 


1. Equipment and preliminary conditions. 

a. Materials : suitable paper ; paste or mucilage. 

b. Tools : scissors ; paste brush. 

c. Other conditions : sufficient time ; care to prevent the 

formation of wrinkles. 

2. Process. 

a. Cutting the paper the right size. 

b. Making the cuts for the binding of the book. 

c. Folding. 

d. Pasting. 

e. Pressing. 
f. Labeling. 

3. Resuk. 

a. Saving the wear of hard use. 

I). Preserving the book for one's library. 


As indicated by this outline, the preparatory study for an 
explanation includes more than the familiarizing of one's 
self with the mere process or operation. Thus, if a person 
is to explain how to wax or paint a floor, he must inform 
himself about the kind of material to use, in what quantity 
and where to purchase it, and the like. He must also 
know the results to be obtained from the use of various 
kinds of materials. Further, it is important for him to 
remember that in certain cases special preliminary condi- 
tions are necessary for the carrying out of the process. 
For example, to varnish a floor requires skill ; to raise 
oranges requires special knowledge of soil and climate ; to 
cook or clean house presupposes proper dress ; to pitch in 
a game of baseball demands calmness and deliberation. All 
such qualities and conditions, as necessary parts of the 
equipment, must be taken into consideration in the study 
for the explanation. 

We shall now turn to a group of exercises for practice 
in applying these principles. It will be best for the student, 
at least at first, to select subjects with which he is somewhat 
familiar. He should try to find interesting ones, however, 
and should avoid a subject which is an old story to the other 
members of the class. Unless it is otherwise understood, 
the students need not be confined to the subjects listed 
in the exercises, but may make a selection from the topics at 
the end of this chapter, or they may choose one suggested 
by their own experiences. Students should put interest and 
enthusiasm into the presentation of every exercise.^ 

^ In Table E, in Appendix VI, will be found a summary of the steps 
necessary to the preparation of a talk to be given in class. All the talks 
should be given at the front of the room. 




1. a. What materials are necessary for making one of the 
articles listed below ? Plan an accurate, complete statement to 
give to the class. 

b. Prepare a brief oral explanation of the making of one of 
the articles. Give the talk in class. 


An apron. 


A drop curtain. 


An electric battery. 


A flytrap. 


A cement walk. 








A fireless cooker. 


A kite. 






Popcorn balls. 

- 17. 





An electric bell. 


A sled. 




A tent. 


An incandescent light, 

2. a. What tools or equipment are necessary for carrying out 
one of the processes named below ? Prepare a statement to give 
to the class. 

b. Give the complete talk, explaining the equipment, the proc- 
ess, and the result. 

1. Sharpening a knife. 

2. Canning fruit. 

3. Cleaning and pressing a suit. 

4. Painting a picture. 

5. Fishing. 

6. Laying a water pipe. 

7. Polishing silver. 

8. Making cookies. 

9. Washing clothes. 
10. Painting a roof. 

11. Cleaning a sewing machine. 

12. Clearing up a back yard. 

13. Planting a tree. 

14. Washing dishes. 

15. Mending shoes. 

16. Making an excavation. 

17. Harvesting a crop of hay. 

18. Playing ball. 

19. Cutting hair. 

20. Cleaning a cistern. 

3. a. Tell the complete equipment necessary for making one 
of the articles or for carrying out one of the processes given 


below. Include not only the materials and tools but also the 
conditions of environment and the personal qualifications. 
&. Give the complete talk of explanation. 

1. Studying a lesson. 6. Entertaining a guest. 

2. Planning a party. 7. Handling gasoline. 

3. Camping out. 8. Stopping a runaway horse. 

4. Stealing a base. 9. Raising hens. 

5. Skating. 10. Making a speech. 

4. a. Make a list of the steps in the actual performance of 
one of the tasks mentioned below. Be prepared to give an attrac- 
tive statement of these steps to the class. If necessary, you may 
use notes, but do not read your statements. Look into the faces 
of your hearers. 

b. Give the complete explanation, including equipment, process, 
and result. 

1. Making a cloth bag. 7. Making artificial snow. 

2. Making a stool. 8. Sharpening a saw. 

— 3. Finishing the surface of a desk. 9. Putting chains on automobile 

4. Weaning a calf. wheels. 

5. Making glass. 10. Preparing mashed potatoes. 

6. Planting a lawn. 

5. a. What would be the advantages (results) of learning to 
perform one of the following processes .'' 
b. Give the complete explanation. 

_ 1. Making bread at home. 7. Using the forward pass in 

2. Using the barometer. football. 

3. Making a cold frame. 8. Making a muff. 

4. Connecting batteries in series. 9. Learning to sing or to play. 

5. Playing center in basket ball. 10. Taking gymnasium work. 

6. Testing a water meter. 

The Sources of Information. We have seen that in the 
study preparatory to the explanation we must include the 
equipment, the process, and the result. We have now to 


consider the sources of information upon which we may 
draw. Briefly, these are two : our own store of experiences 
and thoughts, and the experiences possessed by others, to 
which we have access througli books, magazines, and per- 
sonal interviews. 

If a person is to draw upon his own knowledge for ma- 
terial, he should make sure that this knowledge is reliable, 
complete, and fresh in his mind. For example, if he is to 
explain a process in domestic chemistry, such as how to test 
soap, it would be well for him to go through the actual proc- 
ess in preparing for the talk. When this is not practicable 
he should observe the process or operation as performed cor- 
rectly and intelligently by someone else. In the case of such 
operations as the building of a table, for which it may not be 
feasible either to perform or to observe the actual work, the 
student should mentally review the equipment, the steps of 
the process, and the result, so that the necessary facts may 
be as accurate and complete as study can make them. 

If the information is to be obtained by interviewing indi- 
viduals, the student should select those persons who are well 
informed on the subject, and should put his questions in 
such a way as to bring out all the points desired. In every 
community will be found men and women of experience 
who are glad to explain to earnest students what they know 
about the making of useful objects and the doing of inter- 
esting things. The knowledge gained from such interviews 
always makes good material for class talks, and will prove 
a valuable addition to the class's stock of usable facts and 
ideas. Notes may be taken by the interviewer, and some- 
times pictures or drawings may be obtained to use in giving 
the talks to the class. 


If books and other printed matter are to furnish the 
needed information, ordinarily the study should extend to 
several accounts. Care should be taken to see that only 
trustworthy sources are consulted, for much that appears in 
print is far from reliable. Often the explanations given in 
newspapers are mere space fillers, and have not been care- 
fully tested. In all his reading, the student should test the 
facts presented by asking if they seem reasonable or pos- 
sible. Often an encyclopedia will be the first book to con- 
sult. Several references may need to be looked up before 
all the desired data are found ; for example, in trying to find 
out about bread, one may need also to look up flour, baking, 
bakery, wheat, and oven. Books of receipts, textbooks, 
household magazines, scientific and technical periodicals, 
nature books, and business journals contain excellent mate- 
rial for explanations. The student should frequently consult 
his teacher, a librarian, or some other well-informed person 
about possible sources of reliable information. 

In gathering information from printed matter, notes, 
drawings, and diagrams may be made, and the dictionary 
should be consulted for the meaning of unfamiliar terms. 
Such helps as pictures and diagrams may be used in class 
if they will make the explanation clearer. 


1. a. Which of the explanations suggested below could you 
make without obtaining outside help ? Which could you study 
by performing the process or by observing it? Come to class 
prepared to make an attractive report, telling how you would 
prepare a talk on one of these subjects or on another subject 
selected by yourself. 


6. Follow the suggestions given above in preparing the talk ; 
give the talk in class. 

1. Running an elevator. 6. Breaking a horse. 

2. Testing cloth for pure wool. 7. Operating an aeroplane. 

3. Making paste. 8. Cleaning spots from a sink board. 

4. Cleaning a bicycle. 9. Darning stockings. 

^ 6. Hemming a handkerchief. xO. Making a toy windmill. 

2. a. In preparing one of the following explanations, what 
person or persons in your community would you interview for 
the purpose of obtaining information ? Be prepared to state in 
class the reasons for your selections, and the plan you would use 
in the interview. 

b. Carry out your plan, and come to class prepared to give 
the complete talk. 

1. How to grow corn. 5. How to make salt-rising bread. 

2. How to make jelly. 6. How to care for a pet rabbit. 

3. How to determine if a soil 7. How to mix paint. 

is fertile. 8. How to cover an ironing board. 

4. How to make an extension 9. How to pack china for shipment. 

ladder. 10. How to crate a sewing machine. 

3. a. What printed matter would you consult in preparing for 
one of the explanations listed below ? State in class how you 
would go about finding information in books and magazines. 

b. Follow out your plan, and give the complete talk in class. 

"1. How to play lacrosse. 6. Growing alfalfa. 

2, Cheese making. 7. How to use sour milk. 

V3. Diamond cutting. 8. Transportation of fresh fruit. 

4. How bricks are made. ^^. How to make artificial flowers. 

5. How to make curtains. 10. How to build a beehive. 

Recording the Facts. Notes should be made throughout 
the study, whether the information be gathered from books 


or persons or from one's personal experience. The memo- 
randa should be recorded on slips of paper or in notebooks, 
in such a way that they will be available for use in the 
speech itself. They may then be filed away for possible 
reference later. Statistics, measurements, diagrams, and 
pictures illustrating the subject should be carefully recorded 
and saved, even if all of them are not likely to be used in 
the talk. The purpose of the study is to know the subject, 
and if the student masters it he will have no difficulty with 
the talk, or with possible questions afterwards. The student 
who reads only enough for the talk itself will, nine times 
out of ten, if the subject is at all complicated, have diffi- 
culty in the presentation. We need an extensive back- 
ground of knowledge ; otherwise we have little right to 
speak. Time spent in exhaustive study of a subject will 
add to a person's experience and education that which may 
prove of value many times in his life. 

Making the Outline. During the process of collecting 
and recording information, topics for an outline will begin 
to show themselves. As these topics present themselves, 
they should be used to classify the material collected. Then 
they should be arranged in a logical order. No doubt for 
most explanations the topics should follow the order sug- 
gested on page 6, namely, the equipment, the process, and 
the result. For the talk before the class, however, there 
should also be a sentence or two of introduction, which 
should make clear to the hearers exactly what the subject 
is, and a brief summary or conclusion at the end. 

The following plan may be used in arranging the material 
for a talk on the construction of an ornamental lamp shade : 


(The Main Points of a Typical Outline) 

1. Introduction : the reason for making the lamp shade. 

2. Equipment. 

a. Materials. 

b. Tools. 

c. Other conditions : time, skill. 

3. Process. 

a. Cutting out the parts. 

b. Fitting the parts together. 

c. Putting in the glass. 

d. Attaching the shade to the lamp. 

4. Conclusion : the result. 

a. Use. 

b. Beauty. 

c. Cost. 

It will be noted that we have omitted from the above 
outline many details, such as the exact list of materials and 
tools necessary, the different operations in cutting out the 
parts, and the detailed account of cost. These should be 
added to the growing outline as we study the subject, so 
that every needed fact will be included. When the explana- 
tion is given, however, a brief outline like the one above is 
all that the student will need to have at hand. If the subject 
is simple and the facts well fixed in mind, notes may be 
dispensed with altogether when talking. But in the prepa- 
ration for the talk, no matter how' simple and well known 
the subject, time spent in making a complete outline is 
not wasted. 




1. a. Study one of the subjects below, or another of your own 
selection. Exercise special care in recording the facts. Bring to 
class all notes, drawings, figures, etc., which you have assembled. 
Be prepared to show these to the class, and to give an attractive 
talk about your methods of gathering and recording material. 

b. Give the explanation in class. 


How to make a canvas ham- 


How to press and mount flowers. 



How to make a stairway. 


How to shoe a horse. 


How to make a toboggan. 


How to set a dinner table. 


Felling a big tree. 


How to make a toy boat. 


Loading a pack animal. (See 


How to show magnetism 

Stevenson's " Travels with a 

with iron filings. 


2. a. Prepare outlines for five of the subjects below, making 
each outline at least as extensive as that on the lamp shade. Be 
prepared to read them, or to put them on the board, or to pass 
them around the class for criticism. 

6. Prepare to give one of the explanations in class. 

1. Repairing a leaky faucet. 6. 

2. Using a vacuum cleaner. 7. 

3. Staining a piece of furniture. 8. 

4. Using a washing machine. ~9. 

5. Preparing cbffee. 10. 

Tempering iron. 

Binding books. 

Making an electric push button. 

Making a toy wagon. 

Making a salad. 

3. a. Prepare and bring to class a complete outline for one of 
these topics, including all the details which will be touched upon 
in the talk. 

h. Give the explanation in class. 

1. Transplanting a rosebush. 6. 

2. Making a camp fireplace. 7. 

3. Making a handball backstop. 8. 

4. Making grape juice. 9. 

5. Making a box. "~10. 

Hanging a screen door. 
Diving for pearls. 
Cooking a breakfast. 
Making a henhouse. 
How to play checkers. 


Oral Practice. Having gathered and recorded the neces- 
sary information, and having prepared a satisfactory outhne, 
the student should next practice giving the talk. For this 
the full outline should be used, together with whatever notes, 
drawings, and other aids will be of assistance. The practice 
should be as nearly like the actual talk as possible ; the 
student should learn not to rely too much on his memo- 
randa, and should rehearse the talk in a standing position. 

Introducing the Subject. The introduction, as we have 
suggested above, may announce the subject and state briefly 
why it is of interest. It may also connect an unfamiliar 
subject with ideas or facts already in the minds of the 
hearers. For example, in an explanation of how to make 
a stool, one might begin by saying : "I am going to ex- 
plain how anybody who can use carpenter's tools can make 
a stool. This is one of the articles of kitchen furniture 
that is often more serviceable than a chair." 

Developing the Explanation. Having introduced the 
subject, the student must proceed to develop it, using a plan 
similar to that suggested above. He must keep his hearers 
constantly in mind, making all the points clear to them, 
and proceeding from one point to another so carefully that 
no one can fail to follow him. At the same time he must 
not become tiresome by going too slowly. Experience and 
a thoughtful regard for others will teach him the golden 
mean between too few words and too many. In some 
explanations the subjects are so common or so simple 
that many points may be omitted because they are obvious. 
Thus, it would be a waste of time to tell much about the 
tools necessary to make a box, or to discuss the usefulness 
of a screen door. 


Ending the Talk. Our discussion of the outline has in- 
dicated how the talk should be concluded. Any interesting 
bit of information about the object or process as a whole, 
but not about any part or detail, will serve to round out 
the talk and give it a good ending. In the outline of the 
lamp shade we suggested Use, Beauty, and Cost as topics 
of general interest. Other considerations sometimes appro- 
priate for conclusions are : importance ; comparison with 
other objects or methods ; improvements that may be ex- 
pected. For example, our explanation of a new type of 
aeroplane might end thus : " This is the latest and most 
efficient machine yet designed, but the experiences gained 
in the war may result in the invention of new types very 
different from any now in use." 


1. a. Select one of the subjects below, and plan your opening 
sentences for the explanation. Then practice this introduction 
until it goes smoothly and sounds well, but do not memorize or 
write down actual sentences. Give the introduction in class. 

h. Practice the complete talk of explanation, and give it in class, 

1. How to make lemonade. ""^T. How to make a rag dolL 

2. How to magnetize a needle. 8. How to build a brick wall. 

3. How to hang a hammock. 9. How to make a meat loaf. 

4. How to play volley ball. 10. How to make a folding ironing 

5. How to care for a cow. board. 

6. How to preserve insects. 

2. a. Prepare concluding sentences for a talk of explanation 
on one of the subjects given below. Give the conclusion in class 
in such a way as to show that you understand the whole process. 

h. Prepare the complete talk — introduction, body, and con- 
clusion — and give it in class. 


1. How to sharpen a plane. 6. How to blacken russet shoes. 

2. How to cook beets. 7. How to use a fish net. 

3. How to make a swing. 8. How to make a giant stride. 
"~-4. How to blow an egg. '^. How to mend gloves. 

5. How to read a meter. 10. How to put on a gas mantle. 

3. Study the following explanation and be prepared to discuss 
its merits or its defects in class. 


Did you ever try to make a bunnie out of a cooked egg .'' When your 
egg is cooked, take some heavy white paper and cut from it two long 
white ears that fit the size of the egg. Cut also four little rounding legs. 
They need not be shaped carefully, but each must be the same in shape 
as the other. Take some good glue and paste bunnie's legs to the egg. 
Let them dry well. Do not touch them or lift the egg till all is thor- 
oughly dry. Then add bunnie's ears near the point of the egg. Make 
a crayon eye with a pink crayon on each side of the point of the egg. 
Cut a soft round of white cotton and stick this where bunnie's tail 
should go. Then stand your bunnie on his feet. He will be a 
pretty toy — one that you can play with, and one that you may eat. — 
New York Tribune. 

The Use of Helps. If the students have taken an interest 
in their work, many of them, before this point has been 
reached, have used some of the common aids in explaining. 
Perhaps the most important helps are gestures, drawings, 
and the exhibition of actual objects. 

Using the Hands. Gestures are so useful that we can 
hardly do without them. In many of the talks we find our- 
selves using simple hand movements to aid in the explana- 
tion. It is useless, however, to try to force the hands into 
the talk, for this would make for awkwardness and self- 
consciousness. Only remember that they need not be held 
back if they come naturally into play. And perhaps the 


best way to accustom them to helping is to put them to 
work drawing and handhng objects. 

Drawing Diagrams. Drawings are a necessity in some 
explanations, and every student should do his best, even if 
he has not had definite training for this. If we look for 
a moment at Exercise i on page 17, we shall see that 
subjects 4 and 10 could not be adequately treated without 
blackboard diagrams. Doubtless, also, the talks on subjects 
2, 3, 7, and 8 would be greatly helped by the use of simple 
sketches. However, many explanations are of course better 
without drawings ; for instance, it would be a waste of time, 
or an exhibition of poor judgment, to attempt drawings for 
subjects I, 5, or 9, unless perhaps one were to sketch a 
cow's stall. The student, then, must in each case decide 
whether or not a drawing will be a real help, and act 
accordingly. In most cases the speaker should draw as he 
talks, taking care to make his diagram clear but not spend- 
ing too much time on it. He should always talk toward 
the audience and not toward the blackboard. The sample 
drawings on page 21 are sketches actually used in classes 
in Oral English. 


Using Actual Objects. In some explanations the exhibi- 
tion of the objects themselves is much more effective than 
the use of drawings alone. Thus in Exercise 2 above, the 
explanations of i and 9 would be improved by the display 
of the blade of the plane and of the glove which needs 
mending. Probably 4 and 10 would also be greatly im- 
proved if the speaker could handle, as he speaks, an egg 
in the one case and a gas mantle in the other. If it is 
practicable the speaker should perform the operation itself 
before the class, talking as he works, just as would a 


domestic-science teacher in explaining how to prepare beets 
for cooking. Sometimes effective use may be made of 
simple devices, such as a strip of paper to represent a fish 
net in explaining how the net is used, or a pencil to repre- 
sent the post for the giant stride. We must in every case 
study the subject to see what helps will be most effective. 


1. a. Plan an illustration to use in one of the explanations 
suggested below. Talking as you draw, give that portion of the 
explanation which should accompany the illustration. 

b. Give the complete explanation in class, drawing the illustra- 
tion at the board. 

r-. How to lay a brick wall. 6. How to make a pattern for a 

^. How to lay out a tennis court. kimono waist. 

3. How to stake a young tree. 7. How to connect two electric 

4. How to trim a rosebush. bells to one button. 

5. How to raise into place a tall 8. How to use a springboard. 

flagpole. 9. How to make a child's bib. 

10. How to make a picture frame. 

2. Decide upon the proper objects, models, or other helps to 
use in giving a talk on one of the subjects below. Practice the 
explanation, and give the talk in class. 

1. How to splice wire. 7. How to tie various knots. 

2. How to load a camera. 8. How to make paper flowers. 

3. How. to do a trick. 9. How to sew a baseball cover. 

4. How to mend torn books. 10. How to make a folding lunch 

5. How to use a pencil sharpener. box. 

6. How to make a rosette. 


Selecting New Subjects. We have now had opportunity 
to study and give many explanations, in turn concentrating 
attention upon each part of the talk, and learning to use 





Turbine Tombler'Tric^ niverTormotTon HQuDerricl\ 


p f 

ToLun-ba.!! Higqing OTDoaf DetroiT 


Oujiss Onoiju-shecl Japanese God \A/< nd-cuaaon 


> 1 


Gas Metcil-ctjtieir TelepJione DistiHo^on 


From students' sketches in Oral English classes 




various helps to clearness. We shall assume that we are 
prepared to select subjects of our own, to study these sub- 
jects thoroughly, to practice by ourselves, and to give 
successful talks. The possible subjects are as numerous 
as the activities of life itself. The list at the end of this 
chapter, which is made up of subjects already used in 
classes in Oral English, will furnish suggestions. 


Select a subject which has not yet been discussed in your class. 
It need not be a difficult or a complex one, but it should be inter- 
esting to the class. Prepare a complete talk of explanation, using 
all the experience you have thus far gained. 


1. Outdoor Crafts 

How to make 

a summerhouse. 

a canoe 

a canvas boat. 

an ice boat. 

a model of an aeroplane. 

a galley. 

a coaster, entirely of 

a fish trap. 

a log house. 

a sod house. 

a summer camp. 

a mud house. 

a figure-four trap. 

a top. 

a homemade merry-go- 

How to make 
a rat trap. 
a quail trap. 

a steering gear for a coaster. 
a kite reel. 

a camp stove, of rocks, 
a camp bedstead, of limbs 

of trees. 
a sundial. 
a sling. 
a lobster trap, 
a toy balloon. 
a toy sucker, 
a skate sail. 
a rustic gate, 
a rustic fence, 
a rustic arch, 
a shelter tent. 



2. Games and Sports 

How to play How to play How to 

tennis. association football. put the shot, 

rounders. marbles. 

two old cat. cricket. 

quoits. tag. 

golf. spin-the-plate. 

geography. hare and hounds. 

handball. hockey. 

basket ball. Rugby football. 


stand when bunting. 

pitch curves. 

run 100 yards. 



do the high jump. 

3. Miscellaneous Useful Articles and Processes 

How to make 
a hatstand. 

a handkerchief holder, 
an emery bag. 
a reed basket, 
a letter case, 
a sleeve, 
a clay bowl. 
a food cooler, 
a needlebook. 
a rustic stool. 
a distillate burner, 
a letter scale. 
a sleeve board, 
a copper jewel box. 

4. Household Processes 

How to make 

Mulligan stew. 
Dutch cheese, 

How to 

remove ink stains. 

rebind old books. 

brush the teeth correctly. 

decorate a room economi- 

color artificial flowers. 

use a stencil. 

sharpen scissors. 

put up a picture. 

repair a bicycle puncture. 

half-sole a shoe without 
cobbler's tools. 

cut stovepipe. 

hang a gate. 

How to 

wash windows, 
clean a sink, 
sweep and dust a room, 
put up peaches, 
cook mush, 
buy meat, 
test eggs, 
wash lace. 



5. Garden and Farm 

How to make 

a fireless brooder. 

berry boxes. 

a colony coop. 

a hayrack. 

a brace for a fence. 

a chicken fence. 

an automatic chicken 

a gate. 

a water tank. 
a feed box. 
a barn, 
an arbor. 
a rake. 
a seed box. 
a harrow, 
a grain bin. 

How to 

care for a lawn. 

dry prunes. 

plant a vegetable garden. 

get rid of insects. 

irrigate trees. 

anchor a fence post. 

grow cranberries. 

grow sugar. 

plant rose slips. 

repair a wagon. 

care for a horse. 

care for hogs. 

graft a tree. 

repair harness. 

hang a barn door. 

care for a calf. 

raise corn. 



Arguing is almost as common as explaining. We are 
constantly tr)dng to prove to another person that a certain 
opinion, act, or object is the better one. And arguing is 
not confined to older persons. Play life, home life, and 
school life are filled with earnest arguments, in which even 
young children do not hesitate to take a part. 

Argument in Conversation. Most of our arguments are 
not in the form of talks before an audience, but occur in 
conversation with one or more companions. We argue as 
to whether we should have a picnic or a party ; whether 
the summer vacation should be longer or shorter ; whether 
or not Henry should be the pitcher for the next game ; 
whether this automobile or that is the better ; whether a 
business or a profession offers the greater opportunity ; 
whether or not government ownership of railroads would 
be advantageous. In these conversations the different per- 
sons are really arguing in much the same way that debaters 
do, only the remarks in conversation are much shorter than 
in a debate. 

In such conversational arguments it is important that 
all persons concerned understand exactly what the question 
is. It will hardly do to talk "about" a thing, for some 
persons would surely be confused as to the real issue. The 
question should always be stated definitely ; for example, 



'" If school closes the middle of June, should it begin again 
the first or the last part of September ? " 

The more definitely the question can be stated by one of 
the speakers, the better. Thus, early in the conversation, one 
of the group may say, " The question is. Can a boy who has 
to work in a store after school hours do his best in school ? " 
or, " What we have to decide is. Should Henr)^ pitch in 
the next game ? " During the course of the conversation, 
if a person wanders from the subject, it may be necessary 
to remind him of the exact question. This may be done in 
some such way as this : "' You may be right about the value 
of business experience, but we are talking of the effect of 
extra work on the boy's scholarship." Or, in the case of the 
game : "Are you speaking about a regular game or a prac- 
tice game } " Such a question will bring the discussion back 
to the point, and will give the conversation a definite aim. 

Many conversational arguments are carried on by means 
of questions and answers. Suppose, for example, that we 
are talking with a person who believes that all city schools 
should be built in the suburbs, the children being carried 
to and from school on the electric cars. We should ask 
him : " How could the car companies handle the children .? 
What is the matter with the schools as they are ? How 
would the schoolhouses be planned ?" In this way we 
should learn his ideas, and then could raise objections for 
him to answer. He would do most of the arguing until we 
began to understand his scheme. Then, if we disagreed 
with him, we should express ourselves more and more 
freely, until the talk became a real argument. 

It is in arguments that we are most often tempted to 
monopolize the conversation, to exaggerate, and to be a 


little sharp toward those who do not agree with us. We 
need, therefore, to set a guard upon our tongues, and upon 
our manners. If anybody finds that he is allowing himself 
to be discourteous in his arguments, he had better stop 
until he can exhibit perfect self-control. 


1. Choose a partner for an argumentative conversation, on one 
of the subjects listed below, to be given before the class. Study 
the question and come to class prepared to hold the conversation 
with your partner at the front of the room, one of you taking the 
affirmative side and the other the negative. Remember (i) to^ 
sdck to the point, (2) to do your share of the arguing, (3) not 
to monopolize the time, (4) to be fair in your statements and in 
your manner. Tr}' to convince your partner that your side is the 
right one. 

After the argument the class may vote on two points : (i) Which 
side of the question is the right one .? (2) Which speaker was the 
more effective ? 

1. The school committee (or board) should vote sufficient money 
to equip this school building with a vacuum-cleaning system. 

2. The phonograph is better than the . 

3. In all ordinary cases a man should give his seat in a street car 
to a woman. 

4. If any nation violates an international agreement, it is the duty 
of the United States to demand an accounting. 

5. Housekeepers should learn to use butterine instead of butter. 

6. Plumbing should be taught in this school. 

7. It is better for a city to build subways than elevated railways. 

8. The domestic-science department should organize classes in 

9. Sawdust is better than sand for the jumping pits on the 
athletic field. 

10. The school playground should be open on Saturdays. 


2. Choose as a partner for a conversational argument some 
person who is more familiar than you are with one of the subjects 
below. You are to question him before the class, as to what are 
his ideas on the subject. The conversation may proceed as sug- 
gested in Exercise i . If none of the questions below prove suitable, 
those in Appendix II may be suggestive. 

1. High schools should teach Esperanto. 

2. Manual-training classes should be organized in this school to 
do the janitor work of the building. 

3. The pupils of the school should be allowed to pass rules for 
a standard of student behavior. 

4. The indirect-lighting system is better than any direct system. 

5. Schools should be in session from nine until four. 

6. This city should start a municipal dairy. 

7. The typewriter (or sewing machine) is the best. 

8. The horse will sometime be entirely supplanted by the motor. 

9. Princeton University is wise in requiring every student to learn 
to swim before graduation. 

10. A daily newspaper should be issued by our city (or town) 

3. The class may be divided into groups of three or more for 
argumentative conversations. Each group may meet and select a 
question for discussion, and determine which members of the group 
shall take the affirmative and which the negative side. The aim 
of each group should be to see (i) that ever}'body sticks to the 
question, (2) that each side of the question has a fair amount of 
time, and (3) that each person has an opportunity to share in the 
talk. The following questions are suggested : 

1. Athletics help school spirit. 

2. The study of is harder than that of . 

3. It is not worth while for a person to read the comic pages of 
the newspapers. 

4. Hurdy-gurdies should be prohibited. 


5. This city should establish a zoological park. 

6. The United States should substantially increase its army. 

7. Woman suffrage should be adopted by all the states (or by the 
federal government). 

8. The characters in " Ivanhoe " are truer to life than those in 
" David Copperfield." 

9. A high-school student should earn his own spending money. 
10. -Prohibition should be adopted in this city (or state or nation). 

The Talk before the Class. Success in conversational ar- 
gument is important, but a person does not become efficient 
until he has had practice in making connected arguments. 
Such arguments are not different from those given in daily 
life ; for example, . probably many students have already 
had the experience of presenting at some length to the 
principal or a teacher an argument for some privilege in 
connection with his school studies, or of making to his 
father or mother an argumentative request for permission 
to carry out a certain plan. But even if the longer argu- 
mentative talk seems new and difficult, the work we have 
already done in making simple explanations is sufficient 
preparation. Explanation is much like argument ; in the 
latter, however, we not only explain but compare two ideas, 
and show^ that one of them is better than the other, or one 
true and the other false. 

What we shall try to do in this chapter is to find out 
how to prepare and deliver a systematic argument. To 
make a complete, effective argument which proves an im- 
portant statement is a complicated task, and to try to cover 
the points fully by dividing the work between two or more 
debaters is more complex still. Therefore, we shall here 
attempt a simpler task — to see how a student may obtain 
a good start in systematic argument. 


Using a Clear Plan. When a person begins a new task, 
he often follows closely the method or pattern successfully 
used by somebody else. Thus the boy who is learning 
stenography follows with painstaking care a system already 
worked out. In this chapter we shall confine ourselves to 
one good pattern of an oral argument, and shall ask the 
learner to follow the plan closely. After he has mastered 
this plan he will be in a position to decide whether he can 
succeed better by making changes in the method. More- 
over, we shall not here concern ourselves with detailed 
reasons for the directions we follow, but shall reserve such 
considerations for treatment in Chapter XIII. 

In argument as in explanation the outline is of first im- 
portance. As a matter of fact the shortest speech should 
and does have an outline. Yet few persons who argue will 
take the trouble to prepare one, and many students seem to 
believe that such a help is unnecessary. But every talk has 
a plan, either good or bad ; even if the speaker neglects to 
prepare a good outline, he is nevertheless following some 
plan when he talks, and it is probably a poor one. Advance 
account, therefore, must be taken of one's points, and the 
best outline must be selected. It is an unusually gifted and 
well-trained person who can mentally arrange the topics as he 
is speaking. Nearly everybody, whether beginner or expert, 
needs to write down and study his topics before he can work 
out the proper order of points and be sure that his argument 

is complete. 


Let us study the plan used by an experienced speaker. Listen 
to the arguments made in one or two of the following cases, and 
take notes, jotting down the topics in the order given. Study 


these topics to see if they are arranged effectively. Read the 
topics to the class and give your opinions and criticisms. 

1. A lecture. 4. A business man's talk. 

2. A sermon. 5. A political speech. 

3. A talk by the principal. 

Choosing and Stating a Subject. For practice in our 
arguing it is important that only those subjects which are of 
genuine interest to us be chosen. We cannot be earnest and 
convincing if we are arguing about a matter just because it 
is assigned to us. Whenever we have an argument to pre- 
pare, we should think over carefully the hundreds of events 
and facts in which we have a deep interest, and from these 
make a list of subjects which we can use. We must remem- 
ber, however, that for purposes of argument the subject 
chosen should be one on which the opinions of people differ. 

When a subject has been chosen, it may be stated in 
the form of what is called a rcsohition, thus : " Resolved, 
that this city (or town) should establish a branch library," 
The statement should be so carefully expressed that its 
meaning will be perfectly clear. 


1. a. Write resolutions for five of the topics below. Make the 
/Statements brief and clear, and choose the words carefully, so 
that there will be two sides to each question. 

h. Read your resolutions in class, for comparison and criticism. 

1. A new school building. 6. School lunch rooms. 

2. Requiring girls to take mathe- 7. Overcrowded schoolrooms. 

matics. 8. Overcrowded street cars. 

I 3. Frequent holidays. 9. Minimum age for drivers of 

I 4. Uniforms for school pupils. automobiles. 

5. Military drill in schools. 10. Newspapers. 


2. Choose the subject which you wish to use in the exercises 
to follow. Choose also the side of the question you wish to de- 
fend. It will be simpler, for beginners, to choose a resolution 
which proposes to carry out some plan. Perhaps it will be well 
if no two students take the same subject ; therefore each should 
bring to class three or more subjects from which to choose. 

In class, as each student reads his subject the others may 
criticize it according to the principles we have noted above. 

Gathering the Material. Having chosen the subject, our 
next task is to collect the material for the argument. If 
the subject is a familiar one, much of the material may be 
found within our own minds, or within our daily observa- 
tion. But if the subject requires some investigation, as 
will almost always be the case, then the sources of infor- 
mation mentioned in Chapter I will be sufficient for our 
purposes : talks with well-informed persons, and material 
in magazines and books. 

Let us first write on slips of paper, just as they occur to 
us, all facts, opinions, and questions that seem to have a 
bearing on the subject. Suppose, for example, that we are 
studying the question, '" Resolved, that the school board 
(committee) should enlarge our school grounds," and that 
we have decided to support the affirmative side. Probably 
some such thoughts as the following will occur to us : 


1. The grounds are too small. 

2. Small boys are often hurt. 

3. There is no room to play baseball. 

4. The trees are in the way. 

5. With more room we could have a garden. 


6. We could also have tennis courts. 

7. The ground is now too rough for games. 

8. The gymnasium classes ought to use the grounds. 

9. Windows are sometimes broken. 

10. The adjoining lot is not in use. 

11. The boys often play in the street. 

After talking with teachers and parents about the sub- 
ject, we shall be able to add to our notes. Perhaps we 
may obtain some such additional data as the following : 


12. The school has three times as many pupils as it had at first. 

13. The manual-training shops have taken some of the play 

14. The adjoining land would cost about six thousand dollars. 

15. The expense could be provided for by the next bond issue. 

16. The pupils will ask their parents to vote for the bonds. 

17. The principal says that elementary agriculture could be 

18. It is against the law to play baseball in the street. 

It is evident that some of these points need further 
investigation to determine if they are true, and that others 
need the addition of statistics or definite instances to make 
them effective. We shall therefore wish to add to our 
material by reading. For the present, however, we may 
use the points already collected, as they are, and proceed 
in the next section to the problem of arranging them. 


Gather as many points as you can in the time at your disposal 
on the particular subject which you selected in the preceding exer- 
cise. First write out those points which you already have in mind. 


Next talk with others, make further investigations, read on the 
subject, and add to your stock of notes. Try to cover as many 
ideas about the subject as possible. Bring the notes to class so 
that they may be read and criticized. 

Finding the Main Topics. Now we shall study the list 
of opinions and suggestions thus far collected, for the pur- 
pose of thinking out the main arguments to which our 
points naturally belong. For example, in our list of topics 
on the School Grounds, it will readily be seen that num- 
bers I, 2, 3, 4, 9, II, 12, and 13 help to show that the 
present grounds are not satisfactory; 5, 6, 8, and 17 deal 
with the benefits that would result from larger grounds ; 
10, 14, 15, and 16 refer to plans for acquiring the 
grounds; 7 has no bearing on our question; and 18 tells 
an interesting fact about number 1 1 . According to this 
grouping, the main arguments may be expressed as follows : 


I. The present yard is entirely too small. 
II. Larger grounds would be very beneficial to the school. 
III. The needed land can be easily obtained. 

We should always remember to state these main points 
in complete sentences. Further, we should see that they 
are arranged in the best order. For example, in the case 
of our three main points above, it would probably be better 
to transpose II and III, for the ways of obtaining the land 
should ordinarily be discussed before the benefits. 

The main points must now be tested to see if the argu- 
ment is complete. The test is as follows : Will these three 
points, if proved, convince people that the school board 


should enlarge the grounds ? Are any other points neces- 
sary to the proof ? Can any of these three be omitted ? 
It will be seen that our whole argument will fall if any 
one of the three points above is unproved. It is plain, 
too, that no other points are necessary to the proof. It 
might be stronger if we could show that other schools have 
larger grounds, and we may add such a main point if we 
wish, but it is not a necessary argument. Our three points 
are sufficient. 

It will usually be found that all the details of the argu- 
ment can be gathered under from three to six main topics. 

Let us now write out the outline, giving the main topics 
in their natural order, and putting the subtopics in their 
proper places. 


Resolved, that the school board should enlarge our school 
grounds ; because 

I. The present yard is entirely too small, y^-r 

1. Small boys are often hurt. 

2. There is no room to play baseball. 

3. The trees are in the way. 

4. Windows are sometimes broken. 

5. The boys often play in the street. 

6. The school has three times as many pupils as it had 

at first. 

7. The manual-training shops have taken away some of 

the play space. 
II. The needed land can be easily obtained, y^r 

1. The adjoining lot is not in use. 

2. The land would cost about six thousand dollars. 

3. This could be provided for by the next bond issue. 

4. The pupils will ask their parents to vote for the bonds. 


111. Larger grounds would be very beneficial to the school, yL'/- 

1. With more room we could have a garden. 

2. We could also have tennis courts. 

3. The gymnasium classes could use the grounds. 

4. Elementary agriculture could be taught. 


Find the main points of your argument, using the method 
explained in the text above. Arrange these main points in a 
logical order. Then copy the complete provisional outline, put- 
ting the subtopics in their proper places. If it is possible to 
improve the wording, do so. Bring the outline to class, to be 
read and criticized. 

Making the Final Outline. While we are working out 
the main topics and making the provisional outline, we are 
sure to think of new points which could be used in the 
argument. For example, it may occur to us that the land 
adjoining the school can be rented if it cannot be bought. 
Moreover, before we make the final outline, we shall need 
to investigate further certain points as suggested above, to 
find out exact figures and definite facts. For example, we 
should tell how many accidents due to overcrowding there 
have been ; how many windows were broken in a given time ; 
the exact number of pupils now in the building, and when 
the school was opened ; the actual cost of the additional 
land. Further, we shall need to enlarge certain arguments 
by adding subtopics which will illustrate or explain them. 

Having done all that seems necessary in the way of 
completing our investigation, we may then prepare the 
final outline. Our main points, of course, will remain 
unchanged. The topics must be arranged in a sensible. 


clear order under each niain point. Let us suppose that 
we have enough material for our argument on the question 
of school grounds, and that we have arranged the sub- 
topics in a good order. We may now prepare our final 
outline, as follows : 


Resolved, that the school board should enlarge our school 
grounds ; because 

I. The present yard is entirely too small, _/^r 

1 . The yard is used now by three times as many pupils as 

it was six years ago, although some space has been 
recently taken for a new building : 

a. Enrollment December, 1908, 225 ; December, 19 14, 


b. Shops erected March, 19 12, on former basket-ball 


2. There is now no room to play baseball. 

3. Boys frequently play in the street, in spite of the law 

against it. 

4. Accidents sometimes occur because of the crowded 

conditions : 

a. Three boys were knocked down last Thursday. 

b. Two windows were broken by balls last week. 
II. The needed land can be easily obtained, for 

1. There is an adjoining vacant lot, 200' by 300'. 

2. The owner will sell for $6100. 

3. It can at least be rented ; the rent is $30 per month. 

4. Bonds can be voted to furnish the money ; pupils would 

ask parents to vote for the bonds. 
III. Larger grounds would be very beneficial to the S(^\.OQ\for 
I . There would be more room for play : 

a. Tennis courts could be added. 

b. A baseball field could be provided. 

4 2-03 6 


2. The gymnasium classes could use the grounds: 

a. Open-air work is desirable. 

b. This would not disturb other classes. 

3. Elementary agriculture could and should be taught : 

a. Such courses are practical and interesting. 

b. According to the Report for 19 14 of the U. S. Com- 

missioner of Education, 1677 schools already teach 


Follow the directions suggested above, and prepare the final 
outline for your argument. Wherever possible improve it by 
changing the form of the sentences or the order of the sub- 
topics. Bring the outline to class to be read and criticized. 

Practicing the Argument. The final outline should now 
be copied on slips of paper or on cards which will be con- 
venient to use before the class. On these should be in- 
cluded all the subtopics, and all the facts and figures that 
will be needed in giving the talk. The argument may 
then be practiced from these notes, the practice being 
made as nearly as possible like the actual talk before an 
audience. Here we shall give directions for the method to 
be followed in the talk, the outline being used as sug- 
gested above : 

1. In opening your argument, state the resolution and follow 
this with the word ' because ' and the main reasons, naming them 
' first,' ' second,' etc. For example, " I maintain that the school 
board should enlarge our school grounds ; because, first, the 
present yard is entirely too small ; second, the needed land can 
be easily obtained ; and third, larger grounds would be very bene- 
ficial to the school." This is a brief prospective summary, serving 
as an introduction to open the way for the real argument. 


2. Now go back to the first main reason, and after restating 
it, proceed to prove it by means of the subtopics, ahvays remem- 
bering to back up these subtopics with the facts and arguments 
at your command. We may begin the proof of the first main 
point as follows : " First, then, the present yard is entirely too 
small. Sbc years ago, when the school was opened, there were 
but 225 pupils in attendance. Now there are 692. This means 
that the playground is used by over three times as many children 
as at first. Yet during this time there has been no corresponding 
addition to the play space. On the contrary, the grounds have 
actually been diminished in size, for in, March of 19 12 the basket- 
ball court was taken for the new manual-training shops. More- 
over, there is now no place for the boys to play baseball. Indeed, 
the present grounds are so crowded that some of the boys play 
ball in the street in front of the school, in spite of the fact that 
the law forbids street games." Continue the argument, covering 
all the points under I. Then conclude this main point with some 
such statement as this : " All these conditions show conclusively 
that the present yard is entirely too small." 

3. State and prove the second main point in the same manner. 
For example, " Second, the needed land can be easily obtained. 
Adjoining the school is a vacant lot which can be purchased for 
$6100; or the owner stands ready to rent it for $30 per month. 
The size of this lot is — ," etc. After covering all the arguments 
under II, conclude somewhat as follows : " Thus, it is clear that 
the needed land may be easily added to the present grounds." 

4. State and prove each of the other main points in a simi- 
lar way. 

5. Finally, summarize the main points, and conclude with the 
word ' therefore ' and the statement of the proposition which has 
been proved. This conclusion might be expressed as follows : " We 
have seen, first, that the present yard is entirely too small ; second, 
that the needed land can be easily obtained ; and third, that larger 
grounds would be a great benefit to the school. Therefore, it is 
clear that the school board should enlarge our school grounds." 



1. a. Copy the final outline on slips of paper or cards. Use 
marks in the outline, at the proper places, to remind you of the 
fact that at the beginning and at the end of the talk the main 
points are to be summarized, and that at the end of the proof for 
each main point a sentence restating that point is to be given. 
Practice the talk according to the directions in the text. Perhaps 
you can get some friend to listen and give you criticism. Be seri- 
ous, businesslike, and forceful. Practice looking directly into the 
faces of your hearers, and try to convince each one that your 
arguments are sound. Give the talk in class. 

b. After your argument has been given, perhaps the other 
members of the class will have questions to ask or arguments to 
make on the other side of the question. Listen to these points, 
and take notes as they are given. After all the pupils who wish 
to speak on the subject have taken part, choose several of the 
strongest points which have been made and reply to them. Try 
to make every answer complete and conclusive. 

2. You have now prepared and given in class a complete argu- 
ment, and thus you have learned a method which can be applied 
to any argument. Choose another subject, prepare the material 
and the outline, practice the talk, and deliver it in class. 

A Debate. Grammar-school pupils have frequently given 
excellent debates, and there is no reason why any class can- 
not arrange such a contest. We shall therefore state here, 
briefly, some general directions for a simple debate. 

There should be two speakers on each side, and the 
points should be divided judiciously between them. For 
example, to take the question already used in the preced- 
ing section, the first afflrmative speaker may prove the first 
main point, " that the present yard is too small " ; and the 
other affirmative speaker may take the other two points, 


"that the land can be easily obtained," and " that the larger 
grounds would be beneficial to the school." Let us suppose 
that after studying the negative side of the question we 
should find four main points, as follows: "first, the con- 
gestion is not serious ; second, the pupils can use the city 
playgrounds ; third, it W'ould be unfair to other schools 
which have small grounds ; and fourth, the money could 
be spent in better ways." Each of the two speakers on 
the negative side may take two points. 

For beginners, each talk may be limited to five minutes, 
and the final talk by the affirmative speaker to two minutes. 
The speakers on each side alternate, and the first affirmative 
speaker opens and closes the debate. But a better plan will 
be to allow each debater two talks, the first one for a pre- 
pared argument, and the second for answering the argu- 
ments of the other side. The order of speaking should be 
the same for both rounds of talks, and the first affirmative 
speaker will have three appearances. The time allowed for 
each of the first speeches may be six minutes, for each of 
the second speeches three minutes, and for the final speech 
two minutes. 

When each speaker appears for the first time, he should 
state the main points of his side, including both what he 
has proved or will prove, and those assigned to his partner ; 
that is, the hearers should be given a summary of the argu- 
ments of each side. It would be well to give this summary 
both at the beginning and at the end of each speech in the 
first round. The last speech for each side should conclude 
with a summary of the whole argument. 

The debater should always listen to the points of his 
opponents, take n^tes, and try to give answers. 


Judges may be chosen as follows : Each side selects one 
student to act as judge, and the two judges thus chosen 
select the third. At the end of the debate each judge 
should write the word ' affirmative ' or ' negative ' on a slip 
of paper, without consulting the other judges. Two votes 
decide. Judges should remember that they are not to vote 
which side of the question they believe is right, but which 
two debaters gave the better argument. 


Choose a partner for a debate, and find two other students to 
oppose you. Then together select a question. Decide and write 
down on paper, so that there can be no misunderstanding, all 
such details as the exact wording of the question, the sides, the 
time for each talk, the number of talks, and the date for the 
debate. The teacher will plan a schedule for the contests. 

Next, each side should study the question, gather material, 
find the main points, make the outline, divide the points, and 
study the arguments of the other side. Then each speaker should 
practice his part of the argument. 

Below are some sample questions ; others will be found in 
Appendix II. 

1. Resolved, that this school should adopt some form of student 

2. Resolved, that smoking on street cars should be prohibited. 

3. Resolved, that all girls should be required to learn dressmaking 
and cooking. 

4. Resolved, that boys should learn how to cook. 

5. Resolved, that the schools should give moving-picture enter- 

6. Resolved, that football is a better game than baseball. 

7. Resolved, that this city should own and operate an electric- 
lighting system. 


8. Resolved, that the school year should be divided into four 
quarters of twelve weeks each. 

9. Resolved, that the Monroe Doctrine has been a benefit to the 
United States. 

10. Resolved, that the United States should operate a line of steam- 
ships between eastern and western seaports, through the Panama Canal. 

11. Resolved, that students should decide on their occupations be- 
fore they leave high school. 

12. Resolved, that the President of the United States should call a 
world convention for the establishment of a plan for universal peace. 

13. Resolved, that every girl should study for an occupation other 
than that of a housewife. 

14. Resolved, that the milk supply should be delivered by one central 
agency, rather than by several wagons with overlapping routes. 

15. Resolved, that the Gary school plan should be adopted in our 
city. (See The Independent ioi December 13, 191 5.) 


Thus far we have considered the preparation and the 
presentation of explanations and arguments, but in these 
discussions Httle has been said about the speaker's appear- 
ance before the audience, the use of his voice, his use of 
words, and the other factors which help to produce a pleas- 
ing effect. We shall consider some of these matters in this 
chapter. That the manner of our speaking is important we 
know, for it is common knowledge that many an unworthy 
business proposition and many a mistaken idea in political 
life have won recognition because of clever presentation, 
while many a worthy cause has failed for lack of effective 


Listen carefully to some speaker, preferably to one whom you 
have not heard before. Take notes if necessary, and come to 
class prepared to answer the following questions, and to give the 
reasons for your answers : 

1. Was the speaker's subject matter well arranged.'' 

2. Was his manner pleasing? 

3. Which was the better, his subject matter or his style of delivery ? 

4. Would you have been interested in the subject matter of the 
speech if the speaker's manner had been poor? 

5. If you knew the speaker well enough, what suggestions for im- 
provement could you give him? 



Repose before Speaking. All the recitations in Oral 
English classes should be given at the front of the room. 
When the student is about to speak, he should walk quietly 
and naturally to that part of the room, turn toward his 
hearers, and look into their faces an instant before be- 
ginning. If there is a chairman, the student should turn 
toward him when giving his opening words. Many a talk 
has been spoiled by the speaker's standing so far back from 
his audience that all could not hear him. Therefore, if the 
student is to speak on a stage, he s-hould come well forward. 

If the speaker is to be introduced to the audience, he 
should sit at ease while waiting. Judgment is often passed 
upon a person before he begins to talk, and- even before he 
rises. Awkwardness in the chair, nervousness, and stiffness 
are quickly noted and remembered against him. Poise, ease, 
and naturalness all influence the audience favorably. This 
kind of prejudging is not fair to the speaker, but is 
common, and he must make the best of it by trying to 
win the good will of the audience from the first moment 
that he appears before it. 

Standing Positions. Keep a natural standing position 
during the speech. A successful singer has said that while 
singing he has the feeling that his chest is extended for- 
ward and upward. This position gives erectness and free- 
dom. If the speaker is much in earnest, his body will tend 
to incline toward his hearers rather than to shrink from 
them. In a short speech, unless he is talking quite infor- 
mally to a small group, he will stand with the weight upon 
both feet. In a long talk he will use a variety of positions, 
all easily assumed and easily held. He will make the 
changes from one position to another as he goes from one 


division of his speech to another, or as he gives special 
emphasis to certain ideas. And finally, he will do all these 
things unconsciously, either because they come to him natu- 
rally or because he has practiced them so faithfully that they 
have become fixed habits. 

Avoiding a Support. Certain bad habits common to 
careless speakers should be guarded against ; for example, 
leaning over a table or chair or pulpit as one talks. There 
is no objection to such an attitude sometimes ; and there 
may be occasions where such a position can be maintained 
naturally throughout a talk. These occasions are rare, how- 
ever, and a student should not deliberately grow to need 
such a support. In his practice, therefore, he should learn 
to* be completely self-sustaining. It is good training for one 
to have to come into full-length view of an audience, with 
no object within reach. 

Controlling the Feet and Hands. Poor control of the feet 
spoils many speeches. Listeners cannot follow ideas, no 
matter how attractively expressed, if they are made conscious 
of the nervous movement of the speaker's feet. Nervous- 
ness may show itself in a quick, jerky twitching of the feet, 
a repeated rising to the toes for no reason, a pendulum-like 
swinging of the body as the weight changes from one foot 
to the other, or a settling down on one foot with the other 
awkwardly placed in front. To recover from these habits 
one must remember that there is no sense or reason in 
such awkwardness ; the feet behave at other times, and 
there is no need for misplaced activities now. 

The speaker must not finger the clothing, nor the knife 
and fork if he is conversing at the table. He must not 
look at the notes in his hand at times when it is not 


necessary. Let the body's activity be confined to the voice, 
face, and arms, and let motions that interfere with the 
object in view be ruled out. The speaker may practice 
at home alone or with friends ; then he may extend the 
confidence and control there gained to talks before larger 
groups, until success is won. 

After the Talk. When the talk is finished, the speaker 
must not let his self-possession and ease fail him. He must 
close the talk with assurance, and without a suggestion of 
retiring to his seat. With the speech ended, the withdrawal 
comes — a step or two backward, an easy turn, and a 
dignified walk to the seat. 


1. Give a short talk, perhaps on a spbject which you have 
discussed before, and pay particular attention to the following 
matters : 

1. Select the best place to stand. 

2. Stand erect. 

3. Lean forward slightly. 

4. Keep the weight upon both feet. 

5. Pause a moment before beginning to speak. 

2. Let several students prepare a talk on any topic that inter- 
ests them, and let four or five others sit in chairs at the front 
of the room. One student may act as chairman, and briefly intro- 
duce each speaker. Give attention to the following : 

1. Sit at ease. 

2. Walk to the position for speaking with promptness and ease. 

3. Pause, facing the audience, before speaking. 

4. Address the chairman. 

5. Change your position once or twice during the speech. 

6. After the speech, return easily to your seat. 


How Gestures Aid. The hands are very expressive. In 
many cases, as for example in making a diagram, in pre- 
senting a gift, in demonstrating the appHcation of a furni- 
ture polish, the speaker naturally and inevitably uses his 
hands. In fact in almost every kind of speech the hands 
take some part, either in actually doing things or in mak- 
ing gestures which help to emphasize the spoken words. 
For example, such talks as the following would certainly be 
better with the hands in use than with them passive : a 
description of a wireless station, the story of a boat race, 
the explanation of the process by which coal is mined, the 
introduction of a speaker. Almost never is a speech as 
effective as possible if the speaker makes no use of his 

In the speeches we have mentioned above, probably no 
student would find it difficult to use appropriate gestures. 
The hand movements would be almost spontaneous. In the 
case of some other speeches, however, particularly those 
which deal with opinions rather than with facts, the begin- 
ner may find difficulty. This is especially true of argument ; 
yet gestures should usually be used in arguing. Imagine a 
man speaking very earnestly, with his hands quietly at his 
side ! Because the student also must be enthusiastic in his 
arguments, he should use his hands ; and if he succeeds 
in argumentative gestures, he will have little difficulty with 
simple gestures in explanations, narrations, and descriptions. 
We shall therefore put the emphasis upon gesture as used 
in argument. 

Practicing Gestures. How shall you begin ? Prepare a 
talk on a subject about which you hold a decided opinion. 
Find some room where you will not be disturbed, and there 


give your argument. Talk to an imaginar}^ opponent, har- 
angtringTiimin over-enthusiastic style, and as you speak, 
use your hands. Such a proceeding may seem ridiculous 
at first, but if you persist \ou will find that you are gradu- 
ally acquiring the spontaneous use of your hands as you 
talk, and that some of the gestures are good. More impor- 
tant still, you will obtain a new confidence in yourself and 
in your ability to appear well before an audience. 

Helpful Criticism. Next, get criticism. The looking- 
glass — ■ the larger the better — will show certain faults in 
your movements. Some gestures will seem awkward, and 
must either be improved or discarded. Some will be ill- 
timed, like a false alarm, and must not be used unless they 
accompany a more appropriate idea. Since gestures are 
used to enforce ideas, if a commonplace statement is accom- 
panied by an extraordinary gesture the effect is the reverse 
of what is desired. Again, good gestures may be repeated 
too often. The frequent use of the same gesture is espe- 
cially objectionable if that gesture is an emphatic one. A 
powerful movement could seldom be used appropriately 
more than once or twice in a speech, while a simple one 
may recur many times. The looking-glass or a critical 
friend will be the judge. 

After a little home practice the student should make use 
of gestures in his class talks, so that he may be helped by 
the criticisms of his classmates. 

Good Judgment in the Use of Gestures. The practice just 
outlined will start the student in using his hands in speak- 
ing, and as a result he will know how to make at least 
three or four good gestures. Good judgment, however, 
needs to be exercised constantly. The student should never 


use gestures merely for the sake of gesturing, at least not 
in a dignified speech in public. He must remember, too, 
that gesticulation, however appropriate, can never make up 
for deficiencies in subject matter : at best it can only add to 
the attractiveness of the presentation. He must not allow 
the swing of his arms and the appeal of his hands to hyp- 
notize him into thinking that a poor speech is a good one 
because it is adorned with gestures. 

Further, gesticulation in any speech must be begun with 
moderation. No speech, however earnestly given, should be- 
gin with extraordinary action. Simple and restricted move- 
ments of the hands and arms should be used at first ; the 
hearers must be interested and made ready for enthusiastic 
speaking before the appearance of the sweeping gestures. 

As between too much and too little gesturing, we should 
always choose the latter. Nothing, perhaps, makes a speaker 
more tiresome than a continual use of the hands. No speech 
requires constant gesturing. Another tiresome habit is that 
of representing ideas by gestures ; for example, a rainbow 
by a sweep through the air, generosity by the open hand, 
or an expression like " His schooling was cut off " by a 
chopping-like motion. Such gesturing should be entirely 

We have already spoken of the control of the hands when 
they are not used in gesturing. There are times when even 
a slight movement would weaken the effect of a serious 
statement or a touching sentiment. The gestures of a rest- 
less person annoy the audience. Study the use of the hands 
made by successful speakers, and learn what to avoid and 
what to cultivate. 



1. Look over the list of topics at the end of Chapter I, and 
select one which seems to have possibilities for gesturing. For 
this exercise gesturing means more than making drawings and 
handling objects ; it means free use of the hands. Practice the 
speech at home, and come prepared to give it in class. Do not 
be discouraged if gesturing is difficult for you : at least you can 
practice faithfully at home, and make an effort in class, even if 
you are but moderately successful. Try to make a definite gain 
over your previous ability. 

2. Select an argumentative subject about which you can be- 
come enthusiastic : an athletic question, perhaps, or a question of 
school policy, an argument for a city improvement, or a political 
question. Practice at home, using the hands, until the gestures 
seem good. Ask one of your classmates to listen to your speech 
and criticize your use of gestures. Then give the speech in class. 

3. Give a brief argument in class — one into which you can put 
some enthusiasm. Begin the speech with gestures which involve 
only one hand, and gradually increase the force of your argument 
and the scope of your gestures, until both arms come into free use. 

The Facial Expression. If the speaker presents a dignified 
and natural appearance to the audience, his speech receives 
a more favorable hearing than it would otherwise. A sincere, 
pleasant countenance and a direct look also help to make a 
talk more attractive. The student must therefore study the 
management of face and eyes, so that both as he walks up 
to take his place before the audience and as he begins his 
speech, he may help to create an atmosphere of good will. 

Manifesting Self-Control. The speaker's mental poise 
should be manifest in his expression. His face may show 
confidence, pleasure, and earnestness, for all these qualities 


will appeal to an audience. The feelings must be under 
such control, however, that confidence does not become 
conceit, nor pleasure silliness, nor earnestness vehemence. 
Any sign of self-esteem, self-consciousness, carelessness, 
foolishness, disappointment, peevishness, disrespect, ridi- 
cule, scorn, or anger is sure to interfere with what the 
speaker is tr)dng to say, and with the meaning he wishes 
to convey to the hearers. 

Suppose, for example, that a student is speaking in favor 
of adopting a system of self-government in his school, and 
an opponent has intimated that the only persons who ad- 
vocate the proposed plan are those who have had difficul- 
ties with their teachers. What shall be the expression on 
the speaker's face as he rises to answer ? It is evident 
that a careless laugh, a sneer, or a scowl might lead the 
audience to think that the statement were true of the 
speaker himself. The reply would better be accompanied 
by a pleasant smile, if it is intended to show that the 
accusations are not true, or by a look of serious deter- 
mination if it is to be admitted that there is dissatisfaction 
with some of the rules of the school but that such dissatis- 
faction may be avoided by the plan advocated. Thus the 
debater would have his thoughts under good control, and 
would inspire confidence in his hearers. 

The student must not let bashfulness or nervousness or 
fear that the hearers will laugh keep him from earnestness of 
manner when the occasion demands it. His hearers will usu- 
ally meet him with the kind of thoughts he brings to them. 

The speaker must restrain himself from emphasizing 
points by bobbing the head, a habit which easily becomes 
ridiculous. He must also guard against a stiff-necked habit. 


Looking at Persons in the Audience. It is a fact that if 
a speaker seems to talk first to one individual and then to 
another in the audience, all the listeners feel that they are 
being addressed. But if the speaker is looking at no one 
in particular, then everybody feels himself left out. The 
student should not deceive himself into thinking that he 
can get good results in speaking if he avoids looking 
directly into the faces of persons before him. 

No speaker can expect his points to reach their mark 
unless he aims them. Imagine a "person trying to collect 
a bill from another without looking at him. This ability 
to look directly and steadily into a person's face is needed 
both for speaking and for listening. In classes in Oral 
English persistent attention should be given to the culti- 
vation of this habit. There is little opportunity for this 
in recitations where students recite at their seats, and as a 
result, young people often talk exclusively to the teacher, 
or let their eyes wander about carelessly. As listeners, 
they have no practice in looking at a speaker, except when 
the teacher is talking. It is for this reason that talks in Oral 
English classes should be given facing the audience. 

A speaker has much to gain by using his eyes wisely. 
All experienced speakers testify to the stimulation which 
comes from the faces of attentive listeners. By looking 
at his hearers, the speaker may tell how his speech is 
being received : what points puzzle or antagonize, and 
therefore need more explanation ; what effect is being 
made by his gestures ; and whether or not he is talking 
too fast. What can a speaker possibly gain by looking at 
the floor, or at the wall, or at the ceiling, or at the desk, 
or out of the window .? 


How can a speaker make his listeners feel that he is 
looking at each one ? Probably the best way with a large 
audience is to direct the eyes toward the center of the 
house, and then to look successively from one person to 
another. He should not talk exclusively to one or two, 
neither should he change too rapidly from one person to 
another. He should direct his talk for a few moments to 
each of as many different persons as possible. Some good 
speakers make it a practice to speak successively to each 
section of the audience ; others, in order to be heard well, 
talk to persons in the extreme rear. In a small group one 
may easily look at individuals in all parts of the audience. 

The Use of Notes. Few persons object to the use of 
brief notes in the ordinary talk. Notes show careful prepa- 
ration and a desire to avoid, on the one hand, a senseless 
memorization, and on the other, a wandering from the 
subject. Care must always be taken, however, to see that 
neither the size of the papers nor the manner of using 
them attracts attention. 

Large sheets of paper should never be brought before 
an audience unless they are original copies of letters or 
other documents. The paper or cards used for the outline 
of a talk should not be larger than four inches by six 
inches, and for most occasions three by four inches would 
be better. 

The notes need never be concealed, but they should be 
used as sparingly as possible. To this end they must be 
written plainly. Typewritten or printed notes are best. 
Those made in pencil or red ink are hard to read by 
artificial light. If the cards are well made and well studied, 
a glance now and then will give all the help needed. The 


notes should be raised slightly each time, so that the face 
need not be lowered, and should be held in one hand natu- 
rally when not in use. In most cases the glance at the 
notes may be taken in one of the natural pauses of the 
speech. The student must not try to drive home an im- 
portant point and at the same time study the notes for 
the next point. The audience needs the speaker's eyes, 
and the important point needs the speaker's full attention. 


1. Come to class prepared to give a short talk upon a subject 
of your own choosing. In giving the speech, pay particular atten- 
tion to making your facial expression pleasing. 

2. Come to class prepared to give a short argument, express- 
ing great earnestness, with strong disapproval of opposing ideas. 
Make the facial expression earnest, but do not scowl or frown. 

3. Select an argumentative subject about which untrue and 
perhaps unfair statements might be made. Select one such state- 
ment to answer. Tell the audience what it is, and proceed to 
reply to it. Assume no vindictiveness of manner or of visage, 
but calmly and pleasantly show that the opinion is based upon 
a misapprehension of the facts. 

4. Select one statement which seems to be in conflict with an 
opinion you hold, but which is true. Give the statement to the 
audience, and then proceed to make a dignified, serious answer, 
in which you admit the truth of the statement, but show that 
other considerations make it inconclusive. 

5. Prepare to give a talk on a current topic or other subject. 
iJu not use notes. As you speak, look frankly and squarely into 
the faces of as many persons, one after another, as possible. Do 
not let your eyes move too rapidly, however. After your talk ask 
all those who are certain that you looked at them to hold up 
their hands. Note whether your attention was well distributed. 


Repeat this exercise until the eyes are trained to look at indi- 
viduals in the audience. 

6. Arrange a conversation between yourself and a classmate 
and give it in class. Look each other in the face except when 
consulting papers or other objects necessary to the conversation. 

7. Give in class a speech which requires the use of notes. 
Have the notes on slips of paper or cards not larger than three 
inches by four. Pay attention to the following considerations : 

1. Hold the notes in view when you walk to your place. 

2. When they are about to be used, raise them high enough to 
avoid bending the head to look at them. 

3. Hold them with one hand most of the time. 

4. Look at them only when necessary, and make each glance as 
brief as possible. 

5. In most cases look at them only during pauses, giving your eyes 
to your hearers while you are speaking. 


W^ords are the elements which we put together to express 
ideas. The longer we study and the more we read and 
think, the more we shall need significant and precise words 
to express our thoughts. With a limited vocabulary we 
shall often be embarrassed because of the lack of the 
right word in our conversation. Uninteresting talkers 
usually belong to one of three groups: (i) those who are 
careless in pronunciation or articulation or both ; (2) those 
who have only a small stock of words at their command ; 
(3) those who have few ideas. Since the aim of our school 
work is to expand and develop our ideas and to help us 
express these clearly and attractively, we shall here con- 
sider how we may improve our speech and increase our 

Pronunciation. No word is a part of a person's speaking 
vocabulary unless it can be correctly pronounced, clearly 
enunciated, and correctly used in sentences. Slovenly pro- 
nunciation must be avoided, and may be corrected by culti- 
vating the habit of accuracy. We must first know what is 
the correct pronunciation of a word before we can speak 
it properly, and we can acquire distinctness of enunciation 
only by a proper use of the lips and tongue. ' Singin' ' for 
'singing,' 'feller' for 'fellow,' ' sor ' for 'saw,' are often 
due to lip and tongue laziness. Accuracy of pronunciation 




comes from an interest in taking care, an interest which it 
is hoped may be aroused by the considerations which follow. 

The pupil should familiarize himself with the marks com- 
monly used by the dictionaries to show the sounds of the 
letters of the alphabet. For convenience in use they have 
been put into Table D in Appendix VI. These marks 
should be used in making a memorandum of words the 
pronunciation of which has for any reason proved trouble- 
some. When making note of new or mispronounced words, 
the pupil should respell each one, separating it into its 
proper syllables, marking the sounds of the letters when 
necessary, and indicating the accent. 

The only guide to pronunciation that is always reliable is 
a recognized unabridged dictionary. Every person should 
speedily make intimate acquaintance with one such diction- 
ary and consult it about all words that present problems 
of any kind. 


1. Practice pronouncing correctly the following words, and 
come to class prepared to use any or all of them in sentences : 























































2. Practice carefully the pronunciation of the words listed be- 
low. Then practice reading" a short article of your own selection. 
Read it in class, making every syllable stand out clearly. 





















3. The words listed below may be pronounced in more than 
one way. If time and opportunity permit, study the pronunciations 
as given in the unabridged editions of three dictionaries. In any 
case consult one dictionary, and make memoranda of the author- 
ized pronunciations. Use the words in sentences, giving the pro- 
nunciation which you prefer. 









































Adding New Words. Not only must a student study to 
make the pronunciation of the words already in his vocabulary 
correct and distinct, but he must also appropriate new words. 
One who is standing still mentally may get along with only 
a few hundred words, but a person of widening experience 
and deep human interests will need several thousand. 

The average person acquires new words only by having 
them forced into his consciousness. Perhaps he is reading 


an article which he wishes to understand, and finds a strange 
word. He must either go to the dictionary or ask some 
friend to help him out. Again, perhaps he is listening to 
a political speech, and not knowing the meaning of some 
expression used by the speaker, asks his neighbor to explain 
it to him. Later, in telling about the article, or in arguing 
the political question with a friend, he may find it neces- 
sary to use the unfamiliar term, and thus the word becomes 
a part of his vocabulary. 

Such a person increases his vocabulary only under com- 
pulsion, and thus the permanent acquisition of each new 
word is dependent upon the repeated occurrence of the 
need for it. In contrast with this method, or lack of 
method, is the systematic manner in which an earnest stu- 
dent deliberately tries to increase his stock of words. As 
he reads letters, newspapers, magazines, or books, he writes 
down usable new words on slips of paper or in a notebook. 
He also makes a memorandum of spoken words that are 
new to him. By the aid of these he studies the meanings 
and uses of new words. And finally, he makes it a point 
in writing and in speaking to use each word often enough 
to make it completely his own. 

If the student will follow some such plan as this, he will 
acquire great power in effective expression. If he will only 
appropriate some words that are new to him in each day's 
lessons, he will be sure to make great strides forward. He 
will be surprised to find how soon a word so recorded and 
practiced becomes his own. As he makes each of the new 
words a part of his speaking vocabulary, it may be canceled 
from his list. 




1. Listen carefully to a speech in the school auditorium, or to 
some other talk by an experienced speaker, and note the words 
that you do not have in your speaking vocabulary. Select from 
these ten good words which you think are new to most of your 
classmates, and come to class prepared to pronounce, define, and 
use all of them in sentences. 

2. The lists of words given below are worth knowing. Study 
them to see which you already use commonly. Then note those 
with which you are not thoroughly acquainted, and prepare to 
pronounce, define, and use in sentences all these words or as 
many of them as the teacher may think best. If any of the 
terms have more than one meaning, try to use them so as to 
show all the meanings. 

1. abnormally 2. 


3. apologetic 4. 






































5. commend 6. 


7. duplicity 8. 








































9. gentility 


13. monsieur 

17. sovereignty 

10. ignition 










14. palatable 

18. sufferance 


11. inexplicable 12. jurisdiction 










15. prodigy 


19. symmetry 










16. ruinous 

20. utility 


3. In some good essay or article find ten words new to your 
speaking vocabulary and that of your classmates. Be prepared to 
pronounce, define, and use them. 

Developing Fluency. Clear, accurate, and rapid thinking 
is the first requisite for fluency of speaking. A large vo- 
cabulary is also indispensable, but the fluent speaker must 


have more than a mere knowledge of words ; he must have 
the famiharity which comes from continued use. Patient 
practice in speal^ing will enable the student to command 
the right words at the instant they are needed. 

The Use of Synonyms and Equivalent Expressions. 
When about to use an important word in expressing an 
idea, the practiced speaker has perhaps five other words at 
his tongue's end, each ready to leap into place to supply 
the need : consequently there is no hesitation. With public 
speakers few of the instances of hesitation are due to slow- 
ness of thought ; the cause is usually the hunting for the 
right word. A help to the attainment of fluency, and to 
an avoidance of awkward breaks in delivery, is the study 
of synonyms and actual practice in using them. 

Every good dictionary gives lists of synonyms, or words 
which have related meanings. When a person is in doubt 
as to the exact meaning of a word, or is perplexed about 
the appropriateness of its use in a particular connection, or 
is anxious to avoid an awkward repetition, he will profit 
by a study of the synonyms of the word. Suppose one is 
tempted to say, '" The parade was fine." Is it not obvious 
that if this were spoken to one who did not see the parade, 
the descriptive word would mean very little ? But if the 
speaker had used his dictionary in building up his vocabu- 
lary he would have at command many synonyms which 
would express his meaning more accurately. 

If hesitation is due to lack of words, then the study of 
synonyms and practice with them should help to cure the 
habit which some speakers have of pausing and filling in 
the pauses with such sounds as cr, ah, etc. Ask a friend 
to keep account of these sounds in the course of some talk 


that you give, and you will rouse yourself to the need of 
careful thinking, a full vocabulary, and distinct, incisive 

A class in argumentation once felt the need of greater 
variety in opening, closing, and connecting words in debate. 
As a result, they prepared the following list : 


Agai?i, moreover, further, furthermore, also, besides, in addi- 
tion to, likewise, once more, then too, more than this. 

Because, for, since, as, inasmuch as, for the reason that, by 
reason of. 

Therefore, hence, consequently, so, then, accordingly, wherefore, 
thence, on that account, for this reason, it follows that. 

Hcnvever, yet, nevertheless, on the other hand, still, notwith- 
standing, in spite of. 

Prove, establish, show, substantiate, verify, see. 

Maintain, assert, claim, allege, declare. 

Finally, last, in conclusion. 

Since our language has a wealth of synonyms, it should 
be possible for us to avoid repetitions which attract atten- 
tion to sounds rather than to the thought. Thus, instead 
of saying, " Our house is just large enough to hold the 
whole household," we should find it easy to say, " Our 
home is just large enough for all the members of the 

Extempore Practice. The student should avoid in his 
practice all tendency to memorization. Memorizing crystal- 
lizes the vocabulary into a set form of words and thereby 
deadens the talk. What the speaker needs in almost 
every situation is a live, active vocabulary, one so varied 


and so sensitive to external conditions that it can meet 
the needs of the moment and the temper of the audience. 
Such a hve vocabulary is to be acquired by practicing 
speeches in which a variety of expressions is used. 

Suppose, for example, that you were to appear before 
a group of people to talk about a wave motor, that is, a 
machine designed to use the energy of the waves. You 
would need first, of course, to prepare a detailed outline. 
Then you would practice the talk, expressing the same 
ideas each time, but avoiding any attempt .to use exactly 
the same words. Suppose you should first express one of 
the ideas as follows : " No matter how bad the weather be- 
comes the machine will work." It would be foolish to use 
this rather commonplace expression each time, when any 
of the following would probably be better : 

Even if it storms the motor will work satisfactorily. 

This invention has been tested in all kinds of weather. 

No matter what the disturbance, its effectiveness is unimpaired. 

No heavy sea can put it out of order. 

The construction is so good that it resists any wave force. 

The waves will buffet it in vain ; its efficiency will not be 

This appliance will be found intact after the hardest test which 
the elements can offer. 

The result of having a wealth of words from which to 
choose in expressing an idea is that when you actually give 
a talk, the stimulus of the occasion will lead you to just the 
right expressions. You will not have to search for them. 
Perhaps a student thinks he would do well to select before- 
hand the best expressions to use in all cases, and then to 
practice the speech, using only these particular words and 


phrases. If he is led into doing this he fails to take into 
consideration the fact that several unforeseen conditions 
may arise. He may find himself confronted by an audi- 
ence of well-informed people and have to use language 
of a technical nature ; or by an audience of uneducated 
people and need to use simple words. He may find his 
hearers intensely interested and thus be able to give de- 
tailed explanations ; or he may find them restive and be 
forced to hurry over certain portions of the speech. He 
may be faced by critical strangers and wish to use a care- 
ful, dignified manner of speaking ; or he may be met by 
sympathetic friends and be able to employ a familiar style. 
He may be interrupted, or questions may be raised before- 
hand ; in either case he will need to change his speech to 
meet new conditions. AH this shows that the speaker must 
have at his command the resources of a varied vocabulary, 
and that memorizing will not do. 

Reading and Writing as Aids. It is a debatable question 
whether a person's speaking vocabulary is larger than his 
writing vocabulary. On the one hand, it is possible for us 
to write any word that we can speak, for we can verify its 
spelling by the use of the dictionary. On the other hand, 
it is possible for us to speak any word that we can write, 
for we may look up its pronunciation. In actual practice, 
however, we frequently avoid the oral use of a word be- 
cause we are not sure of its pronunciation ; and likewise, 
in our haste, we avoid the writing of certain words because 
we are not sure of the spelling. In most of these cases 
we are not entirely satisfied with the substitutions. To 
avoid such unsatisfactory expressions the student should 
form the dictionary habit as early as possible. 


Even if the student were to neglect other aids, however, 
writing would be a great help to the fluency of his speak- 
ing. When he is putting thoughts on paper, he has to 
search for the best words to express his meaning, and this 
is sure to have a good effect on his speaking vocabulary. 
In the case of any person, serious practice in speaking de- 
velops, tests, and clarifies the thought, and is thus good 
preparation for writing ; and practice in writing is good 
preparation for speaking. Many speakers make it a habit 
to write out carefully an entire sp'eech, and after revising 
and correcting it to lay it aside. They have thus thought 
out at least one rendering of the speech in dignified, 
appropriate language. 

The student must remember, however, that the mere 
writing of words will not insure their becoming a part of 
his speaking vocabulary : it is necessary to use them re- 
peatedly in oral sentences before they really become his. 

After all else is said, reading good books gives one the 
surest foundation for the development of fluency in speak- 
ing. Here we come under the sway of masters of diction, 
who give us the riches of the kingdom of thought and 
make us rulers over many kinds of expression. Uncon- 
sciously we appropriate words and phrases and tricks of 
speech. And to make the gain most rapid, we have only 
to read such writers aloud. 

Most of us are particularly poor in words of description, 
but wide reading will help supply the deficiency. A student 
who is fortunate in having a large and discriminating 
vocabulary of adjectives says that he gained the use of 
these words by reading Cooper's "The Spy," "The Last 
of the Mohicans," etc. 




1. Find as many synonyms as possible for each of the words 
below. Study the various meanings, and practice the words in 
sentences. Be prepared to use each word and each correct 
synonym in a sentence. Remember that synonyms do not often 
have exactly the same meaning ; therefore be ready to show the 
differences. The exercise may be divided as seems best. 

1. boy 

2. dare 

3. angry 

4. happy 





































2. Study the use of the italicized words in the sentences 
below. Find synonyms, and then revise the sentences so that 
the ideas are better expressed. Be ready to give these improved 
sentences in class. 

1. He is very much in earnest. 

2. His clothes are a// rigJit. 

3. What a p)xtty tree ! 

4. Is n't this a ^Viff^?/ morning? 

5. Hovfjzne you look ! 

6. Willie has a/res/i, bright smile. 

7. He is a strict captain. 

8. We had a very good meal. 

9. This is my busy day. 

10. She has an open countenance. 

3. Express each of the following ideas in five other ways, and 
decide which is the best suited for classroom use : 

1. I am very glad you came to see me. 

2. I 'm pleased to meet you. 

3. Allow me to introduce Mr. Williams. 

4. It gives me great pleasure to present the name of Mr. Thomas. 

5. How are you ? 


6. I am sorry to say I have n"t time. 

7. I hope you will get along all right. 

8. We have had a heavy rain. 

9. Keep yourself busy. 

10. Isn't it beautiful weather.'' 

4. Select a subject for an oral description, and practice the 
speech, paying particular attention to the choice of adjectives. 
Make the words fit the ideas perfectly, so that the hearers will 
get a complete, definite, exact, and attractive picture. Let the 
class criticize your descriptive words, and be prepared to defend 
your choice of words, or to accept the suggestions given. 

5. Write a short (about 200 words) description of a person 
known to the members of the class, or of a building known to 
all. Be very careful in the use of adjectives. Read the description 
in class, and let it receive criticism as suggested in Exercise 4. 

6. Select a paragraph or article of about 200 words, and study 
it to see how' it may be expressed in different words. Perhaps 
you may be able to improve it, particularly if it is a newspaper 
article. After reading the piece aloud many times, practice ex- 
pressing the same ideas without using any of the printed words 
except prepositions, conjunctions, articles, and the like. Do not 
write anything, but go over the thought many times with the 
printed paper before you, gradually developing the power to 
paraphrase more and more rapidly. 

Read the article in class, and follow it at once with the render- 
ing in your own words. 

The Use of Slang : What Slang Does. One day a student 
Qt college chanced to meet a member of the Board of Edu- 
cation of his home town. The greeting was cordial, and 
conversation was free and pleasant. But the student was 
more and more ashamed, as the talk proceeded, to find that 
try as he would to think of the right words to use, his college 


slang constantly came into the conversation. This, then, is 
the trouble with slang ; it crowds out other words ; it nar- 
rows the vocabulary. For example, the slang phrase in, ' No 
storm can put this wave motor out of commission,' casts its 
spell over us, and we do not exert ourselves to use diction- 
ary English. Perhaps we excuse ourselves by saying that 
" out of commission ' should be, and in time will be, in the 
dictionary, just as hundreds of such expressions already 
have entered the language. But you, a student, cannot put 
it into the language. Only use by recognized authors can 
do that, and meanwhile you, who should be learning to 
express solid ideas in reputable words, are squandering 
your chances to build up a good vocabulary, just for the 
humor of the slang. 

Moderation and Good Judgment. However, we should not, 
and cannot, object to all slang, even if it does sometimes 
crowd out good words. Perhaps the safest course to pursue 
is to agree to the following policies ; first, not to spoil with 
slang the expression of an idea which is worthy of a dignified 
statement ; second, not to confine all our talking to ideas 
which seem to lead to slang ; third, to try to avoid associating 
constantly with persons who use slang to excess ; and fourth, 
whenever we use slang to try to use it appropriately. 

The fourth aim, appropriate use, needs explanation. Have 
you not heard a speaker, in the course of a dignified and 
serious speech, without warning use a slang expression } 
The fact that his use of the slang surprised the audienc^ 
showed that it was not appropriate. It would have been 
possible for the speaker to lead up to the expression by a 
smile and a more informal manner of speaking. Some- 
times* slang may be introduced in the words of another 


person ; as, for example, " This machine is so strong that 
an auctioneer might say about it, ' Gentlemen, no matter 
what the weather, you will find this wave motor on the 
job.' " Writers of fiction often put slang into the mouths of 
their characters, but they so describe these persons that we 
should naturally expect such language from them. Appro- 
priate use, therefore, depends upon the subject, the time, 
the place, the audience, and the manner of the speaker. It 
is rare that any but a speaker of wide experience and of 
large knowledge of human nature can succeed in using 
slang fittingly in a public speech. 

There are on record cases of boys in business who have 
failed of promotion because of their habitual use of slang 
and bad grammar. An errand boy in a bank perhaps fails 
to be promoted to one of the positions where he must meet 
customers because of his " swell " and " I seen." In business, 
slang habits are as unfortunate as untidiness of dress. 


1. Listen to the talk of persons on the athletic field, or in 
business, or on the street, or watch carefully your own conversa- 
tion. Select five instances of the use of slang. Study the words 
in question, and see if there is any justification for their use. Then 
prepare a list of synonyms, or of other expressions of the ideas 
involved. Come to class prepared to answer the following questions 
about each slang word or phrase : 

1. Under what circumstances was the expression used? 

2. Did the circumstances justify the use of slang.? 

3. Was the slang picturesque, or expressive, or stronger than ordi- 
nary words? 

4. What other expressions might have been used? Give at least 


5. Is there any indication that the slang expression will ever become 
good English ? Do any of the dictionaries list it as " slang " ? Do any 
Hst it as " colloquial " ? Do any list it as authorized English, without 
comment ? 

2. Come to class prepared to give a talk, or to take part in a 
discussion, upon the following subject : How can a pupil counter- 
act the bad influence on his vocabulary of the playground, the 
street, and his companions ? 

Correcting Grammatical Errors : What Bad Grammar 
Does. No person who makes bad mistakes in grammar 
is likely to succeed as a public speaker. In fact he is 
not likely to be effective in any kind of talking. And since 
there is hardly an occupation at the present time which 
does not require intelligent speaking, the efficiency of a 
person's work in life depends largely upon his ability to use 
language correctly. Those who speak incorrectly are con- 
stantly suspected of ignorance, carelessness, eccentricity, or 
lack of ability. All these suspicions may be unfounded, but 
the fact remains that in both business and social relations 
human beings judge each other by the neatness of their 
dress and the correctness of their speech. Without this 
correctness of speech as a fixed habit, a person is likely to 
go through life underestimated and misjudged. 

The Need for Oral Practice. Correcting mistakes by re- 
writing the sentences correctly will help but little ; it is the 
speech which must be changed. The ear must be trained 
to the correct words. To get this training there is no better 
way than by oral practice with the correct forms until the 
error is effectively driven out and the right form established. 
First try to see the absurdity of the wrong forms, and learn 
to avoid them as you would any other untidiness. 


Suppose, for example, that one is suffering from the 
habit of using 'ain't.' Let him consider the following 
facts : No such word exists in literature ; no person ever 
purposely uses it in a public speech ; no person who is at 
all careful of his speech ever uses it ; the word is univer- 
sally a sign of carelessness, hurry, or boorishness ; the dic- 
tionary calls it illiterate. Such considerations should show 
anyone the danger of accustoming the mind and lips and 
ears to 'ain't,' or any other grammatical error. In addition 
to such a study, practice of the right forms in sentences, 
which show as many different uses as possible, will be 
invaluable. For example : 


I'm not going to the picnic. 

You aren't as old as I am. 

The other players say they 're not going to play because they 
are n't in condition. 

We are n't in very good trim either, but we 're not afraid to 
play them. 

Tom says he is n't going to play after this game. 

Is n't that too bad ! 

Are n't they going to play us at all 1 

Is n't every other date taken ? 

Am I not on the team ? I am, am I not ? 

If the student is in earnest he will soon find that the 
first step has been taken : he has arrived at the place 
where the use of the wrong form by himself or by others 
immediately arouses him. Thus he is on the road to recov- 
ery. His case would be more discouraging if he made 
errors in grammar without knowing it. He will find as he 



continues his practice that the correct sounds come natu- 
rally to the mind and lips, and do not seem so strange 
when they are used. In the end he will use the right 
forms without conscious effort. 

Common Errors. Below is a list of fifty sentences which 
often show errors. If the student frees himself from any 
temptation to misuse the underscored words, he will have 
made progress in his speaking. Other common stumbling 
blocks are irregular verbs. To cure mistakes in the use of 
these, it is a good plan to compose sentences containing 
common expressions of time ; for example, "' Every day I 
ride to school"; "Yesterday I rode to school"; "I have 
already lidden to school." Stress of voice may be put on 
the correct forms to be learned, 


Correct Form 

Incorrect For]\ 


I saw three rabbits. 



He has n't gone to school for a 




Those fellows took it. 



Fni not going. He is fi't going. 

I ain't. He ain^t 

We are n^t going. We V(? not going. 

We aiivt 


I would n't have done it. 

of did 


I threw it away. 

throw ed 


He came here a year ago. 



It was he. It was she. 

him, her ' 


It is I. It is we. 

me, us 


This lever is to start it. 

This here 

That lever is to start it. 

That there 


He ought not to have done it. 

hadn't ought 


I lay down on the grass. 



We were lying on the grass. 




14. He can talk better than /. 

15. He does n^t know me. 

16. Each of the boats is ready. 

17. I have n 't brought any pencil. 

18. Where are you ^^m^ ? 

19. I havenH any paper. 

20. I have to do my lesson. 

21. I said to him, " Come here ! " 

22. I should like to go. 

23. My school is different //w;; yours. 

24. He can play as ivell as Tom. 

25. Neither Jim nor John has come. 

26. It looks as (fit would rain. 

27. He rose up in bed. 

28. I did it this morning. 

29. If anybody wants an apple, 

let h/m come here. 

30. Since I am here, I '11 speak. 

31. The harness is badly broken. 

32. They can't explain the things 

that are going on. 

33. He was taken to jail. 

34. This is strictly between you and me. 

35. Where are they ? 

36. They were all on time. 

37. The boy sat on a chair. 

38. May we go home ? 

39. Whom did you call ? 

40. I began it yesterday. 

41. He behaved very badly. 

42. Let me go. 

43. When I heard the bell I ran all the way. 

44. If I were you, I should come. 

45. I don't know anything about it. 

46. I don't understand your being here. 





going to ? 

have tiH got 

I^ve got 






like ; like as if 




Being that 

that 's 

are they at ? 
not hi tig 


47. Having a long time to wait, 

/ 7vas very glad to sit. the seat zvas very welcome 

48. I could see but a few feet in couldn't see only 

front of me. 

49. This will teach you to speak learn . . . correct 


50. Have you eaten your lunch ? et 


Take the first ten correct forms of grammatical usage given in 
the above list. Practice the correct wording in as many sentences 
as are necessary to make the sounds perfectly familiar to you. Be 
prepared to use any of the forms in ten or more sentences in 
class. When other students give their sentences in class, listen 
carefully and do not let any error escape you. 

Other groups of sentences may be used for additional exercises. 


The Four Forms of Discourse. If somebody tells us that 
a century ago people had to depend on candles and oil for 
lights, that later the value of gas .for illuminating was dis- 
covered, and that in 1880 the Edison incandescent light 
was invented, we are listening to a narrative. If we say 
that the incandescent light is a pear-shaped glass bulb with 
a brass support, inside of which is a looped wire, we have 
given a description. If we say that the illumination is 
caused by the electric current, which heats the wire to a 
white heat, we are making an explanation. And, finally, 
if we try to persuade another person that the incandescent 
light is better than the gas light to use in studying, we 
are making an argnment. Thus, in the case of the electric 
light, narration tells its story, description gives its appear- 
ance, explanation shows how it works, and argument passes 
judgment on it. 

Combining the Four Forms of Discourse. Combinations 
of two or more of these four forms of discourse are com- 
mon. It is rare to hear a talk of any length which confines 
irself throughout to one form. At the least, some descrip- 
tive words will creep into the narration or explanation ; into 
the description will enter a sentence or two of explanation 
or argument ; and into the argument must necessarily come 
the other forms. The various conditions under which we 



speak make these combinations inevitable. For example, 
the history of a country is incomplete without a brief de- 
scription of its physical features, an explanation of its form 
of government, and some argument as to the worth of its 
national ideals. The description of a city can often be 
better understood in the setting of a brief narrative of its 
past, an explanation of the forces of nature which have 
influenced its growth, and an argument as to its beauty or 
advantages. An explanation of the method by which we 
elect our presidents may be made more effective by a nar- 
ration of some of the complications in the past, a descrip- 
tion of the ballot sheets, and an argument on the worth of 
our method. An argument on the question of factory child 
labor should include a brief history of the entrance of 
children into factories, perhaps a description of a cannery 
or a cotton mill, and an explanation of the effects of child 
labor on both the children themselves and the community 
in general. 

Often the narration, description, or explanation is the 
most effective part of an argimient, A well-told story of an 
accident given before a board of directors may save a man 
his position ; a vivid description of a room and its furniture 
may win a lawsuit ; a clear explanation of the workings of 
the commission form of government may win a debate. 

Although combinations of the four forms of discourse 
are necessary and desirable, yet we must always keep clearly 
in mind what our main purpose is, — narration, description, 
explanation, or argument, — and every form used must be 
made to serve that particular purpose. In our school prac- 
tice it will be wise at first to confine each talk largely to 
one form. 


In Chapters I and II we have already considered ex- 
planation and argument ; in the present chapter we shall 
discuss how to prepare an oral narration. 


1 . a. Any one of the topics listed below may be made the basis 
of a talk in each of the four forms of discourse. Choose one of 
the topics, and decide how to make it form the subject of a narra- 
tive, a description, an explanation, and an argument. Come to 
class prepared to tell what ideas you would develop for each talk. 

b. Prepare and deliver one of the talks. 

1. An automobile. 6. A game. 

2. A sewing machine. 7. A telephone. 

3. A fountain pen. 8. Postage stamps. 

4. A horse. 9. An aeroplane. 

5. Writing paper. 10. A certain man. 

2. a. Choose one of the following topics for a talk in which 
the four forms of discourse are used. Come to class prepared to 
explain to the others how you would plan such a talk. 

b. Prepare and give the talk in class. 

1. How education will improve citizenship. 

2. The small college is better than the large college. 

3. Will the aeroplane be of use in carrying mail ? 

4. The advantages or disadvantages of the prepayment cars. 

5. The tramp problem. 

6. The European war. 

7. How war interrupts business. 

8. The cotton industry in the United States. 

9. Laws about oil drippings from automobiles. 
10. The " Camp Fire Girls " movement. 

Choosing Subjects for Narrations. We never let a day 
pass without telling somebody about its happenings, or 
about events and incidents of other days. Yet many of 


us use little discrimination in the choice of what we tell. 
Only significant events are worth recalling — events sig- 
nificant both to the tellers and to the listeners. It will be, 
worth while to remember this in the Oral English recitation, 
and to choose narrations which have meaning : those from 
which interest, entertainment, or profitable conclusions may 
be drawn. For this purpose there are many sources of 
good stories. All about us interesting things are happening 
which will be news to most of the members of the class. 
Magazines and newspapers are stocked with the records of 
events many of which are suitable for the classroom. One 
may also tell the stories of plays and books, provided they 
are not made long and tiresome. 

Careful Planning. We should never attempt to tell a 
story without thinking over the whole narration first. If 
reading or study is necessary in preparing for the talk, this 
should be done painstakingly, memoranda being made of 
the essential points. If we are going to tell about a real 
happening, we may try to find out what event led up to 
the incidents with which we are concerned, and what the 
sequel or after-effects were. Then we should plan the out- 
line for the telling. The outline should be complete, in- 
cluding the introduction, the events to be narrated, and 
the conclusion. But all points not significant for the main 
purpose of the story must be excluded. 

Opening Words. The introductory words should usually 
give the setting for the story ; that is, they should tell 
where, when, and under what circumstances the events took 
place. Ordinarily they should also introduce one or more 
of the characters of the story. Thus, if we were telling 
about a football game, we should preface the actual story 


with a statement of the schools playing, the place, and the 
date, and should explain, perhaps, whether or not the game 
was of any importance. The story of a summer vacation 
might begin with such a statement as the following : 
'" Three years ago last summer I was offered the oppor- 
tunity of spending the month of July with my uncle's 
family in a house boat on the Mississippi, I was to meet 
my uncle at St. Paul, and the trip was to cost me only 
my fare back from St. Louis." 

Introducing New Persons or Scenes. As the story pro- 
ceeds new characters may be brought in, each being intro- 
duced by words which will make clear his identity and his 
relation to the other persons. Similarly, if the setting 
changes during the story, a few preliminary words of ex- 
planation will be needed at that point. The following 
expressions will indicate what we mean : ' A month later ' ; 
' We must see what has been happening in Pittsburg ' ; 
' When we came back to camp we found that all our 
blankets were wet.' 

Indicating the Point of View. Sometimes the point of 
view used in the story is an unusual one, and must be indi- 
cated in the opening words. If you are one of the characters 
in the story, and are telling it as your personal experiences, 
the events of the narration should be given in the order in 
which they affected you. If you had no part in the story, 
then the order of narration should ordinarily be that in 
which you learned of the events. Or, if as an outside third 
person you are supposed to see into the minds of the actors 
and to tell about their motives and feelings, then you may 
arrange the events in whatever order will best serve the 
point or aim of the story. 


Emphasizing Significant Details. In the stories which 
have plots, often something in the setting or the early 
happenings has prime significance for the climax. Thus, 
in the story of a mountain trip, the time of year might be 
the fact of most importance in the exciting part of the 
story. Or the point of the story might hinge on the fact 
that on the night preceding the events related one of the 
boys left his hat hanging in the schoolroom ; or that a tree 
had blown down ; or that a high fence prevented one from 
seeing beyond it. Whenever such points determine what is 
to happen later in the story, they must be so clearly given 
that no listener will miss them. 

The introduction is frequently not a part of the narration 
itself, but consists of explanation or description, or both. 

The Series of Events. After the introductory sentence or 
sentences, we begin the recital of the actual happenings. 
We must decide whether to have the action slow or rapid. 
Our recital must show the hearers the rate of this action. 
We accomplish this by expressions which show the passage 
of time, such as ' After a few minutes ' ; ' The next day ' ; 
' In May ' ; ' At the end of vacation ' ; etc., and by the con- 
creteness with which we tell about actual events. Thus we 
give a better idea of the time involved by saying, "They 
dug a trench as large as the door and a mile and a half 
long," than by, "They dug a long trench." 

We have hinted above that the point of view may deter- 
mine the order in telling the several events of the story. 
Some stories have for their climax the discovery of an 
event which has occurred earlier. Some books of fiction 
"begin in the middle," and do not tell about prior happen- 
ings until later chapters. As a rule, however, most of the 


stories told in the Oral English class should follow the ex- 
act order of time in which the events themselves occurred. 
For this reason it is not difficult to prepare an outline 
for narration. 

Two Kinds of Narrations. There are two kinds of narra- 
tives : those in which the events lead up to a crisis and 
then down to an adjustment or solution, and those in which 
a mere series of events without a crisis is chronicled. The 
story of a flood presents a crisis ; the story of a journey 
ordinarily does not. The presence of a crisis in a story 
makes a plot ; there is a complication which develops as 
the story proceeds and is solved before the end. 

Stories without Plots. Stories with good plots are uni- 
versally interesting and entertaining, but those without plots 
are often attractive only to persons who already know some- 
thing of the characters and the circumstances involved. In 
any case the narration should be studied so thoroughly, and 
the telling practiced so well, that the story will be presented 
attractively. In arranging the outline for a narration with- 
out a plot, the events may be set down in their time order. 
An examination of this list of events will then show that 
they may be grouped under a few general topics. For ex- 
ample, the events of a trip or picnic might be grouped 
under the following heading : 



The trip down the river. 


The swim. 


The lunch. 


The old fort. (Description) 
The games on the beach. 
The return. 


It is in stories without plots that so many speakers grow 
tiresome because they tell too much. Every story should 
have an aim or central thought, and if this central thought 
is kept in mind it will be easier to hold to the main thread 
of the story. In using the outline above, the narrator's pur- 
pose may be to tell what a good time he had, or to show 
what a splendid place for a picnic was found, or merely to 
share with a friend the renewal of the good times. In the 
case of any of these aims, he need not describe the boat 
they rode in, nor what they had for lunch, nor the exact 
order of the games, nor the detailed history of the fort ; in 
short, he should not exasperate his hearers with all the tire- 
some details which so often make listening to stories a bore. 

Ask yourself why you are telling a story at all, and do 
not tell it unless you can find a good reason. With your 
purpose in mind, exclude everything from the narrative 
which does not bear on that aim. 


1. Study the story below, in the light of what we have discussed 
thus far. Come to class prepared to point out its merits as a narra- 
tion without a plot, and its defects, if you think there are any. In 
any case, discuss possible changes or improvements in the telling. 


I come into the second best pador after breakfast, with my books 
and an exercise book and a slate. My mother is ready for me at her 
writing desk, but not half so ready as Mr. Murdstone, in his easy-chair 
by the window (though he pretends to be reading a book), or as Miss 
Murdstone, sitting near my mother stringing steel beads. . . . 

I hand the first book to my mother. Perhaps it is a grammar, per- 
haps a history or a geography. I take a last drowning look at the page 


as I give it into my mother's hand, and start off aloud at a racing pace 
while I have got it fresh. I trip over a word. Mr. Murdstone looks up. 
I trip over another word. Miss Murdstone looks up. I redden, tumble 
over a half-dozen words, and stop. I think my mother would show me 
the book if she dared, but she does not dare, and she says softly : 

" Oh, Davy, Davy ! " 

" Now, Clara," says Mr. Murdstone, " be firm with the boy. Don't 
say, ' Oh, Davy, Davy ! ' That 's childish. He knows his lesson or he 
does not know it." 

" He does not know it," Miss Murdstone interposes awfully. 

" I am really afraid he does not," says my mother. 

" Then, you see, Clara," returns Miss JVIurdstone, " you should just 
give him the book back and make him know it." 

" Yes, certainly," says my mother : " that is what I intend to do, 
my dear Jane. Now, Davy, try once more, and don't be stupid." 

I obey the first clause of the injunction by trying once more, but I 
am not so successful with the second, for I am very stupid. 1 tumble 
down before I get to the old place, at a point where I was all right be- 
fore, and stop to think. . . . Mr. Murdstone makes a movement of im- 
patience which I have been expecting for a long time. Miss Murdstone 
does the same. My mother glances submissively at them, shuts the 
book, and lays it by as an arrear to be worked out when my other tasks 
are done. . . . 

But the greatest effect in these miserable lessons is when my mother 
(thinking nobody is observing her) tries to give me the cue by the motion 
of her lips. At that instant Miss Murdstone, who has been lying in wait 
for nothing else all along, says in a deep, warning voice : 

" Clara ! " 

My mother starts, colors, and smiles faintly. Mr. Murdstone 
comes out of his chair, takes the book, throws it at me or boxes my ears 
with it, and turns me out of the room by the shoulders. — Dickens, 
" David Copperfield " 

2. Choose a subject for a narration without a plot, prepare the 
outline, practice the telling, and give the story before the class. 
Pay particular attention to the opening and the closing words. 
The following subjects are suggested : 






A picnic. 
A banquet. 
A visit. 
A game. 
A celebration. 

6. An incident in class. 

7. A trip. 

8. An entertainment. 

9. A current event. 

10. An incident in business life. 

Stories with Plots. -When the narration has a plot, the 
incidents of the story must all be grouped about that com- 
plication, for the sole purpose of the story is to show the 
existence of the problem and the series of events which 
led to its solution or consequences. 

The very first sentences of the story, the sentences of 
the introduction, should show the existence of a plot or the 
approach of a crisis. This may be done in some such gen- 
eral expression as the following : " One of the most excit- 
ing incidents of the year occurred yesterday at the public 

Next should come the necessary information as to the 
setting, as we have suggested above. 

Then will follow the series of events of the narration 
proper. The first events should deal, either directly or sug- 
gestively, with the plot ; for example, " Cassius decided that 
he would try to stir the Romans against Cassar " shows 
exactly what the complication or plot of the story is to be. 
" The engineer knew there might be danger ahead " sug- 
gests a complication but does not define it. 

In planning the events of the story, it is necessary to 
work toward the climax in such a way as gradually to in- 
crease the interest and zest of the hearers. Each single 
event follows the hint given at first, until the actual crisis 
is reached. Each event is more absorbing than the one 
before it. The attention is gripped and held ; the hearers 


begin to wonder how the solution can be made, how the com- 
pHcation can be resolved, "what will happen next." Sus- 
pense and expectancy come in to add to the interest and 
excitement. It is not difficult to see that just here great 
care is needed to hold the hearers in suspense just the right 
amount of time. This is where story-telling becomes an art. 

Next comes the event or events which form the climax. 
These are the most exciting or interesting of all ; they are 
at the height of the complication, and at the very point 
where it is solved. 

From this point the events which follow are concerned 
with the details of the solution and with the immediate con- 
sequences of the events in the climax. This part of the 
story should be brief but convincing. Brevity is important 
because the interest of the hearers cannot be maintained 
at the highest point very far beyond the climax. But the 
hearers will usually wish to know something of the after- 
effects or consequences of the exciting events of the story ; 
the narration would often be incomplete if it ended with 
the climax, even if this included the solution. 

I'lots are often concerned with a struggle between two 
forces or sets of forces, or between two personalities. In- 
terest is aroused by showing the supremacy now of one 
force and now of the other. The story of the persons or 
forces which operate against the solution of the plot is 
called the counterplot. 

In preparing stories for classroom telling, the pupil should 
remember that the best stories as well as the best plays 
often have unexpected solutions, an element of the unusual 
or of surprise, either in the manner of the solution or in 
the solution itself. 


Conclusions. The story without a plot should usually have 
a sentence or two of conclusion. This ending should not be 
a part of the narration itself, but should rather concern itself 
with a general remark about the story, such as its value, its 
general interest, or its consequences. 

The story with a plot may have a conclusion of the same 
kind, though sometimes a good statement following the 
climax, as explained above, will serve as the conclusion. 
Fables and some other stories end with morals which the 
stories have taught, but it is now thought best to let the 
listeners draw their own conclusions and to learn their own 
lessons from the stories. 

Interesting the Listeners. In telling stories, more perhaps 
than in any other kind of oral exercise, the speaker needs 
to study the faces of his hearers, to see when the interest 
is keen, when to give more details, when to proceed more 
rapidly, and when to bring the story to an end. We give 
narrations for the benefit of our listeners and for no other 
reason. Sometimes we are tempted to give the chief con- 
sideration to the story, and to give the audience secondary 
attention. Rather we should know our story so well, through 
study and practice by ourselves, that we can put almost our 
whole thought on interesting and entertaining our hearers, 


1. Study the story below, and come to class prepared to dis- 
cuss its merits, and its defects if there are any. What changes do 
you think might be made with advantage ? Be prepared to point 
out (a) the features of the story which result in the rise of interest, 
(b) the climax of the story, and (c) the series of events which give 
the after-effects or consequences. 



Thirteen years have passed since, but it is all to me as if it had 
happened yesterday — the clanging of the fire bells, the hoarse shouts 
of the firemen, the wild rush and terror of the streets ; then the great 
hush that fell upon the crowd ; the sea of upturned faces with the fire 
glow upon it ; and up there, against the background of black smoke 
that poured from roof and attic, the boy clinging to the narrow ledge, 
so far up that it seemed humanly impossible that help could ever come. 

But even then it was coming. Up from the street, while the crew 
of the truck company were laboring with the heavy extension ladder 
that at its longest stretch was many feet top short, crept four men upon 
long, slender poles with crossbars, iron-hooked at the end. Standing in 
one window, they reached up and thrust the hook through the next 
one above, then mounted a story higher. Again the crash of glass, and 
again the dizzy ascent. Straight up the wall they crept, looking like 
human flies on the ceiling, and clinging as close, never resting, reaching 
one recess only to set out for the next ; nearer and nearer in the race 
for life, until but a single span separated the foremost from the boy. 
And now the iron hook fell at his feet, and the fireman stood upon 
the step with the rescued lad in his arms, just as the pent-up flame 
burst lurid from the attic window, reaching with impotent fury for its 
prey. The next moment they were safe upon the great ladder waiting 
to receive them below. 

Then such a shout went up ! Men fell on each other's necks, and 
cried and laughed at once. Strangers slapped one another on the back, 
with glistening faces, shook hands, and behaved generally like men 
gone suddenly mad. Women wept in the street. The driver of a car 
stalled in the crowd, who had stood through it all speechless, clutching 
the reins, whipped his horses into a gallop and drove away, yelling like a 
Comanche, to relieve his feelings. The boy and his rescuer were carried 
across the street without anyone knowing how. Policemen forgot their 
dignity and shouted with the rest. Fire, peril, terror, and loss were alike 
forgotten in the one touch of nature that makes the whole world kin. 

Fireman John Binns was made captain of his crew, and the Bennett 
medal was pinned on his coat on the next parade day. —Jacob A. Riis 

1 From " Heroes who Fight Fire," 'Jltc Century, Vol. LV, p. 483 (Febru- 
ary, 1898). Copyright by The Century Company; printed by permission. 


2. Choose a story with a plot, prepare the outline, and be 
ready to give the narration in class, paying particular attention 
to the development and solution of the plot. The basis for your 
story may be found in a paper, magazine, book, or play, or 
you may create the story yourself. The following topics may be 
suggestive : 

1. The lost boy. 6. Timely help. 

2. The trick that failed. 7. The capture. 

3. A young hero. 8. Turning defeat into victory. 

4. How the runaway was stopped. 9. Caught in a storm. 

5. The race. 10. The escape. 


Purpose of Description. We have said that description 
aims to give the characteristics or distinguishing features of 
an object or a person. Descriptions in hterature are often 
elaborate and suggestive ; Scott's picture of the Dead Sea 
in the first pages of the "Tahsman" is an example of the 
wonderful power of carefully chosen words to affect the 
sensitive plate of the mental eye. The pupil in oral work 
may, after long practice, acquire the ability to make descrip- 
tions of real literary merit. He must begin, however, with 
the everyday descriptions such as he gives when telling a 
friend about a town he has visited, or about the appearance 
of a ship, or a scene at a celebration. 

How the Senses aid Description. How does a person 
gather his material for the description of a town, a ship, or 
the scene at a celebration .'' Obviously, through his senses, 
for the ideas which he works into a description are based 
on sense impressions. Let us consider for a moment the 
gathering of information about a celebration. The sense of 
sight shows us forms, colors, and movements. The general 
shape of the whole place is perhaps revealed first, then the 
different details and the relative sizes and distances. The 
color of the sky, of the foliage, of the decorations, and of 
the costumes is impressed upon us, and the movements 
of the trees, conveyances, and people. Tlirough the other 



senses we get the impressions of the stirring of the wind, 
and of the josthng of the merrymakers ; the sound of talk- 
ing and laughing, the cries of venders, and the noise of 
automobiles ; the smell of smoke, of gasoline, of grass, and 
of flowers. 

Besides recounting the impressions which our senses 
have given us, we also weave into the description ideas 
which grow out of these sense impressions : beauty, curios- 
ity, friendship, patriotism, haste, pleasure. All these furnish 
the material for the essential parts of the description. 


a. Study one of the following subjects, drawing on the imagi- 
nation as much as may be necessary, to determine what descriptive 
material might be furnished by each of the five senses, or by the 
thoughts and feelings resulting from sense impressions. Be pre- 
pared to tell the class what impressions a person might gather 
as material for a talk. 

b. Give the description in class. 

1. A park. 6. A harbor. 

2. A ship. 7. A pure-foods, exposition. 

3. A farm. 8. A snowstorm. 

4. An automobile race. 9. A kitchen. 

5. A meat market. 10. A skating party. 

The Outline for the Description. What order should a 
talk of description follow ? Description cannot follow the 
time order, for the mind receives many different impres- 
sions and feelings simultaneously, and neither in writing 
nor in speaking can we convey in an instant any such 
composite thought. In giving a description, therefore, as 
in all other talks, it is necessary to plan the order of topics. 


This list of topics, or outline, will usually include an intro- 
duction, a statement of the point of view, the statement of 
a central idea, the details of the description grouped under 
this central idea, and a conclusion. 

The Introduction. The beginning of the talk should 
give the broader and more general ideas which lead up 
to the subject. These ideas may include the brief narration 
of the experience upon which the description is based, the 
reason for its interest, or its relation to objects with which 
the hearers are already familiar. ■ This may be done in 
some such way as the following : " Three years ago this 
winter, in a trip across the continent, I saw from the car 
window a blizzard on the prairie." Or again, " You have 
all heard of the dikes of Holland ; I am going to tell you 
of an island in a California river where a similar device 

has been used." * 


a. Give the introduction to a description based upon one of 
the topics below. 

6. Give the complete description. 

1. The city -plan of Venice. 6. A view from a mountain. 

2. A landscape. 7. An ocean steamship. 

3. An iceberg. 8. Scenes at a field day. 

4. Washington monument. 9. A picture. 

5. A sunset. 10. A playground. 

The Point of View. The sentence used above to intro- 
duce the description of a blizzard tells the point of view 
from which the blizzard is observed. The point of view of 
a person who happened to be outside the car would have 
been quite different. A traveler's impressions of the city 
of Venice depend upon whether he views it first from the 


land or from the sea, whether he observes it as he walks 
through the streets, or as he rides upon the canals, or as he 
looks down upon it from a height. It is therefore necessary 
for the speaker, in most cases, to indicate early in his talk 
his point of view. 

Occasionally the point of view, changes during the talk. 
Such a change must be clearly indicated ; as, for example, 
' Let us now get a closer view ' ; ' Passing inside the build- 
ing, we find ' ; ' Quite different is the view to the north.' 
The point of view, as we shall see later, also helps determine 
the order of details in the description. 

The student must not think, however, that every descrip- 
tion should include a statement of the point of view. It 
is not always necessary in the case of a small object, such 
as a hat, a lace collar, a table ; nor in such cases as a 
description of the stars, of the facade of a building, or 

of a picture. 


a. Give the introduction and enough of the description of one 
of the subjects below to show the speaker's point of view. 

b. Give the complete talk of description. 

1. A church. 6. A battleship. 

2. A football game. 7. The Panama Canal. 


3. A mountain. 8. The city of San Francisco. 

4. A railway station, inside. 9. The house you live in. 

5. A railway station, outside. 10. A shop or store. 

The Central Idea of the Description. As the description 
proceeds, one object, or one part of an object, or one idea, 
will probably stand out as the most important point in the 
talk. This must be brought out clearly, and if possible all 
the other parts of the description should be related to it. 


In describing Venice the Grand Canal may be selected as 
the leading feature, in which case the railroads, stations, 
small canals, streets, squares, bridges, and buildings may 
be spoken of in their relation to it. Again, St. Mark's 
Square or the Rialto Bridge may be chosen ; or the talk 
may have running through it, as the central idea, the 
unique character of the city due to the absence of street 
cars, horses, and automobiles. The central idea in the 
description of a celebration may be the grand stand, or 
the entrance of the parade, or the sense of confusion, or 
the gayety of the people. 

The Order of the Parts. Suppose we are standing in 
the torch of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor, 
looking northward. What do we see ? At first, water and 
ships, and land and high buildings. That is to say, the 
first impressions are of the larger or closer objects. The 
oral description must follow the same plan, giving the broad, 
general ideas first, and the details later. Soon after the 
eye first sweeps the scene, some one part of the view 
holds the attention and becomes the central idea. Perhaps 
it is the tall buildings or the busy harbor. Let us assume 
that it is the former, but our talk need not announce this 
central idea, for it will appear and reappear as we proceed. 

Next come the details of the description : the separate 
buildings ; the Battery ; Brooklyn Bridge ; the many ferry- 
boats going to and from the city ; the ships entering and 
leaving the harbor ; the docks fringing the group of build- 
ings ; the two rivers and the two other cities, one on either 
side ; the big liner just passing on her way to the city. So 
the picture is completed, with whatever order of sights and 
sounds best suits the occasion and the purpose. 


If a person is moving through a building, the order of 
details is determined by the plan of the building. It is 
particularly helpful to the hearers for the speaker to show 
the connection between the parts of the description. For 
example, we might show that in a certain schoolhouse the 
main hall leads to the auditorium, that from the auditorium 
one may go to the gymnasium just below it, and from the 
gymnasium to the playground, then across the grounds to 
the new building opposite, etc. There should be no jumps 
between the parts of the talk : all should be bridged over. 

Careful study of any subject selected will reveal an 
arrangement of the parts which might be called a natural 
order, an order which brings out clearly the central idea, 
and which makes it easy to connect the various parts, thus 
developing the clearest picture. 


1. Prepare a descriptive talk on one of these subjects, introduc- 
ing it briefly, stating the point of view, and grouping the elements 
of the description around a central feature or idea. 

1. The city of Amsterdam. 6. A fruit orchard. 

2. A college. 7. A factory. 

3. A man, to be recognized at a station. 8. A storm. 

4. An old-fashioned parlor. 9. A theater. 

5. A library. 10. A harvest scene. 

2. Prepare and give in class a description, making one of the 
following the central thought or feature : 

1. A camp fire. 6. A man swimming. 

2. Cold. 7. Hilarity. 

3. Heat. 8. Activity. 

4. A bareheaded man. 9. A tree. 

5. A dog. 10. A bright light. 


3. a. Prepare a complete outline for one of the following de- 
scriptions, taking particular care to arrange the parts in a sensible 
order. Bring the outline to class for criticism. 

b. Give the complete description in class. 

1. A new type of street car. 6. An aeroplane. 

2. A bedroom. 7. A farmyard. 

3. A certain animal. 8. A certain man or woman. 

4. A playground. 9. A house. 

5. A locomotive. 10. A city. 

The Conclusion. The conclusion, may give in brief form 
a general impression of the object described. It may ex- 
press the thought we have as we look back for a final view 
in leaving. It may strikingly summarize the description, 
touching again the interest of the subject, the point of 
view, the central idea, and the important parts or charac- 
teristics. It may express the purpose or significance of 
the object, or the pleasure we have had in seeing it. 
Always it should be concerned with large features and not 
with insignificant details. For example, we might conclude 
a description of the Tower of London as follows : 

My place on the bridge gave me the whole picture at once : the 
semicircle of buildings, the moat, the central building, the river in 
the foreground, and the city beyond. It was an impressive and 
satisfying picture, in spite of the horrible associations of the place. 
I shall always be glad that I saw it. 


a. Give the concluding sentence or sentences of descriptions 
based upon three of the following topics. If necessary, find out 
from friends or books what arc the disUnctive features or leading 


b. Prepare a complete talk of description on one of the subjects. 


A lighthpuse. 


A parade. 


The boulevards of Paris. 


An auction. 


A monument. 


A wireless station. 


A Dutch windmill. 


A telephone stadon 




London Bridge. 

Helps in Description. Good description requires an appro- 
priate use of words. 'Fine,' 'nice,' and 'pretty' will not 
paint distinct pictures. (See Chapter IV, in which we have 
discussed how to increase one's vocabulary.) Another im- 
portant help in effective description is the use of draw- 
ings and pictures. Books of description are usually well 
supplied with these aids. Bring to class anything that will 
make the description more vivid : maps, blue prints, plans, 
charts, pictures, photographs, models, samples, or actual 


1. Study the following description in the light of what you 
have learned. Be prepared to criticize it, pointing out its strong 
points, and its defects if there are any. 

On my way to the Colosseum I crossed the Capitoline Hill, and de- 
scended into the Roman Forum by the broad staircase that leads to the 
triumphal arch of Septimius Severus. Close upon my right hand stood 
the three remaining columns of the Temple of the Thunderer, and the 
beautiful Ionic portico of the Temple of Concord — their base in 
shadow and the bright moonbeam striking aslant upon the broken 
entablature above. Before me rose the Phocian Column, an isolated 
shaft, like a thin vapor hanging in the air, scarce visible ; and far to 
the left, the ruins of the Temple of Antonio and Faustina, and the 
three colossal arches of the Temple of Peace — dim, shadowy, indis- 
tinct — seemed to melt away and mingle with the sky. I crossed the 
Forum at the foot of the Palatine, and ascending the Via Sacra, passed 
beneath the Arch of Titus. From this point I saw below me the gigan- 
tic outline of the Colosseum, like a cloud resting upon the earth. As I 


descended the hillside, it grew more broad and high, — more definite 
in its form, and yet more grand in its dimensions, — till, from the vale 
in which it stands encompassed by three of the Seven Hills of Rome, 
— the Palatine, the Caelian. and the Esquiline, — the majestic ruin in 
all its solitar)^ grandeur " swelled vast to heaven." — Longfellow, 
" Outre-Mer " 

2. Prepare complete descriptions on one of the following sub- 
jects, and use in the presentation some of the helps to efficient 
description : 

1. The Eiffel tower. 6. San Diego harbor. 

2. Los Angeles harbor. -7. New York bridges. 


3. The Boston subway system. 8. A collie. 

4. The Chicago elevated loop. 9. The Dipper. 

5. A park. 10. Mahogany. 

Technical Descriptions. Some oral descriptions may be 
simplified and made more accurate by taking the technical 
point of view. For instance, if an architect is describing a 
schoolhouse to a contractor, he can use very different words 
from those which would be suitable for a school principal 
to employ in describing the same building. The differ- 
ence between a technical and a general description is not 
merely in the choice of terms ; it lies also in the purpose 
of the description : the architect desires to be exact, while 
the school principal aims to bring out general characteristics 
and impressions. 

Technical descriptions can often be effective only with 
the help of written or printed records of some kind. The 
" description of the property " in a deed to real estate 
gives the lot, block, and tract number, and the name of 
the city, county, and state. It may include dimensions 
and references to bench marks and surveys. The specifica- 
tions which accompany the plans for a building contain an 


interpretation of the plans, and show what is required in the 
quality of lumber, glass, hardware, brick, cement, electric 
and gas fixtures, plumbing, painting, finish, etc. The de- 
scription of a man, as kept by the register of voters, includes 
his age, color, dimensions, residence, occupation, and any 
peculiar marks of identification. 

In most cases, to be useful, the technical description 
must be written, but the technical point of viezv is often 
serviceable in oral descriptions. Two questions must be 
considered in deciding whether or not to make the descrip- 
tion technical : Is it the purpose of the talk to give an 
exact description } Will the audience understand the terms 

used } 


1. Study the following technical description, and come to class 
prepared to discuss its merits and defects. 


The location of the house under consideration is on Lot Four, 
Block Three, 243 Grove St., City of Marvin, County of Los Angeles, 
State of California. The lot is 50' by 160', sloping to the front. Street 
work is completed and paid for. Connections are provided for water, 
gas, electricity, and sewer. The soil is sandy loam. The place has ten 
fruit trees of standard varieties, four years old and bearing. There are 
also the usual vines and flowers. 

The house is a California bungalow, cedar shingle roof. It is 24' 
by 28' in size, and has four rooms, bath, front porch, and screened 
sleeping porch. The living room is 14' by iS'. The dining room is 
partially separated from the living room by a fireplace set diagonally 
in the corner of the living room, and by a bookcase. The dining room 
is 12' by 14'. Back of the living room is the bedroom, 10' by 12', with 
a clothes closet 4' by 4'. The bathroom is 6' by &. Back of the dining 
room is the kitchen, i o' by 1 2'. 

The house has several built-in features : window seats, bookcase, 
china closet, cooling shaft, folding bed, chiffonier, and cupboards. 


The plumbing is first-class, with a 30-gallon tank and gas heater. 
The house is well lighted with incandescent electric lights. 

The interior finish is natural redwood, unpainted. The kitchen and 
bath are finished in pine, varnished in natural color. 

The house is one of the most convenient of its kind. 

2. a. Discuss the circumstances under which a description of 
each of the following subjects should be technical. 

b. Prepare and give a general description. 

c. Prepare and give a technical description. 

1. An oak tree. 6. A dress. 

2. A gas stove. 7. A rneal. 

3. An automobile. 8. The interior finish of a house. 

4. A watch. 9. A piece of furniture. 

5. A trunk. 10. A street. 

3 . Give a technical description of one of the f ollow^ing : 


An overcoat. 


A bellflower apple 


A typewriter. 


A camel. 


A garage. 


A cedar chest. 


A mountain range. 


A watch. 


A cornet. 


A book. 

4. Prepare a talk — narration or description, or both — to give 
in class, selecting the subject yourself. Try to find a topic that 
will be interesting to your hearers. If you select a travelogue, 
interesting combinations of narration and description may be 
made. The following may be suggestive : 

1. Buildings. 6. Picnics, parties, and social events. 

2. Parks. 7. Celebrations. 

3. Ocean scenes. 8. Personal experiences. 

4. Towns and cities. 9. Excidng events. 

5. Streets, squares, and 10. Historical events. 



The Need for Business Talks. More and more in busi- 
ness affairs a salesman or an agent or a manager has to 
appear before several persons, often a committee, to present 
a definite proposition. Thus an agent for books or maps 
may address a committee of teachers ; the . bidders on a 
fire engine may talk to the city council ; an automobile 
salesman may have to speak before the directors of a 
business corporation ; an architect may talk to the school 
committee in favor of a certain type of schoolhouse. 

No matter what our occupation is to be, we shall some- 
times need to persuade others just as the business man 
does, even though the conditions may be somewhat different. 
Therefore in our school practice we should include the busi- 
ness talk. In a later chapter we shall discuss ther interview, 
but here we shall restrict our attention to well-arranged, 
complete talks. Imagine yourselves, therefore, each a repre- 
sentative of a certain business firm, or each an exponent 
of a business idea, and let the Oral English class act as the 
committee to which you are addressing your proposition. 

The Appeal to Interest and Service. The speech pre- 
senting a business proposition should begin with an intro- 
duction which aims to interest the listener in what is to 
follow. Although the element of interest is very necessary, 
it should not be aroused by the cheap tricks of the street 



seller, nor by any kind of exaggerated statement. What 
should we think of a man who began his talk, "' I come 
before you to offer you the opportunity of your lives," or, 
"This is the best piece of land on the face of the globe"? 
Even if doubtful methods are sometimes used by successful 
business men, the student must remember that he is build- 
ing for the future, and that questionable methods of adver- 
tising are rapidly passing. The man who uses such means 
has to meet suspicion instead of open-minded attention. 
There is left, then, only the same method for arousing 
interest which we have discussed in a previous chapter : 
connecting the proposition with thoughts already in the 
minds of the hearers. This connection may be made by 
showing the hearers that they have a need which you can 
satisfy. For example, if you were giving a talk in favor of 
a particular book on music, you might begin : " Almost all 
of you would like to become better acquainted with good 
music. Even if you are not interested in music, at least 
you have friends who are, and you would be doing them 
a kindness to call their attention to this book." 

Good business is founded upon service rendered and 
mutual benefits, and the introduction may well take that 
idea as its basis. Thus the introduction to the business 
talk should call attention to the need that exists, and 
should then suggest that the proposition to be presented 
will satisfy that need. 

Any attempt to sell goods when they clearly are not 
wanted should be avoided. People are less and less de- 
ceived by such methods, and more and more the salesman's 
aim must be to try to win a satisfied customer rather than 
merely to make a sale. 



1. Criticize each of these opening sentences either favorably 
or unfavorably : 

1. We intend to show you something new under the sun. 

2. In presenting this plan for your approval, we guarantee that all 
who accept it will be satisfied. 

3. Every person in this magnificent audience ought to interest 
himself in this splendid opportunity. 

4. No person can afford to be without a pistol in the house. 

5. Everyone wants to know about aeroplanes, and we think we 
have here the best book yet published on that subject. 

6. Our stock of seeds and plants is so large and complete that we 
can meet all requirements. 

7. Probably all of you believe in the saying, " See America first." 
I am here to tell you how you may accomplish this. 

8. I am indeed pleased to have this opportunity to appear be- 
fore you. 

9. No one can afford to be indifferent to the great political prob- 
lems confronting this nation to-day. This lecture has for its subject 
what has been called the problem of the hour. 

10. We are here this evening representing three thousand citizens 
who are interested in having a high school built in our section of 
the city. 

2. Give opening sentences for three talks the object of each 
of which is the selling of one of the following articles : 

1. A map of the United States. 6. A book of puzzles. 

2. Tickets to a football game. 7. An automobile. 

3. An electric battery. 8. A bicycle. 

4. An office desk. 9. A dictionary. 

5. A dog or other pet. 10. Tickets for an entertainment. 

The Description or Explanation. After the introductory 
words comes the presentation of the details of the propo- 
sition itself. These details will concern two main topics : 
first, a description or explanation ; and second, the terms. 


Telling the Advantages. If a person is giving a talk 
for the purpose of interesting someone in gas stoves, he 
must, as soon as his introduction is finished, give a careful 
description of the particular stove for which he is agent. 
If he is selling a new kind of cement, he must tell how 
it is used. Thus, in presenting a business proposition, he 
must both describe and explain. To do this well the stu- 
dent should study the principles of good description and 

Showing the Goods. Above all, for a business talk, he 
should make use of the aids to presentation already dis- 
cussed (Chapters I and VI) : diagrams, models, etc. No 
business man would think of tr)ung to sell books, rings, 
horses, or automobiles without showing the goods. The 
architect in selling plans for a house has something tan- 
gible to aid him. The seed merchant shows pictures of the 
grown plants ; the inventor, diagrams and printed circulars ; 
and the manufacturer, tables of figures. So the student 
should, when possible, show the actual article, pointing out 
its characteristics and demonstrating its operation, even 
offering it to the audience for their personal inspection. 

Emphasizing Special Details. Attractive details should 
receive special attention. Many an automobile purchaser 
has selected his car largely because of some detail of con- 
struction which caught his attention and held it. Such 
details often seem insignificant to one familiar with the 
subject, yet companies learn to make them special features 
of their advertisements because they attract attention, and 
because they offer a means of contrast with a Competing 
proposition. Business talks constantly use the idea of con- 
trast. An agent can be more than fair to opponents, and 


yet show how his plan avoids the disadvantages of other 
plans, and how it is better than any other. Thus a speaker 
who advocates a special kind of roofing paper may point 
out the defects of roofing papers in the past, and the efforts 
made by his company to obviate these difficulties. 

References. Actual instances of success should be enu- 
merated. The speaker may tell about the tests the article 
has already had, and the results. Testimonials, names, 
and addresses may be offered, so that anybody may obtain 
disinterested information. 


1. Give a business talk on one of the topics below. Make use 
of concrete helps in your presentation. 

1. A clothes tree. 6. A painting. 

2. A particular kind of gloves. 7. An encyclopedia. 

3. Tickets for an excursion. 8. Accommodations at a hotel. 

4. Subscription to a magazine. 9. A special kind of paper, 

5. A house and lot. 10. Seed for hay or grain. 

2. Demonstrate one of the following as a business proposition, 
making your talk as convincing as possible : 

1. A camera. 6. A hinge. 

2. A cultivator. 7. A cornet or other instrument. 

3. A letter file. 8. An electric alarm. 

4. A glove cleaner. 9. An egg beater. 

5. A music stand. 10. A printing frame. 

3. Make inquiry among the stores of your town about articles 
which you might describe and demonstrate. Ask permission to 
borrow samples to use in class. Find out all you can about char- 
acteristics, processes, distinctive qualities, successes, etc. Select 
one article and prepare yourself to describe and explain it. The 
following are suggested : 



A typewriter. 


An ice-cream freezer, 


A typewriter desk. 


An electric iron. 


Furniture polish. 


An alarm clock. 


A window fastener. 




A motor cycle. 


A folding umbrella. 


A baseball (show the inside). 


A raincoat. 


A washing machine. 


A lock. 


An ice chest. 


A sewing machine. 


A phonograph. 


A trunk or valise. 


A gas range. 


A rug. 

The Terms of the Proposition. -After the listeners thor- 
oughly understand what the article is and how it works, 
they must be told the terms of sale. Often, however, there 
are times when it might be an advantage to give some 
hint as to the price at the beginning of the talk. Suppose, 
for example, that a speaker is advertising a set of thirty 
books of the world's best literature for ten dollars. He 
should hint in his introduction, as an added reason for 
interest, that the books are offered at a greatly reduced 
price. On the other hand, there is justification for exactly 
the opposite procedure. The low price of the books may 
be kept as a pleasant surprise for the end of the talk ; or 
in the case of some expensive article, the price, which 
might seem a disadvantage, may be held in reserve until 
the description and explanation have shown that it is not 
excessive. Tact and judgment must therefore be used. 
The speaker must present the conditions and terms at the 
moment that they will be most favorably received by the 
hearers. He must especially avoid giving the impression 
that the terms are purposely withheld until the last possi- 
ble moment; this would be fatal to the confidence upon 
which good business is built. 


Being Definite. The terms of agreement are always to 
be made definite, so that the prospective buyer will know 
exactly what he may expect, and what is expected of him. 
In the case of machinery, real estate, and, indeed, of many 
things purchased, exact descriptions are furnished by the 
salesman. These descriptions are called specifications, and 
cover every detail of construction and appearance. The 
statement of the terms may include the price, the time 
of payment or payments, the time and manner of delivery, 
and the rate of interest. In the case of real estate, the 
speaker should follow the example of the best dealers by 
telling what assessments will fall due for improvements 
made or planned. In the case of a piano or other large 
article, the time of delivery should be specified, and by 
whom the freight is to be paid. In the case of a piece 
of work, the time for beginning and for completing it must 
be included. Sometimes it may be stated that an article 
can be returned if it proves unsatisfactory. When the offer 
to sell holds good for only a limited time, this should be 
definitely understood. 

Suppose, for example, that a man has been demonstrating 
a vacuum cleaner. He may state the terms as follows : 

We agree to lend this machine and all these parts for a week's 
trial, with no expense to you. If you decide to keep them, you 
are to pay us one dollar a week, without interest, for thirty-five 
weeks. If for any reason you wish to return the machine within 
one year from the time you make your first payment, we will 
allow you seventy-five per cent of the total payments you have 
made on it. We agree to keep it in working order for two years. 



1. a. Frame sentences for use in the early part of talks on 
three of the following propositions, and hint that the price 
charged is not a low one. 

6. Give one of the talks, complete. 

1. A bookcase. 6. Orange trees. 

2. A Bible. 7. A fountain pen. 

3. A piano. 8. An automobile tire. 

4. A piece of velvet. 9. Gasoline. 

5. Butter. 10. A trip to South America. 

2. a. A contractor nearly lost a street contract because his bid 
was so much lower than the others that the city council thought 
he could not be a " responsible bidder." He explained that his 
company was in the habit of rushing work and could therefore 
save time and money. He got the contract and made good 
his word. In a similar way be prepared to state before the class 
good reasons for low prices in three of the following cases. 

b. Give one of the talks, complete. 

1. A secondhand violin. 6. Furs. 

2. A diamond ring. 7. Breakfast food. 

3. Point lace. 8. Tickets to a concert. 

4. A cow. 9. Eggs. 

5. Paint. 10. A baseball glove. 

3. a. Decide, in three of the following cases, whether or not 
any hint about the price should be given at first ; be prepared to 
give your reasons. 

b. (Vive the complete business proposition for one topic. 

1. A low-priced suit. 6. A high-priced building site. 

2. A low-priced set of carpenter's 7. A high-priced blanket. 

tools. 8. A high-priced ostrich feather. 

3. -V low-priced table. 9. A high-priced chair. 

4. Low-priced pencils. 10. High-priced music lessons. 

5. Low-priced tea. 


4. a. Prepare and state before the class the terms of some 
proposition suggested by one of the following. 
b. Give one complete talk. 


A dozen photographs. 


Wall paper. 


A fruit orchard. 


A turning lathe, 


Shares in a mine. 


Digging a well. 


A ship. 


A windmill. 


A correspondence course. 


Making a dress. 


Renting a house. 


An excursion. 

7. Painting a house. 17. Life insurance. 

8. A set of literature. 18. A motor boat. 

9. A motor cultivator. 19. Floor space in an exposition. 
10. Subscription to a telephone. 20. Service as a chauffeur. 

Concluding the Talk. We have so far considered three 
parts of the business proposition : the introduction, the 
description or explanation, and the terms. The talk may 
now be ended with a sentence summarizing the attractions 
of the proposition, followed perhaps by directions for ob- 
taining further information. The summary should be clear 
and crisp like the following : 

These trees are evergreen ; they have a rapid growth ; they 
require little attention ; they withstand the wind and weather ; 
and, on account of fortunate circumstances, we are able to offer 
five hundred of them for immediate delivery at twenty-five per 
cent below the usual price. 

The directions for obtaining further information must 
depend on circumstances. The speaker may arrange for 
a trip to see the property, or he may obtain the names and 
addresses of those who wish literature on the subject, or 
he may announce opportunity for immediate personal inter- 
view. Telephone numbers, addresses, hours, etc, must be 
given with great distinctness. To the sentence of summary 


given above, something like the following may therefore 

be added : 

We should be glad to have any or all of you call at our nursery, 
3327 Broadway. Or if you will let us know in advance, we shall 
be glad to call for you. We can also show you some of the streets 
which were planted with these trees two years ago. Our telephone 
number is North 229. 


Give conclusions for two of the following propositions : 

1. Selling a pair of skates. 6. Renting tents for a camp. 

2. Installing gymnasium apparatus. 7." Installing speaking tubes. 

3. Furnishing a hotel with ice. 8. Selling a motor truck. 

4. Wiring a house for lights. 9. Selling a set of Shakespeare. 

5. Selling a gas heater. 10. Selling a set of knives and 


Answering Questions. Always before the speaker with- 
draws, he should say that he would be glad to answer any 
questions about the proposition. The talk should be so well 
planned, of course, that most questions will have been 
anticipated. If a great many questions about the proposi- 
tion itself are asked, it shows that the speaker has failed 
in his presentation. For example, a fire-hose contractor 
should have anticipated the question : " How soon can your 
company deliver the hose ? " 

But there are other questions which indicate a great 
interest aroused, an interest which demands wider infor- 
mation. A tree expert, who was once presenting a park 
proposition to a city council, was asked to explain why it 
is that tree trunks sometimes grow out in knotty bunches where they meet the ground. Such questions show 
a speaker's success, because they prove that real interest 
has been awakened. 



In each of the following propositions should the speaker have 
anticipated the question ? Talk them over with older people, if 
you wish. Give reasons for your opinion. 

1. (Building a boat) " What metal do you intend to use for the 

2. (Repairing an automobile engine) " What kind of lubricating oil 
do you use ? " 

3. (Building a barn) " What color shall you use for the priming 

4. (Furnishing transportation for a picnic) " Will the car be kept at 
the picnic grounds all day ? " 

5. (Putting a handle in a shovel blade) "What kind of wood is most 
often used for shovel handles?" 

Choosing Subjects. Business propositions vary in com- 
plexity from the oral advertisement of the newsboy shouting, 
" Papers, one cent ! Full account of the election ! " to the 
speech and demonstration made by an agent selling a fire 
engine to a city board of trustees. In the school work 
begin with something simple, such, for instance, as an offer 
to sell a secondhand book. Later, try a more ambitious 
proposition. Select the subject carefully ; study the article 
or process ; practice the parts of the speech — introduction, 
description and explanation, terms, and conclusion — and 
theri be prepared to give the complete proposition. Refuse 
to present a proposition which you cannot wholly indorse. 

Many subjects will suggest themselves to you in your 
daily observation. You should also try others entirely out- 
side your experience for the purpose of widening your 
vision. If you are studying the various occupations so as to 
decide which you shall take up, you will find it helpful to 
select for a talk some proposition suggested by this study. 




Prepare and deliver a business talk on one of these subjects, 
or on another of your own choice. 


An emblem watch fob. 


A jewelry business. 


A wireless receiver. 


A furniture store. 


A chest of drawers. 


A hardware business. 




A restaurant business. 


A baking pan. 


A barber shop. 


A gas engine. 


A candy store. 


A bell. 


An option on a lot. 


Wire fencing. 


A bathhouse business. 


A potted plant. 


A business building. 


An oven. 


A lease 'for an apartment house. 


An aquarium. 


A truck garden. 


Hoisdng apparatus. 


A wheat crop. 


Weighing scales. 


Plowing a field. 


Field glasses. 


Cutting hay. 


An induction coil. 


Installing an elevator. 


A load of firewood. 


Building a garage. 


Subscription to a magazine. 


Stock in a shoe factory. 


An adas. 


Stock in a real-estate company. 


An advertisement in the 


Stock in a bank. 

school paper. 


Municipal bonds. 


Planting a lawn. 


Style is as important a consideration in oral as in written 
composition. Many of the principles of good expression are 
common to both spoken and written English, Only the 
mechanics differ, and even these, as we shall see, are closely 
related. The treatment in this chapter will emphasize some 
of the principles which are of special significance in making 
the style of a speech attractive, forceful, and clear. How 
the voice can help will be reserved for Chapter X. 

How to avoid Awkwardness. The speaker must think 
ahead as he talks even more carefully than does the writer 
as he writes. If an error is made on paper, it is possible 
to correct it easily. But an oral error, even if it is at 
once corrected, is noticed by the hearers. An earnest effort 
must therefore be made to avoid errors of speech, and to 
this end the student must cultivate a ready mind which 
will grasp the whole sentence before the opening words are 
spoken. The speaker who stumbles through his sentences, 
making his way only by means of awkward expressions and 
errors of construction, is often one who starts his sentences 
without thinking how he will finish them. 

The student must develop this power to think ahead. 
He may begin on short sentences. He may think that he 
can easily hold in mind the thought expressed by six or 



eight words, but language plays queer tricks even in short 
sentences. For instance, consider the following sentences : 

1. Only Jane fried eggs to-day. 

2. Jane only fried eggs to-day. 

3. Jane fried only eggs to-day. 

4. Jane fried eggs only to-day. 

5. Jane fried eggs to-day only. 

6. Jane fried eggs to-day. 

It is obvious that although stress, pitch, and pause may help 
to determine the meaning, the speaker must also arrange 
the order of his words beforehand if he is to avoid being 
misunderstood. Into the sentence which has not been 
planned ambiguities slip. ' Send us both books ' may seem 
clear to the speaker, but his hearers may interpret it in 
two ways : ' Send both of us books, ' or ' Send us both of 
the books.' Each of the following sentences is somewhat 
awkward because the speaker has not thought out the 
best order of words : 

1. He, followed by his dog, climbed the hill. 

2. He is one of the men we may well always be proud of. 

3. The only way is to everlastingly keep at it. 

4. It is, barring accidents, certain that we shall be done in 
a month. 

5. We probably shall in a few days plant a hundred acres. 

6. In order to cook dried peaches, they should be soaked 
beforehand overnight. 

7. When he once decides to do the work, he can be depended 
upon after he begins. 

In each of these cases the speaker probably had a clear 
idea in mind, but he failed to plan the best way to express 
that idea. 



Decide what meaning was intended to be expressed in the 
sentences quoted above and in those given below, and revise them 
so that there can be no misunderstanding. Give them in class. 

1. I have written neither to mother nor father. 

2. We are going to hardly be able to get there on time. 

3. The umpire threw Will and Fred both baseballs. 

4. We will only come once more. 

5. He is a man who, whenever he had a chance, has, so far as 
possible, helped the poor always. 

6. I like to swim very much. 

7. This is a bad law ; we have too many of them already. 

8. Our subscription list contains more than any paper. 

9. I wish to talk to you about the football situation in my room. 
10. We not only saw London, but Paris also. 

Variety in the Sentence Structure. Variety in length and 
form of sentences must be the aim of the student speaker 
in his practice. If he will experiment along this line in his 
schoolroom talks, he will find that his speaking becomes 
more pleasing. 

Varying the Length of the Sentences. Short sentences 
are suited to the expression of vivid ideas. Excited con- 
versation and rapid narration will illustrate : 

" Now is our chance," I shouted. " They can't make it," said 
a boy at my elbow. " Can't they ? " said I. " Watch them do it." 
Then we began. First Jack stole second. Then Ed bunted. The 
ball rolled toward third. The pitcher got it. He glanced at Jack 
on third. He threw to first, and Ed was out. Then the catcher 
made a wild jump for a high throw and landed in a cloud of dust. 
Jack had scored ! 

Long sentences are suited to more involved thoughts ; 
they are necessary for the explanation of complex matters. 


Simple facts may be expressed in short sentences ; the 
explanation of these facts may require longer ones. Too 
many short sentences give the impression of abruptness of 
speech ; too many long ones strain the attention and easily 
make a talk tiresome. Variety is the spice of composition. 

For the person who, child fashion, strings his statements 
into long sentences by the use of 'and,' there is no surer 
cure than to give talks in which he forces himself to use 
short sentences, emphasizing the sentence endings with the 
decisive down stroke of the voice. • 

Varying the Form of the Sentence. Consideration must 
be given also to the form of the sentence. Let us illustrate 
the emphasis given to the various ideas by the use of the 
periodic, the loose, and the balanced sentence, and by 
parallel structure. Sometimes a speaker wishes to hold 
the attention of his hearers in suspense — to emphasize the 
thought by holding it until the completion of the sentence : 

For wear, for looks, for price, for cheapness of operation, for 
general road work, in fact for all the desirable qualities which any 
man may ask, this car is the best. 

This is the so-called periodic sentence. 
At other times the loose construction is better. It often 
gives the effect of piling up and strengthening the evidence : 

This car is easily the best for the money, because it is strongly 
built, it has a good appearance, its price is reasonable, and its cost 
of operation is small. 

In some cases the balanced sentence is more effective 
than any other : 

The proposal of the Liberal Party involves a new expense ; the 
proposal of the Conservative Party guarantees an added income. 


In other cases, merely to give parallel structure to similar 
parts of a sentence is effective. Note that this sentence is 
also an example of climax : 

This man has been industrious in his business ; he has been 
faithful to his family ; he has been loyal to his country ; he has 
. been true to his God. 

It will be helpful to use all these forms in practice work. 
But do not try them in public until they become your own. In 
your listening and reading notice the variations in structure, 
and study to see in what ways they make the style attractive. 


1. Prepare yourself to give two short talks, one made up chiefly 
of short sentences, and the other of long ones. Select your subjects 
carefully, and practice faithfully. Do not strain after effect, but let 
the style be decided by the necessities of the subject. Give the 
talks in class. 

2. Practice composing periodic sentences, but do not write them 
out ; give them orally without notes. Try to get in mind the peri- 
odic idea, which is to hold the thought uncompleted till the end of 
the sentence. Then prepare a short talk which consists of several 
periodic sentences. The preparation should be made by going over 
the talk orally, using only an outline. Practice until the talk goes 
smoothly. Give it in class. 

3. Select a subject which deals with contrast, such, for example, 
as the difference between two schools, colleges, persons, cities, 
parks, or countries. Make an outline of topics, and practice with 
it. Then give the speech in class, using some balanced sentences, 
but avoiding the monotony of a long series of such sentences. 

Concrete Examples and Illustrations. Examples and illus- 
trations serve to connect abstract or theoretical ideas with 
matters of common experience. Suppose we are trying 


to convince a baseball captain that his team needs more 
practice. We point out case after case of fumbles, wild 
pitches, awkwardness, slowness, and errors of judgment. 
Or again, suppose a statesman is explaining the direct 
primary law. Somewhere in his address he will take 
an actual case ; he will show in detail just what a certain 
man would have to do in order to become a candidate 
for governor. 

Both explanation and argument are chiefly concerned 
with ideas, whereas narration and description deal largely 
with actual evejits, objects, and facts. And when explana- 
tion and argument have to do with abstractions, there is 
special need of examples. The mind grasps concrete 
thoughts about places, persons, sizes, numbers, times, move- 
ments, and happenings much more easily than it does 

To establish the fact that it pays to buy good material, 
we argue not only from a theoretical standpoint but from 
a practical one as well. We tell what would happen to a 
dress put together with cheap thread ; or we cite an actual 
case, such as one man's experiment with lumber of poor 
grade and another man's success with a better grade. 

Sometimes the example is so well chosen and clearly 
put that the abstract truth does not need to be formulated 
in words : the idea intended to be conveyed is at once 
apparent. For example, suppose the speaker is relating 
some of the problems of a housewife. If he says, " Even 
when a person must pay sixty cents a dozen for eggs, 
almost all those on sale arc more than three months old," 
he will not need to state the more general truth that the 
reason eggs are high is that fresh ones are scarce. Similarly, 


if a person is giving a talk on tliouglitfulness and considera- 
tion for others, and wislies to bring out the idea that most 
boys are apt to be kind when they think about it, he need 
only say, " When John is not absorbed in his paper or 
book he can be depended on to give his seat in the car 
to a woman." 

Figures of Speech. We use figures of speech when we 
employ striking or imaginative comparisons, or unusual 
constructions, or, in general, whenever we depart in a radi- 
cal manner from ordinary matter-of-fact methods of talking. 
Thus we use figurative language in such sentences as the 
following : 

This ship is plowing across the ocean. 
That clock is a faithful friend. 
His face was a puzzle. 

The room was so full of old paper that it looked like a huge 

The shot fired at Sarajevo was heard throughout the world. 

If we are explaining that the man who starts an orange 
grove must have money enough to keep up the place until 
the trees begin to bear, we may illustrate this by means of 
some such comparison as, '" The person who crosses the 
desert must take plenty of water," Or again, we may show 
the need for keeping the mind alert, fresh, and clear by 
instancing the value of proper adjustment, lubrication, and 
cleanliness in the case of a delicate piece of machinery. 

Many of our proverbs are concrete statements of abstract 
truths, and most of them are used as striking comparisons 
to explain or prove a general proposition. We have grown 
so accustomed to these common figures of speech, however, 
that they have lost most of their original vividness. When 


the proverb, " A rolling stone gathers no moss," was first 
formulated to illustrate the truth that a roving, aimless man 
cannot acquire friends or worldly goods, it was undoubtedly 
very effective ; but it has now become so trite that we never 
think of the actual stone, any more than we think of hay 
when " Make hay while the sun shines " is spoken. So if 
we wish to make effective the rolling-stone thought we may 
perhaps succeed better by the use of a concrete instance : 
" The salesman who changes his position every month can 
hardly acquire the good will of any of his employers." Or 
we may use an analogy : " The ship which merely drifts 
•with the tide and wind will never reach any port." 

Other proverbs furnish good examples of the contrast 
between the abstract and the concrete. " The unexpected 
always happens " is so broad a statement of the abstract 
thought that it covers hundreds of instances. The effective- 
ness of the larger truth involved might be made more appar- 
ent by selecting one of the concrete instances for statement ; 
for example, " When you expect a laugh you may meet 
with a frown." 

On the other hand, the proverb, '" One swallow does not 
make a summer," is a concrete instance of a general truth. 
If we seek for the abstract statement which includes this 
instance, we might find it in the following expression : 
"A sweeping conclusion should not be drawn from but 
one fact." 

The best public speakers make liberal use of figures of 
speech, tor they know that these add vividness and strength 
to their thoughts. They try to develop a keen imagination, 
so that pictures, comparisons, and analogies will occur to 
them at the right moments. The ability to dream dreams 


is a prime necessity to one who would make bright, inter- 
esting speeches. And the dreams must be more than ordi- 
nary day dreams. Can you imagine yourself walking down 
a street of Petrograd ? Can you experience the sensations 
of riding across the Atlantic in an airship ? Can you put 
yourself at Gettysburg and hear President Lincoln deliver 
his address ? Can you think out how you will look and 
what you will be doing when you are sixty years old ? Can 
you find yourself in the future when the trusts may be 
owned by the government, and think what the conditions 
will be ? Can you imagine yourself speaking in Congress ? 
We Americans would become not only better speakers, but 
better citizens, if we should occasionally become as little 
children in the matter of the imagination, dreaming some- 
times of flying with the birds, of living in the clouds, of 
talking with the animals, and of doing the deeds of heroes. 

The student will profit by referring to books on written 
composition for examples of the uses of figures of speech, 
particularly of similes and metaphors in description. 

Finally, a person who wishes to improve his style of 
speaking by the use of imagery must delve into literature. 
A page of Dickens or Scott will show how common in fic- 
tion is the use of figures of speech. Poetry is packed with 
comparisons, witness "" Snowbound " or " Hiawatha." The 
Bible is rich in proverbs, parables, metaphors, and other 
figures of speech. 


1 . Bring to class at least five examples of each of these genera} 
statements : 

1. This school has good school spirit. 

2. The athletic activities of the school might be improved. 


3. The school building is in need of repairs. 

4. There will be many things for future citizens of this city to attend 
to before it will be an ideal place in which to live. 

6. We can learn several things from foreign countries. 

2. Tell an incident (either an actual event or a story of your 
own construction) to illustrate the satisfaction which comes from 
the possession or exercise of one of the following good qualities. 
Do not have the story concerned with mere material rewards. 

1. Education. 6. Tact. 

2. Quickness. 7. Honesty. 

3. Persistence. -8. Loyalty. 

4. Ability to debate. 9. Endurance. 

5. Kindness. 10. Good reputation. 

3. Bring to class instances of five of the general statements 
below-. Let the example in each case be of such a nature that the 
general statement need not be given. Let the class decide which 
concrete instance best brings out the meaning. 

1. When the agricultural interests prosper everyone is benefited. 

2. When the times are hard, crime increases. 

3. If the nations would only put more friendliness into their rela- 

tions, the cause of universal peace would be aided. 

4. Liars use figures (statistics). 

5. One needs to be ready when opportunity knocks. 

6. There is a world of wealth in unexpected places. 

7. Small things decide great issues. 

8. There are times when a person must use his authority. 

9. If everybody should do as he pleases anarchy would result. 
10. " Early to bed, and early to rise, 

Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." 

4. Frame analogies to illustrate the truth of five of these 
statements : 

1. Every school needs a head. 

2. Horses should be treated kindly. 

3. Boys will be boys. 


4. A person should not have to work so hard or so long that he 

loses his efficiency. 

5. No one can enjoy a home that is not kept clean. 

6. Manufacturing concerns cannot expect to succeed with out-of 

date machinery. 

7. Women should not be made slaves to the welfare of their chil- 

dren ; they should have their share in life's activities. 

8. Those who use the roads should pay for them. 

9. Young people need frequent advice and admonition. 
10. Voters should find out more about their candidates. 

5. Below is a list of proverbs and familiar expressions, which 
have been used so frequently that much of their original vividness 
is gone. Select ten of them for special study. Decide what is the 
abstract truth which each is supposed to illustrate, and think out 
other instances of this general truth. Then select for each of the 
ten statements a concrete instance so typical that it suggests the 
general truth, and so vivid that it is more effective, if possible, 
than the original proverb itself. 

This exercise may be turned into a competition to find the 
best statements. 

1. Make hay while the sun shines. 

2. A stitch in time saves nine. 

3. Spare the rod and spoil the child. 

4. Horse sense. 

5. Letting the cat out of the bag. 

6. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. 

7. Killing two birds with one stone. 

8. The early bird catches the worm. 

9. A penny saved is a penny earned. 

10. Feathering one's nest. 

11. Sour grapes. 

12. In a nutshell. 

13. Look before you leap. 

14. An ax to grind. 

15. Burning his bridges behind him. 

16. Every cloud has a silver lining. 


17. The worm will turn. 

18. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. 

19. Covering one's tracks. 

20. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. 

6. The following proverbs are abstract in greater or less degree. 
Each of them is a broad statement which includes many instances. 
Select ten of these for study, and consider carefully several of the 
instances of the truth of each. Then find for each the best pos- 
sible illustration. Try to find examples so good, and to make the 
statements so vivid, that your expressions are as effective as the 
original proverbs. 

1. Seeing is believing. 

2. Circumstances alter cases. 

3. Discretion is the better part of valor. 

4. Easy come, easy go. 

5. All things come to him who waits. 

6. A place for everything, and everything in its place. 

7. Coming events cast their shadows before. 

8. A word to the wise is sufficient. 

9. Make haste slowly. 

10. \'ariety is the spice of life. 

11. There is nothing new under the sun. 

12. Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day. 

13. Least said, soonest mended. 

14. All is fair in love and war. 

15. Figures never lie. 

16. A soft answer turneth away wrath. 

17. One thing at a time. 

18. What is worth doing is worth doing well. 

19. Opportunity knocks but once. 

20. Honesty is the best policy. 

7. The following proverbs are concrete in greater or less de- 
gree. Select ten of them for study. Decide for each what general 
statement will best express the abstract thought involved. Make 
the statements as broad as possible. 


1. Birds of a feather flock together. 

2. What is fun for the boys is death for the frogs. 

3. Go to the ant, thou sluggard ; consider her ways and be wise, 

4. As the twig is bent the tree is inclined. 

5. The longest way 'round is the shortest way home. 

6. A chain is no stronger than its weakest link. 

7. The mill will never grind with the water that has passed. 

8. All is not gold that glitters. 

9. Penny wise and pound foolish. 

10. Time and tide wait for no man. 

11. You cannot get blood out of a turnip. 

12. Showing the white feather. 

13. Locking the stable door after the horse is stolen. 

14. Never cross a bridge before you reach it. 

15. Lightning never strikes twice in the same place. 

16. It is a long lane that has no turning. 

17. It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good. 

18. Too many cooks spoil the broth. 

19. He reckoned without his host. 

20. Barking dogs do not always bite. 

Arrangement of Parts — Outlines. Many directions for 
the preparation of an outline have already been given, so 
that we shall here consider the further matters which apply 
to all outlines, especially the need of unity and coherence. 
As the student studies his subject in preparation for a talk 
he may write out every topic on which he intends to touch, 
and perhaps the best plan will be to use a separate card or 
slip of paper for each topic. This method is useful in the 
case of all speeches, long or short ; it may be used when 
one is familiar with the subject and needs only main topics, 
or when one must use full and extensive notes, or even 
when the whole material of the speech is on slips or cards. 

Classifying the Topics. With all the topics recorded, the 
student is ready to classify them. It will at once be noticed 


that some of the topics belong with certain others, and that 
the speech has several main divisions. Further inspection 
will make these groupings stand out more clearly. If the 
speech is to be the story of a vacation experience, some 
slips will be concerned with the preparatory plans for the 
vacation, others with the return home, etc. If a city is to 
be described, some topics will be concerned with the busi- 
ness streets, others with the recreation centers. If a law 
raising the maximum height for buildings is to be advo- 
cated, some slips may bear topics dealing with the evils 
of the present restrictions, some may quote laws of other 
cities, and others may note the benefits to come from the 
change proposed. In most speeches there will be from 
three to six of these groups, corresponding to the different 
parts of the talk. 

Stating the Main Points. Each of the main points may 
be expressed in brief statements. A word or two will be 
satisfactory for labeling the main divisions of most kinds of 
talks, but there is distinct gain in definiteness and clearness 
of thought if each main point is expressed in a complete 
sentence. Note the difference between topic and sentence 
in the following : 

1. The party. Our party consisted of twenty-five members of 
the senior class. 

2. The view. We were able to see the lights of twenty cities. 

3. The terms. The terms are very reasonable and liberal. 

4. The benefits. This law will make possible several improve- 

Arranging the Order of Points. Having formulated the 
three main topics, the next task is to arrange these in the 
order in which they are to be delivered. In most cases this 


order is determined by the nature of the subject, and the 
topics will fall into their proper order as the study proceeds. 
Thus in narration the time sequence of events is usually 
followed. In description the guide to follow is the relative 
position in space of the various parts of the object being 
described. In explanation the topics may follow the time 
order of the process, or the order of the operation of cause 
and effect, or that of the appearance of various problems 
and their solutions. In argument the way must sometimes 
be prepared for new proposals, and sometimes the order of 
parts depends upon the occasion and the audience. This 
we shall discuss in Chapter XIII. 

Coherence in the Outline. The best way of determining 
whether topics are arranged in a proper order is to look 
through the points to see if they can be easily developed, 
as they stand, into a connected speech. This connection 
between topics we call coherence, or transition from one 
topic to the next. If each thought prepares the way for 
the succeeding one, then the outline is well arranged. Thus 
if a person were advocating that a city purchase a triple 
combination piece of motor-driven fire apparatus, he must 
first show that the present apparatus is inadequate. Having 
convinced his hearers that some change is necessary, he 
may next state and discuss the possible solutions, showing 
that none of them is so satisfactory as the one under 
consideration. He may then come back to and discuss his 
proposal. He first asks, Is it practicable .■' And under this 
topic he considers the method of appropriating the money 
to pay for the apparatus, and the superiority of such parts 
as hose carrier, chemical engine, and water pump. Having 
thus shown how it may be bought and how it works, he 


may cite instances of the successful operation of these 
engines in other cities. He may close by summarizing the 
benefits which the city will derive from the possession of 
this .apparatus. In such a talk each topic seems to grow 
out of the one before it, and to lead naturally to the next. 

Arranging the Subtopics. Now to go back to the slips. 
We have arranged them in several piles, each pile repre- 
senting one main division of the talk, and we have just 
seen how to determine the order of these divisions. We 
have now to arrange the slips or topics within each division. 
This we do in exactly the same way as we arranged the 
main parts. Taking each group separately, we study all the 
cards to find the divisions into which they fall, arranging 
them in a natural, logical order. The same process may be 
repeated again if necessary, making two sets of subtopics. 
In the end the complete speech will be outlined consecu- 
tively, with subtopics properly indented on the paper. The 
student is now ready for oral practice, according to the 
plan suggested in Chapter IV. 

Coherence of Details. The principle of coherence must 
be applied in passing from sentence to sentence, and from 
paragraph to paragraph, and from subdivision to subdivision, 
as well as from one main topic to the next. There must 
be no sudden breaks of thought. All the way through the 
speech there must be fitting use of the means of connec- 
tion : repetition of significant words, use of pronouns or 
other words referring to terms already named, repetition of 
the thought in different words, connection by a thought 
which is related to an idea which has gone before, and 
connection by adverbial expressions — words used for the 
purpose of forming links. On page 64 is a list of words 


useful in making connections. Here are some others : ' in 
spite of this,' ' as a result,' " as might be expected,' ' indeed,' 
'in fact,' 'of course,' 'now,' 'but,' 'on the contrary.' 

Unity. The principle of unity dictates that the thoughts 
expressed under each head shall all relate to that head, 
that there shall be no outside ideas introduced. Each sen- 
tence, each paragraph, each subdivision, each main division, 
and each whole speech must possess unity, that is, each 
must deal with but one thought. The greatest danger is 
the temptation to wander from the subject with an idea 
that seems interesting and worth while. The speaker must 
not yield to this temptation. Careful outlining and rigid 
following of the outline will prevent this. 


1. Choose as your subject for a possible speech a description 
of your school or your city. Write on the blackboard the main 
topics for the description, in the order you think best. Compare 
your topics and your order with those of other students, and decide 
which is best. The class may recite in two sections, one for the 
school outline, and one for the city outline. 

2. Prepare a detailed outline for a speech on an interesting 
and complex subject. Avoid narration. Take successively the 
following steps : 

1. Write down, on slips of paper of uniform size, the topics and 
thoughts which occur to you, using one slip for each item. 

2. Study the subject thoroughly, and add to the collection of slips. 

3. When enough material is collected, spread the slips on a large 
table or desk. Then study them to determine the main groups. When 
this has been done, gather the slips of each group into a pile. Next 
write on a slip for each pile the sentence which expresses the general 
thought of the slips in that pile. 


4. Take these topic sentences as the main divisions of the speech 
and arrange them in correct order. 

5. In a similar way sort the slips in each pile. 

6. See that all the slips are in proper order. 

7. Copy the outline on paper, supplying main headings, if needed, 
and making the appropriate indentations. 

8. Copy the outline on cards. 

3. Practice the speech outlined above. Follow the outline 
rigidly. Whenever a new topic appears make the connecting 
links as strong as possible. Tr}' to make good connections, 
also, between the smaller units of- the speech. Deliver the 
speech in class. 

Introductions. We have already indicated many of the 
principles to be observed in the making of introductions 
and conclusions. Here we shall briefly restate them and 
call attention to a few other considerations. 

The introduction gives an opportunity to the speaker to 
make his subject attractive to the audience. He may em- 
phasize the value and importance of the topic, and wherein 
it will be valuable to the audience to hear it discussed. 
He may try to connect a new or strange subject with facts 
already in the minds of the hearers. The subject of the 
talk must be announced unless it has already been intro- 
duced, and it will be helpful if the speaker will give a 
broad, general idea of the scope of the talk. Let us illus- 
trate by means of a few introductory sentences from a 
description of the University of California : 

Every citizen of California should be informed about his state 
university. It is an institution which has attained a world-wide 
reputation. You, as citizens of the state, support it with your 
money, and it exists to serve you and your children. It has de- 
partments which stand ready to advise any resident of the state 


about his affairs, whether he be laborer, banker, merchant, miner, 
or farmer. The value of the common schools and of the high 
schools to the children is well appreciated. The university is but 
a continuation of the free educational system of the state : the 
state offers its children a training which extends from the kinder- 
garten through the university. My object in this talk is to make 
you acquainted with the university at Berkeley. I shall describe 
its location, its grounds, and its buildings. 

Then would follow the description itself: "The city of 
Berkeley, the home of the University of California, is 
situated," etc. 

Introductions must be brief without being abrupt. Unless 
the speaker wishes to shock or surprise his hearers he must 
not begin too suddenly. The listeners must have time to 
get their attention adjusted to the subject and to the in- 
dividual style of the speaker. When you are sure of two 
things, — that your hearers know definitely what you are 
going to talk about, and that they are interested, — then 
you may begin with the main part of the speech. 

Conclusions. For the concluding sentence or sentences 
a summary is necessary in the case of an argument, and 
is very effective in most other kinds of speeches. The 
summary is valuable because it quickly reviews the entire 
subject : it carries the listener back and illumines the whole 
picture at the same time. For example : 

The university furnishes an ideal place for intellectual endeavor. 
Built at the foot of a row of hills, on the slope facing the Golden 
Gate, with grounds of rare variety and beauty, and with a group 
of buildings arranged according to an impressive and convenient 
plan, it is faithfully preparing for useful citizenship thousands of 
the sons and daughters of the state. 


The conclusion may thus repeat or suggest an idea 
which was mentioned in the introduction, and so help to 
make the speech a unified whole. 

Whether or not a summaiy is used, and whether or not 
an introductory thought is suggested by the closing words, 
the last words spoken must deal with a broad, compre- 
hensive idea rather than with a detail of the subject. This 
is a prime necessity if the speech is to be ended well, with 
the hearers satisfied. One of the worst faults of beginners 
is the mistake of thinking that a speech is finished when 
the last detail is given. Notice these closing sentences of 
four different speeches : 

1. We reached home at nine o'clock. 

2. The workbenches are always kept clean. 

3. This house plan provides for wide eaves. 

4. The machine is easily stopped by means of this lever. 

JS'o matter how good the talk is, if it ends with such a 
sentence, it is like a picture without a frame. The subject 
itself may be complete — that is not the point. The last 
sentence is the one most prominent in the minds of the 
hearers, and therefore they carry away the memory of an un- 
important detail rather than a large impression of the whole 
subject. The frame is not a part of a picture ; it encircles 
it and sets it off. Just so the conclusion is not a part of the 
subject matter of the speech ; it includes the whole subject, 
and sets it forth again more clearly. Such a frame is neces- 
sary, if only to hide the ragged edges, to push back the 
details into their proper places. To the foregoing false 
concluding sentences should be added, then, some such 
sentences as these, the numbers corresponding : 


1. Everybody was glad to welcome us, and to hear about our 
fine trip. 

2. I could not help thinking what good carpenters this school 
would turn out. 

3. No house in the whole city could be more attractive. 

4. Ever}' detail is arranged for convenience and safety. 

But perhaps a frame wider still would be best of all. 
If the student will now read consecutively the sentences 
numbered alike above, and add to them the corresponding 
ones below, he will see the value of a final summary : 

1. We never tire of thinking and talking about our excursion — 
the preparations for the journey, the difficulties on the way, the camp 
on the mountain top, the view, the hurried descent, and, best of all, 
the welcome home. This trip was one of the big events of my life. 

2. Grant School has a beautiful location, fine buildings, and a 
good course of study, and is well equipped to teach boys trades. 
It is worth a visit. 

3. It provides for a substantial construction, for a convenient 
interior arrangement, for all the modem space-saving and labor- 
saving devices, and for an attractive exterior appearance. 

4. You have seen that the machine is easily connected, that the 
expense is surprisingly small, that the clothes are thoroughly 
washed without any handling, and that anyone can learn to 
operate it. Why not try it ? 

Even for a speech of ten sentences think out beforehand 
how to begin and how to end. This forethought will save 
some awkward stumbling at the start, and some ungraceful 
■ and ineffective endings. It has frequently been said that 
the most important words in an entire speech, so far as the 
effect upon the audience is concerned, are the concluding 
ones ; and that the next most important words are those 
with which the speech begins. 




1. Choose one of the subjects below, make yourself familiar 
with the general ideas, prepare an introduction to a speech on the 
subject, and deliver the introduction in class. 

1. The city of Honolulu. 

2. Niagara Falls. 

3. Ancient Athens. 

4. The sinking of the Lusttani'a. 

5. Crossing the Atlantic by air. 

6. How eggs are stored. 

7. Coal in Alaska. 

8. Washington's success in war. 

9. Would socialism fail ? 
10. Athletics for everybody. 

2. Plan, practice, and deliver an appropriate conclusion for a 
speech on one of the following subjects : 

1. The United States Depart- 6. How rubber is produced. 

ment of Agriculture. 

2. The causes of the European 


3. The city of Hongkong. 

4. The Roman Colosseum. 

5. The discovery of America. 

7. Buying an automobile. 

8. How mines are ventilated. 

9. Should all boys learn a trade.'' 
10. How phonographic records 

are made. 



In Chapter I we considered the most common kinds of 
explanation : those in whicli we tell how to make an object 
or how to perform an act or series of acts. In the present 
chapter we shall discuss three other kinds of explanations : 
first, that in which the definition of something is given, as 
when we tell the meaning of the word ' neutrality ' or the 
difference between a band and an orchestra ; second, that 
in which the purpose of something is given, as when we tell 
the reason why the name of St. Petersburg was changed ; 
and third, that in which a complex process is made clear, 
as when we tell how a law operates or how sea currents 
affect climate. 

Defining. To define any term is to show its meaning in 
words and ideas already familiar to our hearers. The short- 
est definitions are mere synonyms, as when we say that 
' unsightly ' means ' ugly.' Often definition by means of a 
synonym is adequate to our needs. In other cases, however, 
a synonymous expression will not be satisfactory. The defi- 
nition should do two things : it should tell on the one hand 
how the term is like other terms, and on the other hand 
how it has a special meaning of its own. For example, an 
ostrich may be defined as a very large, two-toed bird of 
Africa and Arabia ; or a street-railway franchise as a privi- 
lege given by a city to a company, permitting it to use the 



streets for huing tracks and operating cars ; or calcium 
carbide as a lumpy, cinderlike substance which generates 
an illuminating gas when brought in contact with water. 

Interpreting. Sometimes we are required to explain the 
meaning of a sentence or whole passage, such as a selection 
from the Declaration of Independence. In a case of this 
kind the best plan is usually to give the complete sense of 
the passage in simpler words. To do this it may be neces- 
sary first to explain briefly the meanings of certain words 
and expressions, and then to weav-e these into a connected 
explanation. The chief task of the speaker is to decide 
what ideas in the passage need explanation, and to give 
.emphasis to these. For example, if we are to explain the 
sentence, " It would be puerile to ignore defects and imper- 
fections still existent in the national and municipal life of 
the United States," the word 'puerile' may be defined by 
using the synonym ' childish,' and the sentence as a whole 
may be made clear by some such paraphrase as this : "It 
would be childish to say that there are no faults in the 
national and city governments of the United States." 

Distinguishing Differences. Frequently we are asked to 
explain the difference between two expressions or between 
two objects. Tw^o synonyms will sometimes make the differ- 
ence clear, but often we shall need to give more. For ex- 
ample, in explaining the difference between an automobile 
and a cycle car it might be necessary first to define one or 
both, next to point out some important points of likeness, 
♦■hen to tell the differences, and finally to give the essential 
difference — that of size and weight. 

Analyzing. Again, ■ we sometimes explain an idea by 
analyzing it. To do this we show what the expression 


includes, as when we explain the term " government ' by 
naming the kinds of governments. Or we show the parts 
and the relations between parts, as when we explain a merry- 
go-round. Or we expand and illustrate, as when we explain 
the meaning of the sentence, ' The beginning of the history 
of the United States must be looked for in Europe.' This 
last method often goes beyond mere definition, for it ex- 
plains reasons and processes also. It is the method used by 
most of our textbooks in explaining the principles of their 


I. Define five of the terms below. Make use of the dictionary 
and such other helps as you wish. Ask yourself the following 
questions : What is the best way to explain the meaning of each 
expression .-* Is a drawing needed ? Is a complete explanation of a 
process necessary ? Is any analysis or illustration needed ? Then 
use what seems to you the best method and come to class prepared 
to give interesting explanations. Be brief. 

1. By-product. 17. Speculation. 

2. Fagade. 18. Palmetto. 

3. Hydroplane. 19. Siphon. 

4. Felling (the seams of a dress). 20. Pilaster. 

5. Hydrographic charts. 21. Prize court. 

6. Before the mast. 22. Glacier. 

7. Ultimatum. 23. Pigment. 

8. Firebreak. 24. Crescendo. 

9. Nihilism. 25. Denouement. 
10. Overproduction. 26. Escapement. 

II. Inundate. 27. Ballot. 

12. Proclivity. 28. Middleman. 

13. Ovation. 29. Armistice. 

14. Inventory. 30. Caucus. 

15. Legerdemain. 31. Unconditional. 

16. Misappropriate. 32. Unifiable. 


33. Longshoreman. 37. Wholesale. 

34. Irreconcilable. 38. Sedentary. 

35. Legendary. 39. Utilitarian. 

36. Profuse. 40. Involuntary. 

2. Explain the meaning of three of the following sentences : 

1. Conservation of natural resources will be the subject under 

2. The forecasts given in the meteorological bulletins arc of tre- 
mendous service to the farmers. 

3. Reduction works arc not always near the mines. 

4. The nonsuccess of our proposals compelled us to extend our 
military precautions. 

5. I have the honor of applying for your kind intervention in order 
that the boats in question may be allowed to leave for Germany. 

6. The industrial and commercial progress of the South in the last 
generation is one of the most remarkable facts in our history. 

7. We are alive to-day to the dangers of unrestricted immigration. 

8. The constant criticism directed against us by foreign nations 
is that America is the land of dollars, and that we care little for the 
encouragement of letters, art, science, and scholarship. 

9. The motor car has taken its place in the complex scheme of life, 
widening the scope of that scheme and at the same time becoming 
necessary to its successful working. 

10. Nothing contained in this convention shall be construed as 
requiring the United States of America to depart from its traditional 
policy of not intruding upon, interfering with, or entangling itself in, 
the political questions or policy or international administration of any 
foreign State. 

Note. Other passages for explanation may be selected from school 

3. Explain the difference between the two terms in three of 
the following pairs : 

1. Socialism, anarchy. 5. Book, pamphlet. 

2. Brain, mind. 6. Town, village. 

3. Bolt, lag screw. 7. Flag, pennant. 

4. Chair, stool. 8. Hatchet, ax. 



9. Cornet, trumpet. 

10. Violin, viola. 

11. Civilized, barbarous.. 

12. Dignified, serious. 

13. Barbarous, savage. 

14. Defective, abnormal. 

15. Administrative, executive. 

16. Politician, statesman. 

17. Real property, personal property. 

18. Butter, oleomargarine. 

19. Fear, cowardice. 

20. Courage, daring. 

4. Explain the meaning of three of the terms below by telling 
the kinds of things included by each, or the parts and their rela- 
tions ; that is, explain by analyzing. 

13. Play. 

14. Cooperation. 

15. Lighthouse. 

16. Skill is necessary in the trades. 

17. War is harder on women than 
on men. 

18. The negro has made great prog- 

19. Modern improvements lighten 
the work of housekeeping. 

20. Necessity is the mother of in- 

1. Bank. 

2. Kitchen. 

3. Public-service corporation. 

4. Patriotism. 

5. Fuel. 

6. The professions. 

7. Trade. 

8. Dressmaking. 

9. Vocation. 

10. Vegetarianism. 

11. Work. 

12. Religion. 

Explaining Reasons and Purposes. When we come to 
deal with the reasons and purposes of things we are forced 
to study causes and their effects. Thus, if we ask why 
the name of St. Petersburg was changed, we must recognize 
that the change of name was the effect of a cause, and 
must proceed to find that cause or group of causes. Often 
causes are universal and sweeping laws. For example, the 
outbreak of a war leads to hatred between the opposing 
nations. We know that this is an almost universal law of 
human nature, and have now only to show that this cause 
was operating in the case of the change in the name of 
St. Petersburg to understand the reason for that change. 


Thus our explanation consists of two parts : ( i ) an expo- 
sition of the cause ; and {2) the concrete appHcation of 
this cause to the case to be explained. 

Similarly, suppose that we are asked to explain the 
importance of the occupation of the teacher. We should 
discuss the necessity of giving children a careful prepara- 
tion for life, and then should show that the teacher helps 
to provide these opportunities. 

In making an apology, or explaining why we did a 
certain thing, we are explaining purposes and causes. All 
explanations of behavior are of this kind. 

In dealing with causes, the explanation closely approaches 

argument. This requires a high order of thinking, but it 

gives good returns. 


Study the causes involved in two of the cases given below. 
Then plan a brief talk to explain each. Practice the talks and 
give them in class. 

1. Why is it important for every high-school pupil to know how to 
t}'pewrite at least as fast as he can write.'* 

2. Why is aluminum used for kitchen utensils? 

3. Why is baseball so popular? 

4. Why do not -Americans like cricket more than they do ? 

5. W^hy do not the English object to the idea of a monarchy ? 

6. Why is gingham better than calico for work aprons? 

7. Why is it better to have a definite time each day for study than 
to study only when in the mood for it? 

8. Why was a good president ? 

9. Why is best for shortening? 

10. Why did Germany declare war before the other nations ? 

11. Why is the occupation of the street cleaner an important one? 

12. Why arc dictophones useful? 

13. Why did Brutus decide to help in the conspiracy against Caesar? 

14. Why did Rebecca help Ivanhoe? 


15. Why do we have cement sidewalks ? 

16. Why do we allow street cars to become overcrowded? 

17. What are the conveniences of having electricity in the house? 

18. Why are laws necessary.? 

19. Why should every pupil take manual training ? 

20. Why is it important to study occupations ? 

Explaining Processes and Operations. We now come to 
the explanations which make clear processes and operations, 
such as the laws -of nature, mechanics, politics, business, and 
society. The same general principles are involved in the 
explanation of all processes, and these principles we have 
already considered in an elementary way in Chapter I. 
We shall here briefly review these principles, and consider 
some of the more complicated explanations. 

Collecting the Material. As pointed out in Chapter I, 
all material collected should be carefully tested, and should 
not be accepted as true upon insufficient evidence. Thus, 
if we are to explain why Germany invaded Belgium, we 
should not accept any statement as final until we have 
examined all accessible material on the subject. So, in 
explaining a process such as that involved in making dyes, 
we should be likely to fall into error if we based our talk 
on information contained in one article of a popular maga- 
zine. The means of testing the accuracy of any information 
are as follows : ( i ) Extend the study to include information 
from several different sources. (2) Compare the groups of 
facts so obtained, and ascertain the points of agreement, 
or the agreement of those from the most reliable sources. 
(3) Depend for the most part on printed matter approved 
by acknowledged experts, or accepted by persons known to 
be well informed on the subject in question. (4) Talk with 
experts. (5) Observe or perform the process. 


Having collected, recorded, and tested the material, we 
shall have data upon which to build our talk. All memo- 
randa should be preserved and brought to class for use if 
facts are questioned. 


1. By way of review, collect material for one of the explana- 
tions suggested below. Pay special attention to testing the mate- 
rial. Use none which is not above question. Bring all notes to 
class, and be prepared to give an attractive talk describing how 
you collected your data. 

1. How a diving bell works. 6. How taxes are fixed. 

2. How to make an attractive 7. How to knit. 

bouquet. 8. How milk bottles are cleaned. 

3. How rubber is made. 9. How salt is mined. 

4. How canal locks work. 10. How flour is made. 

5. How linen is made. 

2. Prepare, practice, and give the talk of explanation. 

The Introduction. The first words of the talk should in- 
troduce the subject clearly. A listener often gets a wrong 
impression from the opening remarks of a speaker, and so 
fails to understand the explanation. It is therefore impor- 
tant to tell directly and clearly at the start the nature of the 
subject. If it is new or strange, we must try to introduce 
the subject through ideas that are already familiar to our 
hearers. For example, suppose we wish to explain the 
installation in a house of an apparatus for the production 
of acetylene gas for illuminating purposes. The name 
"acetylene" may mystify many of the hearers, and perhaps 
even lead them to think that a chemical experiment is to 
be explained. Misunderstanding may be prevented by speak- 
ing of a problem that all will appreciate : that of furnishing 


lights to a house which cannot be suppHed with electricity 
or ordinary gas. 

Another valuable aid in introducing a difficult subject 
effectively is a brief statement in outline form of the points 
to be treated. Such an outline, like the table of contents 
of a book, gives an advance view of the subject. This out- 
line may be presented in some such way as the following : 
"In explaining how to make a sleigh, I shall speak first 
of the materials needed ; second, of the shaping of the 
parts ; third, of the actual construction ; and fourth, of the 
finishing." Or again, " In explaining how the law provides 
for the recall of city officers, I shall speak first of the 
present methods by which the people remove their public 
servants ; next, of the methods of the recall ; and last, of 
the results which may be expected." The student will notice 
that only the most important divisions of the talk are 
given in the prospective outline, and that they are so brief 
and clear that the listener can easily keep them in mind 
during the talk. 

Every introduction should arouse interest. Often the state- 
ment of the prospective outline or a sentence connecting 
the subject with familiar ideas will be sufficient to arouse 
interest. In other cases a statement of the use, purpose, or 
helpfulness of the process may form part of the introduction. 


a. Come to class prepared to give the opening sentences for 
one of the explanations below. Make the nature of the subject 
clear by relating the explanation to familiar things ; give a brief 
prospective outline, and add whatever else is needed for an at- 
tractive introduction. 


6. Give the complete explanation. 

1. How city life differs from 6. The working of the party 

country life. caucus in Congress. 

2. How to print pictures. 7. How Oliver Twist was re- 

3. How- to make ice. . captured by the thieves. 

4. How to set a pane of glass. 8. How to play a game. 

5. How to mend a tear in 9. The laws of the pendulum. 

clotlyng. 10. Why some birds hop and 

some walk. 

The Body of the Talk. What we have called the equip- 
ment in Chapter I is the setting in some explanations. 
For example, if we examine the topics in the exercise 
above, we shall see that there is no equipment for 6 or 7- 
In explaining .the party caucus we shall need to tell of the 
situations in Congress which lead to the caucus. In talking 
about Oliver Twist we shall have to state the condition of 
affairs which ltd to the desire of the thieves to recapture him. 
In some such explanations, however, as for example, that of 
the operation of a bread-mixing machine, we should do well 
to give a brief description of the machine and its setting. 

In all explanations of processes the statement of the 
actual process is the vital part, and we shall need to ar- 
. range with special care the topics covering this part of 
the talk. 

Arranging the. Topics by the Time Order. In most expla- 
nations the topics will follow the time order. Thus, in tell- 
ing how to cover a book with paper, or how to develop a 
film, our explanation of the process may follow the steps of 
the actual process in the same order that- they take place. 
-Again, in explaining the method of dry farming in the 
Southwest, • the .natural order, for both the process and the 
. talk, would be : the long, dry summer and the consequent 


baking of the soil ; the breaking of the crust with the disk- 
plow in the autumn ; the pulverizing of the topsoil after 
each rain ; the deeper plowing ; the sowing of the grain ; 
the smoothing of the surface. 

Outlining by Causes and Effects. Often, however, there is 
no such obvious plan to follow, and the sequence must be 
determined by cause and effect, or by problem and sohttion. 

Thus, an explanation of the relation between poverty and 
drunkenness requires a discussion of the causes which are 
operating at the same time. We must therefore arrange our 
material according to a cause-and-effect plan. 


Poverty and Drunkenness 

[The outline should be read horizontally, each effect following the 
cause bearing the corresponding number.] 

Causes Effects 

1. The sordidness of the home 1. Desire for change and excite- 
■ life of the very poor. ment, to escape sordidness. 

2. Long hours of monotonous 2. Fatigue. 


3. Fatigue. 3. Breaking down of the power 

to resist temptation. 

4. Desire for excitement ; and 4. Drinking ; and drunkenness. 

lack of power to resist 

In giving the talk we should do well to follow the topics 
as numbered here. 

Outlining by Problems and Solutions. If we wish to ex- 
plain how motion pictures are taken under water, we may 
arrange our topics according to the problem-and-solution 



Motion Pictures under Water 
Problem : 

1. How to protect the operator and the camera. 

2. How to provide an outlook. 

3. How to illuminate the water. 

Solution : 

1. Making an extensible, pliant tube strong enough to resist the 

water pressure when lowered from a boat. 

2. Providing a closed room at the bottom of the tube, with a plate- 

glass window. 

3. Providing a ventilating and a signaling system. 

4. Arranging for a cluster of electric lights to illuminate the water. 

5. Operating the machine. 

Let US remember that these outhnes concern the actual 
process only. For the complete talk we shall need intro- 
duction and conclusion, and often a statement of the equip- 
ment, setting, or preliminary conditions. 


1. a. Choose one of the subjects below, and determine what 
should be said about equipment, preliminary conditions, setting, or 
problem. What would be necessary before the actual process is 
explained ? Prepare that particular portion of the talk. 

b. Give the whole explanation in class. 

1. Cleaning the streets. 6. How trees are cared for. 

2. How David Copperfield's aunt 7. What baking does to food. 

helped him. 8. How a volcano acts. 

3. How an eclipse takes place. 9. How a telegraph instrument 

4. How to harmonize the colors works. 

in a room. 10. How the use of submarines 

5. How factories are being im- raised new questions in 

proved. international law. 


2. a. Examine the subjects below to determine the best methods 
for outlining the actual processes. Select one subject for each of 
the three methods of outlining which we; have discussed : the time 
order of topics, the cause-and-effect order, ' arid the problem-and- 
solution order. Prepare the three outlines, and bring them to 
class. • • ■ ' , 

h. Use the subject outlined by the time-order plan, and prepare, 
the complete talk of explanation. Give the-talk,-in class. 

1. How the schoolyard "should 11. How to clean windows. . 

be improved. 12. Kydraulic mining. 

2. Why the mail-order business 13. Operation of a gas engine. 

is successful. 14. Manufacture of gasoline. 

3. How a faucet works. 15. How an electric bell works. 

4. How the direct primary is 16. What causes summer and 

carried out. winter. • 

5. How an election takes place. 17. How styles in dress change. 

6. How to simplify housekeep- 18. "How bonds are issued and 

ing. '. sold. 

7. How the pyramids were built. 19. How Chinese education is 

8. Why imitation fur is being carried on. 

used. ' ■ 2G, How a store takes an in 

9. The operation of a time lock. ' ventory. 

10. A'entilating a mine. . . 

3. Prepare and give in class the complete talk of explanation 
on the subject in Exercise 2 which you have outlined according to 
the cause-and-effect plan. 

4. Prepare and give in class the complete talk on the subject 
in Exercise 2 outlined according to the problem-and-solution plan. 

The Conclusion. Little needs to be added to what has 
already been said on pages 17 and 132 about conclusions. 
Just as the introduction arouses interest, the conclusion 
points out the justification of that interest.' This is done by 
a brief general st?tement of • summar}' ■ or emphasis. No 
talk of explanation should be concluded with any detail of 


the explanation itself; the subject should be completely ex- 
plained before the conclusion begins. For example, suppose 
we have just explained the operation of the hydroplane by 
showing how' the dri\er climbs out of his seat. We may 
conclude the talk in two sentences, as follows: "This 
invention makes the aeroplane a veritable sea bird, able to 
alight on land or water. -It is an indispensable step in man's 

conquest of the air.'' 


a. Give the concluding ^vords for .a talk of explanation on one 
of the subjects suggested below. 

b. Give the complete talk. 

_1. How a suspension bridge is built. 

2. How salmon are caught. 

3. How the big corporations water their stock. 

4. How to build a teriiporary dressing room for swimmers. 

5. How apartments are changing family life. 

6. Why Russia wants Constantinople. 

7. How a street-sweeping machine works. 

8. How a pump works. 

9. How. real-estate speculators get an unearned profit. 
10. How to make a quill. 

Giving the Explanation. In practicing an oral explana- 
tion, we must make it as much as possible like an actual 
talk before the class. If we find that we need to use 
copious notes in the first practice, we must continue our 
practice until the memoranda are reduced to a few cards or 
slips of paper appropriate for use in class. At all times the 
prepared outline should be rigidly followed. 

Making the Outline Clear. Not only must the outline be 
followed, but it must be made clear to the hearers. This 
does not mean that we need to tell them when each new 


topic appears. If our outline is a good one the steps will 
show themselves, although occasionally a new step may be 
indicated by such a statement as, " Let us next see how to 
put on the cover," or, " The body of the boat is now finished 
and we have next to put in the centerboard and the rudder." 

Giving Larger Ideas First. Again, it is important to re- 
member to give larger ideas before the details, so that the 
hearers may see where the details belong. Just as the whole 
talk itself must begin with an introduction and end with a 
conclusion, so each main topic should begin with the sim- 
pler, more obvious facts, then proceed to the intricacies of 
the explanation, and finally end with a larger statement. 
For example, in explaining how to build a boat, the general 
size and shape should be mentioned before telling how to 
cut out the pieces of wood for the various parts. The details, 
then, will naturally fall into their places. 

The listener should never be left in doubt as to when one 
topic is finished and another begun. If there might be any 
doubt, the speaker may indicate the completion of a topic 
in many different ways. Such remarks as the following are 
sometimes used : " Now that the framework is completed " ; 
"When the framework is in place"; "After giving the 
finishing touches to the framework." 

Showing Connections. In most explanations the later 
topics have important bearing on the topics already given, 
and such relationships should be made clear either by care- 
ful references or by definite statements. For example, in 
explaining how to lay out a baseball field, suppose the size 
and position of the diamond has been shown and the home 
plate described. The speaker may then show that the 
pointed side of the plate is toward the catcher's position 


because the plate itself fits inside the corner of the dia- 
mond. Thus he establishes a connection between the shape 
of the plate and the base lines of the diamond. Again, 
after stating that the pitcher's box is sixty feet six inches 
away from the point of the home plate, he may state that 
this position is about three feet (one pace) in front of a 
line joining first base with third. The relation between two 
parts of an explanation should always be brought out in 
such a way as to make the talk a consistent whole. 

Finally, it should be clear to the hearers how each step 
helps in the completion of the process. Thus, in telling 
about the coloring of potter}^, one may refer frequently to 
the process of baking which is to follow, pointing out what 
effect this will have on the tints w^hich are being used. 
Thus the parts of the explanation are connected with the 
whole result to be attained, and the speech is made a unit. 


1. a. Each of the topics below is supposed to be one step or 
part of a process. Choose one topic, prepare the talk explaining 
that particular step, and give the talk in class. Make the opening 
and the closing statement as broad and simple as seems appropriate. 

h. Prepare and deliver the complete explanation. 

1. How the current is supplied, in explaining how an electric car works. 

2. How the machine is oiled, in telling how to care for a sewing 

3. How to prune trees, in explaining the care of trees. 

4. The stacking of the hay, in explaining how hay is harvested. 

5. How to make a drop kick, in explaining how the ball is kicked 
in football. 

2. a. Each of the topics below gives two steps in the explana- 
tion of a process. Choose one of the subjects, or another that you 


like better, and give the sentence or sentences which will connect 
the two steps. 

b. Prepare and deliver the complete explanation. 

1. Making a screen door (connect the step of tacking the wire onto 
the frame with that of nailing on the molding). 

2. The influence of the saloon (connect the cashing of pay checks 
for the workingman with the treating habit). 

3. Making a rag rug (connect cutting the rags with the thickness 
of the rug). 

4. Making muffins (connect the use of* soiir milk with the use 
of soda). ■ .» • ' 

5. Using a. plow (show tjie connection betwee¥),tbe'way tq hold the 
handles and the proper depth of plowing). 

3. a. Each of the subjects given below indicates one of the 
steps of a process. Choose one subject, and -give the sentence 
or sentences which will show how the proper performance of this ' 
step will help to bring about the result desired. \ i 

b. Prepare and deliver the complete explanation- of the largei '• 

1. Saddling a horse (how the tightening of the girth affects the 
safety and comfort of the rider and the horse). 

2. Preserving fruit (how the thorough cookiiig of .thd fruit affects 
the keeping quality). 

3. Planting potatoes (how deep plowing affects the crop). 

4. Making a cotton dress (how the preliminary shrinking of the 
goods affects the fit of the completed dress). 

5. Making bricks (how the drying of the clay bricks affects the final 
quality of the product). 

Aids in Explanation : the Use of Drawings. The ability 
to make diagrams and rough sketches while talking has so 
great a practical value that every student should stnve to 
acquire"" it. Both in school and in life, situations in whicfi 
the use of the ohalk or pe:acil is almost- indispen-sable are of 
frequent occurrence? Even without special training or ability ^ 


we should make the attempt and do our best. We shall be 
surprised to find how rapidly skill is gained with practice. 

Of the explanations given in class a large part require 
diagrams. We could hardly explain the making of a dress, 
the laying out of a baseball field, the building of a boat, 
the making of an electric bell, or the installation of a hot- 
water system, without drawings of some kind. And draw- 
ings would certainly help us in explaining how to make a 
lamp shade, the cause of earthquakes, how to carry on dry 
farming, the setting of a dining table, and so forth. 

How to make the Diagrams. In a rough freehand sketch, 
such as we make while speaking, it is best to use few lines 
and as little detail as possible. We should make the draw- 
ing as large as will be appropriate, and should be sure that 
the lines are heavy enough to be seen by all. Before turn- 
ing to the blackboard, we should state the reason for the 
drawing. The first few lines should show the general shape 
of the article, and its position in relation to the ground or 
other objects. Thus, in sketching an aeroplane, we must 
not fill in the details of motor, seat, and rudder until we 
have shown the general size of the planes and the direction 
in which the machine flies. In drawing a reflectoscope, 
we should indicate at the start the direction of the screen. 
Again, it is advisable, if the subject is a new one to the 
audience, to give some hint as to the real size of the 
object. A boy once gave an explanation of a drill for an 
oil well. Some of the members of the class gathered from 
his first remarks that the drill was about the size of a 
clothespin, whereas it was really thirty feet long — twice 
as high as the schoolroom. What the boy might have done 
first was to sketch a derrick, remarking as he did so that 


it was a big frame for hoisting machinery, about as high 
as a four-story building. 

Using Objects. Demonstrations and the exhibition of 
pictures, maps, or other objects are frequently even more 
important than the making of drawings. Would it not 
be foolish for a person to confine himself to words or to 
drawings in attempting to explain a potato peeler, when he 
might easily bring to class the object itself, or even show 
it in actual operation ? When demonstrations are made, it 
is important that everyone have a good view of the speaker. 
Sometimes an explanation outside the classroom can be 
arranged, as in the case of an exercise in surveying, the 
workings of a spray pump, or the use of a machine in 
the shops. Often, when it is impossible to show the actual 
process, the finished product may be brought to class and 
used in the talk. Thus, we might show a violin w^hile 
telling how the instrument is made. Or, as suggested in 
Chapters I and VII, we may bring models, pictures, or 
prepared diagrams. 

We may profit by observing the methods of business 
people, and of the teachers of mathematics, science, cook- 
ing, sewing, and shop work ; and by trying to acquire the 
ability which they have to work and explain simultaneously. 

Cautions in using Aids. It frequently happens that one 
needs to make an explanation when it is inconvenient to 
draw or to demonstrate. We should therefore cultivate the 
use of vivid language so that we can make clear word pic- 
tures, and should give ourselves much practice in explaining 
without any other helps. 

Both in making drawings and in using articles before 
the class we must not overdo these helps, nor rely on them 


to take the place of careful preparation and good speaking. 
And we must remember to talk to the audience, and not 
allow the helps to interfere with our proper attitude toward 
our hearers. 

Using Technical Expressions. Technical terms are often 
a great help in explanation, but they must be used with 
discretion. Their value lies in the fact that they have 
meanings much more definite than ordinary words, as well 
as in the fact that they save time. The musical term 
' etude ' is much more definite, than the more common 
terms ' study ' or ' musical exercise.' The term ' peristyle ' 
is shorter and more definite- than the expression ' system 
of columns around a building.' 

Technical terms can be used effectively only when they 
will be understood by our hearers. Our language must 
always be adapted to the audience. Thus, an explanation 
of an electric engine to men familiar with electrical appa- 
ratus will be expressed in quite different terms from those 
that would be appropriate in explaining the machine to a 
group of school children. If we are talking about athletics, 
and know that our hearers will understand us, wc may use 
the technical terms 'punt,' 'off side,' 'foul,' 'error,' 
'puck,' 'tape,' 'shot,' 'guard,' etc. But if tlie majority of 
our hearers might not follow us if we used such terms, we 
should discard them all for simple language that could not 
fail to be within the experience of the average person. 

There is no objection, however, to the use of a moderate 
number of technical terms in a talk to an average audience, 
provided the unfamiliar words are carefully and clearly ex- 
plained. For example, in telling how a telegraphic key 
works, we might use the word ' contact,' defining it when 


first brought into the talk somewhat as follows : " The pur- 
pose of the key is to make contacts for very short periods 
of time ; that is, to bring two pieces of metal together for 
an instant in such a way as to allow the electricity to flow 
through the wires." After such a definition the word may 
be safely used. 

If the speaker is thoroughly versed in his subject, he 
may be misled into using, without explanation, many terms 
which need defining, thereby confusing his hearers and 
spoiling his speech. For instance, a person could not suc- 
ceed in explaining a cake receipt to an average audience 
of boys and girls if he let the expression " cream the 

butter" go undefined, 


I. Choose one of the subjects below, or another equally good. 
Prepare a complete talk of explanation, and in the talk use a dia- 
gram which you draw while you are speaking. 

1. The cause of the earth's rotation. 

2. How to make a collar. 

3. The principle of the vacuum cleaner. 

4. How a car controller works. 

5. How a water wheel works. 

6. The internal structure of the pyramids. 

7. The convenient arrangement of a kitchen. 

8. The principle of the silo. 

9. The principle of the electric motor. 
10. How to make a clothes bag. 

II. How an oil cup works. 

12. How to make a sofa pillow. 

13. How the block system works. 

14. How an electric-light switch works. 

15. How to brace a fence post. 

16. How to make a hand bag. 

17. How an electric stove works. 


18. How to show that a fire needs oxygen. 

19. How a street is paved. 

20. The different kinds of aeroplanes. 

21. A convenient arrangement of kitchen utensils. 

22. The structure of a flower, nut, or seed. 

23. The meaning of some Egyptian hieroglyphics. 

24. How the blade of a mowing machine works. 

25. How to run a mowing machine. 

26. How to make a clotheshorse. 

27. How a snowplow works. 

28. How to make a wall pocket. 

29. How a valve works. 

30. How a furnace works. 

2. Prepare a complete talk of explanation on one of the sub- 
jects listed below. Use the best helps available. If possible, per- 
form the actual process in class, speaking as you work. If this 
is not feasible, use models or pictures, or bring and use com- 
pleted articles. 

1. How to mix colors to produce certain shades or tints. 

2. The principle of the lever. 

3. How the earth acts as a magnet. 

4. The different strokes used in fencing or swimming. 

5. How to crochet. 

6. How to spin the diabolo. 

7. How to correct the reading of a compass. 

8. How to take a time-exposure picture. 

9. How the gyroscope works. 

10. How to feather oars. 

11. How to make the notes on a cornet (zither, clarinet, violin, etc.). 

12. How to tie a string onto a kite. 

13. How piano keys produce sounds. 

14. How to make the strokes in tennis. 

15. The plan of a cathedral. 

16. How the stereoscope works. 

17. The half-nelson hold in wrestling. 

18. What Millet means by his picture " The Man with the Hoe." 



19. How to make a cloth bag for a broom. 

20. How to show the composition of light. 

21. How to splice a rope. 

22. How to do a trick. 

23. Plaster of Paris. 

24. The various kinds of arches. 

25. The difference between the Fahrenheit and the Centigrade 

26. How books are bound. 

27. How to make a cloth cap. 

28. How the siphon works. 

29. The principle of the microscope. 

30. How to carve wood. 

3. Prepare an explanation suggested by one of the technical 
terms given below. In some cases an explanation of the meaning 
may be sufficient, but in others a statement of a process will be 
required. When the expression is first used in the talk, give 
its meaning. It may then be used repeatedly, without further 








French knot. 




Binding post. 


Reenforced concrete. 




Reduction works, 










Sinking fund. 







' 26. 





Totem pole. 


Baste (a fowl). 




Psyche knot. 








Broil (meat). 


Water glass. 





Subjects for Explanations. It is desirable that every sub- 
ject on which we talk shall be of interest to our hearers. 
With this end in view we shall now practice thinking out 
new subjects for explanations. In making" up these lists 
there should ordinarily be no objection to the use of such 


helps and suggestions as can be obtained from dictionaries, 
encyclopedias, textbooks, and other printed matter. Per- 
sonal observations of the daily life around us will also 
furnish topics. Lists of subjects will be found on pages 
22-24 ^iid ii^ Appendix V. 


1. a. Think out the possible subjects on which you could talk, 
suggested by six of the topics below. Write down five topics for 
explanations from each of the six fields — f/ii/iy topics in all. 
Bring the list to class, to exchange with another student. 

h. Choose one of the topics in your list, and prepare a talk 
of explanation. 

1. School affairs. 6. Amusements. 

2. Business. 7. Science. 

3. Household schemes. 8. Work with tools. 

4. Land transportation. 9. Government. 

5. Water transportation. 10. Business meetings. 

2. a. Write down and bring to class five topics for explana- 
tions in each of six of the fields listed below. Let the subjects 
be those which you can, if given time, prepare for explanation to 
the class. Further, let them be subjects more difficult than are 
usually selected, so that the members of the class would make a 
real gain by hearing them. Bring the list for comparison. 

h. Prepare one of the subjects for an explanation in class. 

1. Farming. 6. Army and navy. 

2. Manufacturing. 7. Architecture. 

3. Caring for animals. 8. Traveling. 

4. Library affairs. 9. Sports. 

5. Art. 10. Camping. 

3. a. Think out five possible subjects in six of the fields listed 
below — subjects which you know little about, but which you 



would like to have explained in class by other students. Bring 
the list to class. When the lists of other members of your class 
are read, note how many of their topics are those on which you 
might, with a moderate amount of preparation, give explanations. 
b. Exchange papers with another student and choose a topic 
from his list. Prepare and give the explanation in class. 

1. Mining. 

2. Electricity. 

3. Chemistry. 

4. Sciences of the household. 

5. Etiquette. 

6. Astronomy. 

7. Post-office affairs. 

8. Vocations. 

9. Politics. 
10. Inventions. 

4. Prepare a talk of explanation, using all the experience you 
have thus far gained. 


1. Government 

Electoral college. 
Preferential shop. 
Preferential voting. 
Ward system. 
Nomination by petition. 
Nominating convention. 
Proportional representation. 

2. Classroom and Shops 

How to 

prove addition, 
study history, 
measure curved distances, 
run a planer, 
run a band saw. 
turn wood, 
sterilize dishes, 
center a machinist's 

Habeas corpus. 
Direct primaries. 

Assessment district. 
Pairing votes. 
Referendum vote. 

How to make 
a trial balance, 
a hatpin. 

a hammer handle, 
a chisel handle. 
a bookcase, 
iron bars, 
a chair. 

a rocking chair, 
a large bolt. 

1 This list has been largely taken from actual Oral English lessons. 



3. jSIanufacturing 


Maple sirup. 

Concrete piling. 


Rifle barrels. 

Hydraulic elevator. 

Electric signs. 




Wooden shoes. 




4. Technical 

How to 

How to make 

test milk for water. 

• a time alarm. 

enlarge kodak pictures. 

a fire alarm. 

prepare canvas for 

raised doughnuts. 


electric alarms. 

take freak pictures. 

a transformer. 

find one's way without a 

an ariel. 


a solar heater. 

find the North Star. 

a fire extinguisher. 

find the poles of a 

a weather vane. 


The working of 

show air pressure. 

a brick kiln. 

collect spilled mercury. 

an arc light. 

splice a cable. 

a floating dry dock. 

paint china. 

a swimming machine. 

How to make 

a dredger. 

blue prints. 

a steam shovel. 

electric batteries. 

a carburetor. 

a hair hydrometer. 

a water-power washing 

an electric motor. 


a thermometer. 

a geyser. 


a lumber chute. 

a weather indicator. 

an automobile brake. 

a simple searchlight. 

a mimeograph. 

a telegraph instrument. 

a steam engine. 

an enlarging frame for 

a typewriter. 


a lightning rod. 

a camera. 

an adding machine. 



5. Camp Fire Girls (The handbook gives over 700 topics.) 

How to 

care for birds. 

dye cloth. 

prepare a well-balanced 

use a chafing dish, 
organize a card system, 
manage a canoe, 
prepare a fowl for the 

detect adulterations, 
buy meat economically, 
put away clothing for 

the summer, 
clean aluminum, 
care for an ice chest, 
prepare milk for a baby. 

How to make 


a headband. 

a camp bed. 

a hat. 


an expense account. 

a flag. 

a weather record. 

a stencil. 
How to 

tell the weather signs. 

do china painting. 

tell the different kinds of 

care for a setting hen. 

organize a celebration. 

do camp cooking. 

ride a horse. 

protect food in a camp. 

decorate a float. 

Boy Scouts (The handbook 

gives over 350 topics.) 

How to 



test seed. 

plants use soil. 

get rid of weeds. 

the governor is elected, 

read a weather map. 

a planer works. 

find important 


ow to make 


flies for fishing. 

handle bees. 

a bow and arrow. 

dispose of camp garbage. 

a target. 

lay shingles. 

an iron hook. 

use the steel square. 

a raft. 

sterilize milk. 

a cement flowerpot. 

splice and tape wire. 

a boat. 

help up a fallen horse. 


The speaker's mind should be so full of his subject and 
of his belief in its importance to the audience that there 
will be no thought about the process by which the voice is 
produced. Yet in our school practice we need to give the 
voice some intelligent training, so that it will be ready to 
respond to all reasonable demands. There are few voices 
that cannot be made more responsive by care and drill. 

Ease in Speaking. In the use of the voice, exercises can 
be of secondary importance only ; a right attitude of mind is 
primary. Experienced speakers tell us that no organs reflect 
nervousness more quickly and obviously than do the organs 
of speech. We must banish, therefore, all the wandering 
thoughts that suggest fear and failure. We must summon 
to our aid all the qualities of mind that produce quietness, 
confidence, alertness, enthusiasm. A favorable state of mind 
is essential to the successful use of the voice. 

In training the voice, every speaker will aim to attain 
ease, distinctness of enunciation, and variety of tone, and 
so to combine these qualities that the voice will be an 
efficient medium of forceful expression. 

Control of the Breath. Let the throat and the breath do 
their work naturally. The speaking tubes must not be made 
tense, for a hard, harsh sound would be the result. The 
voice should be round and open in shape — if one can 



imagine it having shape — rather than flat or small. This 
applies to all tones, high or low. 

To breathe correctly while speaking, the student must 
assume an active standing position ; that is, he should feel 
the same strength and readiness of body that he would feel 
if preparing to lift a heavy weight, or to strike a heavy 
blow. The lungs should be filled by an outward, lateral 
expansion of the trunk in all directions. 

Talking is easiest and most satisfactory when there is a 

large reservoir of air back of the tones ; one cannot do 

heavy physical work or extensive speaking with exhausted 

lungs. Two common causes of loss of breath are the failure 

to fill the lungs in the first place, and incorrect phrasing, that 

is, wrong grouping of words, which leads to breathing at the 

wrong time. It is not difficult to learn to group words between 

the natural punctuation marks so that the lungs can be kept 

well filled. 


1. Practice reading a short selection at home, striving for calm- 
ness of mind and ease in using the throat. Try to make the tones 
as smooth as possible, eliminating all nasal quality and harshness. 
Read the selection in class, and show the effect of the practice. 

2. Assume the standing position described above, and practice 
deep breathing. As the air is inhaled and exhaled, the body immedi- 
ately above the waist line should expand and contract. After practic- 
ing faithfully, read a selection, using the same position and manner 
of breathing. Study the selection so that you can make groupings 
of words which will allow you to use natural pauses for inhaling. 
It may be well to mark these places. Read the selecdon in class. 

Note. The object of this exercise is not to require any student to change 
a good style of speaking which is natural to him, or to make him conscious 
of what he ought to forget. It is solely to help those who need help. 


Use of Tongue and Lips. If the student will read a few 
sentences aloud, letting the tongue lie inactive in the mouth 
and making the lips do most of the work, he will see how 
important for distinct speaking is the use of the tongue. 
Then by reversing the process, keeping the lips still and 
using only the tongue, the assistance rendered by the lips 
will be clear. Foreigners, especially the French, make large 
use of the muscles of the face and lips in speaking. Many 
of us do not open the mouth enough to make it possible 
for the lips to do any work. The difference between tire- 
some, indistinct talking and bright, clear speaking is fre- 
quently the same as that between unresponsive lips and 
active, expressive ones. Some speakers who have very little 
strength of voice have become successful on account of the 
distinctness of their enunciation. 

A little practice each day with the tongue and lips will 
result in great improvement. Observation in a mirror will 
be found helpful. The object of the following exercises is 
to make the muscles of expression of the face, the tongue, 
and the lips so responsive to the mind of the speaker that 
his talking will be more effective. 


1. Read a short selection aloud at home, keeping first the lips 
and then the tongue as inactive as possible. Next practice using 
both tongue and lips as much as possible. Do you notice a differ- 
ence in distinctness ? Which helps more, tongue or lips ? Read the 
piece in class, making distinctness your special aim. 

2. Practice at home the following sounds, for the purpose of 
bringing into greater use tlie lips and other facial muscles of 

expression : 



Practice a short selection, paying particular attention to the greater 
use of the lips. Read it in class. 

3. Practice at home the following sounds, for the purpose of 
using the tongue more effectively. Let the jaw and lips be left 


kala-kala-kala (Sound a as in ' father.') 

Practice a short selection, paying particular attention to the sharp, 
accurate sounds made by the tongue. Read the selection in class. 

4. Practice these lip sounds, allowing the lips to relax as much 

as possible : 


Prepare a talk to give in class, emphasizing the lip sounds. 

5. Practice these sounds, keeping the lips and the jaw as inactive 
as possible : 

Gay little daJidelion 

Prepare another talk for class, emphasizing the tongue sounds. 

6. Practice these sounds for the simultaneous use of lips and 



7. Prepare another reading to give in class, using the lips and 
tongue effectively. Make no special effort to exaggerate. Let 
teacher and classmates judge whether or not your enunciation is 
distinct and otherwise satisfactory. 

Variety and Emphasis. A voice without variety would 
have no attractiveness, and could not show the relative im- 
portance of the ideas expressed. The speaker who would 
make his spoken thoughts effective, therefore, must vary 
the quantity and quality of his voice. This he may do in at 
least three ways : he may change the rate of speaking, or 
the loudness of tone, or the pitch of the voice. 


The Rate of Speaking : Variety in Speed. A change in 
the rate of speaking naturally emphasizes a thought. Thus, 
we may call attention to certain thoughts by clearly separat- 
ing one word from another and enunciating each with ex- 
treme distinctness. We can show the approach to the end 
of a paragraph or to the end of a speech by the same 
method. By the opposite method, that of changing to a 
faster rate, we can indicate the plunge into a new thought 
or a new line of argument. 

Most of us should learn to speak faster : there is too 
much slow, tiresome talking. Of course a person who 
speaks fast must speak very distinctly. He must also watch 
the faces of his hearers to see that they can follow him. In 
general, intricate or very important parts of the talk must be 
spoken slowly, while sections which are simple or uniform in 
thought — narrative, for example — may be given more rap- 
idly. In any case, one should begin the talk slowly and dis- 
tinctly. The first words of a speech are too often missed. 

Punctuation in Speaking. Almost every punctuation mark 
in written composition has its counterpart in oral composi- 
tion. Short pauses show commas ; and successively longer 
ones show semicolons, colons, and periods. Paragraph end- 
ings are indicated by much longer pauses, and perhaps by 
changes in the position of the speaker's body. Quotation 
marks may be shown by an abrupt pause before the quota- 
tion and another at the end, as well as by a change in the 
pitch of the voice. The dash may be shown by an abrupt 
stop, and the exclamation point by increased speed or force 
toward the end. 

The Judicious Use of Pauses. Most inexperienced speakers 
are afraid to use pauses ; they feel that the talking must be 


kept going else they will lose either the attention of the 
hearers or confidence in themselves. These fears are usu- 
ally groundless. 

The proper use of pauses accomplishes two things : it 
breaks up monotony, and it allows time for the hearers to 
get the meaning. Too many speeches, even by experienced 
talkers, have a machinelike monotony. Such a style of 
speaking distracts the attention. Again, on a serious sub- 
ject listeners need time to grasp an important or novel 
idea. Often we like to turn away from a book to think 
out what we have just read, but in the case of a speech 
the hearer has no opportunity to do this. For these reasons, 
the speech which is characterized by haste is usually void 
of results. By making no pause after a question, or after 
a challenge, or after an important statement or summary, 
the succeeding ideas crowd into the consciousness before the 
first have had time to make the proper impression. The 
student need never think that his hearers will suppose that 
he is hesitating ; hesitation produces a different effect. 


1. Select a short paragraph to read in class. Practice it at 
home, reading it, first, very slowly, then, as fast as you can. In 
class read it once each way. Which is more effective ? 

2. On a subject about which you know a great deal, prepare a 
short talk ; give it in class, speaking as rapidly as possible. This 
exercise is to cultivate the power of rapid thinking and talking. 

3. Prepare and give in class another talk, speaking very slowly. 

4. Prepare to read a selection in class, giving the opening and 
closing sentences slowly, and the other sentences as rapidly as you 
think the audience can follow. In the reading, make pauses where 
necessary to show the sense. 


Loudness of Tone. Theoretically, no words in a sentence 
are spoken with exactly the same stress. Practically, we use 
perhaps three degrees of loudness. In the preceding sen- 
tence the words 'practically,' 'three,' and 'degrees' have 
chief stress ; ' use,' ' perhaps,' and ' loudness ' have only mod- 
erate stress ; while ' we ' and ' of ' have the least. We must 
be careful not to emphasize unimportant words. Debaters 
sometimes wrongly emphasize such words as ' resolved,' 
' and,' and ' should.' 

Above the level of being heard by all, there is a wide 
range of stress from which to choose. Important statements 
may be given with full strength ; difficult analysis may need 
a serious, quiet presentation. Words which would be printed 
in italics can be made to stand out in speaking. Words 
may be put into parenthesis by dropping the voice and by 
pauses before and after the parenthesis. 

Making Everybody Hear. The worst of all faults in pub- 
lic speaking is failure to make every listener hear, and hear 
comfortably. No other combination of virtues and graces 
will make up for this fault. Failure to be heard is in rare 
instances due to circumstances which cannot be controlled, 
but oftener it is due to lack of consideration or effort on 
the part of the speaker ; he does not put himself in the 
hearer's place. If a speaker talks too loudly or too softly 
he is not thinking of his audience. A good plan is to 
select some person in the rear of the hall, and see that 
he hears. Sometimes even the most experienced public 
speakers talk only to a portion of the house near the front, 
utterly ignoring the others. Sympathetic regard for others 
is the best cure for this difficulty. Do not allow yourself 
the excuse that yon cannot make yourself heard, lliere is 


hardly a girl who cannot learn to make an audience of 
fifteen hundred people hear her. It is all a matter of the 
right use of the voice, together with a belief that you can. 
Never allow the last few words of a speech to be lost ; 
make the finish a strong one. 


1. a. What words should receive the strongest, the medium, 
and the weakest stress in the following sentences ? 

1. Aren't you ready to do your duty? 

2. Make hay while the sun shines. 

3. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. 

4. Jesus said, " Father, forgive them ; for they know not what 
they do." 

5. There is no possible reason why we should n't succeed. 

h. Compose or select five other sentences, and read them in 
class. Exaggerate the stresses slightly, so that the differences will 
be evident. 

2. Read a short selection of poetry, bringing out clearly the 
appropriate differences in stress. Careful practice will be neces- 
sary. (Try to apply, also, what you have learned about variations 
in the speed of reading.) Selections from Shakespeare's "Julius 
Caesar," Act III, are suggested, particularly Antony's speech in 
Scene i, beginning, " O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth," 
and those in Scene ii, beginning, '^ If you have tears, prepare to 
shed them now," and " Good friends, sweet friends, let me not 
stir you up." 

3. Prepare a prose reading to give in class. Study it thoroughly, 
noting the sentences which should be read more loudly than others. 
Pay attention also to differences of stress within each sentence, 
and to differences in the rate of reading. Practice faithfully, and 
read the selection in class. 


4. Prepare a speech to give in class, preferably a brief argu- 
ment on a business proposition. Practice it repeatedly, making it 
show striking and appropriate differences in loudness. There is 
no objection to a little exaggeration. Remember to make the 
conclusion strong. 

5. Prepare an announcement. If possible, the class should meet 
in a room which will seat 200 people, then in one seating 1000 or 
1500, and again in the open air. Let the members of the class 
station themselves at some distance from the platform and in 
various directions from the speaker. Make the announcement so 
clearly that no word can possibly be "missed. Perhaps you may be 
able to practice with a friend beforehand. After your speech ask 
how many missed even a word of the announcement. 

This exercise should be repeated until satisfactory results are 
obtained. At each trial the speaker should look over the place and 
the audience before he speaks, deciding how to adjust his voice to 
fiU the space. 

The Pitch of the Voice. A third element of variety in 
the use of the voice is that of pitch. Though no one can 
be expected to use in speaking the range of tone that a 
singer uses in singing, yet the instrument employed in 
both cases is the same. If the sentence, "You are a hero," 
be spoken, one could determine with a delicate musical in- 
strument the pitch of each sound. Every sound one makes 
has its place in the musical scale. Since the voice has a 
wide range of tone, just as any other musical instrument 
has, why should not every person learn to use a greater 
range in his speaking? Some speeches are tiresome be- 
cause all the tones are between two notes of the scale. On 
the other hand, a lawyer pleading for a life will use a full 
octave of tones, low tones for solemn warning and pleading, 
and high tones for questioning and denouncing. 


Learning to use a Greater Range of Tone. How may the 
beginner learn to use a greater range of tone in his speak- 
ing ? Let him choose a sentence, perhaps one expressing 
excitement, and practice varying the pitch of the different 
syllables. In this way he will find out which are his best 
tones for ordinary speaking. There are many persons whose 
speaking would be greatly improved by lowering the ordi- 
nary voice a tone or two. Again, the student who practices 
faithfully will develop the power to use high and low tones 
when either are needed in his speaking. Repeated trials 
will show how far up or down the scale he can safely go 
in expressing various shades of meaning. 

Change of pitch is used also to help mark parentheses, 
new paragraphs, quotations, and different speakers in dia- 
logue. We use the sudden high pitch at the end of a 
question expecting a ' yes ' or a ' no ' answer. A common 
error is the use of this up stroke at the end of declarative 
sentences or even at the end of a speech. Hesitation or 
lack of confidence is usually at the bottom of this fault. If 
one has this habit, he should learn the down stroke of the 
voice by cultivating a positive and emphatic style of talking. 


1. Poetry approaches singing, and difference in pitch is obvious. 
Practice a selection, and rfead it in class, using as great a range of 
voice as possible. Thus, you, may get an insight into the wonder- 
ful power of the voice. The selections mentioned in the previous 
exercises would be acceptable ; also the following from the same 
play: Act III, scene ii, Antony's speeches beginning, "Friends, 
Romans, countrymen," and " But yesterday the word of Cassar" ; 
and those of Cassius, Act I, scene ii, beginning, " I know that 


virtue to be in you, Brutus," and " Why, man, he doth bestride 
the narrow world." 

2. a. Practice the following sentences, speaking them with the 
voice pitched as high as is natural to you. Try each sentence 
in a low voice also, and then in what you think should be its 
correct pitch. 

1. Aren't you coming.? 

2. How dare you say so ? 

3. It is impossible to do what you ask. 

4. We shall be there as soon as you will. 

5. I will not have anything to do with your schemes. 

6. We will not submit. 

7. How can a man be unkind to his mother.? 

8. This is a sad and solemn occasion. 

9. This cave is as dark as night. 
10. How dare you speak to me.? 

b. Prepare five other sentences to read in class, using the 
higher pitch. 

c. Prepare five other sentences to read in class, using the 
lower tones. 

3. Select an ordinary piece of prose, such as a paragraph from 
a periodical, and practice reading it with as great a range of tone 
as possible. Study it thoroughly to determine what words and sen- 
tences need the higher tones, and what the lower. Read the selec- 
tion in class. Pay attention to differences in speed and in loudness. 

4. Prepare a talk upon a subject of your own choosing. Make 
a special effort to pitch the voice slightly lower than you usually 
do. At the same time use a variety of different tones. Oive the 
speech in class. 

Enthusiasm and Force. It is of little use to speak at 
all unless it can be done with .some vigor. It is desirable 
to speak with ease, to talk distinctly, and to have variety 
of speed, stress, and pitch. But the proper combination of 


these good qualities should lead to forceful use of the voice. 
Just how and when to be in earnest with the voice is a 
matter for judgment and good taste to determine. The 
student must learn that sometimes he is most forceful when 
talking slowly, that there are times when subdued tones are 
more forceful than loud ones, and that frequently notes 
in a low pitch express more force than high-pitched ones. 
Adapt the emphasis to the subject, to the thought being 
expressed, and to the time, place, and particular audience 

Be careful that enthusiasm is not overdone ; that you 
do not make an exhibition of force run to waste. Over- 
emphasis is bad because the audience will pay attention to 
your manner of speaking and little to what you say, and 
because they may suspect you of insincerity. Never give 
the impression of spending yourself to the utmost ; always 
have a reserve of force. 


1. Study a piece of literature expressing serious, quiet thoughts ; 
such, for example, as Lincoln's " Speech at Gettysburg," Wash- 
ington's " Farewell Address," Portia's speech on mercy in " The 
Merchant of Venice," the Twenty-third Psalm. Try to get into 
the spirit of the thoughts of the author. Then practice the selec- 
tion, putting into the reading all the quiet earnestness which will 
make it effective. Read it before the class. 

2. Find a selection which may be appropriately rendered with 
vigorous emotion, such as an extract from Patrick Henry, Wendell 
Phillips, or William Lloyd Garrison. Practice the selection, and 
read it in class with great enthusiasm. 

3. Select a partner for a conversation. Choose for argument 
a question upon which you disagree. Hold the conversation before 


the class. Speak with great enthusiasm, but with the quiet manner 
appropriate to a friendly conversation. 

4. Prepare an argument upon an interesting, stirring subject. 
Practice it carefully, paying attention to posture, gesture, and 
good management of the voice. Deliver the speech in class with 
as much vigorous force as is appropriate. 

5. For the purpose of exercise in emphatic gesturing, facial 
expression, and voice, arrange an extempore play with some ex- 
citing conversation in it. It may be an attempt to collect rent, with 
an eviction following. Such a scene might have four characters: 
landlord, tenant, lawyer, and policeman. Put all the force possible 
into the play. 

6. Prepare a talk requiring a quiet, earnest manner, such as 
the principal of the school would assume in telling the students 
about the value of thinking about their life-careers. Give the talk 
in class. 


Occasions requiring talks to fit particular needs frequentty 
arise in student life, as, for example, when a member of the 
graduating class, in a speech at assembly, presents to the 
school a picture or other gift. Furthermore, announce- 
ments are often to be made, nominations for school offices 
are common in many schools, and in some schools student 
officers preside at auditorium calls and introduce speakers. 
This chapter is devoted to the discussion of the needs aris- 
ing out of such occasions. It may be that years will pass 
before the student will be asked to give a toast or an oration 
in real life ; nevertheless, the practice in such talks is of 
such value that all the talks outlined below should be tried. 
If the real occasions do not arise in school life, possible 
situations may be dramatized by the members of the class. 


When a person appears before an audience to give a 
notice or to speak of a coming event, he is making an 
announcement. Since announcements are frequently given 
in school as well as in public meetings, we shall here study 
how they may be made most effectively. 

Preparation for the Announcement. The first require- 
ment is that the speaker should thoroughly understand 
what he is going to announce. Nothing essential must 



be allowed to escape him. Thus, if the event is a game or 
an entertainment, the following items must be included : 
the occasion and the purpose of the event, the participants, 
the date, the hour, the place, the terms of admission. If 
any other information might be needed by the audience, 
as, for example, how a place is to be reached, or how the 
money received is to be used, the announcement must 
include these items also. 

Next, a WTitten outline should be prepared, so that the 
details will be presented in the. best order. The speaker 
must first arouse the interest of the audience, and therefore 
he must select for his first item one of great interest. Thus, 
in announcing the laying of a corner stone, one might begin, 
""This city is at last to have a new high-school building." 
Other details may follow in the order which the speaker 
thinks will serve best to hold the interest of the audience, 
and to impress upon it the leading points. 

Notes to use while speaking must next be prepared. It 
is not safe to trust to the memory in the case of a compli- 
cated announcement, for it is fatal to success to misstate 
the time, the date, or the place. It may not be necessary 
to include all the items in the notes used before the au- 
dience, but dates and other figures should invariably be 
set down. 

The Speech. In presenting the announcement, accuracy 
of information and distinctness of speech arc of first im- 
portance. In the case of a printed notice, if the reader 
overlooks or forgets any detail, he can turn back to it later. 
But since with the oral announcement there is no oppor- 
tunity to do this, the speaker must see that nothing essen- 
tial is neglected. To this end he sliould repeat important 


facts at a suitable opportunity, perhaps by a summarizing 
sentence at the close of the talk. He must also emphasize 
the important points. To show emphasis printed notices 
frequently make use of several different kinds of type, but 
the speaker must accomplish the same result by the voice. 
The following announcement may serve as an illustration : 

The second annual junior exposition^ for the exhibition of the 
products and interests of the children of this city, will be held on next 
Friday afternooft and evening. Last year's success is to be repeated 
on a larger and more comprehensive scale. The section devoted to 
children's pets has been greatly enlarged, and sections for kites and 
for home decoration have been added. 

The exposition is to be held in Conventiott Hall, on Williamson 
Street, and will be open from three to ten p.m. The admission to 
everyone is ten cetifs. 

Reinember : Friday next; Convent io7i Hallj three to ten P.M.j 
the jim ior exposition . 


1. Prepare and deliver an announcement for one of the 

following events : 

1. A football game. 6. An election. 

2. An exhibit of farm products. 7. A business meeting. 

3. An entertainment. 8. A candy sale. 

4. A concert. 9. A band concert. 

5. An excursion. 10. A mass meeting. 

2. Announce one of the following as an approaching event, 
and give directions for those who wish to sign, buy tickets, enter, 
or take part : 

1. A debate. 6. A new club. 

2. A petition to the faculty. 7. A school play. 

3. A track meet. 8. A subscription or collection. 

4. A tennis tournament. 9. A try-out for the orchestra, 

5. An initiative petition. 10. A picnic. 



Most of the world's work is done by means of organized 
endeavor, and the officers in the organizations have usually 
been chosen by nomination and election. It is therefore 
important that anybody who is to take an active part in 
life should know how to make a good nomination speech. 

The public naming or recommending of some person to 
fill an office is- called a nomination. If such an indorse- 
ment is to accomplish its object, .it must be both intelligent 
and enthusiastic. 

The Outline. For the speech of nomination the speaker 
must use some such outline as this : 


1. The requirements of the ofifice. (If not already stated.) 

2. The name of the candidate. 

3. The candidate's qualifications for the office. 

4. What he may be expected to do if elected. 

5. The appeal for votes. 

Although an outline should be prepared and carefully 
mastered, notes should not be used during the speech, 
however long or complicated it may be. Written notes 
would give the impression that the speaker was not suffi- 
ciently acquainted with the qualifications of the person 

Announcing the Name. Should the name of the candi- 
date be announced at the beginning, in the middle, or at 
the end of the speech.? There are reasons for each posi- 
tion. A common place is at the close ; we have all heard 
a speech end, "Therefore it gives me great pleasure to 


nominate Mr. Blank." There are good reasons, however, 
for giving the name of the candidate at least as early as 
the middle of the speech. Suppose the speaker withholds 
the name during the first part of the speech, but tells the 
audience that one of the candidate's qualifications is prac- 
tical business experience. At once many in the audience 
begin to guess who the candidate is, and may be so dis- 
tracted that they fail to hqar some of the important details. 
If the name comes early in the speech, the hearers are able 
to follow each point intelligently, and to test the accuracy 
of the statements by their own knowledge. 

From a parliamentary standpoint, when the name is given 
it should be addressed to the chairman of the meeting, so 
that the secretary will record it. Thus, at whatever point 
in the speech the speaker desires, he may turn to the chair- 
man and say, " Mr. Chairman, I nominate Mr. Blank for 
the office of president." 

Appeal for Votes. The other topics of the outline above 
should need no explanation, except perhaps the last. The 
appeal for votes should be based on the evidence presented 
under the other topics ; for example : 

We see that this office is a responsible one, and it is therefore 
our duty to vote for the best candidate. The young man that I 
have nominated has the necessar}' ability, and I have shown you 
what we may expect him to do for the club, if he is elected. I 
am sure he is the best person for the office, and I hope you will 
vote for him. 

The appeal should not be too long, for to bore one's 
hearers means failure. Neither should the appeal be based 
on minor considerations ; for example, that because William 
is popular, or jolly, or an athlete, he should be elected 


treasurer of the club. The opponents are hkely to seize 
upon these statements and to claim that such arguments 
show how hard it is to find good reasons for recommend- 
ing the candidate. In any case, the candidate's principles 
are far more important than his personal qualities. 

It should not be necessar)' to remind anybody that par- 
liamentary rules prevent adverse comments about candidates. 

Originality. Nomination speeches must be attractive. 
Therefore avoid tiresome, worn-out expressions. There are 
many good ways of saying, "It gives me great pleasure." 

Humor has no place in a nominating speech unless it 
applies to the argument. The joke that is told "just for 
fun " or "to get the ear of the audience " merely clouds the 
real issue. Such methods do not deceive intelligent voters. 

Win votes by nominating the right candidate, by giving 
clear reasons for his election, by sincere enthusiasm, and 
by making the appeal for the good of the society. 


Prepare a nomination speech, choosing from the list below or 
selecting your own subject. For duties of officers, see Chap. XIV. 

1. Baseball captain. 11. Treasurer of a union. 

2. Track manager. 12. Librarian of an orchestra. 

3. Treasurer of the school. 13. (irand marshal of a parade. 

4. Yell leader. 14. Master of ceremonies at a 

5. Manager of the lunch room. celebration. 

6. Secretary of a literary club. 15. Chairman of a convention. 

7. President of a social club. 16. Chairman of a mass meeting. 

8. President of a business or- 17. Manager of your city. 

ganization. 18. Mayor of your city. 

9. Sergeant at arms. 19. Governor of your state. 

10. Secretary of a chamber of 20. President of the United 
commerce. States. 



In public meetings the necessity of introducing a speaker 
to the audience is very common, and we shall find it worth 
while to learn how to do it. 

The Outline. To make a speech of introduction it is 
necessary to have a definite plan in mind. First, perhaps, 
the occasion and its meaning may be noted ; and next, the 
name of the guest, and for what he is known. Then may 
be mentioned the speaker's subject ; and finally should 
come an expression of the pleasure of the audience in the 
opportunity of listening to their guest. Then the chairman 
may turn to the speaker, who steps forward, and formally 
introduce him to the audience : " Ladies and gentlemen, 
Mr. Blank." 

Announcing the Name. The chairman must be careful 
in announcing the name. Not one person in the audience 
should be allowed to miss it. The speaker will respond, 
"Mr. Chairman," either as he rises or as he reaches the 
front of the platform. The person presiding remains 
standing for this response, and bows in reply. Then he 
takes his seat on the platform, or perhaps with the audi- 
ence, if the meeting is in a small room. 

Naturalness. The chairman must not embarrass the 
speaker by flattery, or by a flourish of oratory. The 
introduction should be brief. Let the chairman remember 
that the audience did not come to hear him. 

No notes should be used in an introduction speech. 

Thanking the Speaker. Usually the speaker should be 
thanked when he has finished. If there is prolonged 
applause, the chairman should not come to the front until 


it begins to subside. It is a good plan to rise as the 
speaker returns to his seat, perhaps shaking hands with 
him and bowing him to his seat. The chairman may stand 
a moment at his seat, and then come forward to express, 
on behalf of the audience, the pleasure which the speaker 
has given them. He will be talking in two directions, 
and should look from the audience to the speaker. 


The best practice in giving introductions will be gained if each 
member of the class will choose a partner. Suppose, for example, 
that some member of the class is to give an explanation on a sub- 
ject in electricit}^ Let him play the part of an expert from another 
city. As his partner, you may consult him beforehand to find out 
his name, position, honors, etc., and to get his exact subject. Then 
introduce him to the class, and thank him after his speech is 
finished. Make the occasion as nearly like a real situation as 
possible. The following introductions are suggested : 

1. A returned soldier. 11. A labor-union leader, 

2. An expert in agriculture. 12. A manufacturer. 

3. A noted traveler. 13. An army officer. 

4. An agent for plows. 14. An inventor. 

5. A candidate for office. 15. A noted chemist. 

6. A celebrated athlete. 16. A noted architect. 

7. A hero. 17. A statesman. 

8. A mayor from another city. 18. A foreign diplomat. 

9. A visiting teacher. 19. A king. 

10. A clergyman. 20. An explorer. 

In case the person introduced is presented for the pur- 
pose of honoring him rather than for the purpose of having 
him give a set speech, the situation is similar to that in 
which a gift is presented. This we shall consider next. 



Many situations arise in which it is necessary for some 
one to make a presentation speech, and for the recipient 
to respond. No kind of speech requires -greater poise, 
and there is none in which awkwardness is more noticeable. 
Faithful practice will help to make one at ease in such 
situations, if this is reenforced with the sincerity and kind- 
liness which should go with the gift and the giving. 

The Presentation. The outline for the speech is simple. 
It may include four topics: (i) the good qualities of the 
person honored ; (2) the reason for presenting the gift ; 
(3) the good wishes of the givers ; and (4) the words 
of presentation. The recipient will be standing with the 
speaker in the case of the presentation of an emblem or 
a medal, since such an occasion involves no surprise. But 
when the person who is to receive the gift has not 
been informed of the event, he will probably be seated in 
the audience. 

Tr)^ to avoid causing the recipient embarrassment. You 
may, of course, take him by surprise, but put him as much 
at ease as possible. Talk directly to him, as naturally as 
you can, and hint at what is to follow. Do not overdo the 
compliments. Allow time for him to collect his thoughts 
before vou finish. 

The Response. In accepting a gift or an honor pre- 
sented in public, make your speech sincere and short. By 
no means refer to your own qualities or to past accom- 
plishments, even indirectly by means of an apolog}' or by 
a show of humilit}\ Such remarks spoil the gladness of 
the giving, because they cannot be sincere. 


An outline like the one following may be used, in such 
cases as when a gavel is to be presented to a retiring 
president of an organization : (i) sincerely thank the givers; 
(2) tell how deeply the honor is appreciated ; (3) thank the 
members for their cooperation and friendship ; (4) ask their 
support for the new officers ; (5) say that the gift will 
always call to your mind your loyal friends and your help- 
ful experiences in the society. 


1. Below is a list of gifts, some of them with suggested recipi- 
ents. Select one of these and prepare a speech of presentation, 
first requesting somebody to stand with you and accept the gift, 
either for himself or on behalf of an organization, as the case 
may be. 

1. A medal to an athlete. 6. A flagstaff to the school. 

2. A school emblem to a debater. 7. A tree to a city park. 

3. A gavel to a retiring officer. 8. Diplomas to a class. 

4. A prize to the winner of a 9. A picture to a club. 

contest. 10. A piano to a society. 

5. A scholarship. 

2. Select a gift to present to some person in the class who 
does not know of the honor until your talk begins. Let it be 
•understood that the recipient is to respond. The following are 
suggested : 

1. A clock. 6. A sewing machine. 

2. A fountain pen. 7. A set of dishes. 

3. A watch. 8. A pet dog. 

4. A pocketknife. 9. A sum of money. 

5. A book. 10. A deed to a house and lot 



The Occasion and Purpose. A toast is a dinner speech 
designed to honor or express appreciation of an organiza- 
tion, individual, or sentiment. The dinner and the program 
which follows are arranged by a committee, who choose the 
toastmaster, the speakers, and the subjects. Thus if a com- 
pany of former Panama Canal workers should hold a ban- 
quet, there might well be toasts on these subjects : The 
Republic of Panama ; The Chief Engineer ; The P^ific 
Coast ; The Suez Canal ; Sanitation ; Uncle Sam. 

Toasts are usually a mixture of serious and witty thoughts. 
Some of the topics are assigned by the committee with the 
idea of humorous treatment throughout, while others neces- 
sarily require a serious style. A toast which is wholly seri- 
ous, however, is rare. Every speaker must present his 
subject attractively, and it is probably for this reason that 
appropriate, bright sayings and funny stories are introduced. 

Plan. No fixed outline for a toast can very well be sug- 
gested here. If a story or a humorous incident is to be 
used to begin the toast, it should be one that clearly applies 
to the subject. The hearers may gradually be led from the 
lighter thoughts to the serious consideration of the subject. 
If the speech is a eulogy of a person, the treatment must 
be candid, sincere, and unaffected. The ending may be 
a summary, or possibly a happy look into the future. 
Originally the speech ended with a cup held aloft and some 
such words as, "I pledge you, friends, our country, the 
fairest," etc., that is, a well-worded descriptive sentence or 
a quotation of poetry. The banqueters then drank the toast. 
The actual drinking is now often omitted. 


There is no need to memorize a toast ; a little practice 
with an outline, either alone or before a helpful critic, will 
be preparation enough. A small card at the place, with a 
few words to aid the memory, will not be objectionable. 
A memorized wording will almost always spoil the pleasure 
of the hearers. 

The Toastmaster. The person chosen toastmaster of the 
banquet has an entirely different task to perform. The 
president of the society, or the chairman of the committee 
of arrangements, will turn the program over to him and he 
becomes master of ceremonies ; that is, he gives an opening 
talk about the occasion and its meaning, which is somewhat 
like a toast itself, and also introduces each of the speakers 
and announces his subject. 

The good toastmaster has a fund of apt stories. He leads 
from one toast to another by appropriate comments on the 
subject just finished, and by remarks or a story introducing 
the next. The more closely the remarks apply to the 
speaker or the subject the better. 

The Guest of Honor. If the banquet is in honor of a 
person, he should be the last speaker. Let us suppose that 
the Chamber of Commerce is banqueting the Secretary of 
State. The guest may be introduced by the toastmaster, 
though often the preceding speaker, who may be the presi- 
dent of the society or the mayor of the city, is asked to do 
it. The Secretary's speech is of his own choosing. He may 
express appreciation for the good words and the honors, 
happiness in the occasion, and good wishes for the organi- 
zation. He may then talk about the affairs of the country,' 
or the policies of the administration, or our trade with other 
countries, or on any other topic of general interest. 



Suggestions for Practice. The occasion may be a simple 
banquet of the class, or a dinner of "notables" in which 
each student takes the part of some personage. The follow- 
ing are suggestions : Chamber of Commerce ; Republican 
Central Committee ; Society for Prevention of Cruelty 
to Animals ; Civic League ; Improvement Club ; Athletic 
Club ; Football Team ; the workers of a store ; the heads 
of departments of a business house ; the annual banquet of 
any other of the innumerable societies which help to carry 
on the world's work and play. For other examples, see the 
suggested events on page 191. 


1. Make arrangements with other members of the class, and 
jointly prepare a program of toasts. Use the sample programs 
below as suggestions. If cooperation seems impracticable, let 
each student choose one topic and prepare an appropriate speech. 

I. A School Banquet 

II. A Civic Organization 

1. Student activities. 

1. Our schools. 

2. After school, what.? 

2. The ladies. 

3. The fun we have. 

3. The churches. 

4. The faculty. 

4. Our neighbors. 

5. Music. 

5. Prosperity. 

6. The taxpayer's standpoint. 

6. The look ahead. 

III. A Merchants' 


IV. A Political Organi- 



1. The advertiser. 

1. The glorious past. 

2. The salesman. 

2. The classes and the masses, 

3. The show window. 

3. Graft. 

4. The public. 

4. Hard times. 

5. The future. 

5. Progress. 


2. Arrange with tlie required number of your classmates for a 

program similar to the following, and let each prepare to give one 
of the toasts : 

I. A Dinner to a Professor 11. A Banquet to a Labor 

OF Agriculture Leader 

1. Welcome to our guest. 1. The movement. 

2. The old-fashioned farmer. 2. What we are trying to do in 

3. The price of hogs. this city. 

4. Modern methods. 3. The ballot. 

5. Politics. 4. The larger patriotism. 

6. Introduction of the guest. 5. Our guest. 

7. Address : Scientific farming. 6. Address : The outlook. 



The Real Use of the Oration. Graduation speeches are 
often called orations, although they are usually nothing 
more than explanations or arguments, or simple combina- 
tions of the two. The typical speech of the so-called ora- 
torical contest also is not a real oration, at least in the 
proper sense of the term. It is usually a series of argu- 
ments or an explanation of events, with perhaps an appeal 
at the end. Often these speeches are given in an artificial, 
strained style which may do a young speaker harm ; they 
are a bad mixture of dramatics and debating. The student 
would do better to confine his attention either to dramatics 
or to debating, and not to mix the two. 

Strictly speaking, an oration is the chief speech of the 
program of exercises held to celebrate an important event, 
such as the founding of a college or the birthday of a 
statesman. When the exercises are planned, some person 
conspicuous for good citizenship and for his experience and 
ability in speaking is selected as tlie chief orator. 


Although the student may not be called upon to deliver 
an oration until many years after his graduation, the train- 
ing involved in planning, studying, and delivering a simple 
oration will prove of value to him now. No other kind of 
speech offers so good an opportunity for effective speaking, 
except perhaps the debate. Its use is so restricted, however, 
that we shall consider it only briefly. 

Preparation. Material for the oration may be obtained 
only by a thorough study of the subject, which may include 
research into both history and biography. The scope of the 
speech must be indicated by the topics of the outline. The 
following is a typical plan : 

Celebration of Independence Day 

1. Introduction: The reason for to-day's celebration. 

2. History : The events leading up to the Declaration of 

3. Eulogy : Praise of the men concerned in that event. 

4. Explanation : The historical importance of America's free- 
dom ; and the probable effect on the future. 

5. Conclusion : An appeal to the audience to aid in carrying 
forward the ideals of the nation. 

In the oration greatest emphasis should be put on such 
topics as the third and the fourth in the outline above. 
The first two should be restricted to a brief treatment. 

The outline should be memorized, for the orator usually 
should hold no notes. The old-time orations were often 
written out and memorized, but the modern way seems to 
be to avoid learning the actual words. The movements and 
the manner of an orator should be deliberate and dignified. 




Prepare an oration. Choose any subject you wish ; the topics 
below may suggest an acceptable occasion. Arrange to have 
somebody act as chairman and introduce you. (Perhaps a whole 
program may be arranged and carried out, including vocal and 
instrumental music, reading, the introduction, and the oration.) 

1. Independence Day. 

2. Labor Day. 

3. Birthday of Washington or 


4. Thanksgiving. 

5. Columbus Day. 

6. Memorial Day. 

7. Christmas. 

8. Fifdeth anniversary of the 

opening of the Panama 

9. Opening of a park or play- 


10. Completion of a harbor. 

11. Laying the corner stone of a 


12. Launching an ocean liner. 

13. Opening a canal. 

14. Opening an irrigating system. 

15. Signing a treaty. 

16. Establishment of world peace. 


The invention of printing or 
of the telephone. 

The discovery of electricity 
or of aviation. 

The anniversary of the found- 
ing of Boston. 

The state of Illinois. 

Dedication of a library. 

The Pilgrim Fathers. 

The discovery of the north 

The Knickerbockers. 

The pioneers of California. 

Unveiling a monument. 

Unveiling a fountain. 

Signing an old-age pension 

29. Breaking ground for an ex- 


30. Breaking ground for a na- 

tional university. 







The Commemoration or Celebration or Dedication Speech 
will usually be an oration, as indicated in the exercises above. 

The Eulogy is a speech in praise of some individual. It 
is like an oration, though the outline must be somewhat 
changed — perhaps as follows : the occasion ; what the man 


has done ; his value to his fellows ; the influence he will 
exert on the future ; the appeal. The praise should not be 

The Farewell Speech, addressed to one who is leaving, 
may touch upon the occasion, the appreciation of friends for 
the person and his accomplishments, and the good wishes 
for the future. The response to such a speech resembles 
a valedictory (see below). 

The Speech of Gratitude is similar to the speech of 
acceptance (see page 184). 

The Inauguration Speech, or Speech of Installation, is 
made when one assumes an office. It resembles the speech 
of acceptance, but includes, in addition, an appreciation of 
the good efforts of the retiring officers and a statement of 
the policies and plans of the new administration. 

The Invitation Speech expresses good fellowship or 
mutual interest ; it states accurately the event to which the 
invitation is given, tells how the invitation may be accepted, 
and expresses cordial hope that the response will be 

The Rally Speech purposes to arouse enthusiasm for a 
good cause or a coming contest, and must express optimism. 
In form it may follow the outline of the oration, especially 
emphasizing the importance of the cause and the appeal 
for support. It must be spontaneous and informal. 

The Valedictory is a speech of farewell by a person who 
is taking leave of some place, organization, or the like. It 
is made use of chiefly by a representative of a graduat- 
ing class of a school. It may include words of apprecia- 
tion for friendships, regret at parting, and good wishes for 
the future. 



The Speech of Welcome is in honor of visitors or return- 
ing friends. If a visiting committee of citizens from an- 
other city is welcomed in our city hall by the mayor, the 
speech might include these topics : the occasion, our regard 
for the visitors and their city, the plans for the visit, pleasure 
in the welcoming, hope for the success of the visit. The 
response to such a speech is like an acceptance. It may 
express thanks for the greeting, pleasure in having come, 
anticipation of good fellowship, and the friendship between 

the two cities. 


Prepare and deliver a speech on one of the subjects in each 
group given below. When possible, cooperate with other students 
who will give introductions or responses. 

I. Eulogy 

1. Washington. 

2. Lincoln. 

3. Lee. 

4. Longfellow. 

5. Gladstone. 

6. John Harvard. 

7. Henry Clay. 

IL Farewell 


14. President of a college. 

15. Mayor. 

16. Governor. 

17. President. 


18. To a celebration. 

19. To a banquet. 

20. To a school or college. 


8. To a teacher. 

V. Rally Speech 

9. To a friend about to leave. 


A game. 

10. To an explorer. 


A debate. 



Interest in athletics. 
Interest in debating. 

11. President of the student 


Interest in the school 



12. President of tlic debating 


Interest in the orchestra. 



Contributions to charity. 

13. Athletic manager. 


A political campaign. 



VI. Valedictory 

29. Leaving school. 

30. Leaving a social club. 

31. Graduating from college. 

32. Leaving a business firm. 

VII. Welcome 

33. A visiting teachier. 

34. A new principal. 

35. A peace delegate from a 

foreign country. 

36. A mayor. 

37. A labor convention. 

38. A convention of scientists. 

39. A committee of investiga- 


40. A committee of business 




We have now discussed in detail the most important 
kinds of talks. There are still to be considered, however, 
some special talks and exercises, which, for convenience, 
we have grouped together in this chapter : Reading ; Cur- 
rent Topics ; The Discussion ; Impromptu Talks ; Humorous 
Stories and Jokes ; Interviews ; Conversations ; Extempore 
Plays. Several of these are closely related to those already 
studied, but we shall here briefly concentrate our attention 
on each of these special topics. 


Whether the subject matter be an exciting bit of news, 
an interesting description, a serious speech, a poem, or an 
essay, the power of multiplying thought in the printed page 
by means of the spoken word is a fascinating process. 

What to read in Class. To get the best results we must 
make a careful selection of the material to be read. If all 
the selections brought to class were interesting and new 
to the hearers, there would be little difficulty in learning 
to read successfully. There is not much incentive to a 
student to read well when he knows that few of the others 
care about hearing him. 

In our consideration of reading, therefore, we shall not 
discuss drill in expression, repeated reading, or dramatic 



reading ; these may be reserved for special classes. We 
shall assume at the outset that each student makes his own 
selections and that every item read in class will, under 
ordinary circumstances, attract and hold the listeners. Selec- 
tions should be made with this end in view, and books, 
magazines, and papers should be searched for appropriate 
reading material. Incidents, current events, and other short 
articles will usually be most interesting. Occasionally a 
piece of business English, such as a circular or an adver- 
tisement, will be useful. When a long selection is chosen, 
it should be divided among several readers. 

Preparation. The selection given below, clipped from 
the magazine section of a newspaper, is the kind fre- 
quently used in class. 


Writing of the wonderful Wieliczka salt mines near Cracow in 
Austrian Poland the Alanchester (England) Guardian gives an inter- 
esting description of a railway station in the mine. There are 65 miles 
of pony tramways, says the Guardian, and 22 miles of railway. All these 
lines and the principal passages or " streets " meet in a sort of central 
cavern. Here is a central railway station, with spacious waiting rooms, 
offices, and an excellent refreshment room all complete, all hewn out 
of rock salt, and looking, according to one description, " more like a 
summer pavilion than a railway station, with its latticed galleries and 
stately pillars gleaming white and iridescent." This is comparatively 
modern, of course. The oldest " building " in the mine is the chapel 
of St. Anthony, dating from 1691. It contains three altars, a pulpit, 
and much statuary, all elaborately carved out of rock salt. But services 
are now held only in the more modern but equally elaborate chapel of 
St. Cunigund, which is entered down 46 salt steps. The ballroom is a 
huge room, where miners' festivals are often held. A miners' orchestra 
plays regularly in this hall not only for the dances, but for the enter- 
tainment of visitors, for the mine is one of the wonders of the world 
and is much visited by tourists. 


In preparing to read such an article, we need first to 
make the thought our own. Repeated reading, with what- 
ever study is necessary, will give us the sense of the 
article. The dictionary should be used for meanings and 
pronunciations. Failure to make proper preparation may 
lead to awkwardness and to the recital of mere words. The 
class may well protest if its time is wasted by such reading. 
Oral practice is the best preparation, and we shall discuss 
below some principles to be observed in this practice. 

Reading at Sight. Sometimes, however, we may find it 
necessary to read an article without any preparation. Since 
it is important for us to have practice in such an exercise, 
we shall make our directions apply to both kinds of reading, 
but we may here consider a word or two of warning for the 
sight-reading exercise. Do the best you can, and then do 
not worry if your reading is imperfect. If you are asked 
to read an article similar to that given above, you should 
make a sincere attempt to pronounce the difficult names 
without hesitation and without asking anybody else. Do 
not spell words to your hearers or to the teacher. A guess 
at the pronunciation is better than that, unless a possible 
mispronunciation would destroy the sense of the article. 

The Beginning. When about to read a prepared article, 
do not make a long statement before you begin. If the 
selection is complete, it will usually have its own introduc- 
tion. At most, if some remark seems necessary, tell the 
source of the article and its general purpose. For example, 
a selection without a definite title might be prefaced by 
such a remark as, " This is the description of an English 
school in the early part of the last century. It is from 
Dickens's ' Nicholas Nickleby.' " 


Announcing the Subject. Be exceedingly careful to make 
the subject perfectly clear to your hearers. Many times it 
happens that because the speaker himself is familiar with 
the printed subject, he assumes that it will be sufficient for 
him to talk in his usual tone of voice. He forgets that the 
thoughts of his hearers may be far from his topic, and 
must be brought to it definitely. For example, unless you 
announce the topic, ""A Rock-Salt Railway Station," slowly 
and distinctly, probably nine out of ten of your listeners 
will imagine that the word before ' railway ' is the name of 
a place. It is good practice to select a newspaper item, 
with its brief, condensed headlines, and to read these topics 
so carefully that nobody can miss them. The title is printed 
large ; make it sound large. It is separated from the body 
of the article ; separate it in the reading by means of a 
definite pause after the title. This pause is essential for a 
clear beginning. 

The First Words. The opening words of the selection 
itself must also be read slowly and very distinctly. The 
reason for this is the psychological fact that it takes time 
for the minds of the hearers to put aside present thoughts 
and fall into the spirit of the new ideas. As you go to 
the front, for example, some of your classmates may expect 
from you an article on the temperance cause. They hear, 
however, something about Mars, and at once think of 
classic myths and ancient Greece and Rome. Instead of 
that, they begin to hear of millions of miles and of canals, 
and finally realize that you are trying to tell them about 
the great planet. Because of the danger of being mis- 
understood at first, every word must be made to reach the 
thought of the hearer. 


Some Fundamentals. It is fundamental to success to 
learn to give more attention to the listeners than to the 
paper. Hold the book or paper fairly high. This will help 
you to look up without having to raise your head ; more- 
over, it will give a full view of your face and better direc- 
tion to your voice. Develop the ability to look ahead and 
grasp the sense of words yet to be spoken. 

In the body of the article where the thought is well 
connected the reading may proceed much faster than at the 
beginning or at the end. The Jast few sentences should 
be given slowly, but the reading must not be allowed to 
diminish in force. Make the finish a strong one. 


1. There is hardly a limit to the variety of topics possible for 
reading. Any of those suggested below will be interesting if care 
in the selection is used. Choose a short article, make the proper 
preparation, and read the selection to the class. Be on the alert 
to hold the attention of every person present. 

1. Political news. 8. Newspaper interviews. 

2. Business news. 9. Scientific articles. 

3. Doings of Congress, state 10. School news. 

legislature, or city council. 11. Editorials. 

4. Foreign events. 12. Business circulars. 

5. Notes on plays. 13. Selections from textbooks. 

6. City affairs. 14. Political circulars. 

7. News of clubs, lodges, or 15. A poem. 


2. Make a selection which requires exact reading, one that does 
not proceed smoothly from beginning to end. An article containing 
figures would be best. Make the appropriate preparation, arid read 
the selection in class. The following are suggested : 


1. A daily weather report. 6. A bill. 

2. A business letter containing 7. A cooking receipt. 

an order. 8. A stock-exchange report. 

3. News of ships and shipping. 9. A notice of a meeting. 

4. A market report. 10. A treasurer's report. 

5. A table of current prices. 

3. Select an advertisement, preferably a large display adver- 
tisement with few details, but one using several different kinds 
of type. Study it for the purpose of determining just how the 
emphasis shall be placed. Practice for proper emphasis, and for 
clearness throughout. Read it in class. 

4. Select a short poem to be read in class. Be sure of the 
meaning of every phrase. Practice faithfully. Remember that 
you do not need to force rhythm : if you read naturally to bring 
out the sense, the rhythm will take care of itself. Try to make a 
definite gain in your ability to read poetry. 

5. a. Select such an article as has been suggested in the 
first exercise of this group. Bring it to class, cutting it from the 
periodical if convenient, so that it may be easily handled. Let 
one of the pupils collect all the selections, and place them face 
downward on the desk or table. As your turn comes, choose 
one of the articles and read it, doing the best you can at sight. 
(If you draw your own piece, return it and draw again.) 

h. Carry out the same exercise for such a selection as is sug- 
gested in Exercise 2 above. 

c. Carry out the exercise with an advertisement. 

d. Carry out the exercise with a poem. 

6. Let the teacher select a story of some length to be read 
in class, at sight. Here every student is a link in a chain, and 
the whole chain — the story — ■ breaks if one student fails to 
read successfully. Begin at the first new paragraph on the 
page shown you, and read to the beginning of a new para- 
graph on the next page. 



Conversations are full of discussions on current topics, 
and our thoughts deal largely with them because they have 
a vital relation to the things we are doing. To acquire the 
ability to talk intelligently and interestingly on the happen- 
ings of the day, we must learn to read accurately and 
broadly, to listen attentively, and, above all, to practice 
faithfully by ourselves and to talk with our friends. 

The Choice of Topics. In selecting current topics to 
present as Oral English recitations, avoid subjects so tech- 
nical that your listeners cannot readily understand them, 
and also those so simple or obvious that your audience will 
be bored. This does not mean that common subjects must 
be shunned if you have something fresh and interesting to 
say on them. Select topics which are concerned with the 
world's progress. Do not waste the time of the class with 
the recital of events which never should have happened, 
unless you have a cure to propose. 

Preparation. Make yourself thoroughly familiar with your 
topic by reading and conversation. In this study, as in the 
case of other recitations in Oral English, the student might 
well use for his preparation the time so often wasted in 
idle thinking or careless talking — on the street car, or 
when eating, dressing, walking, etc. 

In order to give the talk well, its outline must be planned 
in advance. This plan should include a sentence of intro- 
duction and one of conclusion. The introduction should 
aim to arouse interest in the subject, and the conclusion 
may touch upon the significance, the effect, or the probable 
outcome of the event. Thus, a talk about Belgium might 


begin as follows : " Americans are intensely interested in 
watching the attempts of the Belgians to restore normal con- 
ditions in their country. Yesterday I read an article," etc. 
Then would follow the gist of the topic. Be careful to in- 
clude every necessary detail, such as time, place, and names 
of persons. Perhaps a picture or a map would help the 
talk. The conclusion might be worded somewhat as fol- 
lows : "This article indicates that the Belgian people are 
making valiant efforts to hold together, and that within the 
near future- great changes for the better may be expected." 

In the preparation, unless the subject follows a simple 
and obvious order of topics, the outline should be written 
out in detail. Such a written outline may not be needed 
when the talk is given, but it should be used in preparation. 

After each talk has been given, other members of the 
class may want to ask questions or tell something further 
about the topic. Such informal discussion will be con- 
sidered in the next section. 


Come to class prepared to give a current topic — an item of 
present interest to the members of the class. Perhaps you had 
better come prepared on several topics, so that if somebody 
speaks on one of them you can use another. If, however, you 
find it necessary to speak on a topic already given, try to add 
something new to what has been said. Make the topic vital and 
the treatment attractive. The fields of interest suggested below, 
and those given in the exercises on reading, above, may be searched 
for good subjects. Newspapers and magazines will be found rich in 
good topics, but your own experiences and observations will often 
be the best source. 

THE DISCUSSION •-.• ' 203 

1. Science. 6. New books.,' 

2. Invention. 7. National and international affairs. 

3. Politics. 8. School happenings. 

4. Labor questions. 9. Celebrations and conventions. 

5. Business changes. 10. Recreations. 


We are constantly discussing topics of interest. Every 
group of children talking on the street, in the halls, or on 
the playground is having a discussion. In order to give 
directions here for all such discussions we should have to 
consider many of the things already treated and some that 
will appear in later sections. We shall therefore limit our 
present treatment to informal discussions which arise in 
the course of a recitation in the Oral English class, and to 
formal discussions which are planned in advance for the 
express purpose of considering all sides of a question. 

The Informal Discussion. Whenever an interesting talk 
has been given in class, there should be an opportunity for 
questions, remarks, and the giving of additional information, 
unless lack of time makes such discussion impracticable. 
In this discussion every member should have complete 
freedom to speak, but should limit himself to the subject 
and be brief. 

What shall decide, or who shall decide, when each person 
who desires to speak shall have the privilege ? Of course, 
if the teacher is in charge of the class, anybody who wishes 
to take part in the discussion will apply for permission in 
the usual manner. But if the class has a chairman, then 
the requests for the privilege of the floor may be made 


by the method used in hterary or business meetings. In 
the early part of Chapter XIV is outhned a simple plan 
for the organization of an Oral English class into a parlia- 
mentary society. Such an organization is of great advantage 
in conducting a discussion. Even if it seems impracticable 
to carry out that plan, however, one of the students may be 
elected or appointed chairman of the meeting, and may sit 
at the front for the purpose of recognizing those who rise 
to ask permission to speak. A person so chosen should 
give the privilege of speaking according to the rules set 
forth on page 322. If the class has a time limit for each 
talk or discussion, the chairman should enforce that rule. 

The Formal Discussion. Sometimes a set speech or a 
whole meeting for the consideration of a question is called 
a discussion. Suppose the superintendent of schools dis- 
cusses the question of a junior high school for the city. 
Or suppose a meeting is held for the discussion of the 
question of a new high-school building. In either case the 
use of the word ' discussion ' means that both sides of 
the question are to be presented. Thus the superintendent 
would summarize all the facts and arguments. The meet- 
ing would listen to persons holding varying opinions. The 
difference between a discussion and a debate is that the 
debate is still more formal, with prearranged sides and with 
a decision of a committee of judges afterward. 

How the Discussion is Conducted. A meeting for a dis- 
cussion may be conducted according to a definite plan. 
Thus, some literary societies use a plan which would be an 
excellent one for a class in Oral English to follow. The 
teacher, or a committee of students, or the vote of the class 
may choose a subject to be discussed at a future meeting. 


The subject should be one about which there is a differ- 
ence of opinion, and its treatment by the class will be 
largely argumentative. The principles we have studied in 
Chapter II will therefore apply to the discussion. The 
subject selected may be stated in the form of a topic, a 
resolution, or a question. 

It is a good plan to appoint one member to open the 
discussion with a talk of from five to ten minutes in length, 
depending on the total time for the meeting. Several short 
talks may then follow, the speakers being appointed in 
advance or volunteering and being recognized by the chair- 
man. These should each be limited to from two to five 
minutes. Finally, the person who opened the discussion 
should be allowed to close it with a talk of from four to 
six minutes. 

The Opening Talk. The opening speech, if one has 
been planned, should be a general survey of the subject. 
It should first state the problem to be solved, or the ques- 
tion to be setded, and should then touch upon the various 
solutions proposed. If there are two" or more clearly defined 
opinions, every side should be presented carefully and fairly. 
Finally, the speaker's own conclusions may be presented, 
with his reasons. For example, suppose the question of a 
building for the high school is under discussion, and the 
superintendent of schools has the opening talk. He first 
presents the problem, perhaps the overcrowding of the 
school. He next discusses the solutions proposed : putting 
the ninth gi'ade into a junior higli school ; changing the 
time program of the high school so that some pupils will 
come early in the day and others late ; getting along with 
conditions as they are ; and building a new building. In 


discussing these proposals he should give them the best 
statement he can. Finally, he should make a strong, brief 
argument in favor of the plan he believes best, showing 
how each of the others is an inadequate solution compared 
with the true one, the construction of the new building. 

The other talks would of course present other opinions, 
and the final speech by the leader of the discussion would 
answer the other arguments and make a summary. 


1. Let each student select a current topic to present in class. 
After each person gives his talk, let the teacher or a student 
chairman conduct a discussion on the subject. 

2. Six or seven students should be selected to conduct a formal 
discussion during a recitation period. One should be asked to give 
the opening talk, and the others to present other opinions. The 
subject selected should be one about which the members of the 
group differ. A list of subjects is given below ; others are given 
in Appendix II. 

1. What is the cure for war.? 

2. Is municipal ownership a good thing? 

3. Sliould we indorse the general principle of labor unions ? 

4. How can poverty be prevented.'' 

5. Would the junior high school be a success? 

6. How may athletics be improved ? 

7. Does the Monroe Doctrine help this nation ? 

8. Should capital punishment be abolished ? 

9. Have modern inventions made people happier? 
10. Is student self-government a good idea? 



Extempore and Impromptu Speaking. Suppose that in 
preparing his lesson in the exercise above, a student 
selects the question of the cure for war, studies his subject, 
outlines it, and practices it faithfully but without memorizing 
it word for word, and then gives the speech in class. He is 
making an extempore speech. If, on the other hand, he ex- 
presses himself on the question of the cure, without opportun- 
ity for preparation, his speech is impromptu. For the purposes 
of this book, then, the impromptu speech will be taken to 
mean that for which there has been no definite preparation. 

Practically all the directions in this book are for extem- 
pore speeches, yet some excellent practice in quick thinking 
and ready talking may be obtained in impromptu work. 

Thinking Rapidly. In impromptu speaking the student 
will be assigned a topic upon which perhaps he has never 
talked with anybody, and will be called on without time for 
study. When placed in this situation the speaker must do 
his best. He must not apologize or talk about himself. He 
should be decisive, clear, and explicit in stating what he 
docs know and does believe about the subject. No harm 
will come from tr^'ing. Unless he tries to say too much 
there is little danger that he will be led into insincerity, 
conceit, or false opinion. 

The speaker should start making the outline before he 
says a word ; at least he ought to decide what will be his 
first and his second topic. Then as he begins speaking he 
should think ahead to the other topics, and before he nears 
the end he should plan a strong conclusion. Practice will 
show that it is possible to do this successfully. 



Topics can hardly be listed here, for they would provoke 
thought and preparation, and this would make the talks extempore 
instead of impromptu. The topics following, therefore, are rather 
to suggest the kind of work that may be undertaken. How may 
the topics be selected ? An excellent way is to have a committee 
or the teacher select a number of subjects, writing each upon a 
slip of paper. Each student, as he is called upon, draws a topic and 
makes his speech. Topics may be selected from the exercises 
of Chapter II, and from the debate questions and the lists in 
Appendix II. Better still, they may be chosen from the daily 
experiences and problems of the students and of the world. The 
following have been used : 

1. Are white lies ever justifiable.'' 

2. Should churches adopt entertainment features ? 

3. Do you think that the United States will ever have complete 
prohibition ? 

4. What kind of tree is best for streets ? 

5. When should men take their hats off in an elevator? 

6. Have you any objection to eating cold-storage eggs ? 

7. What is the cure for the large number of automobile accidents.'' 

8. Do you approve of fashionable weddings .'' 

9. How can insanity in the United States be lessened? 

10. If you had the necessary time and money, what trips would 
you take? 

11. How can schoolrooms be made more attractive? 

12. Should a father watch a son to prevent his smoking? 

13. Should " strap-hangers "' pay less fare? 

14. In what ways can a person learn to save time? 

15. Is coeducation beneficial to the student ? 

16. Why do people wear hats ? 

17. W^ill Mexico ever be a real republic? 

18. Do you think the scientists will ever learn to control the weather? 

19. Would Southern California be more prosperous if it raised alfalfa 
instead of oranges ? 


20. Should a person who is going into business have a college 
education ? 

21. Will there always be a great number of poorly educated people 
to do the manual labor of the world .'' 

22. Will electricity ever replace steam ? 

23. Tell the uses of petroleum. 

24. Tell something about the natural resources of Russia. 

25. Tell the advantages of the occupation of farming. 


Any person can become a reasonably good story-teller. 
All that is required is a little courage ; practice will do the 
rest. It is true that some persons need more practice than 
others, and many good story-tellers have become successful 
only after arduous practice. Here, as in the other exercises 
in oral work, the student is to be judged not so much by the 
talent he has as by the gains he makes. Nobody who is 
gaining in his ability to tell stories need be discouraged. 
Progress, as we have said, requires courage and practice. 
Courage is needed because the story-teller has to face the 
close attention of his hearers, and has to make good their 
expectations. Practice enables him to see his mistakes and 
his successes, and to make each attempt a little better than 
the preceding one. 

The Beginning. Narrations have already been discussed 
in Chapter V. Since what has been said there applies 
also to the funny story we shall here add only some 
special directions. 

In beginning the story or joke, one must bring out 
clearly the attending circumstances which arc necessary to 
the point. These may include, as suggested on page So, 
the persons, the time, and the place. In the case of some 


humorous stories, facts mentioned at the first are neces- 
sary to the understanding of the points involved. For ex- 
ample, the story told of the boy who wrote " have went " 
for " have gone " depends for its success upon the hearers' 
knowing that the boy was being punished for that mistake. 
Include all necessary preliminaries. 

Details which are not essential to the point of the story 
should by all means be omitted ; it is these which make so 
many story-tellings tiresome. 

The Point. The point in a funny story usually lies in 
three or four words. The speaker must not let his listen- 
ers miss even one of these. The story-teller has failed if it 
is necessary for any person in the audience to ask his neigh- 
bor the point of a joke. Score the point roundly, but do 
not repeat it ; repeating a joke or attempting to explain it 
puts one in a hopeless position as a story-teller. 

The Kind of Jokes to Tell. A recent writer remarks that 
the greater part of the humor of certain European countries 
is based on brutality or vulgarity. It seems true, unfortu- 
nately, that many people take pleasure in repeating stories 
that ought to die out — stories that lower one's self-respect 
in the telling. On the other hand, the world is full of 
good jokes and wholesome fun. Why not, therefore, leave 
out of our lives and conversations the stories not altogether 
decent .'' The habit of appreciating and transmitting the 
best kind of fun, with kindness and healthiness of mind, 
is an asset to one's self and to others. Cultivate it in your 
reading, conversation, and public speaking. 

Application of the Joke. Many stories are given as a 
part of another talk, told for the purpose of illustrating an 
argument. Thus, a political speaker used this story to show 


the position of the Southern sugar planters on the Under- 
wood tariff. 

The Louisiana Democrats had voted for \\'ilson. But after he 
took office and began to advocate free sugar, they began to do a 
great deal of worrying and complaining. The speaker said that 
the situation reminded him of how Willie got the wasp. A mother, 
her small son, and nurse were traveling in a train ; the boy and the 
nurse together, and the mother comfortably reading a novel across 
the aisle. The boy had noticed a wasp flying along the window, 
and was reaching up a hand to it. Suddenly the mother heard a 
cry. Looking up from her book, she said, " Nurse, let Willie have 
what he wants." The nurse replied, " Please, ma'am, he 's got it." 

Using Stories in Arguments. Three special cautions are 
necessary in applying stories to arguments. First, do not 
tell stories which have nothing to do with the argument. 
Many a debater or lawyer wins applause by a rapid fire 
of fun, but the stories do not appeal to the judges and 
juries when it comes to the decision. Second, so tell the 
story that its application will be perfectly clear. Third, do 
not attempt to point out the application of the story ; the 
audience will apply it themselves with much better effect. 


1. There are certain weekly and monthly magazines and a few 
newspapers which make a business of collecting and publishing the 
best humorous stories and jokes. Find one or two good stories, 
study them well, practice them, and come to class prepared to 
give them successfully. 

2. Every person has had many funny experiences — funny at 
the time or funny as he looks back at them. The writer will 
always remember with a smile the day when he was learning to 
ride a bicycle and met his teacher and proudly tried to raise his 


hat. Think over some experiences which are funny and which will 
be worth telling. Come prepared to tell one or two in class. 
Some of the following situations may be suggestive : 

1. The street car. 6. In stores. 


At church. 


On the street. 


On the school grounds. 




In the schoolroom. 


Trips or camping, 


Games and sports. 



3. Think of an argumentative point to which a story might 
apply. Find a story which helps to prove it. Then prepare to 
give very briefly the statement or argument and the story which 
helps to enforce it. You must think over very carefully just what 
should be said. The following topics may suggest arguments : 

1. School discipline. 6. Social affairs. 

2. School studies. 7. Politics. 

3. City affairs. 8. Scientific questions. 

4. National affairs. 9. Newspapers. 

5. Foreign affairs. 10. Work and methods of work. 


An interview is a conversation for a definite purpose ; 
for example, seeking information, or persuading a person 
to agree to a business proposition. Over and over again 
men and women, young and old, must go through the 
give-and-take involved in such conversations, no matter 
what their callings or life interests. 

Courtesy and Directness. The chief requisites of a suc- 
cessful interviewer are courtesy and directness. The Golden 
Rule is the best possible rule, for interviews. Anything else 
is short-sighted and must eventually fail. If you wish suc- 
cess, therefore, you must invite it. You must not intrude 
into a person's home or office unannounced, hurriedly, or 


disrespectfully. You may send in your card to the person 
you wish to see, or present it to him as you come face to 
face. Otherwise, you must tell your name at the beginning. 
You must wait to be asked to sit, and must care for your 
own hat. A carelessness about one of these little things 
may easily create a prejudice against you that will make 
your interview absolutely fruitless. The person you approach 
may judge you by the first little impressions of manner 
and dress. Be open in your manner, but reserved at the 
same time. If there is to be joking or an informal style of 
conversation let the person being interviewed begin it. 

State your business as soon as you conveniently can. If 
you have a complicated proposition to present, preface it 
with a hint as to its general nature ; for example, " I called 
to try to interest you in a new device for starting auto- 
mobiles," or "The high school sent me here to ask you to 
act as a judge in the debate next month." Unfortunately, 
it is true that some people seem to try to hold back the 
true nature of their business, intending, evidently, to attract 
the listener by means of irrelevant matter, and to mention 
the disagreeable points at a more favorable time. Such 
evasions are always less effective than straightforwardness. 

The chapter on Business Talks gives suggestions that 
will be helpful in preparing the outline to follow in the 

Following the Lead of Interest. Having presented your 
request or proposition, wait the pleasure of your hearer. 
Do not keep up a steady flow of words. Be as ready to 
listen as to talk. If your companion has interrupted with 
questions, these will show you the direction of his interest. 
Put aside your outline for the moment, and follow where 


he leads. Be ready to meet all questions, admitting disad- 
vantages and answering objections. Do not allow anything 
said to rufifle your good humor. Constant courtesy is your 
part, regardless of the other person's behavior. Preserve 
the best of good feeling, even if you disagree with him. 
Sometimes the objections your companion urges give the 
best possible clue to the interest he has in the subject. 
Then you must try to see the proposition from his point 
of view, and show him by tactfully appealing to these inter- 
ests that he should agree to do what is best for himself. 

Care in making Agreements. If the interview leads to 
an understanding or agreement, make this as definite as 
possible. If you have documents to present, have them 
well labeled and arranged, and state their nature or purpose 
as you show them. Many interviews lead, of course, to the 
signing of papers, others to the paying of money, others to 
the transfer of goods. Let whatever is done be done with 
no hurry, but with complete understanding and agreement. 
Perhaps you should make out and give to the person you 
are interviewing a memorandum of some sort. For example, 
the man who is to be a debating judge should be handed 
a card stating the date, time, and place of the contest. 
Your interview may then end with some conversation of a 
social or general nature, or at least with the usual expression 
of thanks and good day. 

A Plan for Schoolroom Practice. It will be excellent 
practice for the students to group themselves into pairs for 
interviews. Each pair should talk over the details before- 
hand : how the interview shall begin, how it shall proceed, 
how it shall end, etc. The interview should not be re- 
hearsed, for the chief value of the exercise comes from the 


impromptu and somewhat unexpected nature of the ques- 
tions and replies. For each interview the students concerned 
may appropriately arrange the chairs and table at the front, 
and may tell the audience what the place is supposed to be. 
The speakers must talk to each other a little louder than 
they would naturally, for now there is an audience present 
to listen. 

Some interviews need three or more persons. It will 
afford excellent training for students to arrange scenes with 
persons entering and leaving, as -in a real office. 


I . Choose a partner, decide with him what interview to arrange, 
talk over how the conversation is to proceed, and then give it in 
class. Arrange your positions so that both of you will face the 
audience, and speak at all times loud enough for everyone to 
hear. The following may afford good suggestions: 

1. Giving a grocery order. 12. Offering an apology. 

2. Asking information about 13. Asking for an explanation. 

colleges. 14. Arranging for repairs. 

3. Securing a speaker for a 15. Buying concert or theater 

meeting. tickets. 

4. Renting a house. 16. Buying a motor cycle. 

5. Insuring a building. 17. Asking for a recommenda- 

6. Telephoning an order. tion. 

7. Asking advice about going 18. Securing an umpire for a 

into business. baseball game. 

8. Asking for a higher position. 19. Department-store manager 

9. Asking an increase in salary. instructing one of his 
10. Serving a notice to vacate buyers. 

a store. 20. Joining a club or association. 

II. Selling an adas. 

See the exercises for Chapter VII. 


2. Choose a partner for an interview in which one person has 
objections to acceding to the other's wishes. Do not talk over 
together what the objections or arguments may be, but let each 
person separately think very clearly about his own course of 
thought and action ; the one, what objections he has to the pro- 
posed request, and the other, what objections may possibly be 
urged and how they may be answered. Do not, however, tr}^ any 
false salesmanship, attempting to make a person do what he does 
not wish to do. Rather have so good a proposition that he will 
gladly change his mind. The following are only suggestions : 

1. Collecting a bill. 6. Securing a singer for an 

2. Selling a knife sharpener. entertainment. 

(Demonstrate its action.) 7. Soliciting an advertisement. 

3. Applying for a position. 8. Asking a person to be a busi- 

4. Asking for credit. ness partner. 

5. Arranging for a football game. 9. Asking a loan. 

10. Interviewing for a newspaper. 

See the exercises for Chapter VII. 


We are always practicing conversations, yet we rarely try 
consciously to improve our abilities as conversationalists. If 
we can talk with others helpfully and attractively, we shall 
find valuable friends and add to the store of mutual under- 
standing and happiness. 

This book cannot attempt to explain the complete eti- 
quette of the subject ; it can only indicate some important 
common principles. 

The Need for Good Topics. If you choose a partner from 
the class and take the floor for a social conversation, you 
will soon learn the need for the ability to '" keep the con- 
versation going." It is decidedly helpful to have in mind 


three or four topics which will be interesting to your partner. 
A person can have an enjoyable and profitable talk with 
almost anybody if he deliberately tries to lead the conversa- 
tion to the interests and activities of the person with whom 
he is talking. Once get good topics of conversation and 
the rest is not difficult. Try to avoid depending on school 
affairs, or on ""What have you been doing.?" or "'Where 
have you been keeping yourself.?" even for opening a talk. 
Carlyle laughs at trite and tiresome topics of conversation, 
and calls the weather ""that great boon to society." 

Listening. A common fault in conversation is the failure 
to listen. Have you ever had the experience of saying 
something to another, and finding by his reply that he was 
only using that time to think up a remark of his own ? 
There can be no good conversation without willingness on 
the part of each participant to listen to what the other says. 

Ending. Ending a conversation is often as hard for some 
talkers as coming to the point in an interview. Perhaps the 
best way is frankly to rise at a convenient pause and then 
to make your adieus. '" I must be going," or '" It's getting 
late," or "" I have another engagement," are not much more 
sensible than is, ""I thought I would write to you " for 
opening a letter. Your rising will indicate that you must 
go, and your parting remarks might better indicate the 
pleasure you have had in the conversation: ""Well, I've 
enjoyed this talk " ; ""I hope to talk with you again soon " ; 
"We haven't exhausted these questions; I hope we shall 
soon have another chance to talk " ; ""I wish you would 
come and see me." 

Introducing Persons to Each Other. It is excellent prac- 
tice to introduce two persons to each other. In doing this 


be sure to speak both names distinctly. Remember, if you 
are introducing a man and a woman, that you should address 
your introduction to the woman : " Miss Thomas, this is 
Mr. Williams." When one of the persons has some interest 
which may appeal to the other, it is a great aid to their 
conversation to mention it just after the introduction : 
"Mr. W'illiams is a violinist" or "Mr. Williams studied 
the violin in Vienna ; Miss Thomas has been studying 
music in the East." 

Large and varied interests, wide information, judicious 
reading, worth-while experiences, broad sympathy with those 
one meets, and a readiness in the expression of one's 
ideas — all these are necessary to the making of a good 


1. Make a list of twenty topics about which you are sufficiently 
informed to hold conversations. Then write another list of twenty 
topics about which you are not informed, but about which you 
would like to talk for the purposes of friendly conversation and 
general information. In class compare notes with other students, 
and in this way find partners for two conversations, one in which 
you lead and one in which you question. Give the conversations 
in class. Face the audience and try to make everyone hear. 

2. Below is a list of topics. First we have a general subject, 
and next one of the specific questions of interest in that field. 
Choose a partner, and hold a conversation on one of these topics, 
or on another suggested by one of them. 

1. Art. What kind of pictures do you like? 

2. Music. What is the advantage to be gained by studying good 

3. Architecture. Is a street more attractive with buildings of 
uniform design.'' 


4. Books. Do we read enough works of fiction, or too many? 

5. Magazines. Which have the best short stories.'' 

6. Plays. What kind should the school give? 

7. Science. What gains have been made by soil analysis? 

8. Travel. Should you like to see South America? 

9. Aviation. Will aeroplanes ever carry passengers and make 
regular trips? 

10. Athletics. Is " indoor baseball " better than basket ball ? 

11. City parks, streets, or schools. Which is our most attractive park? 

12. Peace and war. Does a war indirecdy help to make a lasting 
peace possible ? 

13. Poverty. What can the city do to help the poorer people of 
this city? 

14. Political prospects. Who should win in the next election ? 

15. American cities. Which would be the most interesting to see? 

16. Financial affairs. Are the banks as safe as they can be made? 

17. Business affairs. Is this city a good place for a young man or 
woman to start business ? 

18. Newspapers. Should the papers be controlled by the city 
government to see that they do not print anything objectionable? 

19. Mexico. What can be done to help improve the conditions of 
living in Mexico ? 

20. Colleges. Which college should you prefer to attend ? 

3. Choose a partner to act the part, and hold a dignified, 
friendly conversation with one of the following persons : 

12. A locomotive engineer. 


An elderly man. 


An elderly woman. 


A small boy. 


A little girl. 


A labor-union member. 


A capitalist. 


A statesman. 


A politician. 


A teacher. 


A preacher. 


A farmer. 


A ditch digger. 


A member of the Industrial 

Workers of the World. 


A tennis champion. 


An Englishman. 


A German. 


A housing expert. 


An artist. 


A policeman. 


4. Choose one or more of the situations named below. Select 
a partner or partners, decide what part each will take, and give 
the conversation. 

1. Inviting somebody to a party or game or entertainment. 

2. Friends waiting for an entertainment to begin. 

3. Friends meeting on the street after twenty years. 

4. Waiting in line at the box office. 

5. At a dinner or a banquet. 

6. Strangers conversing on the street car. 

7. Christmas shopping, or Christmas presents. 

8. At a celebration. 

9. In a train ; on an aeroplane ; on a steamer. 
10. Guests arriving for a dinner. 

5. Introduce the following persons to each other, and hold a 
conversation with them : 

1. A newspaper man and a musician. 

2. A schoolboy and a business man. 

3. A mayor and a Civil-War veteran. 

4. A blacksmith and a teacher. 

5. A personal friend to your partner. 

6. A stenographer to an office boy. 

7. Two speakers at a lecture, just before the lecture. 

8. A Democrat and a Republican. 

9. Your school principal and yourself. 

10. The guests arriving at your house for a dinner. 


The purpose of this section is to give directions for 
simple one-act plays, the plots of which may be readily 
planned by the students, and the words made up as the play 
proceeds. We shall not deal with memorized dramatics. 

How to Begin. It will be possible for any students to give 
an extempore play if they have had some practice in the 
work of previous sections. Since an interview, as proposed 


above, • involves assuming and carrying out the role of an- 
other person, the extempore play may well begin with inter- 
views. Suppose, for example, that three instead of two 
persons take part in a conversation, one of them entering 
the room after the other two, a motor-cycle agent and the 
manager of a newspaper, have started a discussion on the 
purchase of a new machine. The newcomer recognizes 
the agent as an old friend whom he has not seen for a long 
time. It develops that the newcomer also wishes to sell the 
manager a motor cycle. The manager insists on hearing 
about the latter's machine, and decides to order one at once. 
The first agent is naturally disappointed, but is made happy 
by the invitation of his rival to become a partner in the 
agency for the better machine. 

It does not require "dramatic ability" to begin in this 
way. The purpose in this section is to present a plan which 
may be followed by anybody determined to succeed, and not 
merely by the few who may have exceptional talent. 

The extempore plays should grow out of the other work. 
The plot is the new element added to the ordinary inter- 
view ; and the plot may be defined as a centering of the 
interest around a problem which appears as the story pro- 
ceeds — a problem which is solved near the end. 

Selecting the Plot : Some Examples. In selecting the 
plot, students must have in mind interest, simplicity, and 
good taste. Usable plots are as numerous and as varied as 
are the problems of life itself. We give here a few examples, 
to encourage students to think out plots of their own. 

1. Real-Estate Office. A man who wishes to rent a six-room house 
in a certain locality enters a real-estate office. Details are discussed 
and several houses proposed, but none suits. The agent asks the man to 


copy down addresses and look at the houses. While he writes, another 
man enters. He wishes to list just such a house as the first man wants. 
The agent steps out to consult his partner in another room, and the first 
man asks the second about the house and agrees to take it. The agent 
is surprised and disappointed, but is offered and accepts half the 
usual fee. 

2. Hotel. During a rush of business the hotel clerk and a bell boy 
assign rooms until the house is filled to its capacity. Various guests 
come to the office and complain of the noise and poor accommodations, 
but there is no relief. Finally, the manager is sent for ; he listens to the 
complaints, then asks the clerk for his resignation, and sends some of 
the guests to another hotel. 

3. School of Dramatics in a Crowded Tenement. Various persons 
are receiving lessons. Neighbors of several nationalities complain with- 
out results. A policeman is sent for and ejects the actors. 

4. Impossible Policeman. The police sergeant drills a new policeman 
and instructs him in his duties. When sent out to enforce the laws, he 
makes all sorts of errors and foolish arrests. The sergeant scolds, and 
gives him copies of the laws to read. Continued failures lead to his 

5 . Too much Automobile. A man has no sooner bought an automobile 
than he is interviewed by agents for speedometers, self-starters, tires, 
rugs, pumps, etc. An insurance agent proposes various kinds of insurance, 
and the tax collector and an auto-club agent call. In great disgust the 
man decides to sell his car. 

6. Millinery Store. Two women enter a store and tire the clerk by 
trying on all the hats without making a decision. Since they interfere 
with other customers, the clerk finally tells the floorwalker, who instructs 
the head saleswoman to ask the two customers to leave. She comes and 
asks the women if they cannot find what they want. They try all the 
hats again, the head saleswoman growing more and more impatient. 
Finally she tells them the store has nothing which will suit them. As 
they start to leave, the floorwalker recognizes one as a friend whom he 
has not seen for a long time. 

7. Collecting the Rent. A woman's caUing day is disturbed by a rent 
collector. The hostess tells the collector the rent has been paid ; he tells 
her that eviction is imminent, the rent being sixty days overdue. He 
threatens to call an officer and remove the furniture. She telephones to 


her husband, who says he will bring a lawyer. Some guests leave; 
others arrive. Husband and lawyer arrive. The lawyer demands that 
the agent show his papers, and finds that the latter has made an error 
in the house number. The agent apologizes ; the husband threatens 
arrest. The lawyer charges ten dollars. 

A beginning may sometimes be made with impromptu 
dramatizations of stories or parts of works of fiction. 

Assigning the Parts. Perhaps the best way to prepare a 
play is to have a group of from three to eight students 
think out a plot, such as a scene in a railway station. The 
teacher may help with suggestions at first. The assignment 
of parts may begin at once, even before the story is worked 
out. Let the group decide who will act as ticket agent, 
who as traveler, and who as gatekeeper. Then, as the 
many suggestions for the story are considered, the plot is 
gradually developed, and all the parts assigned. 

Preparation. The amount of preparation for a play varies 
with its purpose. If the group is to give it for practice in 
speaking merely, or for amusement, then carefully discuss- 
ing the plot beforehand should be sufficient. Every par- 
ticipant should understand how the play is to begin and 
end, when he is to enter, approximately what he is to do 
and say, and when he is to leave. 

If the aim is a careful presentation, then it may well be 
rehearsed. The repeated practices will lead to the use of 
more appropriate words, just as does such repetition for a 
debater's speech, or for any other speech. After a little 
practice, any group can plan out a story, talk over the plot, 
and give the play successfully. 

Properties. The costumes and the properties should be 
simple. I'^laborate costumes are not at all necessary ; the 


ordinary clothes are best in most cases, but the simple change 
of a coat or a different hat will often help a person to assume 
a different personality. Facial decorations should be omitted, 
since these plays are not so much for an audience as for the 
players themselves. The front of the room may have a table 
or desk and a few chairs. A few additional stage properties 
may be useful : broom, duster, books, bench, and other mis- 
cellaneous articles. Signs posted on the wall or door to act 
as hints to the audience are particularly useful. Members of 
the group can easily bring the small properties needed. 

The Presentation. Little more need be said about the 
presentation. Players must remember that as much of the 
talking as is possible should be directed toward the audi- 
ence. When two players are supposed to be talking to- 
gether they must glance occasionally at each other, but 
most of their sentences should be spoken towards the 
audience. Better still, the speakers should arrange them- 
selves in such a way that they can easily face the audience 
when they are speaking. In a small room, of course, these 
considerations are not so important. 

Success is attained by forgetting one's self and by acting 
the part to the best of one's ability. The greatest tempta- 
tion for new players is to laugh at the wrong time. The 
student should leave the laughing for the audience unless 
it comes in the part he is playing. Care and interest in 
the work in extempore plays will result in a great deal of 
fun, and in good practice in speaking. 


Divide the class into several small groups, and let each group 
plan and give an extempore play. 





Chapter II gives condensed directions for preparing an 
argument ; this chapter aims to amplify those directions 
for older students and to offer suggestions for debating. 
No attempt is here made to help students analyze classic 
orations and arguments ; the purpose is rather to prepare 
them to discuss in reasonably good style the subjects upon 
which the opinions of men and women of to-day differ. 

Many students seem afraid to try argument and debate ; 
yet in their classes in history, English, mathematics, science, 
and the languages they are constantly dealing with evidence, 
and presenting more or less complete arguments. What 
these students need is to learn how to make a brief : to 
learn to group items of evidence under the several heads 
which prove the proposition, and to express these heads in 
simple sentences instead of in topics. These things we shall 
discuss at the proper time, but first we must consider some 
fundamental principles. 

The Nature of Argument. Argument convinces, — it 
shows truth and error, — and to accomplish this, narrative, 
descriptive, and explanatory material must be used as evi- 
dence. With this material reasons are developed to prove 

22 C 


some one position in regard to the question. Thus, if we 
were discussing the question of giving the PhiHppine Islands 
their independence, we should study their history, resources, 
customs, opinions, activities, and the forces at work among 
them ; and from these facts we should reason as to their 
rights, desires, abilities, and the probable effect of independ- 
ence on them. Narration, description, and explanation fur- 
nish facts which give evidence ; argument attempts to prove 
that one of two contrary opinions is true. 

The Correct Spirit in Argument. The reason for carry- 
ing on an argument is the desire to find the truth. In 
most arguments the truth lies somewhere between two opin- 
ions, and for this reason no speaker should be too sure of 
his position or too insistent in his enthusiasn. Let him 
always give the other opinion a full and patient considera- 
tion, and assume the other speaker's sincerity. 

Should a person ever argue on the side of a question 
which is against his own beliefs ? Yes, and no. Yes, if it 
can be done with no moral hurt to himself or to others. 
There are many questions about which sincere and good 
men disagree. At the school age one has and should have 
opinions on these questions ; yet what student knows 
whether or not these will be his final opinions ? Should 
the Philippines be free .? Would complete free trade be a 
good thing.? Do athletics injure scholarship.? Should 
American cities own their street railways ? It would be 
of real value to a person in the case of such questions to 
study and speak on the side in which he does not believe. 
By so doing he will learn much, and in the end will be- 
come a better advocate of the side which he finally takes. 


In many cases, however, injury might be done the 
speaker's character and the opinion of his hearers if he 
argues against his honest convictions. Suppose, for exam- 
ple, the question has to do with "preparedness," and the 
student strongly believes that it would be a positive wrong 
for our government to increase its standing army and its 
navy. In such a case, it would be unwise for the student 
to uphold the affirmative, because of the effect on him of 
practicing what would be insincerity, false enthusiasm, and 
wrong argument. 


If the student could see the amount of planning a lawyer 
makes for each case, he would realize that skillful debaters 
attach great importance to definite preparation for each 
effort. The debater, like the lawyer, usually speaks but 
once on any given question. Accordingly, he must prepare 
for the argument in a manner worthy of his subject, him- 
self, and his audience. We shall deal in this section with 
the preliminaries to the argument, and in the following 
section with the building up of the argument itself. 

Selecting, Stating, and Testing the Subject. If the 
speaker is a beginner in systematic argument, he should by 
all means select some topic about which he is already in- 
formed. In any case let the topic be an interesting and 
important one. Few would care to debate about the justice 
of a revolution in Portugal, or about the relative abilities of 
Alexander and Napoleon. When the argument is to be 
made in public, it will be a distinct advantage if the hearers 
also are somewhat familiar with the subject. 


After the general topic is selected, great care should be 
exercised to frame a concise, clear statement, called the prop- 
osition. In most cases the proposition for debate should 
be affirmatively stated. It should be definite, and should 
be restricted fo~a single question which has two sides. 
The following question seems to satisfy all these tests : 
" Postage on letters sent within the United States should 
be reduced to one cent." 

The following statements of questions have faults as in- 
dicated : " The commission form of government is not 
adapted to the requirements of large cities." Among other 
faults, a negative statement like this is apt to cause con- 
fusion if, for instance, the affirmative should win. (There 
seems to be no objection to the negative statement of the 
question, " Children under twelve years of age should not 
be allowed in moving-picture theaters unless accompanied 
by adults," though the use of the word ' not ' may easily 
be avoided by using 'prohibited.') "The West is more 
progressive than the East," is indefinite in its three im- 
portant words, and thus no sensible debate could result, at 
least not until both sides agreed as to the meaning of the 
words. "The term of the president of the United States 
should be restricted to a single period of six years," raises 
two questions : that of the single term as against the reelec- 
tion, and that of six years as against any other number of 
years. "American cities should own their water supply," 
is hardly a debatable question ; it would be too difficult to 
maintain the negative. 

There are other dangers to be avoided. Such a question 
as " Every American city should own its own water sup- 
ply," should be avoided, since the negative need only find 


one city which has better reasons for a privately owned 
supply. " The size of the United States army should be 
increased," is a dangerous statement in that technically the 
affirmative side wins if it be proved that ever so slight an 
increase is necessary. 

It is usually understood, in the case of such a question 
as " American cities should acquire their own street-car 
systems," that the affirmative must prove the resolution 
true of most American cities (or of American cities as a 
class), and that the steps involved in the acquisition would 
, j begin at once and be completed as soon as practicable. 

Before deciding^on- a proposed question then, the debater 
should see_-.that it is interesting, important, affirmative 
(usually), definite, single, and debatable. 


I. Applying the above tests, criticize the topic and the wordingW 
of each of the following propositions as subjects for debates, and ' 
put each into acceptable form : 

1. Swimming is a better sport than rowing or skating. (/^., 

2. A business man does not need a college education. 

3. Strikes are detrimental to the workingman. 

4. Good roads are a necessity. 

5. The way President Roosevelt acquired the canal zone. 

6. Vivisection. 

7. The extension of commerce will end wars. 

8. The profession of the teacher is nobler than that of the lawyer. 

9. The policy of the United States toward Cuba is justifiable. 

10. The Philippines should be promised their independence within 
ten years. 

II. Every student should choose his occupation before reaching the 
age of sixteen. 

12. Coasting on the streets should be more carefully regulated than 
it is at the present time. 


2. Frame a debatable proposition on each of the following 
topics : 

— 1. Child labor. 6. Playgrounds. - " 

2. The street-car system 7. Athletics. 

3. The tariff. 8. The war. 

4. The trusts. "^^9. Aviation. ^_ 

5. The railroads. 10. Automobiles. 

The Introduction : Analyzing the Subject. Before the 
argument can begin, the real significance of the question 
must be understood. The debater must therefore analyze 
the proposition ; that is, he must carefully examine the 
wording, and must study to find out the full meaning of 
the question. This study will make clear to him what is 
meant by the question and what is involved in it. And if 
he is to be the first speaker, he must give the audience the 
benefit of the analysis, so that they too will know exactly 
what the proposition means. 

Let us now note the steps in analyzing a question, and 
let us assume that in the ordinary speech each of these 
steps will correspond to one of the topics of the introduction. 

1 . The Opening. The introduction may open with one or more sen- 
tences to win the interest of the hearers. The speaker may call atten- 
tion to the timeliness or importance of the question, or to the great 
effect a decision will have. Suppose the question is, " The Monroe 
Doctrine should be continued." Unless the question has been pre- 
viously stated, the speaker must announce it. This may be done at the 
outset or after the first step has been stated. The speaker may word 
the first step as follows : 

The purpose of this debate is to examine the Monroe Doctrine, the 
policy of almost a century of our national diplomacy. No subject can 
command a more serious consideration, for, upon the decision of the 
United States to maintain or discard this policy depends the good of our 
country, the welfare of the southern republics, and the peace of the world. 


2. The History. It will often be necessary to tell briefly the main 
historical facts of the subject. Thus one might tell of the revolts against 
Spain in the southern countries, of the formation of the Holy Alliance 
to help Spain, of the origin of the Doctrine, and of the various occasions 
upon which it has been used. 

3. Definitions. Some of the words or phrases in the proposition may 
need defining. Dictionary definitions are not always helpful, for they 
define disconnected words, while the words in the proposition have a 
special context. Thus the dictionary would be useless for the words ' small ' 
and ' large ' in the question, " The small high school is better for the pupil 
than the large high school." The best definiuons are (a) those derived 
from the writings of experts on the subject, {l>) those which give exam- 
ples of the idea, and {c) those which show the parts, characteristics, 
or mode of operation. For example, the terms ' small ' and ' large,' in 
referring to high schools, may be explained by giving examples of small 
and large high schools in one's neighborhood or city. The Monroe 
Doctrine may be defined by reading passages from the original docu- 
ment, and by quoting from the four or five statements officially given 
by subsequent presidents and their secretaries. The term ' irrigating 
system ' may be defined by telling of its various parts : the water sources, 
the reservoir, the dam, the aqueduct, the distributing system. ' Indus- 
trial school ' may be defined by describing the equipment and the 
activities of such an institution. 

4. The Real Question. The exact meaning of the question may now 
be restated in simpler words and the real difference of opinion be made 
plain. Thus, " The real question is. Shall we continue our objections 
to interference by European powers in the affairs of the western hemi- 
sphere? The affirmative maintains " that we should continue this 
objection ; the negative, that we should discontinue it." 

To show just what the exact issue is, it is often necessary to state 
the points which should be Ic/i out of the discussion, for example : 
(a) all questions which are irrelevant to the main question ; (b) all ques- 
tions agreed upon or waived by both sides. Thus : 

We are not concerned in this debate with our relations with the United 
States of Colombia, nor with Mexican affairs except as they involve Euro- 
pean powers. It is apjreed by both sides that our interest in the Philippine 
Islands has violated the original intent of the Monroe Doctrine; but it 
has been agreed to waive any question of the bearing of this fact upon 


the present status of the Doctrine. Thus the question is narrowed down 
to this : Shall European nations be allowed to interfere in the affairs of 
the western hemisphere ? 

5 . The Issues Involved. Finally and most important — and this 
must be a part of the introduction even if nothing else seems necessary 
— the speaker must point out clearly the different phases of the dis- 
cussion. These phases are called the issues, and the step in the 
analysis is called finding the issues. As a matter of fact, finding 
the issues of an argument is practically the same as making an outline. 
We have discussed outhning in Chapter VIII, and in Chapter II we 
have shown how the material for a simple argument may be arranged 
under several heads. Here we shall illustrate the process of finding the 
issues in the case of other arguments. 

If two boys from different cities were talking about their schools, 
each arguing that his was the better, with what facts would their con- 
versation be concerned? If a third person were listening, would he not 
hear them speak of grounds, buildings, equipment, courses, students, 
teachers, athletics.? These topics, then, would show at once that the 
issues were as follows : Which school has the better grounds ? which 
the better buildings? which the better equipment? etc. Again, one who 
proposes the erection of a new school building must discuss some such 
questions as these: Is the present building satisfactory? Is it practi- 
cable at this time to provide the money? Is there any other solution 
to the problem? Will the new building be of great benefit? And, to 
recur to the question of the Monroe Doctrine, the issues might be 
stated : Is the Monroe Doctrine in accord with sound international 
relations? Is there danger connected with it? Has it benefited the 
United States and other countries? Will the benefits continue? 

To find the issues, therefore, the student tries to determine what 
are the questions which must be answered in order to prove or dis- 
prove the question. These he presents to his audience in the intro- 
duction. The sequence of the issues will be discussed below, under 
the topic, " The Brief of the Argument." 

6. The Points to be Proved. The issues having been stated, the 
speaker must next indicate the answers which he intends to make to 
these issues. For example, the statement, " We maintain first, that the 
Monroe Doctrine is in accord with sound international relations ; second, 
that there is no danger connected with it ; " etc., marks the end of the 


introduction, and the speaker then proceeds to argue the first point. 
That is, he tries to prove that the Monroe Doctrine is in accord with 
sound international relations. 

Up to this point in the speech there should be no 
argument given ; the introduction should contain only 
explanation, with possibly a little narration and description. 
In fact, the introduction to an argument should be so fair 
that those who uphold the opposite opinion will agree that 
everything said is true. In other words, there should be no 
dispute as to the importance or the history of the question, 
the meaning of the words, the real issue in the debate, or 
the statement of the issues that the question raises. The 
difference of opinion comes in the answer to these issues. 

In assembling material for an argument or debate, the 
data for the introduction will be collected at the same time 
as the argumentative ammunition. It is not necessary to 
complete the introduction before the argument is studied. 

The above six steps should be followed in the prelimi- 
nary preparation for any argument. It will not always be 
necessary, however, to show every step in the introduction 
as it is delivered to the audience. For example, in the 
case of the question, " The use of toy cap pistols should 
be prohibited by city ordinance," it might be best to omit 
any mention of the importance or history of the question, 
because these are already sufficiently known ; to omit defi- 
nitions, as being unnecessary ; and to omit the restatement 
of the issue because it is already so clear. The introduction, 
then, wcjuld consist of the steps numbered 5 and 6 above. 

All introductions must be greatly condensed. In a ten- 
minute debating speech not more than three or four minutes 
should be devoted to the whole introduction. 



1. This exercise is based on the step numbered i above. If 
a debate were to be given on one of the subjects listed below, 
decide what should be said to arouse interest. Prepare a memo- 
randum of notes and practice this part of the introduction. 

1. Goods made by child labor should be denied interstate commerce. 

2. The president should be elected by direct vote. 

3. The unanimous verdict in jury trials should not be required. 

4. Student cooperation in school government should be greatly 

5. Fourth of July should be celebrated without fireworks. 

2. Choose one of the topics listed below, and decide what 
should be said on the history of the subject. Look up the subject 
in the library, and take notes. Practice your talk aloud, and come 
to class prepared to give this part of the introduction. Be brief. 

1. The recall of judges. 6. The condition of the roads. 

2. Capital punishment. 7. Conservation. 

3. Income tax in the United States. 8. Fireproof buildings. 

4. Immigration. 9. The Senate. 

5. The building of a playground. 10. The Democratic party. 

3. Write an exact definition of three of the terms below. Make 
a careful search for the proper definition, using the reference 
books in the Hbrary, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, reports, 
etc. Decide carefully what form of definition to use. 

1. Local option. 11. Labor unions. 

2. The small college. 12. Skilled labor. 

3. Protective tariff. 13. Tenements. 

4. Neutrality. 14. Sabotage. 

5. Arbitration. 15. Freedom of the seas. 

6. Crime. 16. Progressive. 

7. The alien. 17. Reactionary. 

8. The yellow race. 18. Newspapers. 

9. Aviation. 19. Socialism. 

10. Education. 20. International law. 


4. Turn to the list of debating questions in Appendix II. 
Read propositions 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 24, 28, 32, and 37 in 
section A. Choose one for careful consideration. Decide what 
the real issue is, and practice saying it aloud, using your own 
words and restating the question in simple, forcible language. 
Decide also what irrelevant or waived issues might be wrongly 
brought into the discussion, and practice the sentences which 
would show that they are not to be considered. Give the state- 
ments in class. 

5. Turn to the propositions for debate, and read 3, 8, 12, 15, 
25, 33, 35, 36, 39, and 42 in section A. Select one of them for 
special study. Try to find the issues involved in proving or dis- 
proving this proposition. Comparisons and criticisms, and votes 
to find out the preference of the whole class, should bring out a 
satisfactor}^ set of questions for each proposition. 

6. Suggestions for an introduction to an argument on the 
Monroe Doctrine have been given throughout the steps explained 
above. Write on cards an outline of a complete introduction for 
an argument on that question. Practice this introduction, and 
give it in class. 

7. Prepare and deliver an introduction to an argument, choosing 
your own subject. 


Collecting the Evidence. Material gathered for the argu- 
ment is called evidence. Evidence consists of the facts on 
which the proof of a proposition is based. Thus a student 
who wishes to prove that the city should build a subway 
cites as evidence certain facts, such as that the street cars 
and streets are overcrowded, that necessary funds can be 
provided, and that other cities have reaped great benefits 
from subways. These facts make up the evidence. 


We have to consider three things in reference to evi- 
dence : (i) where to look for material; (2) how to know 
which items are of value ; (3) how to record them. We 
shall now proceed to answer these questions. 

The Sources of Evidence. The most common source of 
argumentative evidence is printed material, and the debater 
will chiefly depend on such books, magazines, and reports 
as the following : 


Bliss. New Encyclopedia of Social Reform. 

Lalor. Cyclopedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and 
United States History. 

Earned. History for Ready Reference. 

New International Encyclopedia. 

Annuals : Statistical Abstract ; World Almanac ; Statesman's Year- 
book ; American Yearbook. 

Magazines, indexed in Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature. 

Handbooks for Debaters. 

Reports : Senate, House of Representatives, Congressional Record, 
Departments, Census, State or City, Associations and Societies. 

Many state universities and other colleges have officers 
who prepare bibliographies on important questions, copies 
of which may be obtained on application. Students should 
learn the essentials of the system used for classifying 
library books. 

How to read for a Debate. The first reading for a debate 
should be chiefly for the purpose of acquiring a wide knowl- 
edge of the subject. Such a broad outlook is obtained 
primarily from histories, textbooks, and encyclopedias. In 
looking up a subject, try all the likely headings in order to 
be sure to find complete information. For example, in seek- 
ing material about the tariff one should look also under the 


words 'free trade,' 'protection,' 'customs,' 'duties,' and 
' taxation.' After getting general information on the ques- 
tion, the student may commence his special reading. Sta- 
tistics and reports may be studied, and exact, minute details 
mastered. Care should be taken to learn the latest thought 
on the subject as given in the magazines. 

Suppose we are discussing the question, Resolved, that the 
United States is justified in the manner in which it acquired the 
canal zone. One might go first to the histories to familiarize 
himself with the treaties, the activities of other countries, the in- 
vestigation of the two routes, the negotiations with Colombia, the 
Panama revolution, and the agreement with Panama. He will 
then have the broad facts on which to base the argument. Let 
him next read reports of the State Department, together with 
reports of congressional committees and of debates in Congress. 
These will give him accurate information as to the point of view 
of this country. If he could obtain reports from Colombia, 
he might get the opposite opinions. Finally, he may turn to 
magazines. The Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, under 
' Colombia,' ' canal,' ' Panama,' ' United States,' or ' treaties,' will 
list the magazine articles on these subjects, and the debater must 
judge from the titles, or by glancing through the articles them- 
selves, which he will select for reading. For the subject under dis- 
cussion, he should certainly read Colonel Roosevelt's articles in 
justification of his acts and also articles giving the case for 

Should debaters use the handbooks in which material is 
carefully collected, arranged, recorded, judged, and outlined.? 
Yes. A woman would be foolish to make a pattern for a 
dress if she could find a satisfactory pattern already jDre- 
pared. No debater should grow to depend upon prepared 
debating material, for in life he will have to put together 


arguments in which he must do the whole work himself ; 
but in his practice there can be no harm in occasionally 
using another's work on which to build. By so doing the 
student will find himself well on his way, and may there- 
fore spend more time on the advanced preparation of 
the speech. 

Interviewing. Another source of evidence is conversation 
with persons who are intelligently interested in the subject. 
Interviews may be arranged by letter or by telephone. 
Persons who represent both opinions should be visited. 
It is best to have a list of definite questions to ask. Besides 
such formal conversations, the student should have as many 
talks as convenient with parents, teachers, companions, and 
other friends, asking questions which trouble him, and test- 
ing on others the items of evidence which occur to him. 

Personal Observation. In all his study the debater must 
not underestimate the value of his own observations. In the 
case of subjects concerned with school or city or country, 
and many others, the student will be able to study conditions 
at first hand, and to bring the result of his investigations 
into the argument. 

Thus, if a speaker is to argue that his city should purchase 
a strip of land along the river or seacoast for purposes of rec- 
reation, he might collect valuable evidence by making an investi- 
gation of present facilities for boating, bathing, and the like. 
He might then determine, from his own experiences and from 
observation, how people substitute other and less wholesome 
amusements for recreation that would become possible if water 
were accessible. Finally, he might look over the situation for the 
purpose of finding a suitable location for the proposed recreation 
grounds. Thus his own observations would have furnished him 
valuable evidence. ^ 


We have seen thus far that the material out of which 
an argument is to be built is called evidence, and that the 
sources of evidence are three : reading, conversation, and 
personal observation. 

Testing the Evidence. In collecting the material for the 
argument the student must constantly use his judgment in 
deciding which of the items that he reads, hears, or observes 
are good evidence, and which are of little or no value. 

In the first place, he must select and use only such evidence 
as applies directly and definitely to the issue. All other material, 
no matter how interesting, must be ruled out. Thus evidence 
about canal slides would have little bearing on the question of 
our treatment of Colombia in acquiring the canal, and it should 
therefore be discarded. 

We have already seen that trustworthy definidons may be ob- 
tained from the writings of experts. The first five references on 
the list above are generally recognized as giving reliable informa- 
tion, though it is always well to judge the standing of the author 
of any particular article. Reports must be critically examined, 
as they may be biased. The student must know who made the 
report, how the information was gathered, and whether the pur- 
pose of the report was to furnish information or to prove a case. 
A congressional committee, for example, a majority of whom are 
Democrats, may issue a report on the cost of producing a certain 
article in this country and in Europe ; but this report may be 
biased by the desire to help the Democratic argument on the 
tariff question, this argument being that the difference in cost is 
small. Similarly, the value of reports of various societies must be 
considered in the light of the membership, the purpose of the 
society, and the manner of compiling the report. 

Magazine articles, although they furnish splendid evidence, must 
be critically reviewed. It is worse than useless to rely on the 
mere fact that a certain opinion is found in a magazine, no matter 


how reputable it may be. Some magazines make it a point to 
have articles on both sides of an important question. In case a 
particular article is written by a recognized authority on the sub- 
ject, it may be referred to as having the weight of expert opinion. 
In all other cases the opinions in magazines have no more weight 
than those in newspapers. However, they all show the debater 
possible lines of argument which he may follow if he can secure 
adequate evidence. 

The most effective evidence is that which the opponents recog- 
nize as true. If the student can succeed in finding enough of 
such evidence, actual argument may be dispensed with. Suppose 
a speaker were trying to induce a city council to purchase land 
and erect houses for workingmen. He might present as evidence 
the experience of the German city of Ulm, and then show clearly 
how the land and the funds could be obtained in his own city. 
He would not then need to draw any conclusions, for the listeners 
themselves would be led to ask, " Why don't we do that ? " The 
best kind of argumentative speech contains little real argument, 
but a great many indisputable experiences. The value of facts 
and examples is shown in this statement recently made: "The 
modern man does not argue ; he illustrates." The accurate state- 
ment of known facts and of well-selected illustrations of the truth 
to be established inevitably lead the hearers to the conclusion 

To sum up the tests, good evidence must be applicable 
to the issue, and must come from sources which are well 
qualified to give facts or opinions, which are not prejudiced 
toward either side, and which are recognized as trustworthy. 

The fact that no evidence to prove a particular contention can be 
found, sometimes is good evidence that the proposition is not true. 
Suppose it is contended that the abolition of capital punishment would 
increase murder. If this proposition is true, the statistics of crime in 
the states and nations which have abolished capital punishment should 
exhibit a noticeable increase in the number of homicides directly after 


the abolition of the death penalty. If no such increase is shown, the 
contention that the number of murders would increase can hardly be 

^ Recording the Evidence. Evidence from all sources, — 
reading, conversation, and observation, — if it promises to 
satisfy the tests, should be recorded in convenient form. 
Proper recording from the start will save a great amount 
of labor when one comes to arrange the material for the 
speech. The first requisite is a supply of paper of con- 
venient size : the quarter sheet of foolscap or of typewriter 
paper is satisfactory. A space should be left blank at the 
top of each sheet, so that the paper may receive its proper 
label and numbering after the complete outline is prepared. 
(When the first evidence is being collected, it may not be 
possible to tell in advance under which head each item 
will come.) The second line should bear the title of the 
particular article which contains the evidence. Next should 
come the author's name and the name of the book or maga- 
zine or other source of information, with the exact reference. 
Finally, comes the evidence itself, either written out as an 
exact quotation, or condensed to give the substance of the 
thought. The papers should be written on one side, in ink, 
and no sheet should bear more than one item of evidence. 

The " Form for Recording Evidence, with Examples," 
shows how the cards may be filled out. 

Arranging the Evidence. With the evidence collected and 
properly recorded, the slips of paper may be arranged in 
order. This is done as explained on pages 126-129. 

Using Graphic Methods. We have spoken in previous 
chapters of tlic use of diagrams and drawings in speak- 
ing, and we have seen how effective they are. Debating 



evidence may often be put into a similarly graphic form. In 
a debate on the independence of the Philippines, a student 
used a colored map of the Islands for the purpose of 
showing that there are eighty or more different tribes and 
three different religions among the people. Another stu- 
dent used a chart with six or more heavy black lines of 
different lengths, to represent the proportion of the popu- 
lation attending school in the Philippines as compared 
with similar figures for the republics of South and Central 
America. Whenever a bit of evidence can be recorded in 
graphic form, the thought will be made more effective. 


American Cities should main- 
Form TAIN Employment Agencies 

Outline numbers. 

Debate topic the item 


Title of article, chapter 

or book. 



The quotation or 


forming the evidence. 

Individuals cannot solve the 

" Unemployment, a World Prob- 
lem, and the Congress at 

Katharine Coman. 

T/te Snr%>ey, Vol. XXXI, No. 
22; Feb. 28, 1914; p. 667. 

" The causes of unemploy- 
ment are not merely individual, 
— physical incapacity, lack of 
training, inefficiency, and un- 
willingness to work, — ■ they are 
usually general and quite be- 
yond the control of the indi- 
vidual workman." 



Los Angeles Harbor should 
BE Fortified 


Useless to fortify. 

Answer to our questicfh, Would 
such fortification protect the 
city adequately? 

Colonel , of the U.S. Army. 

Letter to us. 

Substance — 

Not unless a chain of forts 
were placed along the coast; 
otherwise an enemy could land 
and approach the city from the 

Athletics furnish as Valua- 
ble Mental Exercise as do 
THE Usual Studies 


Introduction to " Practical Track 
and Field Athletics," p. 1 2. 

Graham (Harvard instructor) 
and Clark (Boston School 

Substance — 

Track and field athletics are 
thoroughly democratic in char- 
acter, and teach a man how to 
control himself and how to con- 
duct himself toward his fellows. 


1. Turn to the questions in Appendix II and read the following 
in B : i, 2, 4, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 23, and 26. Select one of them 
for study. Decide first what are the best sources of evidence for 
your proposition : what reading to do, what people to interview, 
what personal investigations to make. Go to the library and make 
out a list of references for reading. Then, using the complete list, 
prepare yourself to explain to the class how you would go about 
studying for the argument. Let them criticize your plans, compare 
their lists with yours, and discuss which plans are best. Those 
who select the same subject may meet in committee and draft 
a composite set of directions. 

(This exercise may be repeated, each student choosing a subject of 
his own. Or it may first be broken up into its several parts to make 


four different exercises: (i) plans for general reading, (2) plans for 
special reading, (3) plans for obtaining evidence from persons by inter- 
views or letters, and (4) plans for personal observations.) 

2. Test the items of possible evidence listed below, for the 
purpose of finding out whether each satisfies the requirements. 
Be able to give good reasons for your opinions, and come to class 
prepared to tell the result of your study. • 

(The exercise may be divided, if the class or the teacher so decides, 
each student handling one or more of the statements.) 

1. From personal observation I know that there are but three good 
grocery stores on this street. 

2. Robert Evans, the late admiral, was in favor of fortifying the 
Panama Canal. 

3. Four thousand citizens of San Francisco have petitioned Con- 
gress to have San Francisco bay dredged. 

4. Carnegie states that a tariff on steel is no longer necessary. 

5. Colonel Roosevelt says that practice in shooting will be a 
benefit to schoolboys. 

6. Judge Lindsey says that economic conditions are largely respon- 
sible for the crimes of children. 

7. Victor Berger says that the protective tariff does not help the 

8. Secretary Redfield says that if the American nianufaccurer will 
keep up to date he will not need a protective tariff. 

9. Arnold Bennett, the English author, says that New York City 
is attractive. 

10. The county assessor says that the single tax would be unfair. 

3. Study the statements given below, for the purpose of decid- 
ing whether they offer any real evidence. Do they make state- 
ments which appeal to most persons as true, or do they make 
unsupported statements which need further evidence ? Come to 
class prepared to give your criticisms. 

1. A person who intends to choose a business career should begin 
at the bottom. 

2. It is safe to assume that the world is getting better. 

3. A house divided against itself cannot stand. 


4. The important part of roofing is its waterproofing. 

5. Our advertisers tell the truth. 

6. A healthy baby is a good baby every time. 

7. Soap is a universal necessity. 

8. A good lock is your best protection. 

9. Advertising talks. 
10. Holding public ofiice is a thankless job. 

4. Choose your own proposition for an argument, decide on 
the possible sources of evidence, and bring to class five slips con- 
taining items of evidence. In preparing the five slips, get a reliable 
item from each of the following sources: (i) a book of general 
reference, (2) a report, (3) a magazine, (4) a conversation or letter, 
(5) a personal investigation. 

5. Study the following facts and figures. Then select one of 
the items for graphic representation. Consider all the possible 
ways — map, chart, curve, lines, blocks, picture, or diagram. 
Make the representation large enough to be seen by all. Make 
use of this in a short talk. 

1. Japan's commerce in 1 900 : 2. Sugar per capita used : 

United States 24 per cent 1875 . . . 43 pounds 

Great Britain 
China . 
All others 

3. Approximate area of certain states : 

Massachusetts 8000 square miles 

New York 49,000 square miles 

Virginia 43.0°° square miles 

Pennsylvania 45'000 square miles 

Rhode Island 1000 square miles 

Oregon 97,000 square miles 

4. The result of the Mexican War, 1 846-1 847, was that the United 
States acquired over half of Mexico. 

5. Street cars can easily be built so that only one step for entering 
will be necessary. 

I 7 per cent 

1885 . 

48 pounds 

1 3 per cent 

1895 . 

63 pounds 

46 per cent 

1905 . 

72 pounds 


. 80 pounds 



Reasoning. We have spoken of the collection of signifi- 
cant facts and experiences as being the gathering of evi- 
dence, and we have shown that the most effective evidence 
is found by obtaining facts that are so convincing that they 
cannot be denied, and so pertinent and clear that the hearers 
themselves will be forced to draw the conclusion desired by 
the speaker. We have tried to distinguish between /<a:^/j and 
reasons, calling the former evidence, and the latter reasoning. 
In actual practice, however, much of the material we gather 
for evidence contains also a great many conclusions and 
opinions which can hardly be called facts in the strict sense 
of the word. Thus evidence and reasoning are apt to be 
bound together in much of the material gathered for an 
argument or debate. 

Even if the cards of evidence were full of reasons, it 
would still be necessary to bind together the several minor 
conclusions. We need, therefore, to know something of the 
processes of reasoning. 

While any person may reason, and reason well, without 
knowing very much about the process by which he draws 
conclusions, the few explanations which follow will prove 
helpful in systematizing our practice. They will show also 
how to make an argument clearer to the audience, and how 
to go about the proof of a proposition from several different 
points of view. 

We shall first put into the briefest possible space an 
explanation of each kind of reasoning ; next, we shall give 
illustrations of each ; then we shall discuss how each may 
be tested ; and finally, we shall see how each method of 
reasoning may be applied to an actual debate. 

There are five chief kinds of reasoning : 



1. From known facts to the general law about, or the cause of, 
these facts. Induction. 

2. From a general law or cause to a resulting fact or effect. 

3. From an example either of the operation of a law, or the 
effect of a cause, to the law or cause itself. Example. 

4. From an effect of some cause to another effect of the same 
cause. &gn. 

5. From a resemblance one thing bears to another to the 
operation of a similar law upon them both. Analogy. 

These modes of reasoning are not wholly separate ; we 
shall see that the first two are primary, and the others 
secondar}\ Let us now examine and illustrate each. 

r 1. Induction is the method of reasoning common to natural 
^ science. For example, we have seen that when objects are lying 
in the sun those that are black seem to get more heated than 
those which are lighter in color. And if we have examined enough 
of such objects, we finally come to formulate the law that black 
objects absorb the heat of the sun more than do objects of a 
lighter color. 

We use induction also when we make a series of observations 
about the school building and then conclude that the present build- 
ing is inadequate. Or we collect wage statistics from many boys 
who have gone to work at the end of the eighth grade, and from 
many others who have continued their education through the high 
school, and from a study of these we conclude that the higher 
education is the cause of greater earning power. Thus induction 
leads to general laws. 
^y 2. Deduction is used when we call to mind such a general law 
as that the French are leaders in science and invention, and from 
this law conclude that it will pay a scientist to learn to read 


French. We use deduction when we assume that poverty exists 
in all large American cities, and conclude that if our city grows big, 
it too will have problems of poverty to face. Again, we use the 
same method when we try to show that if a new school building 
is built, certain benefits will result. Thus deduction leads to specific 
truths, while induction leads to general laws. 

3. Argument from example is a kind of induction in which a 
striking instance or illustration is used to prove a general law or 
cause. Thus a person might show a beautiful picture painted by 
a Japanese artist, and use this to prove the artistic abilities of the 
Japanese. Again, one might instance the success of Dayton with 
the city-manager form of government as a reason for concluding 
that the plan is a success. Example leads from an important fact 
to a general law or cause. 

4. Argument from' sign is a combination of the two processes of 
induction and deduction ; or, in other words, it is the successive 
use of example and deduction. We say that the falling of the 
barometer is a sign of rain. We mean that the falling of the 
barometer is an example of the operation of the law that low pres- 
sure of the atmosphere causes a falling of the barometer; and that 
this same condition of the air also makes it probable that rain will 
fall. Thus we reason from one effect of a law to another ; that 
is, we use an example (induction) to find the law, and then we 
use deduction to find the other effect. Let us examine one more 
instance of argument by sign. If Dayton succeeds with the city- 
manager plan, Duluth ought to adopt it. This is reasoning by sign, 
for Dayton's success is taken as a sign that the plan is good for 
other cities, and then Duluth is reached by deduction. 

5. Argument from analogy is like argument from sign because 
we reason from one effect to another ; but in the case of reason- 
ing by analogy there are two similar general laws, instead of one 
law back of both effects. Thus, if we say that every army has its 
commander and therefore a road-building gang must have a fore- 
man, we are reasoning that there is a resemblance between the 
characteristics of an army and those of the road builders, and that 


the need for mastery and obedience which exists in the one exists 
also in the other. Again, we may reason that since weeds spring 
up on idle land, useless thoughts will spring up in idle minds. 
The argument for the city-manager government is reasoning by 
analogy — the comparison of the business of a city with that of 
a corporation. Thus reasoning by analogy leads from a result of 
the operation of one law to a result of the operation of a similar 
law in another field of thought. 

The Tests of Reasoning. Tests should be applied to all 
reasoning, for only by careful thought can the right reasons 
be found and expressed. The reasoning of our opponents 
in argument must also be analyzed and tested, so that error 
may be pointed out and truth be found. The following is 
a brief statement of the tests for the five kinds of reasoning : 


1. Induction. Are the facts cited sufficient in number and in 
force to prove the general law ? Could there be any other inter- 
pretation of the facts ? Are there enough other facts to prove 
the opposite ? 

2. Deduction. Is the supposed cause strong enough to bring 
about the effect said to follow ? Is there any other cause or law 
which might prevent the operation of the law ? 

3. Example. Is the example so clearly typical that it may be 
used to prove the existence of the general law ? 

4. Sign, Does the fact said to be a sign lead inevitably to the 
cause, and does this cause in turn lead to the alleged result ? 

5. Analogy, Is the comparison a fair one and the resemblance 
close enough ? Are the statements in the argument all true ones .' 

We shall later have more to say about tests for reason- 
ing (see under Refutation). 


Applying Reasoning to the Debate. The chief value of 
the study of reasoning is that it teaches the student to 
decide how to go about proving a proposition. He may try 
first to find out if there are facts which will aid in proving it 
by induction ; second, to see if it is itself a result of a larger 
law ; third, to see if there are good examples which might 
help to prove it ; fourth, to seek out any signs that indicate 
the truth of the contention ; and fifth, to think out one or 
two good analogies which might add force to the argument. 

Let us conclude our discussion of reasoning by noting the 
five ways in which one might attempt to reason that the 
Philippine Islands should be given their freedom : 

First, by induction seek out the facts of education, loyalty, interest, 
desire, participation, success, and reliability, and from these facts, con- 
clude that the people should be free. Second, by deduction show that 
this question is but a part of the larger one of justice to the oppressed, 
of the consent of the governed, and of the right of any people to be 
free from the domination of an alien race. If these causes operate, we 
may conclude that these reasons should apply to the Philippines. Third, 
as an example cite the success of Cuba. Fourth, cite the celebration 
held in Manila when President Wilson was elected, as a sign that the 
people want freedom, and their earnest debates in the assembly, as a 
sign that they will use their independence wisely. Fifth, study the 
resemblances between the Philippines and the man whose house was 
captured by robbers and who was assisted in driving them out by a 
strange man who then took possession of the house. 

Finally, let us suggest some possible tests for the above 
lines of argument : 

First, are the facts on education, loyalty, etc., of themselves sufficient 
to prove that independence is desirable.? Do not these facts prove that 
we should continue our present plans.'' Do not other facts, such as the 
variety of races and religions, justify the conclusion that these people 
should not be independent, at least for the present .'' Second, do the 


laws of abstract justice apply to this practical problem? Does not the 
law of the "big brother" and his duty take precedence? Third, is 
small and unified Cuba a fair example to use in proving fhat we should 
give freedom to the Philippines? Fourth, do these signs lead us to any 
solid conviction that independence would be well used? Fifth, is the 
resemblance between the Philippines and a robbed house sufficiently 
close? Who owned the house in the first place? Did the so-called 
owner claim all the house? Is the so-called owner capable of using the 
house in the right way ? Did not the " strange man " have an additional 
duty to perform ? 


1. Examine the statements below, and decide what method or 
methods of reasoning are used in the case of each. Be prepared 
to give accurate and correct answers to each of the statements, and 
to explain your reasons for deciding as you do. Are the statements 

1. If I find the strawberry bed scratched up, I look to see if the 
berries have been eaten. 

2. If the moon has a ring around it, there is likely to be rain soon. 

3. The United .States should have control of the city of Panama, for 
a person cannot have a pleasant home with a strange man hanging 
around the front door. 

4. Small countries are very patriotic ; look at Switzerland. 

5. Princeton beat Yale, and Yale beat Harvard; therefore Princeton 
can beat Harvard. 

6. The man had been drinking ; I could smell his breath. 

7. Pepper trees are good shade trees because they spread well and 
keep green. 

8. One who is successful in his own business ought to be a good 
manager of the city's business. 

9. Drivers are frequently overworked ; we should remember this 
when the milkman is late. 

10. A storm drain ought to be built ; at the time of the last rain we 
could n't get across the street. 

2. By which of the five methods of reasoning would you at- 
tempt to prove the statements below ? In each case be ready to 


tell which method would be best, and which other methods might 
also be used. Give reasons, and be able to show how the reasoning 
might be done. 

1. All the presidents of the United States have come from Eastern 

2. Street-car rails make pavements rough. 

3. The pay-as-you-enter cars delay the traffic. 

4. The income tax will be a success. 

5. The form of government of the United States has been copied 
by other countries. 

6. Revolutions in Mexico are hard to prevent. 

7. Impeachment proceedings against judges usually fail. 

8. Recall of judges will have bad effects. 

9. The world is speed-mad. 

10. You will enjoy your play more if you do your work first. 

3. Study the reasons for the association of the ideas put to- 
gether in each of the items below. Is one the cause of the other ? 
Are they both effects of the same cause ? Is there a common 
cause back of them ? Is there the connection of a supposed cause 
which does not exist ? Have they no real connection ? Be ready 
to make a complete explanation of each. 

1. Shortage of money and a financial panic. 

2. Woman suffrage and prohibition. 

3. Preparedness and war. 

4. A dry season and high prices. 

5. Labor unions and high wages. 

6. Did you hear that snap? It was a mouse. 

7. I hear the bell ; we shall be late. 

8. Here is a marble ; let 's look for another. 

9. The weather man says rain ; no picnic to-day. 
10. There goes the whistle ; Happy New Year ! 

4. Make a collection of significant facts which you observe about 
some one feature of your school — its grounds, buildings, students, 
teachers, or studies. From these facts try to draw up a general 
statement which will include all of them, or find a law which will 


account for all. Using simple notes, practice giving a large num- 
ber of these facts, ending the talk with the conclusion to which 
they lead by induction. 

5. Think out a general statement which is true of all towns 
the size of yours, or a law, rule, or condition which is true of all. 
Then think out and write down as many results of the existence 
of this law as you can. Practice giving the talk, beginning with 
the statement which is recognized as true, and following this with 
an interesting list or series of consequences which are deduced 
from the law. 

6. Compose a statement advocating a change or improvement, 
such as the following : " The United States should cease building 
battleships." What results would follow if this should be put into 
actual operation ? Decide what can be deducted from the proposal, 
and come prepared to give the statement and its applications. 

7. Prepare a bright, attractive argument by example to give 
in class. You are to choose a fact which shows the existence of a 
general truth or the operation of a law ; and the example given 
should be so strong and so evident that it will point at once to the 
truth of the general statement. 

8. Prepare an argument from sign. Practice the reasoning by 
which you show that one fact is the sign that another is true. Be 
prepared to explain the causes which lie back of the sign, and the 
result to which your reasoning leads. 

9. Think over the points of resemblance in the cases men- 
tioned below. Then prepare an argument based on the analogy 
between the members of each. Be ready to indicate to the class 
the line of reasoning you would use in the comparisons. Then 
practice the oral argument for two of these analogies. Liken : 

1. War to a nightmare. 6. Business to a race. 

2. A school to a family. 7. A country to an individual. 

3. A child to a plant. 8. Life to a fight. 

4. A thought to a seed. 9. City government to housekeeping. 

5. A writer to a carpenter. 10. The tariff question to a puzzle. 


10. Test these statements from the standpoint of correct reason- 
ing and truth, and be prepared to give oral criticisms : 

1. The schools are the cause of the superior morality of the 
American people. 

2. Saloons have helped us ; see how fast the city has grown. 

3. In the last ten years divorces have greatly increased in number; 
this is no doubt due to the spread of suffrage. 

4. My cake is n't good, for I forgot to use the eggs. 
6. Pupils, like soldiers, should obey without question. 

6. Rockefeller was a success because he started as a poor boy. 

7. The ticking of that clock keeps me awake. 

8. All wages should be equalized, for there is no reason why one 
man should spend more than another. 

9. People would n't be so poor if they would stop drinking. 

The Brief of the Argument. The outline of an argu- 
ment is called a biief. The brief is made up of complete 
sentences, and its points may be read downward consecu- 
tively. All the main topics serve to prove the truth of the 
proposition for debate ; and, in turn, all the subtopics under 
each main topic serve to prove the truth of that main topic. 

A Short Example. Following is an example of a brief, 
with the evidence omitted : 


Negative Brief 
A. Intrflditdion 

1 . A right solution is of supreme importance. 

2. Intervention means temporary armed control to establish peace. 

3. The issues are: Would intervention be just.? and, Would it be 

expedient ? 

4. The negative maintains that the United States should not inter- 

vene in Mexico, because 
First, Intervention would be unjust, and 
Second, Intervention would be inexpedient. 


B. Argument 

I. Intervention in Mexico would be unjust, y2;/" 

1 . It would \'iolate Mexico's right to independence. 

2. It would violate the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine. 
(Summary : i and 2, therefore I.) 

II. Intervention in Mexico would be inexpedient, y^r 

1 . No satisfactory method has been proposed. 

2. Mexico would resist. 

3. We are not in a position to improve Mexico. 

4. Intervention would have bad effects. 
(Summary: i, 2, 3, and 4, therefore II.) 

C. Conclusion 

1 . Summary : We have proved 

First, Intervention would be unjust, and 

Second, Intervention would be inexpedient. 

Therefore, The United States should not intervene in Mexico. 

2. We appeal to all loyal Americans to uphold the honor of 

our country and to let Mexico work out its own problem. 

How the Points are Read and Summarized. The above 
brief would do for the speaker to hold in his hand if the 
speech were to be very short, and if he were very familiar 
with his subject. But it is much too short for the use of 
one who is to give a detailed argument. It does show, how- 
ever, how the brief may be read, with the subpoints prov- 
ing the main points. It shows also that when one has finished 
with his main points, he must summarize ; and that the 
summaries are given with the subpoints first, and that they 
lead through the word ' therefore ' to the main point in 
each case. Let us note the two forms for the first main 
point of the brief above. The brief reads, " Intervention 
in Mexico would be unjust, for it would violate Mexico's 
right to independence, and it would violate the spirit of the 


Monroe Doctrine," The summary may be read, " Interven- 
tion would violate Mexico's right to independence, and it 
would violate the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine ; therefore 
intervention would be unjust." We shall speak further of 
these summaries under the section below on practicing the 

How the Brief is Expanded. It was remarked above that 
the brief here given is very short. Let us see how it is 
expanded for the purpose of an extended argument. Some 
lawyers' briefs are as long as this book. Such briefs in- 
clude full reasons for every statement made, and incorporate 
under each reason a memorandum of the facts — evidence 
— upon which each statement depends. The debater must 
do these two things so far as it is feasible. 

Take our unsupported statement at the beginning of the 
argument, that intervention would violate Mexico's right to 
independence. This in itself might become the subject of 
a whole debate. If it were debated it might read, " Re- 
solved, that intervention in Mexico would violate Mexico's 
right to independence." And the brief on this question 
might include such main points as the following: "Inter- 
national law recognizes no right of a nation to interfere in 
an internal quarrel ; intervention would weaken Mexico in 
the eyes of the world ; Mexico would be permanently de- 
pendent upon the United States." These three points are 
the supports of the statement in the brief, and may be 
written therein. In the same way the other statements of 
the brief may be expanded almost without limit. But if we 
go far enough in expanding the point upon international 
law, we shall soon come to the place where we shall write 
down actual facts in history which show concrete instances 


of the application of international law. We should then 
begin to \mte down actual evidence — facts which are 
backed by history and by indisputable authority. Like the 
lawyers, we may write into the brief these actual facts 
and their references. We shall accordingly have done 
the two things suggested above : we shall have included 
full reasons for every statement, and we shall have incor- 
porated actual evidence. 

In studying for an argument or a debate it will be found 
advisable to make a rather full brief ; but in the delivery 
of the speech before the audience, much detail may be so 
familiar that it may be omitted. All exact quotations and 
all statistics used must be included ; they should be read 
and not recited from memory. 

Analysis, as used in making the Brief. The finding of 
the issues and the making of briefs is called analysis, and 
the process of analyzing is one of the highest activities 
of the mind. The student need not be discouraged, there- 
fore, if he becomes expert only by slow degrees. Most 
writers and speakers find it necessary to make outline after 
outline, changing the points and the order of the points as 
growth in understanding comes. So the student must work 
out his briefs, writing down every plan that suggests itself 
and then trying to better it. No brief will spring from the 
mind full grown. It must be the product of hard labor. It 
must expand internally. 

Let us note some further suggestions which will make the 
work of analysis more intelligent. In the section about the intro- 
duction we have seen that the issues are found by studying the 
proposition to find out what questions arise and must be answered. 
Thus, whenever a proposition advocates a change of policy, four 


questions usually arise : Are the present conditions satisfactory ? 
Is the proposed change feasible ? Will the change bring good 
results ? Will any other plan serve as well ? The affirmative, 
accordingly, must prove that present conditions are unsatisfac- 
tory, that the proposed change is workable, that it will be bene- 
ficial, and that no other plan will do as well. These points may 
be the main sections of the affirmative brief, and the negative side 
may shape the brief to deny these four points. 

It will be noticed that the affirmative speakers in the debate 
have more to prove than the negative ; for it is certain that we 
should need to know that all four affirmative points are true 
before we finally decide to make the proposed change, while we 
should refuse to change if any one were not true. Hence the 
negative would win the argument if it could be shown that any 
one point is untrue — that present conditions are not unsatis- 
factory, or that the proposed change is not workable, or that the 
results will not or would not be good, or that there is another 
way fully as good as the one proposed. This explains why the 
affirmative in a debate has the opening and closing speeches. 

In outlining such a question as, " A new school building should 
be erected," the debaters should avoid the word ' needed ' or 
' necessary ' in their briefs. If we say that a new school building 
is necessary, we mean that the present building is inadequate, 
that the new building would relieve conditions, and that no 
other plan will solve the difficulty. The word ' necessary,' there- 
fore, covers almost the whole proposition. As a single point this 
issue is too large for use in the outline of the argument. 

The Order of the Points. Careful thought must be given 
to the order of the points. We have discussed the prin- 
ciples of outlining in Chapter VIII, and those principles 
apply in the main to the drawing up of the brief. There 
are two or three other considerations worthy of note. The 
first point undertaken in the brief should be a telling point, 


one that will go a long way in winning the good will and 
confidence of the audience. 

It often happens that one audience requires a different order 
of points from another audience. If a peace society were listening 
to a speaker who was advocating intervention, for example, thfe 
members would wish first to hear about the ethical aspect of the 
question; and they would be antagonistic toward a person who 
began his speech with trying to show the expediency of inter- 
vention. On the other hand, to an audience of congressmen one 
might reverse the order, discussing expediency first and justice 
second. In the argument for a new" school building a women's 
club might receive most favorably the point that present condi- 
tions are bad ; and an audience of children, the argument that 
benefits will come from the new building. An audience of school 
committeemen, however, might be impatient with either of these 
arguments until they were shown that the plan to build was feasible 
both as to place and as to money. 

As a general rule it may be said that when there seems 
to be no apparent reason for any special order of the points 
in the brief, these points may be arranged just as are the 
runners in a relay race — the strongest point last, the next 
strongest first, and the others between the two. 


1. Choose a proposition, — about your school or town, perhaps, 
— and think out the issues of the question. Write the statements 
of the main points as complete sentences, each of which helps to 
prove or deny the proposition. Next decide upon the best order 
of the points. In class several students at a time may go to the 
board, each writing his proposition, and following it with the main 
points. (Do not forget the word ' because.') The class should 
look over each of these short briefs, criticizing the wording of the 


proposition, the choice of issues, the statement of the points, and 
the order of the points. The board work should then be revised. 
This revision may go on while other briefs are being considered. 

2. Examine the items below for the purpose of using them in 
a brief to prove, " A state university should be established in the 

city of ." Add any other points which you think necessary 

to construct a brief of the argument (without the introduction and 
conclusion), including the main points and subpoints. Bring the 
brief, and compare it with those of the other students. As a class 
exercise, a composite brief on the question may be made. 

Colleges are too far away. 

There would be students enough. 

Teachers may easily be found. 

Parents wish sons and daughters near home. 

Present facilities are inadequate. 

A location has been found. 

Colleges are too large. 

More persons would have an education. 

It would relieve the other colleges. 

High-school work would be improved. 

Money can be raised. 

3. Assuming that all the points below are true (some of them 
are not), draw up a brief on the proposition, " The United States 
should continue its Chinese exclusion laws." 

Other nations restrict immigration. 

The Chinese take money back to China. 

Exclusion is a just policy. 

Exclusion has had good effects. 

The Chinese are undesirable. 

We have the right to say who may enter. 

The Chinese are unsanitary. 

They take away American jobs. 

Exclusion has prevented race riots. 

The Chinese cannot understand American customs. 

They have a different religion. 


4. Consider the proposition, " Military drill should be required 
of high-school boys," or some other proposition selected by the 
class as a whole or assigned by the teacher. Construct a brief, 
including the introduction, argument, and conclusion. Make it at 
least as full as the brief upon the Mexican question given in the 
text above. Choose either side of the question you wish. Students 
who have briefs on opposite sides of the question may compare 
their papers. Criticisms and corrections may be made, and the 
briefs then handed to the teacher for further suggestions. 

If there is time, the class may discuss this question : What 
should be the opening point, on the affirmative and the negative, 
for each of the following groups of hearers : school trustees ; high- 
school boys ; teachers of athletics or physical training ; teachers 
of the common subjects ; army officers ; congressmen ; mothers ; 
fathers ; high-school girls ; taxpayers ; business men ? 

5. Consider such a question as, " This city should build a 
municipal street railroad," or, " This town should use all reason- 
able efforts to secure another railroad." Suppose one of the main 
points reads, " Our transportation facilities are inadequate." Ex- 
pand this point, writing under it the subpoints, and under each 
subpoint the further reasons or items of evidence which support 
that statement. Get down to concrete facts. If any fact is not 
well known, write into the brief the authority. Be ready to read 
it and to defend the proposition. 

6. In the brief on intervention, the last subpoint reads, " Inter- 
vention would have bad effects." Using this statement, or its 
opposite, expand this point to include several statements which 
will support it. Make the support strong and complete ; include 
actual concrete conditions which you think would become facts 
in case of intervention. Use instances in history if possible, and 
in any case have the foundation details so carefully selected that 
their truth is as nearly obvious as may be possible. 

7. a. Draw up a brief on a proposition of your own selection. 
Make it include the supporting reasons and facts for the subpoints 


under the main statements, with authorities. Include the introduc 
tion and conclusion. Write and rewrite the brief, and endeavor to 
make it faultless as to both form and matter. In class exchange 
papers, and take them home for examination and criticism. Write 
out a short criticism of the brief handed to you, and bring both 
the brief and the criticism to the next meeting of the class. 

b. In class, or for an additional outside exercise, each student 
may rewrite his brief in the light of the corrections and suggestions. 
Revised briefs may then be examined by the teacher. Save them 
for later use. 

The Conclusion. As indicated in the brief above, the 
conclusion may embrace a summary of the argument and 
an appeal to the hearers. The summing up may include 
two parts — a review of the case of the opposite side, and 
a restatement of the main points which have served to 
prove the proposition under discussion. 

Reviewing the Opposing Case. The review of the case 
of the opposition may or may not deal with refutation. 
If there are important opposing arguments which have been 
advanced and not yet answered, they may be briefly handled 
here. In most cases, however, these detailed points will 
have been covered already, and the conclusion will deal 
with the main points which have been advanced by the 
opposition, or with the main objections which are commonly 
urged. In order to do this, the issues of the question may 
again be stated, following which the speaker may tell what 
must be proved before the opposite case can be established. 

Let us illustrate. Suppose one has come to his conclusion in 
the Intervention question. He may begin as follows : " The issues 
in this discussion, as we have already seen, are. Would interven- 
tion be just ? and, Would intervention be expedient ? In order to 


establish their case, those who advocate intervention must prove that 
it w^ould be both just and expedient." Next, the speaker may call 
the attention of the audience to the weakness of the opposition. He 
may show that one of the necessar)^ issues has been ignored ; that 
a vital support for one or more indispensable points is missing ; 
that the attempt to prove one or more points has been weak and 
ineffective ; that one or more of the alleged points have been dis- 
proved and that therefore the argument falls. Successes may safely 
be admitted or allowed to go unanswered ; failures should be made 
clear. Then may follow a challenge to those who oppose, calling 
upon them for adequate proof, demanding that they discuss certain 
points, asking why certain arguments "have been left unanswered, 
and pointing out that these errors are evidence that the opposite 
of their position is true. 

Reviewing One's Own Case. The summary of the propo- 
sition itself, as has been indicated above, involves merely a 
recital of the main points, followed by the words, ^^ therefore 
it must be resolved," or words to that effect, and then by 
the proposition itself. The theory is that the most inclusive 
idea must come last, for the last ideas given to the audience 
have most effect. 

The Use of an Appeal. The appeal is often called per- 
suasion. It is not at all necessary that every argument end 
with an appeal ; many talks may profitably be finished with 
the summary of the main points. But an appeal often adds 
to the argument because it rouses the feelings of the hearers 
and makes them want to take an active part in the further- 
ance of the idea under discussion. The sermon, the busi- 
ness argument, the oration, and the political address are 
incomplete without such an appeal. So the student should 
practice using persuasion in his arguments. It forces him to 
think about the feelings of his hearers, to put himself in 


their place, and it arouses enthusiasm for his cause. The 
speaker may base his appeal on any of the emotions which 
are uplifting. Do not use the appeals to greed, fear, or 


1. You have saved fhe briefs drawn up in connection with pre- 
vious exercises. Examine one of them now for the purpose of 
making the conclusion as good as possible. Draw up a complete 
outline. Bring it to class for comparison and correction. Be ready 
to give the conclusion of the argument. 

2. Choose partners and opposite sides of propositions for argu- 
ment. Independently of your partner, prepare a complete brief, 
including introduction and conclusion. Exchange briefs, and com- 
pare. After careful study of the other brief, rewrite your conclu- 
sion, paying particular attention to the review of the case of the 
other side. Together compare the reviews and criticisms. The 
original briefs may then be revised, if the alleged weaknesses can 
be strengthened or circumvented. The two briefs may be folded 
together and handed in for the teacher's suggestions. 

3. Study the following propositions of Appendix II, section B: 
9, 10, 12, 17, 18, ig, 22, 29; section C: i, 7, 8, 9. Think out 
for each of them a few sentences of persuasion. Prepare to give 
this appeal for one of the propositions. Make the appeal strong 
and worthy. 

Refutation. Up to this point we have barely mentioned 
refutation, for it seemed best first to gain a systematic and 
complete idea of the argument as it is given constructively, 
and to leave the destructive features for later consideration. 
We have thus far seen how to handle evidence, how to rea- 
son, how to draw the brief, and how to conclude. It must 
now be understood that refutation (rebuttal) should go along 


with, and be a part of, the actual argument, and should 
therefore be put into the brief. 

Using Rebuttal in the Brief. Thus, in the Intervention 
brief, under the point that no satisfactory method has been 
proposed, this entry might be written : 

Refute : Blockade the coast to cut off supplies. Internal resources 
are abundant. 

The above entry indicates to the speaker that opponents 
may claim that a blockade would be a satisfactory plan, and 
that in answer it will be sufficient to call attention to the 
well-known fact that Mexico's internal resources are varied 
and abundant. Such answers may be fully outlined in the 
brief, with subpoints supporting them, together with facts 
and authorities. Refutation in the brief should always be 
labeled as such. 

The above example will show that one who is to give an 
argument must try to anticipate the objections that may be 
urged. Many a well-constructed argument has failed because 
the hearers were allowed to go away with a few objections 
in their minds — objections which might easily have been 
answered. Therefore, a feature of the study of any question 
must be the consideration of opposing points. 

Collecting New Points to Answer. But even when the 
debater has done his best to anticipate arguments, many 
new thoughts will occur to him as he listens to an oppos- 
ing speech. The arguments given by an opponent should 
be noted down, as we shall see in a later section. These 
points should then be tested, according to the plans out- 
lined in the section on reasoning., One must be alert every 
moment that an opposing speech is being given. Are there 


any false or incorrect definitions, mistaken causes, mis- 
taken effects, c|uestionable authorities, mere statements with 
no evidence, false or misleading illustrations or analogies ? 
Such matters should be pointed out when the speech is 
answered. If one's opponents avoid the main issue, or 
descend to ridicule, or use personal remarks, or state points 
unfairly, or refute what never has been claimed, or resort to 
cheap humor, the speaker should not reply in kind. Let him 
point out what has been done, state that such methods prove 
nothing about the point at issue, and demand actual proof. 
Special Methods of Refutation. The one thing to do is 
to lay bare the error, to let it destroy itself, and then to 
state the true position. Besides the methods suggested 
above, there are two or three special helps. 

Frequently the opponent may be involved in a dilemma ; for 
instance, he may have taken a position which leads to conclusions 
that are bad for his case. Thus, the man who assumes that woman 
suffrage would take women from the home, involves himself in 
this dilemma : he must hold either that some activities outside the 
home are good for women, or else that theater, shopping, visiting, 
social work, club, and church are also bad. Again, sometimes 
an argument may be shown to contradict itself. Thus, one who 
objects to voting bonds for a new library building, on the ground 
that the city cannot afford it, and later advocates renting rooms 
in a building, involves himself in a contradiction of points, for the 
rent would ordinarily cost more than the bonds. Again, sometimes 
an argument proves more than the speaker intends to prove, and 
thus hurts his case. The speaker who advocates a blockade of the 
Mexican coast comes very near admitting that a land movement 
against Mexico would be difficult and costly. 

Attacking in More than One Way. Often it is good policy 
to attack a point from several angles. Thus the truth of the 


point may be denied, and proof may be offered to show its 
falsity. Then it may be shown that even if the alleged 
statement were tme, it would not lead to the conclusion 
claimed for it. 

Outlining an Item of Rebuttal. In order to accomplish 
its full effect, refutation must be carefully outlined. The 
following is a suggested form : 


1. What our opponents claim. 

2. Our reply. 

3. Proof that our position is correct. 

4. How the issue stands now, and its application to the main 


What Points to Answer. Many debaters, pressed for 
time in a speech, try to handle too many points in refuta- 
tion ; by actual count sixteen points were mentioned once 
in a five-minute rebuttal. When less than a minute is given 
to a point it is impossible to do it justice, except in rare 

Only the most important considerations should be refuted. 
It is a waste of good time to give any attention to little 
points which have only a remote bearing on the main point 
at issue. The attack should be centered on the most im- 
portant statements of the opponents ; the others may safely 
be ignored. 

Preparing and using Refutation Cards. Refutation cards 
may be prepared for a debate, l^^ach opposing argument 
that promises to be formidable may be written on the top 
of a card, and the card may then be filled out according to 


the above outline, ready for use should that particular point 
be raised by the opponents. If cards referring to similar 
phases of the subject are kept together, one may be selected 
as needed and slipped into its proper place among the cards 
containing the notes for the debate. An X in the margin of 
a regular card will show the place to introduce the refutation 
into the speech. 

Where in the speech shall refutation be introduced ? 
Wherever it most nearly touches on points in one's own 
speech. In the case of other refutation, however (upon 
subjects not referred to in the speech), probably the very 
first part of the speech is the best place. Here we at once 
accept the issue raised by our opponents, and clear the way 
for our own constructive material. 

Summary of Rebuttal Methods. Below we give a brief 
summary of the possible methods of refutation : 


1. Show that the statement has nothing to do with the issue. 

2. Admit the truth of the statement, but draw a different conclusion. 

3. Show that the authority quoted is unreliable. 

4. Show that no real proof has been advanced for the statement. 

5. Offer evidence to prove the contrary. 

6. Show that the argument involves a mistake in reasoning. 

7. Show that it leads into a dilemma. 

8. Show that it involves a self-contradiction. 

9. Show that it contradicts another point. 

10. Show that it proves too much. 

11. Show that the statement is unlikely or absurd. 



1. Examine a brief which you have drawn up in connection 
with a previous exercise, and see if it can be improved by intro- 
ducing into it some memoranda for refutation. Rewrite the brief, 
putting into it four or more such points for refutation. Label 
them properly, make the notes sentences, and make them so full 
that anybody would understand them. Bring the brief to class 
for criticism. 

Practice one or two of the refutations orally, and come pre- 
pared to give one before the class. Keep the briefs for use again. 

2. Consider the statements given below. Choose two of them 
for refutation. Write each statement at the top of a card or slip 
of paper. Follow it with the reply, the proof, and the conclusion. 
If two replies might be made, prepare the notes for both lines of 
attack. Practice the refutations and give them orally. If there is 
time, get criticisms and answers from the other students. 

1. The reason that people drink intoxicating liquors is that they 
seem to have a craving for strong drink. 

2. The Mexican peons are hopelessly ignorant, therefore it is 
useless to try to improve their political condition. 

3. Since the tramps won't work, they ought to be put in jail. 

4. My opponent has worked himself into a rage on this question, 
which proves that he is wrong. 

5. The library building will be of untold benefit ; this reason alone 
is sufficient to make us decide to build it. 

6. It is a good thing for children to work, for then they can 
help support their parents. 

7. Little chicks do not scratch for the mother hen ; why therefore 
should children work for parents "^ 

8. There is Sr 0,000 left in the treasury; therefore we may as well 
build the fire house. 

9. Prohibition has increased ; this must be due to the progress of 

10. This alarm clock is cheap and good ; everybody here should 
buy one. 


3. Let the class choose a question for general debate, half 
taking the affirmative and half the negative. A familiar subject 
should be chosen, such as prohibition, smoking on cars, govern- 
ment ownership, two rival candidates for an office ; and time for 
study should be allowed. At the appointed meeting the students 
may take opposite sides of the room, and alternate in speaking 
on the proposition; The order of speaking may be decided before- 
hand, or the seating may determine it. Each speaker may be 
limited to two minutes. 

The purpose of this exercise is refutation. When your turn 
comes, take up one point and attempt to cover it according to 
the suggestions in the text. 


A person who wishes to become successful in debate 
should carefully practice the exercises of the earlier chap- 
ters which have to do with posture, gesture, the use of the 
eyes, the use of the voice, the improvement of the vocabu- 
lary, fluency in speaking, and good style in composition. 
Much of the material there given has been related directly 
or chiefly to argument ; we shall here add only a few 
special considerations. 

Preparing Notes to use in Speaking. When the brief is 
complete it may be put on cards for use before the audience. A 
careful plan of indentation is indispensable, for this will show 
the relative importance of the points. These cards should con- 
tain not only the actual brief, but also the necessary summa- 
ries. As we have seen above, all the main points are stated 
at the end of the introduction and repeated in the conclusion. 

Each main point, in turn, should have its prospective 
and retrospective summary ; and the cards should have 


these subpoints written at both the beginning and the end- 
ing of the notes on each main point, so that the speaker 
will not have to look at other cards for them. It may be 
objected that the speaker who knows his subject will not 
need these helps. In a way this is true, but having the 
topics at the right place is a convenient reminder, and it 
is therefore best to include them. The prospective sum- 
maries are given with the becmise or for reading, and those 
at the end of each main point with the therefore reading, 
as explained on page 255. 

Extempore Repetition of the Speech. With the cards fully 
prepared, the student may practice the speech, choosing his 
words as he proceeds. He must avoid such awkward, ob- 
vious expressions as, "I think," "We believe," "We feel 
sure," "I shall now take up the next main point," "We 
now come to our conclusion." Repetition of the main 
points in the same words or in equivalent language is nec- 
essary for clearness.^ In spite of the repetitions, however, 
the transitions from one idea to another must be skillfully 
made. Practice will develop smoothness. Summaries should 
be given slowly, so that the full meaning of what is to be 
proved and what has been proved may be appreciated. The 
speaker must remember that sincere enthusiasm is much 
needed in debate ; he should therefore make himself familiar 
with his brief, so that the references to the notes will not 
interfere with the attractiveness of his presentation. Eight 
or ten practice speeches will accomplish wonders toward 
ease of speaking. The words will come easily, the eyes will 
be free for the audience at critical points in the argument, 
and natural gestures will be used. 

1 For example, see Lincoln's " Cooper Union Speech." 




(Resolved, that the Monroe 
Doctrine . . .) 

Colleague : 

I. The Monroe Doctrine 
is not in accord with 
sound international 

II. It has dangers con- 
nected with it. 

My Part : 

III. It has ceased to be a 
benefit to the Amer- 
ican republics. 

World? Self-respect? United 
States ? 

III. The Monroe Doctrine 
has ceased to be a benefit to 
the American republics, for 

1. It belittles them in the 
eyes of other nations. 

2. It lowers their self- 

3. It hinders their normal 
relation with the United States. 

I. // belittles them in the 
eyes of other natio)is. 

Shall the Monroe Doctrine be 
continued? My colleague, the first 
speaker on the negative, has already 
shown that the Monroe Doctrine is 
not in accord with sound interna- 
tional relations ; and, second, that 
grave dangers are connected with 
it. It will be my part in this debate 
to prove, third, that this Doctrine 
has ceased to be a benefit to the 
American republics. 

Let us look at the question of 
possible benefits from three points 
of view: (i) Has the policy of the 
United States dignified the Amer- 
ican republics in the eyes of the 
world? (2) Has it increased their 
self-respect? (3) Has it helped the 
friendly relationship of these coun- 
tries with the United States? We 
shall maintain that the Monroe Doc- 
trine has ceased to be a benefit to 
the American republics, in three 
particulars : first, it belittles them in 
the eyes of other nations ; second, 
it lowers their self-respect; and third, 
it hinders their normal relations with 
the United States. 

The continuance of this policy on 
the part of the LTnited States, then, 
is a detriment to the southern re- 
publics of the western hemisphere 
in that it belittles them in the eyes 
of other nations. Promulgated nearly 
a century ago, when these republics 



They are spoken of as wards 
of this counti'y. 

We are called their guard- 

They are compared to Cuba 
and the Philippines. 

They are not treated as real 

Quotations to prove these 
statements : 

were in their infancy, and when 
greed for conquest was rife in the 
world, this Doctrine still stands, a 
brand of continued infancy upon 
these prosperous and growing 
nations. They are still spoken of 
as our wards, and we as their guard- 
ian. We have here evidence to 
prove that in European magazines 
and newspapers they are frequently 
compared, in their relationship with 
this country, to Cuba and the Phil- 
ippines, and that in many diplomatic 
affairs they are not treated as real 
nations. I shall now turn to some 
quotations to prove these statements. 

Following the Notes. The graphic scheme will show at 
a glance the manner in which the speech grows out of the 
cards held in the hand. We have supposed that a debater 
is beginning the constructive part of the second negative 
speech on the question, Resolved, that the Monroe Doc- 
trine should be continued. 

Attending to the Time Limit. The matter of time limit 
must be attended to in practice. A debater need never be 
discouraged if he has to cut down his speech, for this means 
that the strongest arguments will be left. Ordinarily it is 
better policy to cut out whole points or subpoints than to 
cut down the time for each argument. Two subtopics well 
proved are worth more than four that are hurriedly and in- 
conclusively handled. At all events, the speech should be 
brought safely within the limit, with time to spare for the 
introduction of refutation material. Nothing spoils the effect 


of a good speech more than being called to time before 
finishing the most important part — the conclusion. 

Using References and Quotations. The notes should bear 
exact references to evidence which might be called into 
question, and these references should be stated. Short quo- 
tations should be read verbatim from the cards ; longer ones 
may be read from larger papers or from books. In case 
maps or charts are to be used, the student should practice 
handling them as they will be used before the audience. 

Avoiding Changes of Plan. Having practiced the argu- 
ment faithfully, the student should not allow himself to 
make the mistake of changing radically either the plan or 
the notes. Changes to new and untried cards may mean 
lack of confidence, and may result in confusion. 

Good Will in the Contest. The debater must remember 
what has been said about the spirit of fairness to oppo- 
nents. He should direct no charges against his opponents, 
but should concede that they are sincere in what they advance 
as argument. Arguments, not persons, should be attacked. 

Fill your mind with the thought that your speech ex- 
presses a point of view which is an attempt to reach the 
truth. Remember that the truth can hardly be found with- 
out the presentation of the two sides and the testing of 
opinion. If you are in a debate with the idea of winning, 
remember that the contest is for the purpose of seeing 
which side can best express its points of view. The debate 
is legitimate only when there is truth on both sides, and 
when the speakers on each side try to bring out the most 
truth. Rightly used, one may make his skill in argument 
serve all his better qualities — patience, sympathy, kindness, 
and helpfulness. 



1. Use a brief made in the work of former exercises. Copy 
the brief, with all the details — introductions, conclusions, refuta- 
tion, summaries, references, etc. — on slips of paper or cards. 
Number the cards, and head the first with the statement of the 
proposition. Be sure that the subtopics are properly indented. 

In class look over the cards of other students. 

2. Using the cards prepared for the exercise above, practice 
giving the speech. Say it over at least four times before giving it 
in class. Make the speech come within reasonable time — say 
within from eight to sixteen minutes. It would be a good exercise 
to cut down the speech if that seems advisable. 

3. Select a point which can best be proved by reference to a 
wall map, chart, or blackboard drawing ; for example, the best 
route for a railway, the best location for a building, a necessary 
improvement, an advantageous place for a fortification, a harbor, or 
a dock. Practice at home. Give the argument to the class, mak- 
ing your use of the help as natural, clear, and effective as possible. 

4. Select a point which can best be shown by reading quota- 
tions from books and other sources ; for example, the foreign 
trade of the South American countries, the causes of the Revolu- 
tionary War, the benefit of labor unions to the worker, the unre- 
liability of newspapers, the growth of the peace movement, the 
purpose of the boy-scout movement. Choose three or more books 
containing good quotations to read, and mark the places with slips 
of paper. Decide on the order of the quotations, giving the best 
one last. Practice the talk and reading several times, first stating 
the proposition to be established, then picking up successively the 
books from which the selections are to be read. Give the titles, 
names of authors, and page references before reading the 

5. C'hoose a classmate who will debate against you. Decide on 
the proposition, the side each will defend, and the amount of time 


to be allotted for each speaker. The following are suggested : 
affirmative, six minutes for opening argument ; negative, eight 
minutes ; affirmative rebuttal, four minutes ; negative rebuttal, 
four minutes; affirmative closing, two minutes. Classmates may 
be selected as judges if desired. Arrange the debate a few days 
ahead, so that you may make proper preparation. 


Preliminaries. Up to this point we have had exercises in 
w^hich one person gives the entire argument. We shall now 
discuss the ordinary debate, in which the work is divided 
between two or more speakers on each side. For con- 
venience in giving these directions we shall assume that 
there are two speakers on each side, and that there are 
two rounds of speeches — a second appearance for each 
speaker. This would mean a constructive argument of from 
five to fourteen minutes for each of the four debaters, 
then a rebuttal speech of from three to eight minutes for 
each, and finally a closing rebuttal of from two to five 
minutes for the first affirmative speaker. 

Dividing the Points, The division of the points between 
the two speakers of a debating team will be determined by 
the order of the points and the relative abilities of the 
speakers. For the affirmative side, the better speaker usu- 
ally comes first, for he then opens and closes the debate. 
For the negative, the better speaker is usually placed so that 
he will have the last negative speech ; he begins just as the 
case for the affirmative has been completely presented. 
Other considerations may change this plan, however ; for 
example, it may happen that one speaker is particularly 
strong on the practical aspect of the question, and it therefore 


seems best that he lead off in the debate, even if his col- 
league is the more experienced. 

Ordinarily the complete brief is drawn up by the two 
speakers, and is then divided into two parts of about equal 
length. If the question has three issues requiring arguments 
of about equal length, the affirmative speakers may divide 
the work so that the first speaker will handle the introduc- 
tion and the first point, and the second speaker the other 
two points. The first negative speaker may deal with the 
first two issues, or the two which seem to require least time, 
and the second speaker may take the third point, with extra 
time for rebuttal and conclusion. Often, however, one issue 
may require eight minutes and another but three ; hence the 
relative importance of the issues, as well as their number 
and logical order, must be taken into account in apportion- 
ing the part of the debate each speaker should cover. 

Preparing the Debate Together. Both speakers on each 
side must have a good grasp of the whole case. Both must 
study the other side of the question. Any one of the four 
speakers, if he is properly prepared, should be able to give 
the reasons for any main point in the debate, affirmative or 
negative. When the debate is first planned, the two stu- 
dents on the same side should begin the general reading 
for the debate together, both reading the articles which give 
the larger ideas about the question. When this reading has 
reached the point where the issues become apparent, the 
two colleagues may make out their brief. They may then 
make a provisional division of the points. As the study 
proceeds, the brief may be enlarged and amended, and the 
division of work may thus become more definite. The read- 
ing of each student may now be confined to the part he is 


to handle, although he must constantly be on the lookout 
for good material for his -colleague, and for points to use 
in refutation. 

We have already discussed how the debater should record 
his evidence. He may carry with him a number of cards 
or slips of paper of convenient size, and may take down 
evidence for his colleague, or may make brief memoranda 
which will tell his colleague where the material may be 
found. Each point for refutation should be written at the 
top of a blank card, and handled as explained in the section 
on refutation. 

The two students may profitably go together for inter- 
views ; they should also do a great deal of informal talking 
together about the points of the debate. As the time for 
the debate draws near, they may cooperate in drawing up 
the final briefs, in deciding where to enlarge and where to 
omit, in working out the introduction and conclusion, in pre- 
paring the refutation cards, and in practicing the speeches. 

When the time for the debate arrives, the two speakers on 
each side sit together, having at hand all their notes and 
necessary references. The rebuttal notes should be spread 
out at the farther side of the table, so that they may easily 
be found when needed. Books, maps, letters, etc., may be 
placed at one side where they can be consulted easily. 
There should be a number of blank cards and a few sheets 
of paper, and each speaker should be provided with pen 
and pencil. 

First Affirmative. The first speaker must of course 
begin with the introduction. We have already seen that 
this introduction should contain no statements which will 
be disputed by either side. It is supposed that the ideas 


advanced about the importance of the question, the history, 
the definitions of terms used, and the statement of the issues 
will be so fair that on them both the affirmative and the 
negative may build up their arguments. Unless disputed 
by the negative, this interpretation of the proposition will 
stand throughout the debate. 

After the statement of the issues the speaker outlines 
what the affirmative side intends to prove ; he indicates at 
once, also, which of these points he will undertake to 
prove, and which will be handled by his colleague. He is 
then ready to proceed to the proof of his first point. 

The first speaker will have no refutation except what he has 
incorporated into his speech, unless he chooses to anticipate some 
of his opponents' arguments. This is sometimes called " taking 
the wind out of the opponents' sails," for the speaker tells the 
audience what the chief claims of the negative speakers will be, 
and attempts to show the fallacy or weakness of these claims. 
It seems best to anticipate in this way only when the opposing 
arguments have to do with the issues raised in the first speech. 

Sometimes it is a good plan to draw up and submit to the 
opponents a question on some definite phase of the proposition. 
The question may be read to the audience and handed to the 
opponents at any convenient place, provided the opponents are 
given time for a careful answer. The speaker's colleague must 
be ready to refute any possible answer. If no answer is made, 
attention should be called to that fact later in the debate. 

After the speaker has finished the last point assigned 
him, he should make the summary of the case of the 
afifirmative so far as it has been given. He should then 
state again the points to be proved by the second affirma- 
tive speaker, and should end by leading, by means of the 
word therefore^ to the proposition for debate. 


First Negative. A large sheet of paper should be used 
by one of the negative speakers to outline the case of the 
affirmative. As soon as the first speaker begins, his intro- 
ductory material should be examined to see if it is perfectly 
fair. If he seems to give inaccurate or misleading defini- 
tions, or. to state the issues wrongly, careful notes on what 
he says should be taken. His main points should then be 
noted as they are first given, with a space after each in 
which to write the subtopics. If the prospective summary 
is omitted, or is given so poorly that the points cannot be 
recorded, this will probably mean that the hearers will not 
•get a clear idea of what the speaker is trying to prove. 
The negative speakers, in any case, should do their best to 
analyze the affirmative argument and to make the recorded 
notes as full as convenient. Whenever a strong point is 
made, it should be noted at the top of a blank card ; or 
a card already prepared for refutation should be used if 
it contains an appropriate answer. Answers to matters of 
interpretation should be prepared first, if any are needed. 
Points written on cards may be followed by brief answers, 
by references or notes indicating the proof of these answers, 
and by memoranda on the meaning of, or the conclusion to 
be drawn from, these answers. All such cards as are to be 
used may be put among the cards which coniain the brief 
of the speech. 

Matters of interpretation must be cleared up first ; the very 
first sentence should deal with errors in definition and mis- 
statements of the issues, if there are any. It is useless for the 
argument to proceed if the subject is not agreed upon, for it is 
impossible to argue upon an indefinite or changing subject. Sup- 
pose the subject for debate is, " Resolved, that the protective 


tariff is a benefit to the nation," and that the first affirmative has 
taken the term ' protective tariff ' to mean the schedule of rates 
in force at the present time. If the negative side understands 
' protective tariff ' to mean the principle of the protective tariff, 
regardless of the present detailed set of rates, then it will be 
useless to proceed with the debate until meanings are agreed 
upon. The first negative speaker, then, before he refutes any 
argument or proceeds with his own points, must show that ' pro- 
tective tariff' does not mean the present rates, but the general 
principle of protection. 

In most debates no such misunderstandings will occur, 
and no mention of the introductory matter should be made 
by the negative speakers unless serious correction is needed. 
]f the issues are misstated, the negative speaker may state 
them correctly, and show the audience what points the 
aflfirmative side must prove in order to establish its case. 

These matters being disposed of, the first duty of the 
negative speaker is to attempt partially or wholly to break 
the force or the strong points of the afhrmative. He must 
not fail to say something in reply to those two or three 
points which seem to have made an impression on the 
audience. If he does so fail, many of the hearers are sure 
to think that no answer can be given, and will score a large 
burden of proof against the negative, no matter how strong 
the subsequent argument may be. 

The best way to break the force of an opposing point is 
to accept the issue at once. If the point raised will be 
answered either in the present speech or in the second 
negative speech, this should be stated, so that when the 
point comes up again the hearers will be prepared for it. 
If the point will be handled in one of the rebuttal speeches, 


that fact should be stated. If the point can profitably be 
disposed of at once, it should be refuted before the regularly 
planned portion of the speech is begun. 

If the first speaker for the affirmative has tried to do any 
advance refutation, point out to the hearers that this shows 
that he recognizes these points as formidable arguments. 

Having cleared up questions of interpretation, if there 
are any, and having refuted, or shown how they will be 
refuted, the leading contentions of the affirmative, then, 
and not until then, the prepared outline of points for the 
first negative speech may be followed. The full case for 
the negative should be outlined to the audience at the out- 
set, and the hearers must be told which parts of the case 
each speaker will try to establish. The debater must remem- 
ber, when he comes to that part of the speech in which he 
covers a point that he is refuting, to call attention to the 
exact point the argument answers. The speech should end 
with a summary of what has been proved, and of that which 
will be proved by the other speaker. 

Second Speakers. While the first negative speaker has 
the floor, an outline of his argument should be recorded by 
the affirmative debaters. Matters of interpretation, notes 
for answers, and refutation cards may be handled in the 
manner already explained. The constructive argument of 
the second affirmative speaker should open with a statement- 
of the points which were proved by the first affirmative 
speaker, following which the prospective summary for the 
present speech is given. The conclusion may include a 
review of the contentions of the negative, so far as given or 
indicated ; a complete summary of the case of the affirma- 
tive ; and an appeal for adherence to the principles advocated. 


The second negative speaker should be guided by the 
same general plan. He should call attention to the faults 
in the argument of the affirmative speakers, particularly 
where important issues have been omitted or otherwise 
avoided ; and the consequences of these faults should be 
pointed out. His review of the opposite case, and the sum- 
ming up of the case for the negative, should be clear and 
conclusive. Both should deal with large issues, and not 
with details of the argument. Then may come the appeal 
for the principles advocated by the negative. 

The second negative speaker may propose other solutions of the 
question, in place of the one for debate. This the negative has a 
right to do, and the affirmative is obliged to show that its own 
proposition, as stated in the debate, is better than any and all put 
up for consideration by the negative. Where should this proposal 
of alternate plans be made .-' Some debaters seem to think that the 
right place to introduce this is at the end of the speech, " so that 
the afiirmative will not have time to think up an answer." Such 
a trick is both stupid and unfair. One may be sure that the audi- 
ence and the judges will not sympathize with such a scheme. It is 
best to put forth the alternatives early, so that they may have the 
test of refutation and the advantage of later repetition and 

Rebuttal Speeches. Four speeches will now have been 
given, and the debate might end with the affirmative re- 
buttal. But it is far better that each speaker should have 
another chance to appear, especially to discuss disputed 
points which have arisen during the debate. In common 
fairness it is understood that rebuttal speeches shall not 
contain new evidence or new lines of argument unless these 
are used for purposes of refutation. 


Debaters on each side should cooperate in the selection of the 
disputed points to be refuted. This selection is the most impor- 
tant task the debaters have. They should note down all the points 
which might be answered, and then select as many of the impor- 
tant ones as there will be time to consider. In many debates there 
will develop, as the argument proceeds, one leading issue which 
overshadows in importance all the others, and the argument must 
be concentrated on this point. Two such issues which often out- 
weigh the others are the practicability of the affirmative contention, 
and the value of an alternative plan presented by the negative. 

Under ordinary circumstances, each debater will handle in his 
rebuttal speech those points which relate to the issues he handles 
in his first speech. 

Communication between team mates should be limited, for four 
reasons: (i) the debaters are likely to disturb others; (2) they 
are likely to appear discourteous to the other side ; (3) by even a 
moment's conference they may miss a remark made by the oppo- 
nents, which, if unanswered, might mean the loss of the debate; 
(4) by talking to his colleague at a critical moment there is 
danger of confusing him. A briefly worded suggestion written at 
the top of one of the cards can be given to one's colleague at 
any time without interfering with his thoughts, and this same card 
may be used in the talk before the audience. 

When the debater steps before the audience for his rebuttal 
speech, the order of the cards held in his hand will indicate the 
outline he is to follow. Generally stated, the first point handled 
should be the one most in the minds of the hearers. It is unneces- 
sary' to give a prospective outline for a rebuttal speech. As the 
speech draws to an end, there may be given a review of the whole 
case of the opposition, as it then stands in the light of the refuta- 
tion. The last negative speaker should again sum up the case for 
the negative, and may finish with a sentence of appeal. The last 
speech of all will be the third speech for the first affirmative 
speaker, who may spend most of his time in refutation, but should 
also end with a review and a summary, and perhaps an appeal. 


Rebuttal speeches should of course proceed at once to the 
answering of opposing argument. In this answering, two duties 
will be found necessary : direct refutation of arguments advanced 
by the opponents, and the fortification of one's own arguments 
which have been attacked. The negative speakers will spend most 
of the time of their rebuttal speeches in ordinary refutation ; the 
affirmative will spend most of theirs in strengthening positions which 
have been disputed. This strengthening may be accomplished by 
stating carefully the point that has been attacked, by stating the 
attempted answer, by reviewing and amplifying the evidence in 
support of the point, and, if possible, by offering new evidence in 
its support. In any case, the speaker may attempt to show that 
although the opposing arguments have weight, they are of less 
importance than those offered on his side. 

Debaters must use their combined efforts to break down the 
force of such striking arguments as are made by means of analo- 
gies, other figures of speech, illustrations, jokes which apply to 
the issue, charts, or maps. A clever use of one of these devices, 
unless it is answered, may easily win the debate. 

Cooperation. Both in practice and in the debate the two 
speakers may help each other plan their talks so that they 
will not run over the time allotted. One's partner can be of 
most help in looking over the cards to be used in a rebuttal 
speech, for he can judge how long the various refutations 
will take, and can urge that not too much be attempted. 

If the debaters have had an opportunity to practice giving 
their refutation from the cards they have prepared in ad- 
vance, these cards may each be marked with the approxi- 
mate time it will take. Each debater may arrange with the 
timekeepers to give him a signal two minutes before his 
time is up. He may mark on his cards where he should 
be when the two-minute signal is given. If the debater is 


pressed for time, he had better be sure of his conclusion, 
even if he has to slight the proof of his final argument. 
A speaker should never be guilty of running past his time, 
except to finish a sentence. One who steals time in a 
debate makes an error similar to that of a hundred-yard 
runner who purposely "breaks" and has only 99 yards 
to run. 

In Appendix I are plans for simultaneous debates. If four per- 
sons work together in the preparation of a debate, there can be 
added to the teamwork the following items : striking pieces of 
evidence and argument on one side of the question may be written 
in duplicate, and one copy handed to the team which is to take the 
other side of the argument at the opposing school ; the four de- 
baters may do a large amount of discussing and arguing with each 
other ; the two sides may practice against each other ; and the 
four debaters may work together in preparing for the refutation, 
the arguments of one side forming the points to be refuted by 
the other side. 

Teamwork means helpfulness. Let the cooperation of 
the debaters be a competition of service. Let the one make 
it a practice to keep the other's needs in mind as he searches 
for his own material ; let him patiently aid in the planning 
and the practicing of his colleague's speech ; and during 
the debate let him be an inspiration in calmness, good 
judgment, and confidence. 


1. Choose a partner, and with him find two other students who 
will agree to debate against you. Decide on the question and the 
sides. Study the proposition with your colleague, and decide on 
the division of points. Be ready to tell what plans have been made 
for the teamwork in the division of the argument, and in the study 


for the debate. Let the first affirmative speaker tell his plans, then 
the second affirmative, and finally the two negative speakers. 

2. Plan to give the debate for which you have just made prepa- 
ration. So far as possible try to keep in mind the main principles 
which this chapter has set forth. Use the following time schedule : 
first speeches, eight minutes ; rebuttal speeches, four minutes ; final 
speech, two minutes. Judges may be selected if desired. 

3. Let four students meet and agree on a question, the sides, 
the length of speeches, and the date. Then let the two sides study 
without consultation, and hold the debate before the class. 

4. Let eight students meet and agree on a question. Let four 
of them take the affirmative, and four the negative. Two from 
each side should constitute themselves a team for a simultaneous 
debate against the other four. The date, the length of speeches, 
and the two places for the separate contests should be decided. 
The four team mates should then prepare for the debates. The 
debates may be held at the same time. 

5. Draw up an agreement for a debate witli another school. 
Make it as definite as possible, yet at the same time do not 
make it longer than necessar}\ Bring it to class for criticism and 
comparison. (See Appendix L) 

Two or more students may each represent a different school, 
and, comparing their plans, may come to a joint agreement. These 
joint agreements should be read and criticized. 

6. Draw up a notice for a try-out, and bring it to class for 
comparison and criticism. If this exercise is based on an actual 
debate, so much the better. 

7. Prepare a judge's blank for a debate. See that it is neatly 
done and attractively arranged. Bring it to class for criticism. 

8. Serve as chairman, or timekeeper, or member of a com- 
mittee of arrangements, or judge, and prepare a short talk about 
the experience gained. If it is impossible to get the actual expe- 
rience, make close observation of the work of someone else, and 
then base the report on that observation. 


9. Come to class prepared to contribute something vital to a 
discussion on this topic : " The best plan for a debating league." 

10. Draw up a notice which may be posted to announce an 
interclass tournament. Make it such that it will attract pupils to 
enter the contest. Bring the notice to class for criticism. 

11. Prepare a speech to be given before students not yet inter- 
ested in debating, telling of the value of debating, and how one may 
begin. Arrange to give the talk in one of the other classes. If any 
of the students have shown interest, they should be seen personally 
and invited to visit the debating society and to take part in a 

12. Prepare a speech to give in class on the following topic: 
" How debating in the school may be improved." 




The books on parliamentary law are necessarily so com- 
plete and technical that the subject is uninteresting to the 
beginner, whereas it ought to be attractive to students of all 
ages. The purpose of this chapter is to give the necessary 
first information in condensed form. We shall deal here 
with the general directions for practice in business meet- 
ings, and later with necessary tables and forms, together 
with suggestions for their use. 

The Origin of Parliamentary Law. For many centuries 
the rules of public speaking have been gradually developed. 
They reached a high plane during the eighteenth century 
in the English House of Commons, whence the name par- 
liamentary. The rules of our American House of Repre- 
sentatives were borrowed from England, but have been 
changed to meet our needs. Jefferson's Manual is the 
basis of all American practice. Books of rules used in or- 
dinary societies are simplifications of these rules of govern- 
mental bodies. 

Why Parliamentary Law is Needed. Parliamentary law is 
important in Oral English because it formulates the rules 
that are used to manage public speaking. It is needed 
in school and college meetings, in social clubs, in athletic 



leagues, in literary societies, in religious organizations, in 
educational associations, in political clubs, in labor unions, 
in the meetings of boards of directors, in city councils, in 
state legislatures, in national congresses, in international 
conferences — in almost all organizations in which people 
work together. 

When rightly pursued, practice in business meetings gives 
valuable training in (i) readiness in speaking, for many 
questions must be debated without time for preparation ; 
(2) efficiency iii speaking, for one must summon to his aid 
all the powers of persuasion at his command ; (3) a sense 
of order in a public assembly, for each speech and motion 
and act must have its proper place if it is not to be ruled 
out of order ; (4) control of temper, for heat and anger lead 
one into rule-breaking, with its consequent loss of respect ; 
(5) fairness to opponents, for the rules of order require it, 
and the freedom of debate exposes misstatement and makes 
it react upon the speaker. Again, if the motions are well 
chosen, parliamentary practice will help to make the stu- 
dent acquainted with city, county, state, and national affairs, 
and to increase his interest in economics, politics, and soci- 
ology. Moreover, it gives him practice in serving as chair- 
man, as secretary, and as committee member. He will be 
a valuable help to any society if he can preside well, or 
write the minutes correctly, or work up a good committee 
report. And best of all, the business meetings should help 
to develop true democracy of spirit ; for parliamentary law is 
based on equality of members, officers as servants, and the 
rule of the majority. It trains not solely in leading but 
in following also, and it has the great advantage that the 
person who at one meeting is leading and may rule, at 


another is following and must obey. This ability both to lead 
and to follow will make for the best American citizenship. 

When Parliamentary Law is Used. Parliamentary law is 
employed whenever it will give system and good order to a 
gathering. So small a group of people as four or five may 
need rules of procedure in order to carry on debate. Ram- 
bling discussion, disputing, and interminable talk are likely 
to characterize a meeting held without rules. With rules 
two things will be at once accomplished : only one topic 
will be under consideration at any one time, and only one 
person at a time will be speaking. 

Probabh' in most meetings the will of the majority is 
found only after earnest debate and definite vote. In other 
meetings, however, the members of even a large audience 
may be in such harmony of thought that neither debating 
nor the passing of motions is needed. Here the strict rules 
ot parliamentary law may be dispensed with. The rules should 
be avoided when they interfere with quick action desired 
by all. See Robert's "Rules of Order," pp. 161, 188, 194 
(rev. ed. pp. 198, 202, 241); and Gregg's "Parliamentary 
Law," pp. 10, 50, 63, 90. The will of the society is legal 
regardless of parliamentary law, so long as any informal 
action is not protested at the time it is taken. The rules 
form the best guide for finding out and expressing the will 
of the meeting when there is a conflict of opinion, and they 
may be set aside for any act about which there is complete 

Courtesy in Business Meetings. Occasionally there is a 
person who is discourteous in business meetings, on account 
of his habit of correcting the chairman or others whenever 
a possible chance offers itself. Such a person has studied 


up a few points, and is anxious to display his knowledge. 
He may not always mean to be rude, but he makes the 
mistake of placing the rules and his knowledge of them 
above the good of the society. It is possible that in our 
parliamentary classes in Oral English it will be an advan- 
tage to see that no actual error escapes us. But no student 
should obtain from his school study the idea that parlia- 
mentary law is a set of hard-and-fast rules. It must guide 
and serve the purposes of a meeting, but not interfere with 
these purposes. And even when corrections are to be made 
in the classroom, they should be made with all the defer- 
ence and politeness of the Golden Rule. '" Mr. Chairman, 
you made a mistake," is both impolite and unparliamentary. 
" Mr. Chairman, I think we are not following the correct 
rule about closing nominations," or " Mr. Chairman, my 
point is that the rule about closing nominations is being 
violated," is satisfactory. 

The members of a business meeting need to exercise 
care to control their feelings and their " tone of voice." 
An angry or anxious sound in the speaker's voice may 
unintentionally breed discourtesy and misunderstanding. 
Modesty, coolness of temper, and a pleasant countenance, 
together with a proper regard for the feelings of others 
and a willingness to ignore little errors which do no harm, 
are important assets for members of any society. 

How to use Parliamentary Law.^ It is the purpose here 
merely to make some suggestions for the use of parlia- 
mentary law in school and college classes, and to outline a 

1 To THE Teacher. The teacher is responsible to the school and to 
the citizens for the good conduct of the class and for the good use of time. 
He cannot, therefore, unreservedly give over all supervision. He will need, 


method which has repeatedly succeeded in furnishing the 
right situations for studying the rules and for learning the 
lessons of good speaking, fairness, and democracy. 

How to organize the Class. When it is decided that the 
class may organize, the steps outlined on page 296 must be 
taken. Perhaps the name and purpose of the society are of 
such importance that the whole class will wish to decide 
on them and to instruct the constitution committee to write 
them into the report. The name given the society should 
indicate the subjects about which motions are to be made 
in the business meetings. For example, if " The Speakers' 
Club " is selected, the range of motions would be unlimited : 
politics, education, business, civics, etc. " The West Side 
Improvement Association," however, would be concerned 
almost solely with the civic affairs of one section of the 
city. Civic affairs usually form the best-known field of inter- 
est, and the organization selected for beginners may well be 
one supposed to legislate for the city. Other good names 
may be suggested by the following, which have been used 
in Oral English classes : Senate, House of Representatives, 
State Assembly, President's Cabinet, Republican Central 
Committee, City Council, City Board of Commissioners, 
Civics League, Panama Literary Society, American Scientific 
Society, Hague Peace Conference. It is profitless, however, 
in choosing the offices and rules, to pattern closely the 
constitution and rules of a real organization. The maze of 

first, to prescribe somewhat the form of the constitution and rules ; second, 
to see that officers and members use these rules; third, to give helpful 
guidance to the class and to individuals ; fourth, to interfere if serious 
errors are made ; fifth, to take complete charge if the students fail to make 
a success of the society. The teacher may act as a member of the society, 
debating and voting with the others. 


technical forms in city, state, and national organizations offers 
hard and unprofitable traveling. 

The Programs. For the program of the business meet- 
ings it is recommended that only a brief time be given each 
day to practice with motions. Ten or fifteen minutes of 
parliamentary law each recitation day accomplishes more in 
a semester than the same amount of time taken in longer 
periods. It is well, therefore, to have a program of five to 
ten talks, covering perhaps half the period, and to follow 
the program with the motions. These programs may be 
made up by the teacher, who may each day list the names 
of students expected to take part in the next meeting, and 
hand them to the secretary. Or a committee on program 
may select those who are to take part, and assign a topic 
or topics for the meeting. Or the chairman may arbitrarily 
call upon members to come forward and take part. The 
topics may be chosen from the various exercises suggested 
in this or any other book. Some of them may consist of 
explanations of points in this chapter. By having the pro- 
gram occupy the first part of the recitation period, the 
members get practice both in making definitely prepared 
speeches and in parliamentary law, and thus follow the 
example of many organizations which combine program 
and business in the same meeting. 

Studying the Precedence of Motions. ^ The student should 
study thoroughly Table B (the table of seven motions) in 
Appendix VI. When he has mastered these he may use 

1 No formal exercises have been provided for this chapter. Perhaps the 
best plan to follow will be to assign to individual students points which 
need illustration, and then for each student to study the item assigned him, 
to explain its principles in class, and finally to apply the point in the midst 
of a business meeting. 


the larger list, Table C. He should next study the brief 
explanation of each motion, pages 306-320 below, asking 
questions of classmates and teacher, and referring to other 
books on parliamentary law if there are any disputed points. 
Students should try to apply all they read, regardless of 
mistakes that may be made. Fortunately, mistakes in par- 
liamentary law are easily corrected and do not injure any- 
body, and we often learn more from our mistakes than 
from our study. 

The Kind of Motions to Make, Occasionally, perhaps 
twice a year, it is interesting to have a burlesque meeting ; 
but meetings of this character will not teach parliamentary 
law as it should be taught. Nothing is learned from the 
motion that each member be required to sing a song, or 
from raising a question of privilege to have a window 
closed. Such motions have no purpose, and needlessly 
complicate the society's business without arriving anywhere. 
Every motion placed before a meeting should be introduced 
because the mover feels that it ought to be passed. If he 
moves to lay on the table the question before the house, he 
should have a definite reason for this motion. If he does 
this merely "for practice," he is not learning the real pur- 
pose and use of the motion. Every motion should be the 
result of a definite need. If the meeting seems to lack 
good subjects for the main motions, turn to the debate sub- 
jects. Appendix II, or to the lists of topics in Appendix V. 
Almost any of these should start some good discussion 
from coming American citizens. 

Fair Play. The use of a sergeant at arms or the exer- 
cise of the authority of the teacher should not be necessary 
in an Oral English society, and will not be needed if 


evetybody will try to live up to the rules. If a player enters 
a baseball game he submits to a complicated system of rules ; 
so a person in a business meeting must submit to the con- 
stitution, by-laws, and other rules of the society. The will 
of the majority must rule. There is no need for shouting 
"Aye" or "No," for if the chairman mistakes the volume 
of sound, any member may call for a division, which the 
chairman must grant. If he rules wrongly, anyone may 
raise a point of order, and m.ay appeal if opposed. 

The most unfortunate thing that can happen is that the 
person who refuses to do his part fairly occupies the chair. 
In such a case perhaps a revolution is necessary, but it may 
be without force or noise, by withdrawing to another room or 
another part of the hall. Anything short of this catastrophe 
can be settled by ordinary, quiet debate and majority rule. 

" All things in good order " is the first and last word in 
parliamentary law — government by appropriate and reason- 
able rules backed by a spirit of fairness, cooperation, and 
mutual respect, and expressed by the rule of the majority. 


First Meeting 

1. Any interested person takes charge and moves (or someone 

else may move) that Mr. be made temporary chairman, and 

then a vote is taken. 

2. The temporary secretary is appointed or elected. 

3. Speeches about organizing may be made. 

4. A motion to form an organization may be moved, made, 
and voted. 

5. A motion to appoint or elect an organization committee is 
made and carried. 


6. The committee to draw up a constitution and by-laws is 

7. Instructions for the committee may be voted: name, object, 
dues, etc. 

8. The meeting adjourns. 

Second Meeting 

1. The temporary chairman calls the meeting to order. 

2. The minutes are read and accepted. 

3. The organization committee reports, proposing a constitution 
and by-laws. 

4. The chairman of the committee, or any other person, moves 
the adoption of the constitution. 

5. The chairman of the meeting, or the secretary, reads the 
first section. Amendments may be proposed and voted on. The 
other sections may be amended in the same way. 

6. The motion to adopt the proposed constitution, as amended, 
is voted on and carried. 

7. The members may take a recess to sign the constitution. 
(This is not usually required.) 

8. The proposed by-laws are adopted, following the process in 
Nos. 4, 5, and 6. 

9. The permanent officers are elected, and take their places. 
The organization is then complete, and may proceed to business. 


The constitution of an organization consists of the rules 
which determine its very existence. The constitution con- 
tains those permanent rules which are intended to stand 
substantially unchanged during the life of the society. The 
by-lazvs are the next most important rules. They are not 
important enough to be put into the constitution, yet they 


are usually permanent. The rules of order are the guide 
for carrying on the meetings of the society. Some par- 
ticular published rules should be adopted. Standing ndes 
are the petty understandings made for the comfort and 
convenience of the members ; they are usually matters of 
agreement which may easily be changed or set aside by vote. 
The sample sets of laws which follow are intended for 
the organizations formed in Oral English classes. Their 
general form, however, will suggest the plan by which the 
rules of all organizations are constructed. 

The Constitution for a Class Organization 

constitution of the lincoln club 

Article I. Name 
The name of this organization shall be The Lincoln Club. 

Article IL Object 

The object of the club shall be to practice public speaking and 
parliamentary law. 

Article IIL Membership 

All students who are enrolled in class No. 47 shall be considered 
members of the club. 

Article IV. Officers 

Sec I. The officers of this club shall be a president, secretary, 
and critic. 

Sec. 2. The president shall be elected at the beginning of each 
meeting. The president of the previous meeting shall conduct the 
election, which shall be without ballot. 

Sec. 3. The secretary and the critic shall be appointed by the 

Sec. 4. The duties of the officers shall be those indicated by their 
titles and prescribed by the by-laws. 


Article V. Meetings 

Meetings shall be held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 
1.45 P.Ji., in Room 63. 

Article VI. Amendments 

This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote, provided 
written notice has been given at a previous meeting. 

Article VII. Authority 

It is understood that the acts of this organization are subject to 
the approval of the teacher, who may at any time take charge of 
the meeting. 


The constitutions of other organizations may vary from the 
above form in several particulars : 

The name and object may be written into a preamble (see the 
Constitution of the United States). 

The article on members may be divided into sections, defining 
active, associate, and honorary members. 

The article on the officers may designate many other officers 
which will be necessary to a real society. Other sections will fix 
the manner of nomination and election, and the term of service of 
the officers. 

Article V may provide for regular meetings and special meetings, 
the latter to be called by the president, or at the request of five or 
more members. 

Other matters should be left to the by-laws and the standing 


By-Laws for a Class Organization 


Article L Officers 

Sec. I. No person shall serve in any one office for more than 
one meeting. 

Sec. 2. A majority of the votes cast shall be necessary to elect the 
president. If the first vote does not yield a majority, the second vote 
shall be taken on the two candidates who have received the highest 
number of votes. 

Sec. 3. It shall be the duty of the president or the chairman to 
uphold the constitution, laws, and rules of this organization. He shall 
declare out of order and suppress any acts and motions not in harmony 
with the purposes of the organization. He shall have the right to 
appoint a member to act as sergeant at arms whenever he deems such 
an officer necessary. 

Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of the secretary to assist the chairman 
by keeping a record of all business proposed, and to write the minutes 
of the meeting. He shall see that the records of the organization are 
properly kept on file. 

Sec. 5. It shall be the duty of the critic to criticize the meeting. 
He shall commend the good talks, and offer suggestions to individuals 
and to the organization as a whole. 

Article IL Meetings 

Sec. I . The order of business shall be as follows : choice of officers, 
roll call, minutes, critic's report, program, reports of committees, old 
business, new business. This order may be changed for any meeting 
by a two-thirds vote. 

Sec. 2. The programs presented by the members may be deter- 
mined by vote of the organization, by an authorized committee, or by 
the teacher. In all other cases each member taking part shall be allowed 
to select his own topic. 

Sec. 3. The rules contained in shall govern this organization 

and its meetings in all points not provided for by the constitution, by- 
laws, or standing rules. 


Article III. Miscellaneous 

Sec. I . Standing rules of this organization may be passed, amended, 
suspended, or abolished by a majority vote at any meeting. 

Sec. 2. One half the number of regular members shall constitute 
a quorum. 

Sec. 3. The by-laws of this organization may be amended by a 
majority vote at any meeting, provided written notice has been given 
at a previous meeting. 

Two other matters will appear in the by-laws of most organiza- 
tions : the amount and manner of collection of dues, and the 
names of the standing committees. ■ 

Standing Rules for a Class Organization 


1. It shall be the duty of each member to come to each meeting 
prepared to speak before the organization. 

2. Unless otherwise provided for, reports and old and new business 
shall become the order of the day at ten minutes before the time for 

3. The business considered by this organization shall involve useful 
questions only. 

4. Motions of over twenty words in length must be written and 
handed to the secretary. 

5. At the request of the chairman any member debating a question 
shall come to the front of the room. 

6. The chairman of the meeting may adjourn the meeting without 
a motion at the end of the recitation period. 

7. No member shall be allowed to decline an office. 

8. The critic's report shall be in writing. 

Other standing rules may deal with such matters as the follow- 
ing : the time for receiving reports of officers and committees, the 
regulations for vouchers and payment of bills, rules for speaking, 
rules for attendance and tardiness, and any rules of order in which 
the society deviates from the authority adopted by the by-laws. 



The Usual Plan 
the usual order of business 

1. Minutes. 

2. Reports : officers and committees. 

3. Old business. 

4. New business. 

This is the basic program for the meetings of all organizations. 
The student should make this information his own, and should 
note that the other forms which follow preserve the same order 
but include other items. On pages 321-326 are explained the 
duties of the officers in calling the meeting to order, presenting 
the minutes, and making reports. Committee reports are treated 
on page 327. Old business includes questions brought up but not 
voted on or disposed of at the previous meeting, and questions 
postponed to the meeting under consideration. New business con- 
sists of principal motions proposed at the present meeting. 

An Order of Business for a Literary Society 


1. Roll call. 

2. Minutes. 

3. Critic's report.^ 

4. Reports of other officers, and of committees. 

5. Old business. 

6. New business. 

7. Program. 


1 This arrangement provides for a careful review of each program, by 
the critic, at the folhnving meeting. Nevertheless, there are advantages 
in the plan of reserving two or three minutes just before adjournment, 
and having the critic's report at this time, directly after the program 
which is to be criticized. 


This order of business is useful when the parliamentar}^ law is 
of minimum importance and the society wishes to give most of 
the time to the program of speeches, lecture, plays, or discussion. 
By common custom the business of the society is transacted as 
rapidly as possible, so that the speakers will not be kept waiting. 
This order, minus the roll call and the critic's report, is used by 
city clubs which meet at dinner and listen to speeches afterward. 
Such societies usually have an executive committee to transact 
most of their business, and when a large amount of business 
is planned for any meeting, such as an election of officers, the 
program is omitted. 

It is possible to use the above order for school classes, the 
parliamentary practice being cut short at the expiration of an 
agreed time limit. 

A Suggested Order for School Classes 


1. Choice of officers. 

2. Roll call. 

3. Minutes. 

4. Critic's report. 

5. Program. 

6. Reports of committees. 

7. Old business. 

8. New business. 

The officers may be chosen as indicated in the plan proposed 
on page 298. During the program the chairman may keep time, 
announcing the program completed when about ten or fifteen 
minutes is left for parliamentary practice. As has been indicated 
in the first paragraph of page 294, the program may be made up 

1 The teacher's report, whether actually in the posted order of 
business or not, may come directly after the program. It may include 
general criticisms, proposals for future work, instructions, and the list of 
students for the next program. 


of any and all kinds of Oral English recitations. It may be used 
for the explanation and discussion of parliamentary principles. 

Some societies have an order of business called " Good of 
the Order," or " Good of the Society," which comes at the very 
end of the meeting, just before adjournment. This consists of 
informal suggestions for the improvement of the organization. 


Classification of Motions. Table C, Appendix VI, includes 
all the motions commonly used in business meetings, except 
the motion to reconsider, which is explained on page 330, 
The motions of Table C are classified as follows : 

1. Privileged Questions. These concern the welfare and pro- 
gram of the meeting, and do not relate to other motions before 
the house. Time for next meeting, adjournment, recess, question 
of privilege, and orders of the day are privileged questions. 

2. Incidental Questions. These arise out of other motions. 
Appeal, point of order, objection, reading papers, withdrawal 
of a motion, and suspension of a rule are incidental questions. 

3. Subsidiary Questions. These change, dispose of, or bring 
to vote some motion previously made. Lay on the table, previous 
question, postpone definitely, refer, amend, and postpone indefi- 
nitely are subsidiary questions. 

4. Principal Questions. These introduce business before the 
assembly. Ordinary motions considered in old and new business 
are main or principal questions. 

Illustrations in the Use of the Tables. The three rules 
under Table B, in Appendix VI, will govern the chairman 
and the members in using the various motions. When we 
say that a question or motion has precedence or priority 
over another motion, we mean simply that the question 


which has precedence must be settled first. Then the one 
of lower order is decided, if at all, only after the vote on 
the higher motion has been taken. The combinations are 
countless in number. A very simple one is given in the 
secretary's minutes, page 337. The following is an illus- 
tration of the correct use of six of the motions of Table B : 

If it has been tnoved and seconded to purchase an automobile, and 
if no vote has yet been taken, somebody may move to refer the matter 
to a committee. While this too is undecided, the motion to postpone 
the whole question one week may be moved. This, in turn, may be 
supplanted by the motion to lay the whole matter on the table, and 
this last motion again by a motion for adjournment. The chairman 
then secures a vote on adjournment. Let us suppose that adjournment 
is voted down, that lay on the table is then lost, that postpone one 
week is also lost, that previous question (previous question stands 
above refer in the table, and therefore takes precedence over it) is then 
moved and carried, and finally that refer to a committee is carried. 
The automobile question then goes to the committee, and is not further 
considered until the committee reports. The house is now open for 
further new business — for a principal motion on another subject. 

It will be seen from this illustration that a member may 
at any time propose a motion of higher position than the 
one at that time pending (before the house and about to 
be voted upon), and that the chairman must endeavor to 
secure a vote first on the highest motion of those pro- 
posed, and proceed downward until all are disposed of or 
until the meeting adjourns. Thus the members may go 
upivard in proposing motions in Table B or Table C, 
while the chairman proceeds dozvnward in securing votes 
on the pending questions. 

The motions in the larger table obey the same general 
rules as do those of Table B, and are used in the same 
manner. Some special rules and exceptions are noted in 


the directions for Table C, and in the directions which are 
to follow. 

Brief Directions for the Use of Each Motion. We shall 
now repeat the motions of the larger table, inserting under 
each the necessary information for its use in a business 
meeting. The student should recall that in the case of all 
motions other than those inclosed in quotation marks it is 
necessary for the mover of the motion to rise, address the 
chairman, and be recognized before he may speak further. 
For those inclosed in quotation marks, no recognition is 


D = 

A = 

= debatable NS = no second is required 
= amendable Quotation marks (" ") = in order when 

another person has the floor 

2/3 = two-thirds vote necessary to carry 

A— Time for Next Meeting 

" I move that the next meeting of the club be held at 
TO A.M., Wednesday, May 13." 

" I move that when this meeting shall adjourn, it adjourn 
to meet again at 10 a.m., Wednesday, May 13." 

" I move that the time to which this meeting shall ad- 
journ shall be fixed at ... " 

This motion is in order at any time during the meeting. It does 
not adjourn the meeting, nor decide when the meeting shall adjourn ; 
it merely determines in advance when the next meeting of the 
society shall take place. Its principal use is that the members 
may all know when to assemble again. In protracted meetings or 
sessions of conventions and the like, it is useful in preventing an 


adjournment which might end the entire session, and in providing 
for another meeting to which business may be deferred. 

The motion to determine the place for the next meeting has the 
same rank as that to fix the time. 


" I move we adjourn." 

" I move that the meeting do now adjourn." 

" I move that the meeting stand adjourned." 

Note that the motion to adjourn cannot interrupt a speaker, 
and that recognition is required. 

This motion is entirely unlike the motion, " I move that we 
adjourn at 1 1 p.m." The latter motion is a principal motion (see 
below), and cannot be moved when any other question is pending. 

If the motion to adjourn is carried, the chairman at once de- 
clares that the motion is carried, and that the meeting is adjourned. 
Between these two statements there should be opportunity for the 
call of a division. 

A— Recess 

" I move that a recess of ten minutes be declared." 
'" I move that the society take a recess of ten minutes." 
" I move a recess of ten minutes or less, for the purpose 
of signing the constitution." 

Amendments to the motion may apply only to the length of 
the recess. After the recess, business proceeds as if there had 
been no interruption. 

D— A— " Question of Privilege " 

(treated as a main motion) 

" Mr. Chairman, I rise to a question of privilege," 
'" I rise to a question of privilege, Mr. Chairman." 
" A question of privilege, Mr. Chairman." 


The mere address " Mr. Chairman " may fail of recognition, 
because it contains no hint that the member has a right to inter- 
rupt the speaker. If, however, the chairman hears the words, 
" question of privilege," he is forced to interrupt the speaker if 
somebody happens to be engaged in debate on a pending question, 
and to ask the one who has risen to state his question. Questions, 
requests for information, parliamentary inquiries, and motions for 
the comfort or rights of members are considered of such great 
importance that they must be settled before any other business 
can be considered, except the three motions above. 

The chairman responds, " State your question of privilege," and 
the member then briefly states his request or motion. If the request 
is a matter easily and rightly granted, the chairman should grant it 
at once, or should put it to a vote if he thinks best. If the chair- 
man believes that the request is not a proper question of privilege, 
he so rules and the member may appeal (see below). If the mem- 
bers or the chairman decide that the request is a proper question 
of privilege, but that a vote is necessary before it can be granted, 
the question goes before the house. When it thus becomes the 
question before the house, it becomes for the time being like a 
main motion, and as such may be amended, referred, postponed, 
tabled, etc., like any other main motion. When disposed of, the 
business goes back to that which was pending before the question 
of privilege was raised. 

Following are a few illustrations of proper questions of privilege : 
to have the question before the house stated ; to suppress disturb- 
ances in the meeting ; to stop noises outside ; to move the meeting 
to another room ; to improve ventilation ; to ask for more chairs. 
A question relating to a few of the members of a society must 
give way to one involving the rights of all the members. 

Note that this is the first of the five motions inclosed in quota- 
tion marks. Any of these must be recognized at once by the 
chairman, even if another member is talking. 


" Orders of the Day " NS 

" Mr. Chairman, I call for the orders of the day." 
" I call for the orders of the day, Mr. Chairman." 
The chairman states the call : " Shall the meeting now 
proceed to the orders of the day .'' " 

The purpose of this motion is to call for the regular program 
for the meeting or for the special business which has been planned ; 
its aim is to set aside the matters which bid fair to delay the more 
important proceedings and to call up .these proceedings at once. 
The motion is in order as soon as the meeting begins, and it may 
interrupt the usual order of business. Frequently the members 
have voted at a previous meeting to consider a certain matter at 
a designated time (see Suspension of Rules, below). In this case 
the call is in order when the designated time has arrived. 

If the call for the order of the day is voted down, the inter- 
rupted business proceeds ; the call may be renewed, however, 
when any business has been transacted. If the call is carried, the 
matters designated come up for consideration ; after which the 
business which was interrupted proceeds. 


" I appeal from the decision of the chair," 
The chairman puts the question : "" Shall the ruling of the 
chair stand as the decision of the society } Those in favor 
say, 'Aye' . . . ," etc. Or, "Those who sustain the chair 
say, * Aye '...," etc. 

An appeal comes before the house when the chairman has made 
a ruling with which a member takes issue, as, for example, when 
the chairman has ruled against a ]ooint of order (see below). Any 
member who is not satisfied with the chairman's interpretation of 
the rules may appeal to the society, and the matter is then decided 


by a majority vote. Before the vote brief reasons may be stated 
by the member and by the chairman, and, in certain rare cases, 
unlikely to occur outside a legal organization, others may debate 
the appeal. 

A motion to lay the appeal on the table is in order, and if it is 
carried the chairman's ruling stands. 

"Point of Order" NS 

" I rise to a point of order." 

The chairman responds : " State your point of order." 

The member : " My point of order is that the constitu- 
tion is being violated in that . . . ," etc. 

The chairman : "Your point of order is well taken " (or, 
" not well taken "). 

If the chairman holds that the point of order is well taken 
he proceeds at once to correct the error. In case he does not so 
agree, the one who raised the point, or any other member, may 
appeal from the decision of the chair. 

Points of order may be raised whenever a member thinks that 
a rule is being broken, an unfairness being done, or a wrong pro- 
cedure being followed. These are some examples : wrong motion 
stated, motion stated wrongly, speaker off the subject, personal 
remarks being made, wrong person recognized, order of business 
not being followed, undebatable question being debated, rules of 
precedence violated, by-laws disregarded. 

It should be specially noted that while the point of order and 
appeal may be superseded by the questions above them in the 
table, yet points of order and appeals may be raised in connection 
with any of these higher motions, and in such cases supersede 
these higher questions themselves. 


" Objection to Consideration " NS— 2/3 

" Mr. Chairman, I object to the consideration of this 

The chairman responds : " Those who sustain the objec- 
tion say, 'Aye,' " etc. 

An objection is in order only when it is raised before the ques- 
tion has been debated, and it can apply to principal questions only. 
The one who objects may briefly state his reason. A two-to-one 
vote is needed to rule the motion out, as otherwise a bare majority 
might prevent free speech. 

Objections may be raised on the grounds, among others, that 
the question proposed is improper for the assembly to vote upon 
in that it involves personal, religious, or political issues ; or that 
it has no value to the meeting; or that it is not related to the 
purposes of the organization. 

If the objection is sustained, the motion is ruled out, without 
debate or vote. 

Reading Papers 

'" I move that I be allowed to read this article." 

" I move that the member be allowed to read the article 

in question." 

" I move that the by-law in question be read by the 


" I move that the visitor be asked to address us." 

" I move that the gentleman be allowed ten minutes to 

address the meeting." 

If a member wishes to read or have read any written or printed 
matter bearing on the question in hand, to have a section of the 
rules read, or to have a non-member address the meeting, he 
moves that permission be given for such act. 


Withdrawal of a Motion 

" I move that the motion be withdrawn." 
" I move that the maker of the motion be allowed to 
withdraw it." 

Before a motion has been stated by the chairman, either the 
maker or the seconder may withdraw his indorsement. After it 
has been stated, however, it becomes the property of the meeting, 
and cannot be withdrawn by the maker of the motion if any 
member objects. In such a case the mover or somebody else 
may move that the motion be withdrawn. 

Suspension of Rules 2/3 

" I move that the rules be suspended in order to hear 
the report of the committee." 

Neither constitution nor by-laws may be suspended.^ Rules of 
order and standing rules may be set aside temporarily when they 
stand in the way of a desired action. Suppose, as in the above 
quotation, the chairman of a committee has entered the meeting 
late, and the members wish to turn back the order of business to 
reports of committees in order to hear his report. In such a case 
the society may decide by a two-to-one vote to suspend the rules. 
The motion must state the purpose of the proposed suspension. 

1 Even legal organizations sometimes find it necessary to suspend 
specific sections of their constitutions. For example, a state legislature 
may, in case of grave public need, waive constitutional formalities in ref- 
erence to voting appropriations. Again, a governor may declare martial 
law. Such a suspension of the fundamental law, however, is legal only 
when provided for by a specific article of the constitution itself. School 
societies will probably never have need of such a provision in their 

If a society deliberately ignores or violates its constitution, it thereby, 
in effect, temporarily suspends its own existence as a society. Such a 
proceeding is possible, but indiscreet. It opens the way for indiscriminate 


Other illustrations will make the object of this motion clear: to 
allow a member to continue speaking when his time has expired •, 
to allow a member to speak for a third time upon the question ; to 
abandon the regular program ; to set aside for a special occasion 
the restrictive rules of the regular meetings. 

To set a particular topic as a special order for a future time sus- 
pends the rules in that it changes the regular order of business for 
that future meeting ; it therefore has the same rank as suspension 
of the rules and requires a two-thirds vote. 

Lay on the Table 

"' I move the matter be laid on the table." 
" I move that the whole question be laid on the table." 
" I move the motion (amendment, appeal, question of 
privilege) be laid on the table." 

" I move that the motion be tabled." 

This motion was originally devised to put a motion aside tem- 
porarily, but in recent times it is often used to rid the meeting 
permanently of a motion. If the latter is the intent, however, the 
maker of the main motion should have the right to speak briefly 
in favor of his motion before lay on the table is put to vote. 

A motion laid upon the table is disposed of until it is renewed 
(see p. zzi)^ o^ ^"^^^ ^ motion is made to take from the table the 
motion in question. Take from the table has the same character- 
istics and place in Table C as lay on the table. 

When a motion is tabled, all other motions attached to it — 
such as amend, postpone, refer, and previous question — are car- 
ried to the table with it. The motion to take from the table, if 
carried, brings these back before the house in the exact condition 
they were in at the time the motion was tabled. 

Technically, an amendment to a motion may be laid on the 
table, but as this carries the motion to the table with the amend- 
ment, the effect is the same as tabling the motion itself. 


There is no such motion as " to lay the matter on the table till 
next meeting." This should be either '" to lay the matter on the 
table," or " to postpone the matter till next meeting." 

Previous Question = Stop Debate 2/3 

" I move the previous question." 

" I move debate be stopped." 

" I move we proceed to the vote." 

" I move the previous question on the motion to postpone." 

" I move we stop debate on the amendment." 

This motion does not refer to any previously mentioned ques- 
tion, as its name would seem to indicate ; it refers only to the 
question or questions now pending, and it seeks to cut off debate 
and bring to vote one or more motions. If the motion for the pre- 
vious question specifies the motion concerned, and is carried, then 
the debate on only that motion is closed. If, however, the motion 
for closing debate is unrestricted, it is usual to proceed to vote on 
all the pending questions, without further debate. 

It should be noted that at any time in the process of voting, 
a motion of higher precedence may intervene. 

The motion for the previous question should not be confused 
with the expression, " I call for the question," spoken by a mem- 
ber from his seat. This call indicates merely that one or more of 
the members is ready and anxious to vote ; it is a signal to the 
chairman, if no one has the floor, to ask, "Are you ready for the 
question ? " and to take the vote if everybody is ready. 

The motion to limit each speech to a certain tirne, or to limit 
the debate as a whole, has the same precedence as the previous 

The motion for the previous question may be applied to any 
debatable question. If carried, the debatable question is simply 
changed into the undebatable class. 


D— A— Postpone to a Definite Time 

" I move that this question be postponed for one week." 
'" I move to postpone the motion till next meeting." 

This motion is useful when more time is needed. Debate on 
the advantage of delay is in order, and the time of postponement 
may be amended. When the time of postponement has elapsed, 
the matter again appears, under old business, in exactly the form 
it was left. It may, however, be called up as the order of the day 
for the meeting to which it was postponed ; or it may, by a two- 
thirds vote, be taken up at any intervening meeting. 

Postponement may be applied to principal motions only ; not 
to the motion to amend or refer. 

D— A— Refer to a Committee 

" I move that this matter be referred to a committee." 

" I move that the motion be referred to the finance 

" I move that the question of a banquet be referred to a 
committee of three, to be appointed by the chair, and to 
report at the next meeting," 

"' I move that the motion to join the town of Blank in 
an Independence Day celebration be referred to an elected 
committee of three persons, with power to act." 

This motion is useful when more investigation is needed, or 
when a matter proposed in a motion can best be handled by a 
smaller body. The motion must not be confused with the main 
motion to appoint a committee, which will be considered below ; 
the present motion aims to give to a committee a main motion 
which has already been placed before the house. 

Debate on the motion may concern the advantage of referring 
the motion, and the pros and cons of the main motion itself, so 


that the committee, if one is appointed, may be informed as to the 
views and wishes of the society. By amendments the size of the 
committee, the manner of its selection, and the time for its report 
may be determined or changed. If no specification is made, it is 
usually understood that a committee of three will be appointed by 
the president or chairman, and that the committee will report 
as soon as convenient. 

Committee reports and how they are handled are discussed 
on page 327. 

D— A— Amend 

Let us assume as the main motion : " White Street shall 
be paved and sidewalked, from First Street to Twentieth 

1. "I move to amend the motion by striking out the 
word ' Twentieth ' and inserting in its place * Twelfth.' " 

2. "I move to amend the motion by substituting for it 
the following : ' The property owners on White Street shall 
be asked to be present at a hearing on the question of the 
improvement of that street.' " 

3. "I move to amend by dividing the question into two 
questions : paving and sidewalking." 

It will be seen that amending a motion may change its wording, 
or substitute a different motion in its place, or divide it into two 
distinct motions. 

I . The usual purpose of an amendment is to change the word- 
ing of the motion so that it will be more nearly acceptable. If an 
amendment which the maker of the original motion believes in is 
proposed, he and the person who seconds it can accept it, and, 
if there is no objection, it is then incorporated into the motion 
itself without the need of a vote. Otherwise the proposed change 
of wording is put to vote. These changes may include adding, 
inserting, striking out, or striking out and inserting. While the 


proposed amendment is before the house, the debate must be 
confined to the advantage of the change in wording; the main 
motion itself cannot be debated. If the proposed change is carried, 
the chairman then reads the main motion as it has been changed, 
and the debate proceeds on this main motion as amended, which 
must finally be voted on in order to carry- it. Carr^'ing an amend- 
ment never carries the motion it amends. 

\\'hile an amendment is pending, it in turn may be amended. 
Be sure, however, that the proposed new amendment applies 
directly to the first amendment and not to the main motion itself, 
for of course it would not be possible to have two amendments to 
a motion pending at the same time, any more than there could be 
two main motions before the house at once. The process of amend- 
ing an amendment is the same as that of amending a motion as 
explained above. 

An example will make the whole process clear. It is moved 
and seconded, and stated by the chair, " that a new librar}^ build- 
ing, at a cost of not more than $500,000, be erected by the city at 
the corner of High and Green streets." During the debate an 
amendment is moved, seconded, and stated that the words, " at 
the corner of High and Green streets," be struck out and 
" in Liberty Square " be inserted. Then comes discussion about 
the question of location. At this point if somebody should propose 
to amend by changing $500,000 to $750,000, his amendment would 
be declared out of order. But if a member wishes to add to the 
amendment the words, " facing Hill Street," it would be in order 
for him to " move to amend the amendment " to that effect. 
Debate now occurs on the way the building shall face if put in 
Liberty Square. Let us say the amendment to the amendment 
is carried. The amendment as amended now reads, " to strike out 
' at the comer of High and Green streets,' and insert ' in Liberty 
Square, facing Hill Street.' " After further debate, suppose this 
amendment to the motion is carried. This means simply that if 
the librar)' is built, its location will be as voted. The main motion, 
as amended, now reads, " that a new library building, at a cost of 


not more than $500,000, be erected by the city in Liberty Square, 
facing Hill Street," and this motion is of course now open for 
debate. It is also open for further amendment just as if it had 
been stated this way in the beginning. Nothing conclusive is 
decided until the final vote on the main motion. 
This process may be clearly shown as follows : 

1. Proposed inotion : A new library building, to cost not more than 

$500,000, shall be erected by the city at the corner of High 
and Green streets. 

Proposed atnendment : Strike out the words, " at the corner 
of High and Green streets," and insert "in Liberty Square." 
Proposed amendment to the amendment : Add the 
words, " facing Hill Street." 

If the proposed amendment to the amendment is carried, we 
have pending the following : 

2. Proposed motion : A new library building, to cost not more than 

$500,000, shall be erected by the city at the corner of High 
and Green streets. 

P7'oposed atnendment as amended : Strike out the words, 

" at the corner of High and Green streets," and insert 

" in Liberty Square, facing Hill Street." 

If the amendment as amended is carried, we have pending : 

3. Proposed motion, as amended : A new library building, to cost 

not more than $500,000, shall be erected by the city in Liberty 
Square, facing Hill Street. 

2. The substitute motion, another form of amendment, proposes 
to strike out all the words of a motion or amendment, and to put 
in their place a new motion to cover the same need. For example, 
" I move to amend the motion by substituting for it the following : 
' that the city enter into a ten-year lease, for library purposes, of 
the second, third, and fourth floors of the First National Bank 
Building.' " The process is the same as explained above ; the vote 
on the amendment can only change the wording of the question 
before the house. 


3. Amending to divide the question cuts a motion which covers 
two topics into two separate main motions. For example, in the 
case of the question, " I move that the Secretary of State enter 
into negotiations for treaties with Cuba and Panama," if the 
amendment to divide is carried, the first main motion would be, 
"that the Secretar)^ of State enter into negotiations for a treaty 
with Cuba " ; and after this question is disposed of, the next main 
motion would be, " that the Secretary of State enter into negotia- 
tions for a treaty with Panama." 

4. Blanks may be left by the mover of any motion : " I move 
that we appropriate blank dollars for the relief of the war suf- 
ferers." Members nominate various sums and they are all voted 
upon, arranged with the smallest first, until one gets a majority. If 
the blank concerns a period of time, the longest time is arranged 
to have first vote. 

5. Bear in mind that anywhere in the above processes, any 
motion of higher precedence — above ' Amend ' in Table C — 
may be moved, and may temporarily or permanently set aside 
the whole question. 

D— Postpone Indefinitely 

" I move that the motion be postponed indefinitely." 
" I move that the matter be postponed." 

This motion is bracketed with ' Amend ' in Table C because each 
motion has the same precedence : neither may supplant the other. 

When the motion to postpone indefinitely is before the house, 
debate may concern itself with both the question of postponement 
and the main question itself. If the motion to postpone indefinitely 
is carried, it usually disposes permanently of the motion to which 
it is applied. 


D— A— Principal Motion 

" I move that this society hold a debate." 

" I move that the city build a swimming pool." 

" I move that this society adopt the following resolution : 

' Resolved, that foreign immigration should be restricted.' " 
" I move to amend the constitution as follows : . . ." 
" I move that this society rescind its action in voting to 

have a banquet." 

The ordinary motions which introduce topics for consideration 
are called principal motions. Usually they concern new proposals 
and are called 7nain motions. They also include motions to take 
back former acts (revoke, repeal, rescind), and motions to cancel 
(expunge) objectionable statements from the minutes. 

The following, among others, are treated as main motions : an 
amendment to the constitution, by-laws, or rules ; a motion to 
appoint a committee to carry out a stated action or to investigate 
a stated matter ; a motion to discharge a committee or to accept 
or reject a committee's report ; a motion to adjourn at a specified 
time ; a question of privilege. 

The main or principal motion is subject to the application of 
any of the other motions in Table C, and cannot be finally voted 
until all other pending questions are settled. 

Pages 330-333 deal with miscellaneous motions and 
special processes. The niotioti to reconsider will be found 




The Introduction of Business 

1. The member who desires to introduce a motion rises and 
addresses the chairman. " Mr. Chairman " or " Madam Chairman " 
should be the address, unless the person in the chair holds the 
office of president or has some other executive title, in which case 
that title may be used. 

2. The chairman responds with the name of the speaker. 

3. The member states his motion, and resumes his seat. 

4. The chairman calls for a second ; a fair chance for a second 
should be given ever)' motion. 

5. If no second is offered, the chairman announces : " The 
motion is lost for want of a second." Even then a second may 
be offered. 

6. If a second is made, the chairman states the motion and 
calls for debate : " It has been moved and seconded that, etc. 
Are there any remarks on the motion?" (See p. 335.) 

7. One who seconds a motion or calls for a division need not 
rise or ask for recognition. 

8. One who moves any of the following need not wait for 
recognition ; it must be given, even if the motion interrupts 
another speaker (note the quotation marks around these motions, 
in section Y, above) : 

a. Question of privilege. 

i. Call for the orders of the day. 

c. Appeal. 

d. Point of order. 

e. Objection to the consideration of a question. 
/. Notice of a reconsideration. 

9. At the request of the chairman, the maker of a motion or 
an amendment must hand the text of the motion or amendment 
to the secretary in writing. 


The Rules of Debate 

1. If two or more persons ask for recognition at the same 
time, preference should be given in the following order: 

a. The maker of the motion. 

b. One who has not spoken on the motion. 

c. One who seldom speaks. 

d. One opposed to the last speaker. 

e. In other cases, the one who addresses the chair first. 

2. Recognition should not be given to one who remains stand- 
ing while another is speaking, or who rises before the speaker has 
finished, or who approaches the chairman, or who otherwise disturbs 
the meeting. 

3. A speaker must restrict his remarks to the question before 
the house ; he must not discuss personalities or motives. 

4. In referring to an officer or member the speaker should 
avoid using his name. 

5. A member may speak only twice on any motion, not longer 
than ten minutes each time. 

6. The speaker is entitled to a fair hearing. 

7. All parliamentary law is based on equality of members, and 
on the principles of courtesy and gentlemanly behavior. 

The Chairman 

Whoever is in charge of the meeting is the chairman. 
The next paragraph deals with suggestions for a president. 
See the forms on page 335. 

1. See that all is in readiness for the meeting, and call it to 
order at the appointed time : " The meeting will now come to order." 

2. Have at hand for reference : the constitution, by-laws, rules 
of order, standing rules, and the program for the meeting. 

3. Know parliamentary law ; know also how to avoid compli- 
cations ; any short cut is possible by common consent. 


4. Stand when calling for a second, stating a question, taking 
a vote, announcing a vote, and answering questions. Remain 
seated during debate. 

5. Talk loud enough for every word to be heard. 

6. Be decisive, and do not mind being overruled. 

7. Keep the question clearly before the assembly until it is 
finally disposed of. After each vote announce the next question 
pending, and restate the motion immediately before the vote is taken. 

8. If while chairman you wish to discuss a question, yield the 
chair temporarily to another member. Never leave the chair for 
any other purpose. 

9. Request the secretary or another member to state and put 
a motion which refers to the chairman. 

10. As chairman you may vote with the other members when 
the vote is by ballot or by roll call. You may vote after the others 
in an Aye and No vote or in a division, provided your vote will 
change the result (carry the motion by breaking a tie, or defeat it 
by creating a tie). 

11. Adjourn a meeting you cannot control. 

12. Be absolutely fair and impartial. If a question divides the 
meeting into two sides, do not favor either. 

The President 

1. Study the suggestions for the chairman, above. 

2. Study the constitution, by-laws, and rules, and see that they 
are enforced. 

3. When appointing a committee, select persons who are inter- 
ested, who will work, and who represent various points of view. 
The maker of the motion to refer should usually be appointed 
chairman of the committee. 

4. Keep posted on the work of other officers, and of committees, 
and help them when possible. 

5. Represent the society to the outside world : attend to the 
affairs of the society between meetings, and report such trans- 
actions at the following meeting. 


6. Plan the meetings : 

a. See that notices are sent out in good time. 

b. Make reports, with suggestions for action. 

c. Keep a memorandum of topics for business. 

7. Carry out the good suggestions of officers, committees, and 

8. Be a leader as well as a servant. 

The Vice President 

1. Be ready to fill the president's place. 

2. Help the president and other officers, particularly in regard 
to arrangements for the meetings and planning the programs. 

3. Make the office of vice president amount to something. 

The Secretary 

1. In the absence of the chairman, president, and vice president, 
call the meeting to order and hold an election for chairman pro tem. 

2. Notify members about special meetings, appointment on 
committees, etc. 

3. Call the roll when necessary, and keep a record of the 
attendance (see Roll Call, p. 338). 

4. If necessary, keep a record of the recitations in the class. 

5. Be ready to read aloud all communications, reports, laws, 
etc. whenever required. 

6. Assist the chairman in counting the vote in divisions. 

7. Report to the society in regard to all correspondence and 
other activities of your office. 

8. Be ready to tell the chairman about postponed and unfinished 


9. Keep a memorandum of the exact wording of all motions 
proposed. Make the notes so clear that the chairman can refer 

to them. 

10. Know what is the question before the meeting at any 

moment, and what comes next. 


11. Write the minutes (see the forms on page 336) 

a. Include name of organization, place, date, time, and name of 

b. Make a separate paragraph for each order of business, and for 
each general subject considered under the old and new business. 

c. Include a list of those who took part in the program. 

d. Sign the minutes ; when reading the minutes read the signature. 

e. If they are corrected, make the necessary changes at once. 
When they are approved, indorse them " Approved," with the date 
and your initials. 

12. If the constitution, by-laws, or rules are amended, or if 
additions are made, see that the proper changes are made in the 
original copies. 

13. Keep carefully all the records of the organization: minutes, 
constitution, laws, reports, communications. 

14. The secretary is free to take part in the meeting, just the 
same as any other member. 

The Critic 

Below are some of the things in a meeting that a critic 
may watch and report upon. He must not fail to commend 
the good points. 

1. The president: his manner of presiding and his ability. 

2. The minutes and other work of the secretary. 

3. The critic's report. 

4. The program : members taking part, with criticisms on : look- 
ing at the audience ; opening sentence ; announcement of topic ; 
arrangement of talk ; use of hands ; voice ; clearness of diagram, 
if any ; closing sentence ; answering questions, if any ; correct- 
ness of speech ; enthusiasm ; interest ; the program as a whole. 

5. The work of the committees. 

6. The transaction of bu.siness : knowledge of the rules of 
order; attitude of members toward the officers and toward each 
other ; value of the business carried out. 

7. The meeting as a whole ; and general suggestions. 


The Other Officers 

Treasurer. This officer keeps safe the funds of the society, and 
pays them out only by vote of the society and on a written order 
signed by the president or secretary or both. If the work of the 
society is at all complicated, he had best consult a bookkeeping 
teacher about the best way to keep the accounts. His books 
should show the record of each member in payment of his dues, 
and the amount of money received on any given date. Record of 
dues may be kept in columns, with names of members at the left, 
and dates at the top of the columns. It is desirable that the totals 
and balances in each of the various funds should be easily figured at 
any time. At any meeting he should be able to tell the approximate 
amount in the treasury. He should make frequent written reports 
to the society. School classes will of course need no treasurer. 
If a small assessment is voted, the secretary or any other member 
may be instructed to collect and handle the money. The treasurer 
of a society, for the protection of his own reputation, should insist 
that his accounts be audited by a committee representing the 
society. Accounts may be audited quarterly, and in every case 
when the books and money pass into the hands of a new treasurer. 

Sergeant at Arms. A school class should not need a sergeant at 
arms. One is needed when arrangements are necessary as to furni- 
ture, ventilation, errands, care of spectators, etc., or where the 
meeting is large and apt to be disorderly. The sergeant at arms is 
under the direction of the chairman or president, whose orders he 
carries out. 

Historian. This officer keeps a book containing the story of the 
progress of the society, together with press notices, programs, pub- 
lications, photographs, and other documents of historical interest. 

Various combinations and divisions of offices and duties are 
made : financial secretary, to collect the dues and turn the money 
over to the treasurer ; recording secretary, to keep papers and 
minutes ; corresponding secretary, to attend to communications ; 
secretary-treasurer, to cover the duties of both offices. 


Special duties are sometimes given to persons with special titles : 
curator, who has charge of clubrooms and library ; superintendent 
or manager ; librarian ; doorkeeper ; timekeeper ; marshal ; cash- 
ier; inspector; engineer; attorney. Many of these are paid, and 
often are not members of the organization. A paid clerk often 
takes the heavier work of the secretary, and sometimes altogether 
takes the place of a secretary. 


Need for and Kinds of Committees. Committees are appointed 
either iyi} to carry out some action, as, for instance, to arrange for 
and manage a lecture ; or (2) to carry on some ifwestigatio?i, such 
as, for example, to see if conditions at the city jail need improving. 
In either case the organization as a whole is too big and too busy 
to handle the problem, and therefore a smaller group is chosen. 
Selection is usually made by the president, though upon motion 
the society may nominate and elect the members of a committee. 

Some of the duties which must be performed by committees 
need continuous attention, and for such duties standing committees 
are chosen, which have regular meetings and a more or less fixed 
membership. If the officers are elected annually or semiannually, 
each incoming president makes up the list of names for these 
committees. The names of the committees should be listed in 
the l)y-laws, or, if they are of great importance, in the constitution. 
Common standing committees are these : membership, program, 
legislation, clubhouse, finance. Large organizations often have 
an " executive committee " or " board of managers " or " board 
of control " which is made up of the officers of the society and 
a few other members elected by the society. Such a committee 
acts for the society itself, and the society then votes only on 
matters of great importance. 

Temporary duties are handled by special or select committees, 
which go out of office as soon as their reports are made to the 
society. A select committee may be created by a principal motion, 


or by a motion to refer to a committee a matter already before 
the house. 

How Committees Work. If no one is designated as chairman of 
a committee, the first person named or the one receiving the high- 
est number of votes acts as chairman, though the committee itself 
in such a case may choose its own permanent chairman. The 
meetings of the committee may be exactly like the meetings of a 
small assembly except that they usually avoid the more complex 
motions. Indeed, in most of the committees to which young peo- 
ple will belong, no motions should be needed. Informal discussion 
and agreement should be enough. The chairman may delegate to 
each member of the committee some special section of the work 
to be done or a part of the investigation to be made. Such indi- 
vidual or subcommittee work should be under the direction of the 
chairman of the committee, and reports should be made to him. 
Then the committee prepares its report. If the committee is ap- 
pointed to carry out some action, the report will give merely the 
statement of what has been done, together with a financial account 
if any money has been handled. If an investigation has been 
carried on, a more complicated process will be necessary. The 
committee numbers will need to agree on a statement of the prob- 
lem and on the recommendations they intend to make. The chair- 
man, or an elected secretary, or a subcommittee, may be directed to 
prepare and bring to a meeting a proposed report, and the various 
ideas suggested may be debated and voted on. Reports should be 
carefully and clearly arranged, according to some such plan as this : 


1. The reasons for the appointment of the committee. 

2. The manner of investigation. 

3. The results of the investigation. 

4. The recommendations of the committee. 

What is voted by a majority of the members of the committee 
constitutes the report of the committee. Any member or group of 


members of the committee may, however, write out a different 
report, and may propose it as a minority report. 

What is done with the Reports. The report of the committee 
is usually read at the meeting by its chairman. When the time 
comes for reports in the order of business, he may rise and an- 
nounce that his committee has a report to make. If any objection 
is made, a motion to receive the report will be necessary. When 
the report has been read, it is handed to the secretary, and if no 
further action is necessary, the chairman of the meeting may direct 
that it be " placed on file," which means that it be kept among the 
records. But if it is a financial report which needs to be approved, 
or if it contains definite recommendations, then the chairman of 
the committee or somebody else may move that the report be 
approved, accepted, or adopted, all of which terms mean the same 
thing — • that the accounts are satisfactory and shall be paid, or that 
the recommendations shall be carried into effect. Before this 
motion is voted upon, the minority report or reports may be pre- 
sented, and an amendment may be moved to substitute for the 
motion before the house the motion to adopt the minority report. 
In either case, any member of the society may move to amend the 
recommendations of the committee, and of course the amendment 
may be amended, or the whole matter may be referred back to the 
same committee or to another committee, or it may be postponed, 
or laid on the table, etc. 

Sometimes a motion to accept a report includes a clause that 
the committee be discharged, but it is usually taken for granted 
that with its final report a committee is automatically dissolved. 
When a committee report is called for but is not ready, the chair- 
man may report " progress," or he may tell informally what has 
been done so far and what is planned. When there is dissatisfac- 
tion with the work or the report of a committee, a motion may be 
made to discharge the committee, or to reject its report, or to con- 
tinue the committee for a further investigation, or to require a 
report upon a certain date. 

For committee of the whole, see below. 


Some Special Motions 

1. Closing Nominations. This motion is neither debatable nor 
amendable, and requires only a majority vote. 

2. Limiting Debate. See Previous Question, above. 

3. Making a Special Order. See Suspension of Rules, above, 

4. Reconsider. Suppose that in a society which holds weekly meet- 
ings, a motion is voted on, July i. Any person who voted on the 
winning side may on the same day move a reconsideration of the ques- 
tion, provided no other business is before the house. Or he may make 
this motion at the next meeting, July 8, but not at any later meeting. 
The motion to reconsider is debatable if the original motion was de- 
batable, and may have the motion to stop debate and lay on the table 
applied to it. If reconsideration is carried, the former vote on the 
motion is canceled, and the question is before the house in exactly 
the shape it was before the vote was taken. 

If the person who wishes a reconsideration finds other business 
before the house, or if he does not wish the new vote at once, he may 
give notice of a moiion to reconsider. This notice is in order at any 
time, even when another speaker has the floor, and the secretary must 
make record in the minutes that the notice was given. Such a notice 
might be given, in the case we were supposing above, on July i or 
July 8, but not at any later meeting. The person giving the notice 
may call up the motion to reconsider, to be debated and voted on, 
the same day he gave notice, provided the way is open for a main 
motion. Another person than the one giving the notice may not call 
the reconsideration till the next meeting after the notice. 

To sum up for a motion decided July i : Notice of a motion to 
reconsider, or the motion to reconsider, are in order July i and July 8. 
The motion is in order July 1 5, provided notice was given on the 8th. 

Reconsideration cannot be applied to the motion to adjourn, suspend 
the rules, reconsider, lay on the table, and stop debate. If applied to 
motions which hold up the reconsideration of the main question, such 
as postpone, refer, reading papers, etc., it must be voted upon and 
settled at once, and no notice or other delay is possible. Reconsidera- 
tion cannot be amended. Other rules on reconsideration — the most 


technical of all motions and processes — will be found in Robert, 
pp. 73, 184 (rev. ed. p. 156), and in Gregg, pp. 35, 84. The above is a 
mere outline of its use. The student is advised to try simple problems 
in reconsideration first. 

5. Rescind. This is a principal motion (see above). 

6. Rise. This motion is used in committee meetings, and is exactly 
the same as adjourn. 

7. Take from the Table. See Lay on the Table, above. 

Some Special Processes 

1. Committee of the Whole. Whenever the motion to refer to a 
committee or to appoint a committee is in order, it is allowable to 
make the motion to go into the comtnittce of the whole. This means 
that the whole society changes itself temporarily into a committee for 
the consideration of the matter specified by the motion. If the motion 
carries, the chairman usually appoints somebody as chairman of the 
committee of the whole. The meeting then proceeds to talk over the 
subject in an informal way, just as would any other committee. Only 
the motions to recommend to the society, to amend, to postpone in- 
definitely, and to rise (adjourn) are used. Upon the rising of the com- 
mittee the meeting of the society is called to order by its president or 
chairman, and the chairman of the committee of the whole gives its 
report, which is then acted on as explained on page 329. 

2. Executive Session. A secret session of a society, or a short 
secret consultation, may be voted for by a majority of the members. 
All visitors must then retire. Executive sessions should rarely be neces- 
sary. This motion should be in order whenever the motion for the 
pre\aous question is in order. 

3. Filling Blanks. See Amend, above. 

4. Informal Action. The need for and value of informal action 
have been explained at the beginning of this chapter. 

5. Methods of Voting. The usual way is by saying " aye " or " no " 
as the affirmative and negative votes are called for. This is called 
viva-voce voting. 

When there is doubt a division may be called for : " Mr. Chairman, 
I call for a division." This means a counted vote, usually accomplished 
by standing or by raising the hands. Anybody may call for a division 
(discussion may be renewed), and the chairman must take the vote. 


Voting by ballot gives secrecy. The ballots are small, uniform pieces 
of paper on which the members write " yes," " no," or the name of one 
or more of the candidates. The papers are folded once and handed to 
the tellers, who count the vote and report to the chairman. Scoring 
should always be done by means of four marks and the tally. Just 
before any vote is to be taken, the motion to vote by ballot is in order, 
and the majority decides, without debate. 

Elections for office should be held by ballot unless there is a law 
or rule to the contrary. When there is but one candidate the chairman 
may declare the person elected, or, if the rules require a ballot, the 
motion may be made that the secretary be instructed to cast one bal- 
lot for the one candidate. This the secretary does by writing the name 
of the candidate upon a slip of paper and handing it to the chairman. 
The chairman then declares the member elected. 

The roll-call vote gives a permanent record of each person's vote. 
He answers " aye " or " no " as his name is called ; the secretary keeps 
the record, and counts and announces the result. This is called voting 
by yeas and nays. A majority may order a roll-call vote upon any 
question ; in some societies one fifth of the members or even one 
member may demand the yeas and nays. 

Whenever any vote is by division or by yeas and nays, any member 
has the right to change his vote before the final result is announced. 

A straw vote is an unoflficial test vote to show what the members 
believe ; it cannot decide anything. 

6. Nomination and Election. On the day for an election it is cus- 
tomary to announce the election in order as the first thing under new 
business. One who makes a nomination has a right at that time to 
make a speech (see Chapter XI). Nominations do not need seconding. 
The secretary should record the names in order of nomination. A 
member who makes a nomination must not neglect voting for that 
person, at least on the first vote. Some societies have a committee 
to propose nominations, but their report should not prevent other 
indorsements. Some organizations nominate by secret ballot — the 
two or three persons receiving the highest number of votes are placed 
in nomination. Again, other societies have nominations by petition ; 
a person may be placed in nomination if a certain fraction, perhaps 
ten per cent, of the members sign a request that he be a candidate. 
Names should be put on the blackboard or published in some other 


way. When voting by ballot, the vote for all offices should be on the 
same ballot, as is customaiy in governmental elections. In case a 
majority vote for any office is lacking, a new vote must be taken. The 
society may rule to drop out all but the two highest candidates for the 
second election, as many cities now do, otherwise all the names stand 
for the second vote. The constitution may specify when the terms of 
office begin, otherwise the new officers take their places at the con- 
clusion of the election. 

7. Renewal of a Motion. A defeated main motion or amendment 
cannot be again moved at the same session. Other questions may 
usually be renewed whenever debating or voting has taken place in such 
a way as to make the situation different.. That is to say, it is not in 
order to renew a motion just after it has been lost and before condi- 
tions have changed. 

Technical Terms 

1. At Large. One is said to be " member at large," or to be elected 
at large, when he is chosen from among all the members, instead of 
from any one group, or locality, or on account of his holding any office. 

2. Call of the House. An attempt to find absent members and to 
compel them to attend. It is used to obtain a quorum, or to get a full 
vote on a measure before the hoase. 

3. Commit. Same as 7-efer. 

4. Credentials. A written document, signed by at least two officers, 
stating that the person mentioned has a certain office or authority, as, 
for example, that he is a duly elected delegate or representative of 
the society. 

5. Division. A counted vote (see p. 331). 

6. Ex-of&cio. On account of the office; for example, the president 
of a society may be ex-officio a member of the finance committee. 

7. Majority and Plurality. A candidate is said to have a majority 
when he has over half the total number of votes cast ; he has a 
plurality if he has more votes than any other candidate. 

8. Meeting and Session. In ordinary societies these two terms have 
the same meaning — a gathering of members for the consideration of 
reports and the transaction of old and new business. In Congress, 
however, in conventions, and in many other societies, a gathering is 
often adjourned in the midst of the order of business, and the next 


gathering goes on with the same business just as if a recess had 
taken place. Each assembly is called a meeting ; while a completed, 
rounded-out convention or a series of meetings is called a session. 
Thus a session may last all day, three days, or three months ; while 
a meeting will hardly last more than three hours, unless perhaps the 
lunch or supper time is called a recess. If a new meeting hears the 
minutes, reports, and old business, it is a new session also. 

9. Pending. A motion is said to be pending when it has been 
moved, seconded, and stated, and has not yet been voted on, post- 
poned, referred to a committee, or otherwise disposed of. Again, a 
motion is pending if it has become due after a postponement or is 
reported on by a committee. A motion is said to be itntnediately 
pendifig when it is the motion then before the house for vote. 

10. Plurality. See Majority and Plurality, above. 

11. Priority. Same as precedence. A motion is said to have 
priority over another motion when it can supplant it, that is, when 
it takes precedence over the other motion. 

12. Pro tem. When an officer is absent, some other person is put 
in his place temporarily. For example, in the temporary absence of the 
regular secretary, a member may act as secretary pro tem : he serves 
" for the time " only. 

13. Proxy. A written statement, -signed by a member, by which he 
gives his right to vote at a certain meeting to another member. Proxies 
are usually voted only in the case of very important matters, such as 
elections and constitutional amendments. 

14. Quorum. Enough members to hold a meeting. Half the mem- 
bership is the usual rule, although each society may have its own rule. 

15. Session. See Meeting and Session, above. 

16. Sine die. At the end of its session a convention adjourns sine 
die; that is, it adjourns " without a day" set for meeting again. Ordi- 
nary societies simply adjourn till the next regular meeting. 

17. Teller. A person appointed by the chairman to distribute the 
blank ballots and to collect and count them. The chairman must see 
that the tellers are not actively interested in the election, and that they 
represent different opinions in the society. Tellers must not electioneer. 

18. Two-thirds Vote. A two-to-one vote; for example, lo to 5, or 
25 to 1 2. But I 2 to 8 is not a two-thirds vote, because i 2 is not at least 
two thirds of 20, the total number of votes cast. 


19. Viva-voce Vote. The vote taken by answering in unison first 
" aye " and then " no." 

20. Warrant. A document authorizing a person to perform some 
act. such as a paper allowing him to collect a sum of money from 
the treasurer of a society. Such a paper is also called an " order on 
the treasurer." 

Special Forms 

1. Calling for Business. "What is your (further) pleasure?"' "Is 
there any further business to come before the meeting.?" "Are there 
any other motions ? " " The house is now open for new business." 

2. Calling for a Second. " Is there a second to the motion? " " Do 
I hear a second? " " Is the motion seconded? " 

3. Calling for Debate. "Are you ready for the question?" "Is 
there any debate?" "Is there any discussion?" "Are there any 
remarks ? " 

4. Taking a Vote. "Those in favor say 'aye.' Those opposed, 
' no.' " " Those favoring the motion respond by the usual sign," etc. 
" As many as are in favor of the motion please signify the same by say- 
ing ' aye,' " etc. " Those who favor the motion will give their assent by 
responding ' aye,' " etc. In calling for the vote on every motion, the 
chairman should always state briefly but exactly just what the question is. 

5. Committee Reports. See page 327. 

6. Communications. These are read under reports of officers, by the 
secretary ; he reports having received the communications. They should 
be brief and businesslike, else they may not be read at all, on account of 
lack of time. If a communication to a society is to contain a statement 
and a request, see page 102. If it is to contain an announcement, 
see page 176. Communications may be "placed on file," referred to 
committees, or agreed to by means of an ordinary main motion. 

7. Critic's Report. See page 325. The following is an actual report 
of an Oral English class, with initials for the names : 

Critic's Report, Sixth Period Oral English Society, 

May 29, 19 — 

At the beginning of the period a great deal of trouble was caused by 
the negligence of Mr. K. in not writing his critic's report, but this was 
soon straightened out by Mr. S., the president. 


Mr. B. was the first to begin the program, and he gave a very interest- 
ing account of his visit to a gold mine. 

Mr. D.'s talk on the necessity of city ownership of city railways was 
well given but short. 

Next Mr. F. told us how hay is baled. His account was not very clear, 
and if he had more nearly faced the class instead of the blackboard, we 
should have understood him a little better. 

Miss G. gave us some good reasons why girls should take a little manual 
training, and why boys should know a little about domestic science. 

A joke was given by Mr. H., but no one laughed. 

Mr. J.'s announcement regarding the Marathon race was not very clear, 
and he did not emphasize the time and place of the race. 

Mr. G. talked about the formation of coal from a college professor's 
theory. His account was good. 

Mr. M. gave us a few reasons why he thought that girls should be taught 
fencing, but he was not very enthusiastic in his argument. 

A description of the Sierra Madre Mountains was given us by Mr. K. 
His description was good, but short. 

Mr. S. and Mr. M. had a small battle of words on the ability of Mr. M. 
to handle a meeting, but our honorable president quelled the uprising and 
continued with the meeting. 

I do not think that the recall bill, that was passed at the last meeting, 
is fair to the members of the class who cannot handle a meeting as well as 
some others. They will never learn how to conduct a meeting unless they 
are given a chance. 

Mr. S. conducted the meeting very well. 

(Signed) R B 


The critic's report need not be accepted or amended, as it is but the 

opinion of one individual. 

8. Minutes. See page 325. The following is an actual report of a 

secretary of an Oral English class : 

Minutes of the Intermediate Parliamentary Club, 

May 28, 19 — 

The meeting was called to order by Miss A., and Mr. V. was elected 
chairman. Mr. V. chose Mr. A. for secretary and Miss N. for critic. 

The minutes of May 27 were read and approved ; then the critic gave 
his report. 


The chair then called for committee reports. The following reports 
were given : 

Mr. P., Dangers to school children from reckless drivers. 

Miss I., Having wires put underground. 

Miss M., Having more factories in Los Angeles. 

Mr. B., The school study-hall system. 

Miss K., A proper lighting system. 

Miss W., Student government. 

Miss S., Whether or not Los Angeles should own its own street railways. 

Old business was called for, and the motion was that there should 
be a sidewalk from the auditorium to the main walk. It was moved and 
seconded to amend it to read " to the study hall." The amendment was 
lost. Then it was moved and seconded to lay the matter on the table ; the 
motion was carried. 

Under new business it was moved and seconded that we have a boys' 
handball court. It was moved and seconded that the motion be amended 
to read " a court for the girls and a court for the boys." The amendment 
was lost. It was moved and seconded that the motion be amended to 
read " a large gymnasium for the girls." The amendment was carried. The 
motion, which now read " a large gymnasium for the girls," was voted upon 
and carried. 

It was moved and seconded that the boys and girls of the school should 
be allowed to leave the yard at noon. It was moved and seconded that 
the motion be amended to include the boys and girls of all schools. The 
amendment was carried. The motion as amended was now voted upon 
and lost. 

It was moved and seconded that when a pupil is tardy he should make 
up the exact time that he misses. The motion was voted and carried. 

It was moved and seconded that a big cafeteria be built in the yard. It 
was moved, seconded, and carried to lay the matter on the table. 

It was moved and seconded that no teacher should be allowed to leave 
the yard at noon. 

The meeting was adjourned by the chairman at the end of the period. 

(Signed) R. V. A 


After the minutes have been read, the chairman says. "Are there 
any omissions or corrections?" If none are offered, the chairman de- 
clares, " The minutes are approved as read." (A motion is not neces- 
sary, except in very important organizations.) When a correction is 


proposed, if it seems obviously just and no objection is raised, the 
chairman says, "The secretary will please make the change." If the 
propriety of the correction is in doubt, a motion to amend the minutes 
may be made. This is treated as a main motion. Finally, when the 
necessary charges are completed, the chairman announces, " The minutes 
stand approved as corrected." 

The motion " to dispense with the reading of the minutes " in effect 
suspends the order of business, and should therefore require a two- 
thirds vote. 

9. Notices. See Communications, and Reconsider, above. 

10. Resolutions. These usually include two parts, the reasons and 
the conclusions. The following is the common form : 


Whereas, our friend Mr. W. O. .Smith has been a member of this organ- 
ization from its beginning, and has served the society in several important 
offices ; and 

Whereas, Mr. Smith has now signified his intention to withdraw from 
the society on account of his removal to another city ; 

Now, therefore, be it 

Resolved, that we hereby signify our sincere appreciation of the per- 
sonal character and high abilities of Mr. Smith, and that we heartily wish 
him well in his new field of work ; and, be it further 

Resolved, that we recommend Mr. Smith to the fellowship of similar 
organizations in other cities ; and, be it finally 

Resolved, that these resolutions be spread upon the minutes, and that 
copies be sent to Mr. Smith and to the press. 

11. Roll Call. The secretary should list the members' names at the 
left of a page in the front or back of the minute book, ruling columns 
for the dates. Marks should be made for the absentees. If the rules 
allow excuses, the secretary must indicate which absences have been 
excused. Care must be taken to cancel the marks opposite the names 
of those who come late. 

12. Treasurer's Records. See page 326. 





1. A double or simultaneous contest shall be held, each school 
upholding the affirmative of the proposition in the debate at its 
own school and- the negative in the debate at the school of its 

2. The proposition for debate shall be, " Resolved, that . . ." 
When the two schools have agreed to have a debate, the school 
which proposed the contest submits two propositions to the other 
school. The school receiving the proposition selects one of these 
for the debate, and notifies the first school within one week from 
the time the two propositions were received. 

3. The date shall be on . . ., at . . . p.m. In most cases there 
should be from six to ten weeks allowed for preparation, though 
debates may often be prepared in much shorter time. 

4. The number of speakers on each side shall be two. 

5. The time allowed each speaker shall be as follows : 

Constructive Speeches 

1. First affirmative lo minutes 

2. P'irst negative 12 minutes 

3. Second affirmative 12 minutes 

4. Second negative 12 minutes 



Refutation Speeches 

5. First affirmative 6 minutes 

6. First negative 6 minutes 

7. Second affirmative 6 minutes 

8. Second negative 6 minutes 

Final Rebuttal 

9. First affirmative 4 minutes 

If it seems best to have shorter speeches, the opening speech may be 
six minutes, each of the next three may be eight minutes, the refu- 
tation speeches each four minutes, and the final speech two minutes. 

6. Judges shall be selected by the principals of the tv^o schools. 
Each principal may send to the other the names of ten persons 
who would be acceptable as judges at his own school. The other 
principal indicates his preferences, and from the returned list the 
first principal chooses the judges for the debate at his school, and 
communicates with them. Requests should be sent at least two 
weeks in advance. In case a person asked cannot serve, another 
on the list is tried. Judges should be reminded a day or two 
before the contest. 

Teachers are the best judges for school debates. Lawyers pay 
too much attention to technicalities. If the judges are men who sel- 
dom hear girls debate, there may be some unfair favor shown. 
Ministers may show favor in questions based on moral issues. 

7. Other officers of the debate should be as follows: At each 
debate the president of the debating society of the home school 
may be the chairman. Two students, one from each school, may 
act as timekeepers for the debaters. 

8. Expenses of the judges are met by the school at which they 
serve. Debaters' expenses are met by themselves, or by the school 
to which they belong. 

9. The decision in each debate is found by the independent 
votes of the three judges. (If scoring is desired, see section 2. 


below.) Judges should be instructed as follows : Favor those who 
use the extempore style of speaking. Subject matter is to be con- 
sidered two or three times as important as delivery and diction 
together. Teamwork should be considered — cooperation in argu- 
ment between the two speakers, as shown by the division of the 
points, summaries, absence of overlapping, etc. The award should 
be made only upon arguments presented and arguments met, and 
not upon the merits of the proposition as believed by the judges. 
10. General rules : 

a. No school shall submit a proposition for debate which it has 
debated with another school within the two previous years. 

b. Undergraduate students, who have not completed the work required 
for graduation, who are each doing the full amount of work as regular 
students, and who are each satisfactory at the time of the debate in three 
fourths of their work, shall be allowed to take part in a debate. Princi- 
pals shall exchange credentials. 

c. No applause shall be allowed during a speech. 

d. Nothing shall be done or said to the judges, outside the actual 
debate, which might in any way influence their decision. 

e. No prompting shall be allowed. No signaling of any kind shall 
be allowed, except the rapping of the timekeepers, of the chairman, or 
of a colleague. 

f. In case any map, chart, diagram, or other graphic aid is used by any 
debater, such aid shall be on display only during the time allotted to the 
school using it, and in such a manner that it is distinctly visible to the 
opposing team. (By mutual agreement, either or both of these provisions 
may be waived.) Such map or other aid shall, after the speech in which 
it is first displayed, pass into the keeping of the chairman during the 
remainder of the debate, and may be used thereafter by any debater. 


1. Announce the contest and appoint a time for the trials. This 
time should be from seven to fourteen days after the announce- 

2. Post the conditions for the trials : 


a. Each contestant prepares a speech not to exceed six minutes in 
length, on either side of the proposition to be used in the debate. 

b. The teacher will prepare from five to ten questions or statements, 
a copy of which will be handed each speaker six minutes before his 
speech is to begin. Two of these questions or statements must be 
answered or refuted by the speaker. 

c. The contestants draw lots for the order of speaking, and each 
remains outside the room until called to speak. 

d. Three teachers act as judges. They should have before them the 
topics for refutation, and should watch for the answers. The four best 
debaters should be selected, regardless of the side taken. If the judges 
wish it, candidates may be recalled to undergo further tests or questioning. 

e. Places on the two debating teams are assigned by the debating 
teacher, or may be chosen by the debaters, beginning with the speaker 
who is awarded first place in the trials. 

3. The four debaters compare notes, prepare briefs, and con- 
sult with the teacher about briefs, division of points, study, practice, 
etc. Debaters must expect only criticism and general suggestions 
from the teachers ; the debate is between students, not teachers. 
The following policies for teachers are worthy of consideration : 
Debaters may interview teachers or other persons for opinions and 
arguments. Teachers may suggest sources, and may give debaters 
books or other printed matter containing material on the question. 
Teachers may criticize briefs which have been prepared by students, 
but such criticism should not involve the teacher's doing work for 
the student. No teacher, or other person, should write or make an 
abstract or brief of any argument for a debater. Short written 
answers to specific questions may be obtained from authorities who 
are to be quoted in the debate. Teachers may argue with students, 
and give them oral arguments to refute. Teachers may hear prac- 
tice speeches, and criticize the work of the debaters. They may 
work with, but noty^r, the debaters ; no teacher should in any way 
allow himself to substitute his own activity for that of his students. 
In order that the debate may be fair, and the issues squarely met. 
and that all tricks, quibbling, and mere cleverness may be avoided, 


the teachers in the two schools, in case any doubt arises as the 
study proceeds, should correspond in regard to the interpretation 
which should be put upon the proposition. 


1. Advertise the debate, and arrange for handling the audience. 

2. Prepare blanks for the judges. These should contain the 
statement of the proposition, the names of the speakers and their 
order, and the necessars^ directions for judging. 

3. Arrange for music after the debate, if desired. 

4. Arrange the room : 

a. Tables and chairs at each side of the stage, for the debaters. 

b. Table and three chairs at back of stage, for chairman and time- 

c. Stand or small table at front of stage, for speaker. 

d. Water for the debaters ; paper for the timekeepers. 

5. Receive visiting debaters and judges. Pay each judge's 
expenses ; give the judges their blanks and sheets of blank paper. 
Have a quiet place ready for visiting debaters if they wish to 
consult. Introduce all debaters to the judges. Show the judges 
to their seats. 


1. The chairman announces the proposition, the schools, the 
sides, the debaters' names, and the judges. He may speak of the 
debate which is going on at the other school. It is the duty of 
the chairman to keep the meeting in order, to introduce the 
speakers, and to aid in enforcing the rules and conditions of the 
debate. If a debater fails to observe the signal of the timekeepers, 
the chairman should use the gavel until he stops. I'he chairman 
announces the decision of the judges. 

2. Any debater or any other person officially connected with 
either school may " rise to a point of order " if there is a misst£u;;e- 
m'ent of the proposition or a gross breach of the rules. 


3. Timekeepers keep time for every speech. They should keep 
independent record of the times, and these records should be so 
clearly labeled and recorded that any person can understand 
them. To avoid any mistake they should compare notes as the 
time for a signal approaches. The signals for each team may be 
given by the timekeeper from that school or by the chairman. In 
case of disagreement the matter should at once be referred to 
the chairman for decision. The debaters should be consulted in 
reference to the kind of signal desired. Generally two taps given 
two minutes before time is up will serve as a warning, and three 
or four taps will signal the expiration of the time allotted. The 
taps should be loud enough so that they cannot possibly be 

4. Judges should each write " Affirmative " or " Negative " on 
a slip of paper. 

5. A teacher should collect the ballots of the judges, open them 
with a representative of the other school, and send the result to 
the chairman. If word has come from the other school, that too 
should be announced. 


The Advantages to be Gained. The benefit of a debating league 
is that it offers a regular time and a known method for holding 
the debates, as well as a goal for consistent effort and an incentive 
for careful preparation. The league debaters, in the eyes of the 
students interested in debating, will stand at the top of the ladder, 
and if they are patriotic, will help many others to climb upward. 

The championship incentive may be made a helpful one, though 
no doubt its importance will dwindle as our debating comes to 
have a better basis. If the winning school must be found, how- 
ever, scoring becomes necessary, and winners must be matched 
with winners. The plans outlined below will serve for these pur- 
poses, although other schemes are treated in section 4, below. 


Organization and Features of a League. Anybody may send out 
letters calling a meeting of representatives of schools or societies 
interested in forming a league. Each school may have one teacher 
and one student representative. A meeting may be held soon 
after school begins, to arrange the first series of debates, and 
other meetings may be held just after each series, and an annual 
meeting a few weeks before the close of the year. Three series 
each year are recommended. The by-laws should provide for annual 
dues, duties of officers, and auditing, and may deal with a method 
of securing a post-card vote, a plan for paying transportation of 
delegates, and other details of policy. The rules of debate may 
or may not be a part of the by-laws ; they should deal with the 
plans for arranging and conducting the debates. 

Below are given some further suggestions for league regula- 
tions : Schools matched may draw lots to determine which school 
is to submit propositions. These propositions should be submitted 
within one week from the meeting at which the schools are paired. 
Schools which are very small may be permitted to use the debaters 
of the first series in the second contests ; medium-sized schools 
may be allowed to use only two of the four debaters ; while large 
schools should use no debaters of the first debates in the second 
series. (The figures for this rule may be taken as follows : small, 
less than 500 ; medium, 500 to 1000 ; large, over 1000.) In case 
the number of schools in the league is an odd number, the last 
three schools may conduct a triangular debate. The rules should 
provide for hearing and acting on protests. Half the proceeds of 
each of the debates of the championship contest should go to the 
league treasury. If it is feasible, a pamphlet should be printed each 
fall, giving the constitution, by-laws, rules, names of schools belong- 
ing, names of delegates and officers, and a report of the league's 
activities and the standing of the schools for the previous year. 

Scoring. Let us suppose that we have a debating league of 
eleven schools, and that these schools are matched in pairs for 


simultaneous debates, except that three of them will hold a tri- 
angular debate in order that all the schools may be included. 

The debate at each school is complete in itself, without refer- 
ence to the debate at any other school. Each of the three judges 
marks each debater, considering all his speeches throughout the 
debate, on a basis of loo per cent — 75 per cent for argument, and 
25 per cent for delivery and diction. Each judge then adds the 
marks of the two debaters on each side, and divides between the 
two sides a total of five points for teamwork, making any division 
of the points he thinks best; as, for example, four points to one 
side and one point to the other. He then adds these points to the 
previously obtained sums, and the resulting figures stand as the 
final marks of that judge for the two schools. He may finally sub- 
tract the smaller score from the larger, and fill in a blank stating : 

" The debate is awarded to the side, by a difference of 


Teachers, acting as tellers, should collect the reports of the 
judges and send the result (the number of decisions for each side) 
to the chairman of the meeting to be announced. 

Various methods of determining the standing of schools in a 
league are discussed in section 4, below. The plan here proposed is 
based on the number of judges who award the debate to each school. 
Let us tabulate a possible outcome of a debating series, based on 
eleven debates, one at each school, all occurring at the same time. 

In the tabulation opposite the scores are obtained as follows : 
School A won the decisions of four judges in all, winning one 
debate. We shall therefore credit School A with the number of 
judges' decisions won in its two debates, plus the number of 
debates won. Its score is therefore five points. School B has 
two judges and one debate ; its score is therefore three points. 
School C has four judges and two debates ; therefore its score is 
six points. The other scores are easily determined. The purpose of 
arbitrarily adding one point for each debate won is to avoid unfair 


tie scores ; for example, schools A and C would be tied in the 
number of judges, but C has won two debates to but one by A. 

In case any judge calls a debate a tie, half a point should go to 
each school. If the points for judges' decisions in any debate are tied 
(i^ for each school), the one point for winning the debate should 
likewise be divided, making the score two points for either school. 

In case a debate is defaulted, the school defaulting receives no 
points, the other school eight points. 

Number of Judges' Decisions won by Each School 

At School A — A, 3 


At School B — B, 2 judges. 

B, 0; 


A, I judge. 

At School C— C, 2 


At School D — D, I judge. 

D, I. 


C, 2 judges. 

At School E E, 2 j 


At School F — F, li judges. 

F, I J 


E, 4 judges. 

At School G — G, 3 


At School H — H, I judge. 

H, judges. 

G, 2 judges. 

At I — I, 3 judges. At J - 

— J, judges. At K — K, judges 

J, judges. 

K, 3 judges. I, 3 judges. 



School A — 5 points. 

I. School I — 8 points. 

School B — 3 points. 

2. School G — 7 points. 

School C — 6 points. 

3. School C — 6 points. 

School D — 2 points. 

f School A — 5 points. 
\ School E — 5 points. 

School E — 5 points. 

School F — 3 points. 

6. School K — 4 points. 

School G — 7 points. 

^ J School F — 3 points. 
\ School _B — 3 points. 

School H — I point. 

School I — 8 points. 

9. School D — 2 points. 

School J — points. 

10. School H — I point. 

School K — 4 pc 


1 1 . School J — points. 


The purpose of asking each judge to use per cents in his rating 
of the speakers is that this method gives a better basis for detailed 
comparison of the four debaters. The judges are likely to do more 
careful work than if they are required merely to write the name of 
the winning side on a slip of paper. Furthermore, in case of a tie 
score, it is a satisfaction to examine the reports to ascertain the 
margins by which the different judges decided. But the fact that 
one judge awards the debate by a difference of twenty-five points 
while another sets the difference at five has little significance, and 
should not be used in determining the official standings. It is 
almost useless to compare the scores of two judges, because of the 
fact that there is no lower standard from which to proceed. It is 
impossible to say what kind of speech is worth o per cent, lo per 
cent, or 50 per cent. (It is difficult enough to estimate what is 
worth 100 per cent!) As a consequence of this difficulty, one 
judge will separate the best and the worst speakers by forty 
points, and another by ten. 

Matching the Schools. The schools in the league may be 
matched by lot for the first series of debates each year. For 
the second series those schools which have the nearest scores 
are matched, beginning with the highest two. In the case of the 
eleven schools ranked above, schools A and E will draw lots, one 
of them debating with C and the other with K ; and schools D, H, 
and J may hold a triangular contest. Matching for a third series 
is accomplished by a similar plan, the scores of the year to date 
being added. If a championship debate is held, the highest two 
(or three) schools should be the contestants. 


A School Debating Society. Every school should have a debating 
society. It can become a great help in making students realize the 
importance and value of debating, and its members can constantly 
be on the lookout for new students to join the club. If it seems 


best, active membership may be secured by participation in liie 
debating activities of the school. The society may vote on propo- 
sitions to be submitted or to be accepted, select the judges for the 
trials, select the student delegate to the debating league, appoint 
committees of arrangement and of entertainment for the debates, 
hold social meetings, and act in such other matters as shall be 
acceptable to the teacher of debating. Its president acts as chair- 
man at the debates at the home school. He appoints the time- 
keepers, one to act at each school. The secretary may help with 
the correspondence. 

Unless the w^ork of the school furnishes enough debating activity 
for all the members of the society, debates should be arranged to 
give the members training and development. For this purpose a 
committee may be given power to arrange so that every member 
shall take part in at least one debate each semester. 

An Interclass Tournament. An interclass series of debates may 
be held during a short space of time if all the debates are on the 
same proposition. The proposition should be carefully selected ; 
it should be one of great interest, and if possible, one of large 
meaning, so that the hearers of the last debate will still be inter- 
ested in the subject. 

The first duty is to select four representatives from each class. 
Let us suppose that all four classes are to compete. Trials may 
be held for each year separately. In arranging the dates, the 
lower classes may be given the benefit of coming last, so that they 
may hear the talks of the upper-class students. There is no need 
of excluding from the room where a trial is being held any except 
those students who are yet to speak at that particular meeting. 

Let us consider a hypothetical arrangement for the trials. Sup- 
pose the tournament and the proposition are announced on Mon- 
day, October i. The senior speeches may be set for Monday, 
October 8, after school. Each senior student who wishes to try 
may prepare a four-minute talk on either side of the question. 


Refutation statements may be required, as suggested earlier. The 
junior trial may be held on the next day, Tuesday, the 9th, that 
for the sophomores on Wednesday, and that for the freshmen on 
Thursday. Sides are arranged as explained in connection with the 
interschool debate. 

The first debate may be held on or about Monday, October 29, 
between the senior affirmative team and the junior negative. Se- 
lection of judges is to be made by the debaters ; the scoring should 
be done as directed above under the heading, Scoring; and the 
time limit for the speeches should be determined by the average 
ability of the school's speakers and the amount of time available. 
On Tuesday, the 30th, may be held the debate between the junior 
affirmative team and the senior negative. On Thursday, the 31st, 
the sophomore affirmative team meets the freshman negative ; and 
on Friday, November i, the freshman affirmative team meets the 
sophomore negative. 

The four preliminary debates have now been provided for, and 
the addition of the scores will show that one of the two lower 
classes has won over the other, and that one of the upper classes 
has likewise won over the opposing class. Tet us say that the fresh- 
man and junior years are the winners. Next, then, two final debates 
must be held. On Tuesday, November 5, the junior affirmative 
team may debate the freshman negative ; and on Thursday, the 
7th, the freshman affirmative team may meet the junior negative. 
Perhaps these final debates may be held before the whole school, 
or before the interested classes. The winning class may hold an 
exhibition debate, its affirmative team against its negative team. 

If there are three, five, six, or eight classes entered in the tour- 
nament, instead of four, it will be necessary merely to eliminate 
one class after another to find the best class. 

If the losing teams will only continue their interest, they can 
hold some excellent debates against other classes, or among them- 
selves, and so obtain a large amount of practice. 


A Class in Debating. A school which hopes to develop good 
debaters should have a class in argumentation meeting three, four, 
or five times a week, for at least a semester. Almost any school 
will organize such a class if enough students ask for it. 

During half or two thirds of the course, three days a week (per- 
haps Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays) should be devoted to 
study, recitations, and explanations on the principles of argument 
and debating, and to exercises on particular phases of the subject. 
During the latter part of the term these three days may be used in 
practicing and delivering arguments and in holding debates. 

On Fridays the class may hold a debate on a proposition previ- 
ously selected. The class may divide into two sides, and the debate 
may be conducted according to the plan proposed on page 270. 
If any students find difficulty in deciding which side of the proposi- 
tion to uphold, let them hear the first few talks on the subject be- 
fore deciding. If it seems desirable, the students on each side may 
choose a leader to determine the order of speaking. The teacher 
may act as chairman, and may note down on slips of paper 
suggestions for improvement to give to individual students. The 
teacher may leave till Mondays his general criticisms of the debates. 

Mondays may be used in holding informal discussions on topics 
of current interest. The subject should be known at least a few 
days ahead, and everybody should come prepared to speak on it. 

If a second semester of argumentation is given, the principles 
of argumentation may be reviewed in the light of experience 
gained, and formal discussions and debates may be held. 


Following the order of topics used above, we shall now consider 
some variations in the arranging and conducting of debates. 

Triangular Debate, 'i'hree schools, instead of two, may hold 
simultaneous debates. Each school keeps its affirmative team at 
home. School A sends its negative team to School B ; School B's 


goes to School C ; and School C's goes to School A. The direc- 
tion of traveling of the negative teams, unless there is a different 
agreement, may be from left to right. 

The proposition may be selected at a conference of representa- 
tives of the three schools. If such a conference is impracticable, 
either of two other plans may be used. Schools A and B may 
each send a proposition to School C, and School C may select 
one of them, and notify the other tv^^o schools. Or each of the 
three schools may mail to the other two schools two propositions ; 
and each school, using the six different propositions so collected, 
may vote its first, second, and third preferences, and send this 
vote to the other schools. Counting five points for a first choice 
by any school, three points for a second choice, and one point for 
a third choice, the proposition receiving the highest score is chosen 
for the triangular debate. 

All other arrangements may be the same as those outlined 
above for a double debate. 

Single Debate. The proposition for a single debate must be 
selected by one school and the sides chosen by the other. The 
proposition must be so evenly balanced that neither school will be 
at a disadvantage. This is difficult in view of the fact that events 
may happen to upset the balance. Arrangements, scoring, etc. 
may be the same as for a simultaneous debate. 

Sides chosen before the Audience. The two schools concerned 
may agree on the proposition, and all debaters prepare to speak 
on either side of the question. Ten minutes before the debate 
is to begin (this time may be longer if desired), lots are drawn to 
determine the sides. This plan may be used for a simultaneous 
debate, by having the drawing at one of the schools and telephon- 
ing the result to the other, at which the debate is conducted with 
the sides of the two schools reversed. 

Proposition selected shortly before the Debate. The general 
topic of the debate, such as Mexico, Tariff, Poverty, etc., is 


selected from sLx to ten weeks before the time of the debate. 
Some person connected with neither school is asked to formulate 
a proposition, and to send it in one, two, or three sealed enve- 
lopes, according as the debate is single, double, or triangular. The 
envelope is opened at each school at the agreed time, all debaters 
having the same amount of time to prepare outlines and otherwise 
make ready for the debate. The sides may be drawn, or the home 
teams may take the affirmative if the debate is simultaneous. 

Three Speakers on Each Side. The strongest debater of a three- 
man team should come first on the affirmative side, and the next 
best last. The best negative should be last, and the next best first. 
If each debater appears twice, the plan may be as follows. The 
first six speeches are limited to ten minutes each. After the third 
negative speech in the first round of speeches, the rebuttal speeches 
begin with the first negative, followed by the second affirmative 
speaker, then the others in this order — second negative, third 
affirmative, third negative, first affirmative. This arrangement 
brings two negative speeches together, but it brings the affirm- 
ative side last, and it cuts down the whole number of speeches 
from thirteen to twelve. The rebuttal speeches may be limited 
to five minutes each. 

No Special Rebuttal Speeches. The first speaker may be given 
fifteen minutes, each of the others eighteen, and the first affirmative 
five minutes for rebuttal. 

Time Division Optional. Each speaker may be allowed a total 
of eighteen minutes for his two speeches. Not more than ten 
minutes should be allowed for the rebuttal speech. Regardless 
of the time used in the first two speeches, the first affirmative 
should be allowed four minutes for final rebuttal. 

No Decision. The interesting debates held in classes, in which 
no decisions are rendered, show that judges are not a necessary 
part of the equipment of a debate. The best of debates can be 
held without any decision, the debate being over when the debaters 


have finished. If it is desired, persons in the audience may be 
allowed to speak on the question after the debate is over, or to 
ask questions of the debaters. 

Trials to select Debaters. Ability to think quickly and to adapt 
the argument to the exigencies of the occasion may be developed 
by requiring the candidates for the debate to study a general 
topic, and by giving them a definite proposition just before their 
speeches. This proposition should be closely related to the propo- 
sition for the debate. Each speaker should be allowed to choose 
either the affirmative or the negative side. Another method is 
to put the candidates into actual contests on the subject for the 
debate. In groups of four, they may be required to carry out 
complete debates, with the speeches half as long as they are to 
be in the interschool debate. 

Other Methods of Scoring. Some leagues allow 60 per cent for 
argument, and 40 per cent for delivery and diction ; others make 
the division 90 per cent and 10 per cent. Even if judges are told 
to mark on argument entirely, fluent speaking would make the 
argument seem better. It is difficult to separate the matter from 
the style. Perhaps the only good way is for each judge to take 
notes on the argument of each side, and to compare these notes 
before making his decision. 

The following is a different method for tallying the judges' reports. 
Beginning with the method of scoring explained above, follow that plan 
through the rule where each judge adds the points for teamwork and 
thus obtains the final marks for the affirmative and for the negative. 
Let the teller take each report in this form. He then compares the 
four marks given the individual speakers, and adds enough points to 
the highest of these marks to make the record of that debater read 
100 per cent. The marks of the other three debaters are then raised 
by the same amount. (This raises the marks given by the three judges 
to a common standard.) The teller next adds these revised marks on 
each judge's report for the affirmative and for the negative, and adds 
the credits for teamwork as indicated by the judge. Next these scores 
given by the three judges are added together for the affirmative and 


for the negative. Each score is now divided by three, to obtain the 
average. This may stand as the final score of the debate. In case the 
marks of one judge outweigh those of the other two, enough points 
should be added to the score of the side winning the decision of two 
judges to cause that side to win by one point. 

Sometimes ten points are added to the side winning the decision 
of two judges ; this insures matching of winning teams for the next 
series of debates. In case of defaults the scores may be awarded by 
a system of averages. Some leagues disregard the report of a judge 
whose marks outweigh those of the other two judges, and make up 
the final scores from the reports of the two " good " judges. 

The Debating League of California .has a plan of scoring which 
avoids marking individual debaters. The judges are each instructed 
to distribute between the two teams sixty points on argument, twenty 
points on delivery, ten points on teamwork, and ten points on composi- 
tion. The tellers add together the points given to the affirmative and 
negative respectively, and divide by three. A judge's report which 
outbalances the other two reports is thrown out. Five points are added 
to the score of the winning team. 

In all the cases considered above the standings of the two 
schools for both of the simultaneous debates are obtained by 
adding the scores of the two teams belonging to each school. 

Selecting Judges by Lot. The league members from each 
school may bring to the meeting before a debating series the 
names of five persons who are willing to serve as judges. All 
the names are put on slips and drawn by lot, five names by each 
school. If a school draws a name it proposed, that name is put 
back, as are those of persons who for any reason are not satis- 
factory to either of the two schools concerned. Objection may be 
raised on the ground of residence near one school, or of connec- 
tion with one of the schools in a way which might influence the 
judge. The first three persons whose names are so drawn and 
approved shall be asked to serve as judges at the school by which 
the names are drawn, and the other two shall be asked in case 
of refusals. 


The Same Resolution for all the Schools. A system of prefer- 
ential voting, as explained above under Triangular Debate, may 
be used to select a proposition for all the schools of the league. 

The Same Proposition for Successive Debates. If a league is 
composed of several schools situated near each other, a tourna- 
ment may be held on the same question. Simultaneous debates 
in eight schools, for example, may be held on one Friday ; on 
the following Friday the four winning schools may hold debates ; 
and on the third Friday final simultaneous debates may be held. 
The matching may be made by lot, and the propositions selected 
by preferential vote. 

Individual Competitions. A debate is sometimes held for the 
sole purpose of finding the best speaker. The places may be 
assigned by lot. Each speaker should appear twice. Each judge 
should mark his first, second, and third choices, and the five-, 
three-, and one-point system may be used. 

No Special Help by Teachers. The Debating League of Cali- 
fornia has a plan by which all the propositions to be used in each 
series of debates are selected some time ahead, and from this list 
a committee assigns the resolutions by lot to the various pairs of 
schools. This assignment is made not more than six weeks before 
the date of the series. The principals exchange the following 
statement : " After the schools were paired the contestants re- 
ceived no assistance in organization, correction of manuscript, or 
rehearsal from any paid coach, the faculty, or any member thereof." 
It is understood that this statement is not to prevent the holding 
of a practice debate not more than five days prior to the contest 
in the presence of the students and faculty of their own school, 
on which debate public criticism may be offered. 



Many of the resolutions in this list will be found suitable for 
debate at almost any time and place. Many others will need 
rewording. A few will soon be out of date ; a few others are 
ahead of their time. Some are debatable propositions in one 
section of the country, but are one-sided in other sections. The 
" Recall of Judges," as a debatable question, traveled from West 
to East ; it is now hardly debatable in the West, and may before 
long cease to be debatable anywhere. 

Some such propositions as the building of a new schoolhouse 
and public purchase of street-car lines may seem to be easier for 
the affirmative than for the negative until it is seen that the 
financial argument favors the negative. 

Almost any topic may be narrowed if desired ; for example, 
" The private ownership of the street-car lines is detrimental to 
the interests of the people of this city." 

To test whether or not any given proposition is really debatable, 
try to find the issues involved in the proposition and see if they 
are evenly balanced. 

The propositions are divided into the following groups : 
A. Educational; B. National affairs; C. Local interests; D. Civics, 
economics, and sociology ; E. Science; F. Athletics; G. Humorous; 
H. Miscellaneous. 


1. Algebra should be taught in the grammar school. 

2. English grammar should be required in the high school. 

3. Arithmetic should be required of all high-school pupils. 



4. Studies in secondary schools should be completely elective. 

5. The principles and progress of international brotherhood should 
be taught in all schools. 

6. Esperanto should be taught in the public schools. 

7. Public schools should teach trades. 

8. Economics should be taught in the high schools. 

9. Lessons in the fundamental principles of economics should be 
given in the grammar school. 

10. The vaccination of pupils in the public schools should be 

11. The honor system of conducting examinations is practicable 
only in small schools. 

12. The training of American boys in military tactics is against the 
best interests of the nation. 

13. Self-government in school is a success. 

14. Coeducation in the ■ grades should be abolished. 

15. The giving of prizes for scholarship promotes the best interests 
of the students. 

16. Home study should be required of pupils in the grade. 

17. A college education is of greater advantage to a business man 
than the same amount of time spent in business experience. 

18. A state university should be established in this part of the state. 

19. The commercial course of school should be four years in 


20. school should have a swimming tank. 

21. school should have a printing press. 

22. Printing should be taught in the high schools. 

23. Tennis courts should be provided by the Board of Education. 

24. Athletic materials should be paid for by pupils using them. 

25. High-school pupils should be furnished with free textbooks. 
. 26. Lunch rooms should be provided for schools. 

27. Athletics are beneficial to a school's scholarship. 

28. The Boy Scout movement should be managed by the schools. 

29. Physiology, with special attention to the effects of intoxicants 
and narcotics on the system, should be taught in all the schools. 

30. Military drill should be a part of every high-school course. 

31. School savings banks should be established. 

32. Dances on school premises should be prohibited. 


33. A broad course of study in the high school is preferable to 
vocational training. 

34. Colleges should offer courses to fit men and women for public 

35. Vacation schools should be established. 

36. Gymnasium work should be required of all students. 

37. This school should have a band. 

38. French [German, Italian, Spanish] is the most useful foreign 

39. The study of Greek in the high school should be discontinued. 

40. Student self-government is a better means by which to prepare 
pupils for citizenship than are the studies of history and civics. 

41. Shakespeare's " Merchant of Venice " condemns the Christians 
more than it does the Jews. 

42. Pupils who steal in school should be dealt with by the citj 

43. Final examinations should be abolished. 

44. Music lessons are as important as school studies. 

45. The study of algebra is a waste of time for most girls. 

46. A training in blind obedience is beneficial. 

47. Schoolhouses in the city of should be built of fireproof 


48. Secret societies in high schools should be prohibited. 

49. Small high schools are preferable to large schools. 

50. Small colleges are preferable to large colleges. 

51. The work of students on the school paper should count toward 
their graduation. 

52. The lists of the Simplified Spelling Board should be generally 
adopted in the United States. 

63. Married women should be allowed to teach in the public schools. 

54. Secret societies in the high school should be regulated rather, 
than prohibited. 

55. One large building for a high school is preferable to several 
smaller ones. 

56. Jim Hawkins, in " Treasure Island," was foolhardy rather than 

(Write propositions based on other books.) 



1. The United States is justified in excluding Chinese laborers. 

2. The United States government should own and operate all rail- 
roads doing an interstate business. 

3. The United States government should own the telegraph lines 
within its boundaries. 

4. The United States should gradually abandon the protective tariff. 

5. Trade between the United States and Canada should be free. 

6. Raw materials should be on the free list. 

7. Sugar imported into the United States should be on the free list. 

8. A high protective tariff helps to keep wages high. 

9. The Philippine Islands should be given their independence within 
ten years. 

10. Postage on letters should be reduced to one cent. 

11. The president should be elected for a term of six years, and 
should not be eligible for reelection. 

12. The national government should force the Southern states to 
allow the negro to vote. 

13. Woman suffrage should be adopted by an amendment to the 
federal constitution. 

14. The president should be elected by direct popular vote. 

15. The judges of the Supreme Court should be subject to the recall. 

16. To own territory in the tropics is disadvantageous to the United 

17. The system of pensions fostered by the Republican party is wise 
and just. 

18. The Democratic party is more worthy of support than the 
Republican party. 

19. The interests of laboring classes require their allegiance to one 
national party. 

20. The present policy of the government toward the American 
Indians is justifiable. 

21 . The old battleships should be used for fortifications. 

22. The Pacific coast should be better protected against attack. 

23. The Panama Canal should be more strongly fortified. 

24. It is for the best interests of the United States to maintain a 
large navy [army]. 


25. The United States should maintain fewer navy yards than at 
the present time. 

26. The Progressives were justified in forming a new political party. 

27. An easier method of amending the United States Constitution 
should be adopted. 

28. Cuba should be annexed to the United States. 

29. The United States should establish an old-age pension system. 

30. The white citizens of the Southern states are justified in passing 
laws to maintain control of state governments. 

31. Corporations should not be allowed to contribute to campaign 

32. The United States acted with justice in acquiring the canal zone. 


1. The city should erect a new library building [city hall, fire house, 
schoolhouse, public baths, bridge, jail, power plant]. 

2. The land at the comer of and streets should be used 

for a new playground [park]. 

3. The city should have a union station. 

4. The river should be improved by . 

5. The railway should be compelled to erect a new 


6. The railway should be compelled to pave its right of way. 

7. Theaters in the city should be closed on Sunday. 

8. Billboards should be abolished. 

9. The city speed limit should be fixed at ten [fifteen] miles an hour. 

10. No automobiles should be allowed to stand on the main streets 
(name them) more than half an hour at a time. 

11. Vehicles should be required to pass the center of the cross street 
before making a turn to the left. 

12. Owners of vacant lots should be required to keep them clear 
of weeds. 

13. The height of buildings for this city should be fixed at 200 feet. 

14. Five-cent theaters should be closed. 

15. Saloons should be closed on Sundays. 

16. City firemen should not be on duty more than twelve hours per 

17. City employees should have a weekly half-holiday. 


18. Bonds for city improvements should be written in small denomi- 
nations and sold directly to the public. 

19. The city streets should be sprinkled every other day. 

20. Smoking on street cars should be prohibited. 

21. All trolley wires should be put underground. 

22. Laws should be made to suppress unnecessary noises. 

23. This city should provide better fire protection. (For example?) 

24. Garbage should be collected more often. (How often ?) 

25. Laws should be passed to abate the smoke nuisance. 

26. Citizens should not be allowed to keep pigs inside the city limits. 

27. Laws restricting the keeping of chickens [horses, cows, pigeons, 
dogs, etc.] should be passed. 

28. No billiard halls should be allowed in this city. 

29. The number of policemen should be increased. (By how many ?) 

30. Slaughterhouses should not be allowed inside the city limits. 

31. All brickyards should be removed from the city. 

32. Buildings should be forced to provide more fire escapes than 
are at present required. 

33. street should be paved. 

34. Improving streets by means of oil and rock is the best method. 

35. The city should adopt motor-driven fire apparatus. 

36. The electricity [gas, water] generated by the city's plant should 
be sold to surrounding towns. 

37. The present rate for electricity [gas, water, street-car fare] should 
be lowered. 

38. Bonds should be voted by the state for the construction of an 
extensive system of good roads. 

39. The city should annex the town of . 

40. Baseball should be prohibited [allowed] on Sunday in the play- 
grounds of the city. 

41. The Board of Education should have offices in the city hall. 

42. The city should build and maintain a public swimming place 
[theater, dance hall]. 

43. The city should maintain public markets [ice plant, laundry]. 

44. The city should buy out the gas [water, electric, street-railway] 

45. The city should own and operate a municipal ferry [docks, 


46. The city should build a paved boulevard along the harbor [river, 
lake] front. 

47. The city should build a subway [elevated railway]. 

48. A canal should be built from the river [lake, harbor] to 

49. The pay-as-you-leave street cars should be adopted. 

50. The street-car companies should be required to give every 
passenger a seat. 

51. Street-car fares should be reduced to three cents [three cents for 
those required to stand]. 

52. Street-car companies should not be allowed to have the terminus 
of any route in the business district. 

53. More cars should be placed on the line. 

54. The street-railway company should extend the time [age] limit 
on all car books for students. 

55. A cross-town street-car line should be built. 

56. The city should receive a percentage of the profits of the street- 
railway [gas, water, electric, etc.] company. 

57. A curfew ordinance should be passed. 

58. The city should build and rent model tenements. 

59. Boxing contests should be prohibited. 

60. All franchises for public utilities should be limited to 21 years. 

61. The indeterminate franchise plan should be adopted by the city. 

62. This city should be fortified. 

63. The street-car fare to should be reduced. 

64. The rotary system of street traffic should be adopted at the 
corner of . 

65. The city should establish a municipal newspaper. 

66. Jitney lines are a benefit to the city. 


1. Labor organizations promote the best interests of the workingman. 

2. Labor organizations are a menace to industrial peace. 

3. Government employees should be allowed to organize and strike. 

4. Strikes are a benefit to the workingman. 

5. A state board should be created to arbitrate labor disputes. 

6. The city government should provide work for the unemployed. 


7. The English system of government is more democratic than the 
American system. 

8. Postmasters should be elected by the people. 

9. A small property qualification for the exercise of suffrage would 
be desirable. 

10. States should provide a penalty for persons who continually fail 
to vote. 

11. Organized labor should take no part in politics. 

12. Capital punishment should be abolished in this state. 

13. The open shop is more desirable than the closed shop. 

14. The poll tax should be abolished. 

15. The right of suffrage should be granted only after an educational 

16. The federal government should regulate marriage and divorce. 

17. Organized labor should form a political party for municipal 

18. Nomination by petition has been a success in state [city] elections. 

19. Provision should be made for voting by mail. 

20. All lobbyists at the state legislature should be required to regis- 
ter their purpose and source of support. 

21. Socialism offers the only practicable solution of our economic 

22. Newspapers should not be allowed to print details of crime. 

23. A representative should vote as his conscience dictates, rather 
than as his constituents desire. 

24. The commission form of government is adapted to the needs 
of the smaller American cities. 

25. War has caused more harm to the world than drink. • 

26. High license is preferable to prohibition as a means of control- 
ling the liquor traffic. 

27. The eight-hour working day should be adopted throughout the 
United States. 

28. The principle of excess condemnation should be adopted by the 

29. Proportional representation should be adopted by American cities. 

30. Preferential voting is better than the double-election system. 

31. A higher rate of taxation should be put on land than on other 


32. Church property should be exempt from taxation. 

33. The amount of property that may be inherited should be limited 
by law. 

34. Pensions for mothers should be adopted by the state legislature. 

35. Drink is the cause of poverty. 

36. Poverty is the cause of drink. 

37. The fundamental interests of capital and of labor are the same. 

38. The publicity of the juvenile court destroys its good effect. 

39. The city-manager plan is preferable to the commission form of 

40. The purpose of prisons is best served by making the inmates 
comfortable rather than uncomfortable. 

41. This city should have the right to use vacant lots for the pur- 
pose of giving work to the unemployed. 

42. The laboring class would gain more by united industrial action 
than by united political action. 

43. The organization known as the Industrial Workers of the World 
is a benefit to American workingmen. 

44. The right to vote is of more value to the American workingman 

than the right to strike. 


1. Polar expeditions are a useless waste of lives and money. 

2. The United States government should adopt the metric system. 

3. The use of tobacco by minors should be prohibited by law. 

4. The government is justified in restricting amateur wireless 

5. The dirigible is more practicable than the aeroplane. 

6. All cities should be required to dispose of their sewage within 
their own city limits. 

7. A vegetarian diet is better than one containing meat. 

8. Mars is inhabited. 

9. Niagara Falls should be used for commercial purposes. 

10. The locomotive with the cab in the front is better than the 
present pattern. 

11. The monorail system is practicable. 

12. Cooking by electricity is preferable to cooking by gas. 

13. Oleomargarine is a good substitute for butter. 

14. American railways should be operated by electricity. 



1. Interscholastic athletics promote the best interests of schools. 

2. Playing for money should debar an athlete from school games. 

3. Rugby football is a better game than American intercollegiate 

4. Boxing should be introduced as a high-school sport. 

5. College football is detrimental to the best interests of the insti- 

6. The competition afforded in athletic contests is a good prepara- 
tion for life. 

7. Adequate facilities for the teaching of athletics in high schools 
should be provided by public funds. 

8. Field events are better for the contestants than races. 

9. The hammer throw should be abolished. 

10. The mental training furnished by baseball is superior to that 
given by any of the regular studies. 

11. The two-mile race should have no place in high-school athletics. 

12. The high jump is the most scientific of the field events. 


1. The pin is more useful than the match. 

2. The horse is of more benefit to humanity than the cow. 

3. The earth is flat. 

4. Tipping should be abolished. 

5. All squashes growing on a vine belong to the owner of the vine, 
even if parts of the vine grow through a fence onto a neighbor's land. 

6. Success in life is measured by financial standing. 

7. The moon is made of green cheese. 

8. Buttermilk rather than grape juice should be adopted as the 
national drink. 

9. An irresistible force would be stopped by an immovable body. 

10. The world is getting laetter. 

11. School pupils should be required to wear uniforms. 

12. The city should be torn down and rebuilt. 

13. Bricks are more useful than nails. 

14. A perpetual-motion machine is a scientific reality. 

15. Housewives should be limited to an eight-hour day. 


16. The discovery of the peanut has been more beneficial to 
humanity than the discovery of America. 

17. Pawnbrokers should be abolished. 

18. Mistakes in spelling should be punishable by fine and 

19. The potato is more ornamental than the tomato. 

20. A has-been is more useful to society than a never-will-be. 

21. The necktie is a useless ornament. 

22. Brutus was justified in killing Caesar. 

23. The ladybug is more useful than the spider. 

24. The seniors of the school should control the other classes. 

25. Newsboys should be granted pensions. 

26. It takes more braver)' to be bad than to be good. 

27. Practical ideals are better than daydreams. 

28. Christmas giving should be discouraged. 

29. The United States should annex Europe. 


1. The Russian revolutionists are entitled to the help of Americans. 

2. The ■ automobile is the best for the price. 

3. The aeroplane is more important in war than the submarine. 

4. A boulevard should be built from this city to . 

5. Country boys should stay in the country. 

6. Stone curbs are better than those of cement. 

7. Raffles should be prohibited by law. 

8. The use of dice should be prohibited. 

9. Courtesy is necessary for success in business. 

10. Preparation for war is a guaranty of peace. 

11. Julius Caesar was one of Rome's greatest men. 

12. The location of the city of is a favorable one. 

13. The Athenians were justified in putting Socrates to death. 

14. The use of cards leads to gambling. 

15. The United States should dominate the Pacific. 

16. Internal enemies are more dangerous to the welfare of our 
country than external enemies. 

17. The United States will in time control all of North America. 

18. The harbors of the state should be under state control. 


19. The use of fireworks should be prohibited. 

20. American newspapers are unreliable. 

21. Loyalty to one's friends is of greater importance than loyalty 
to one's school. 

22. Loyalty to one's country is of greater importance than loyalty 
to humanity at large. 

23. Hard work is necessary for the proper development of 



Court procedure should not be followed too closely. The direc- 
tions given here apply to criminal cases ; if a civil case is chosen, 
change " district attorney " to " attorney for the plaintiff," and let 
one of the witnesses be the plaintiff." Avoid murder trials, divorce 
suits, etc., as being too serious to mock. A humorous charge is 
better. Since the testimony in a mock trial is often invented, it is 
better to alternate the witnesses, one for the prosecution and then 
one for the defense. If the defense begins after the prosecution 
has finished, it is too easy for the defense to win. If the trial can 
be finished at one sitting, or if it is based on a real event, the usual 
order may be followed. The total time needed for a simple mock 
trial is from two to five hours. It may be shortened by leaving 
out some of the steps. 


A district attorney and a defendant must be chosen by the class, but 
the latter chooses his own attorney. Each attorney selects an assistant, 
or counselor. The class elects the judge, a clerk, and if desired, a 


1 . Charge and Answer. The district attorney writes the charge and 
gives it to the clerk. The attorney for the defense then prepares 
and gives to the clerk an answer to the charge. See examples below. 

2. Witnesses. The lawyers may select witnesses, four or five for 
each side, choosing alternately. Lawyers of each side then meet with 



their respective witnesses, and discuss with them the parts they are to 
take and the testimony they are to offer.^ 

3. Jury. The judge may decide the case if the lawyers agree to have 
it so, or the lawyers or judge may select any convenient number of 
persons for a jury. Or, if time permits, a jury may be chosen by panel 
and examinations. 

4. Lawyers and Judge. The teacher may instruct the lawyers how 
to ask questions, and the judge how to rule on objections. Two classes 
of questions are barred : those having nothing to do with the case, and 
those which lead to an answer obviously suggested by the question. 
Hearsay evidence is not admitted. A lav\7er may rise and object to the 
question of an opposing lawyer, and the judge sustains or overrules the 
objection. The judge may hear reasons for and against the question 
before he decides. 

5. Arrangement. The judge sits at a desk in front, facing the audi- 
ence, the lawyers are at tables at sides of the room, the prosecution and 
the defense facing each other. The witness stand is next to the judge. 
The clerk and jury occupy front seats. The defendant is with his 
lawyers. If there are plenty of chairs and space enough at the front, 
the jury may be placed in one of the front corners of the room. If only 
one desk or table is available, let the judge sit at it, and the lawyers 
occupy front seats at either side of the room, with the jury in the 
middle seats. 


1. Opening. The bailiff or the clerk calls the court to order. The 
judge reads the charge and calls upon the defendant to plead. The 
defendant pleads not guilty. 

2. Evidence. The first witness for the prosecution is called and 
sworn in by the clerk. The prosecution examines the witness, bringing 
out by a series of questions the facts proving the guilt of the defendant, 
together with his motive in the act. Defense cross-examines the witness 

1 As an observant student puts it : " In order to be a good witness a 
person must listen to what is being said by the other witnesses and make 
the story hang together, telling only what will agree with what the others 
on his side have^told. He must take time in thinking what he is going 
to say." 


to see if he tells a consistent storjf. Next, the first witness for the de- 
fense is called and sworn. The defense examines him and the prose- 
cution cross-examines. The lawyers ask questions enough to make all 
necessary facts perfectly clear. The judge may question witnesses ; and 
so may the jurors, with the judge's permission. The lawyers protect 
their witnesses from unfair or irrelevant questions. Witnesses are called 
alternately by the two sides, until all have given their testimony ; they 
may be recalled by either side with the consent of the judge. The 
clerk or reporters keep a memorandum of the evidence presented. 
The clerk keeps all papers and exhibits. 

3 . Argument. The lawyers argue or " plead " the case, each trying 
to show the jury or the judge how the evidence presented proves his 
side of the case. Speakers alternate, as in a debate, the prosecution 
opening and closing. The time for each speech is as agreed upon. 
There may be two rounds of speeches if desired. 

4, Closing. The judge charges the jury. They stand while he tells 
them about the law involved and charges them to do their duty and 
decide the case according to the law and the evidence. The jury retires, 
elects a foreman, and decides the case. A two-thirds vote may decide. 
The jury returns and the foreman gives the verdict. The jury may 
make a recommendation to the judge. If the defendant is found guilty, 
he is sentenced by the judge ; if he is found not guilty, he is discharged. 


1. Criminal Cases. Stealing, assault, resisting an officer, smuggling, 
kidnapping, disturbing the peace, vagrancy, careless driving (see also 
Appendix II, section G, nos. 5, 15, 17, 18, 22). 

2. Civil Cases. Damages for injuries, libel, breach of contract, 
injury to or by cattle, damaged fences. 

3. Charge. "The people of the State of California hereby charge 
one John J. Wills with cruelty to animals, in that he did on the 24th day 
of February, 1914, at about 3.15 p.m., willfully and cruelly injure a 
dog, said dog being at the time in the front yard of its owner, Mrs. L. A. 
Derby, residing at 2453 West Rowland St. in the city of Los Angeles, 
State of California." 

4. Answer. " Defendant John J. Wills herewith respectfully answers 
the charge of the people of the State of California, and admits having 


injured the dog at the time and place named ; but claims that said dog 
was a vicious and dangerous dog, that defendant had a legitimate reason 
for being upon the said premises, that the said dog made an attack upon 
the defendant, and that the defendant acted in self-defense." 

5. Outline of Case for Prosecution. "The defendant has a violent 
temper ; the defendant had no right upon Mrs. Derby's premises ; the 
defendant attacked the dog without provocation; the dog is harmless." 

6. Outline for Defense. " The dog is unsafe ; defendant was attempt- 
ing to read the gas meter ; defendant tried to escape ; the injury was 
necessary and unavoidable ; the injury was not cruel or serious." 

7. Possible Answers for Defense. No motive for the crime; charac- 
ter and reputation good ; legitimate explanation of the alleged circum- 
stances. (Alibi and mistaken identity should not be used in a mock 
trial, because the two sides merely present two totally different cases, 
and the trial loses interest.) 

8. Illegal Questions to a Witness. "Are you a church member?" 
" The dog bit you, did he not ? " 

9. Objection. "Your honor, we object to the question on the ground 
that it is incompetent, irrevelant, and immaterial," or " that it is a lead- 
ing question," or " that it has nothing to do with this case." 

10. Answer to Objection. "Your honor, we ask this question in order 
to find out if this witness has a good character and reputation." 

11. Motions. "Your honor, we move [or "we ask"] that the case 
be continued [postponed] two days," "that the testimony of this witness 
be ruled out," " that a recess of ten minutes be granted." The judge 

12. Judge's Rulings. " The court sustains the objection," " The ob- 
jection is overruled," " The motion is granted [allowed]," " The motion 
is denied." 

13. Clerk's Oaths. " Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth ? " " that you will tell a consist- 
ent story .'^" "that you will act your part to the best of your ability.^" 
" that you will do your best.? " or, if fun is appropriate, " that you will 
tell the truth, the whole truth, and everything but the truth ? " that you 
have never been late to school 1 " " that you have never told a lie ? " etc. 

14. Discipline by Judge. " I hereby judge you guilty of contempt of 

court, and suspend you from taking part in the trial for minutes." 

Lawyers may be disbarred from the case for repeated offenses. 



Each student represents a state, and should have papers showing 
him to be the legal delegate for that state. Disputes are settled by the 
committee on credentials. 

A state or local convention may be planned with the help of teachers 
or parents. Each student should represent a particular city, district, 
county, or society. 


1. Registration of delegates. 

2. Call to order by chairman of national committee. 

3. Report of chairman, with temporary roll call. 

4. Election of temporary chairman. 

5. Appointment of temporary clerk. 

6. Appointment of preliminary committees : credentials, organi- 
zation, rules. 

7. Recess; committee meetings. 

8. Reports of preliminary committees : permanent roll call, offices, 


1. Election of chairman and clerk. 

2. Appointment of committees : platform, notification (two). 

3. Nomination for nominee for president of the United States. 

4. Balloting for and election of nominee for president. 

5. Nominations for nominee for vice president of the United States. 

6. Balloting for and election of nominee for vice president. 

7. Report of committee on platform. 

8. Debate upon and amendment of the planks of the platform ; 
adoption of platform. 




1. Election of campaign committee. 

2. Election of chairman national committee. 

3. Adjournment. 

4. Notification of nominee for president ; address of acceptance. 

5. Notification of nominee for vice president; address of acceptance. 



The following are suggestions for explanations, arguments, 
investigations, committee reports, and parliamentary motions: 




American history' 


Analytic geometry 









Batting cage 

















Civil engineering 




College recommendations 


Commercial geography 

Commercial law 

Commercial work 


Costume design 








Detention room 



Domestic art 

Domestic chemistry 

Domestic science 













Entrance requirements 






Fire department 

Fire drill 










Freehand drawing 





Gas engines 


















High jump 

High school 


Home decoration 

Home furnishing 


Ice cream 


Ink stains 








Locker rooms 




Machine shop 


Manual training 


Mechanical drawing 




Motor cycles 

Moving pictures 




Night school 

Noon hour 



Office practice 

Oral English 




Parliamentary law 

Pattern making 



Physical training 












Rainy days 




School limits 

School paper 


Shop mathematics 








Social affairs 


Solid geometry 








Storm signals 


Strength of materials 

Street cars 


Student government 


Study hour 













Vacuum cleaning 




Volley ball 


Waste paper 



Water polo 



Wood turning 



Writing on desks 

Writing on walls 


Yard rules 



Animals kept in city 



Art gallery 


Bathing beach 


Bicycle riding 




Boxing contests 


Building restrictions 



Chamber of Commerce 


City hall 

City ownership 

Coal yards 

Curfew law 

Dairy ranches 

Dance halls 

Defense of harbor 

Dog licenses 


Drinking fountains 


Electric lights 

Electric power 

Electric wires 

Elevated railway 


Factory regulation 




Fire escapes 

Fire limits 

Fire prevention 

Fire protection 

Fireproof buildings 

Flood waters 





Gas company 


Good roads 


Ilay stores 

High schools 

Home for orphans 

Homes for aged 


Hours of labor 








Lights for vehicles 

Livery stables 




Motor cycles 

Motor fire apparatus 

Motor trucks 

Moving pictures 




Parking automobiles 



Penny arcades 





Police court 


Prison farm 


Public markets 


Railway crossings 

Railway signals 

Railway to harbor 

Railway tracks 



River bed 

River front 

Safety devices 



School bonds 






Single tax 



Smoking on cars 


Speed laws 


Storm drains 

Street cars 

Street cleaning 

Street improvements 

Street lights 

Street sprinkling 

Street trees 

Street-car extension 

Street-car tracks 


Summer camps 



Tax on vehicles 


Taxes on business 

Telephone rates 

Telephone wires 



Three-cent fares 

Traffic rules 



Trolley wires 


Union station 

Vacant lots 


Water supply 


Weights and measures 


Zoological gardens 






Detention home 





Grand jury 

Juvenile court 
Poor farm 
Prison farm 



School tax 




Storm waters 





Capital punishment 

Child labor 














Industrial accidents 


Labor laws 




Mothers' pensions 

Prize fights 




Reform schools 

Single tax 
Speed laws 
Sweat shops 
Women's wages 












Child labor 


Coastwise trade 








Crop reports 







Diplomatic relations 

Direct elections 

District of Columbia 


Federal steamships 



Food laws 

Forest fires 



Freight rates 


Homestead laws 

House of Representatives 



Income tax 

Indian affairs 

Industrial accidents 

Inheritance tax 

Internal revenue 

Interstate commerce 








Merchant marine 


Mining laws 



Money panics 

Monroe Doctrine 

National highway 

Natural resources 

Naturalization laws 




Panama Canal 

Parcel post 


Patent medicines 





Political parties 

Post offices 

Postage rates 




Race question 

Railway mail service 

Railway regulation 






Ship subsidies 
Soldiers' homes 
South America 
States' rights 

Supreme Court 








Weather Bureau 


Air craft 



Boy Scouts 








Extradition laws 


Hague Conference 



Industrial relations 


Longitude and time 


Military service 

Modern ships 

Monroe Doctrine 

Navigation laws 


North pole 

Old-age pensions 

Olympic games 




Red Cross 



Sailors' rights 



Shipping laws 


Submarine cables 


Trade routes 




Abstract of title 
Act of God 
Amazon River 
Ant eater 
Black list 


Booker T. Washington 



Building materials 






Child welfare 


Clearing house 

Common carrier 

Consumers' League 





Dartmouth College Case 




Diving bell 


Dred Scott 

Eminent domain 

Excess condemnation 


Game of cricket 

German Empire 

Grafting trees 

Grand opera 

Habeas corpus 


Helen Keller 

High seas 


Hull House 

Hyde Park 

Income tax 



Karl Marx 




Log of a ship 

Mariner's compass 

Minimum wage 
Night riders 
Nile River 
Original package 

Preferential voting 
Printing press 
Proportional repre- 


Railway systems 

Real estate 

Religious liberty 


Salvation Army 

Scientific management 



Short ballot 










Vocational guidance 


Weather forecasting 



1. Cities of the state. 

2. Cities of the United States. 

3. Foreign cities. 

4. Countries. 

5. Vocations. 

6. Famous people. 

7. Famous books. 

8. Famous inventions. 

9. Important events. 

10. Great industries : their development ; their present status. 

11. The best magazines or newspapers. 

12. Some interesting books of to-day. 

13. Needed reforms in social or political life. 

14. How the city may be beautified. 


15. How our school or college may be improved. 

16. How the school may prepare for life. 

17. Inventions that should be made. 

18. The customs of foreign peoples. 

19. Significant topics in art, architecture, music, painting, commerce, 
agriculture, manufacture, travel, recreation. 

20. Opinions and discussions upon ethical questions. 




This summary will aid the student in finding interesting topics : 
Narration : current events, stories, jokes, fables, experiences. 
Description : cities, parks, landscapes, natural wonders, pictures, 
animals, costumes, people, technical descriptions. 
Explanation : 

1. How to make and how to do useful things : furniture, decora- 
tions, clothing, cooking, household helps, building, gardening, care 
of animals, farming. 

2. Technical operations and articles : commercial methods and 
customs, scientific processes, electricity, automobiles, transportation, 
chemistr)^, photography, manufacture, shop work. 

3. Civic affairs : laws, plans for improvement, reforms, politics. 

4. Others : value of specific occupations, art, music, education, 
games, tricks, puzzles. 

Argument : 

1. Business: selling, advertising, soliciting, collecting bills. 

2. Politics : parties, candidates, foreign relations, railroads, labor 
unions, socialism, suffrage, liquor, poverty. 

3. Other arguments : school affairs, social questions, vocations. 
Special Talks : introduction, welcome, farewell, presentation, 

acceptance, gratitude, toast, oration, eulogy, nomination, inaugura- 
tion, announcement, committee report. 

Conversation : interviews, social conversations. 

Dramatics : memorized or extempore plays, mock trials. 

Reading : clippings, advertisements, poems, stories, speeches. 





Not Debatable f Adjourn. 

and < Lay on the Table. 

Not Amendable |^Stop Debate = Previous Question. 2/3 



Postpone to a Definite Time. 
Refer to a Committee. 
Main Motion. 

Directions for Table B 

1. When any motion in Table B is before the house (moved 
and stated but not yet voted upon), any other motion which is 
above it in the table may be regularly moved, and will tempo- 
rarily supplant the first motion. 

2. Any motion which is below the motion before the house 
is out of order and may not be moved. 

3. When the motion of higher rank is decided, the meeting 
proceeds to the consideration of the motion which was sup- 
planted, unless the vote already taken disposes of both. 

Directions for Table C 

1. Amend and Postpone Indefinitely are bracketed ; neither 
may supplant the other. 

2. The six incidental motions are bracketed : 

a. Any motion of the group may supersede any motion 
below the group. 

b. The Objection to the Consideration of a Question may 
be applied only to a principal motion. 

c. Any motion within the group, except the objection, may 
be applied to any other motion within the group. 

d. Any incidental motion, except the objection, may be ap- 
plied to any other motion outside the group, whether such motion 
be above or below the group in the table. 

3. In all other points Table C is used as is Table B. 




A— Time for Next Meeting. 

A — Recess. 
D— A— "Question of Privilege" (treat as a principal 
" Orders of the Day." NS 
f" Appeal." 
" Point of Order." NS 

"Objection to the Consideration of a Ques- 
tion." NS — 2/3 
Reading Papers. 
Withdrawal of a Motion. 
Suspension of Rules. 2/3 
Lay on the Table. 

Previous Question = Stop Debate. 2/3 
D— A— Postpone to a Definite Time. 
D— A— Refer to a Committee. 

D — A — [" Amend (change wording, substitute motion, divide ques- 
\ tion). 
D — [^ Postpone Indefinitely. 
D — A — Principal Motion (main motion, rescind, expunge, 


D = 

= debatable NS = no second is required 

A = 

= amendable Quotation marks (" ") = in order when 

another person has the floor 

2/3 = two-thirds vote necessary to carry 

See directions under Table B 

Chapter XIV deals with parliamentary law. Pages 304- 
320 give the general classification of motions, illustrations in 
the use of Tables B and C, and brief directions for the use of 
each motion. Reconsider may be found dh ixi<;c 330. 




• [This table is to be 
does not know how to 

used by the student in marking words which he 
pronounce, as suggested on page 58.] 

a bake (bak) 


time (tim) 

ou, ow 


they (tha) 

ply (plT) 


fail (fal) 

eye (!) 
life (llf) 


a cat 









game (gam) 

a care (car) 

busy (bisi) 

J. g 


bear (bar) 


there (thar) 



their (thar) 


air (ar) 

blow (bio) 

k, € 


a arm 





what (wh6t) 


was (wos) 

s, 9 

site (sit) 
city (9iti) 

a ask 


dance (dan9) 


mule (mul) 

last (last) 

few (fu) 
tube (tub) 

z, s 



a all 

was (w6§) 

walk (wak) 



nor (nar) 





son (siin) 

nation (nashiin) 
machine (mashen) 

e be 

U, 00 


sure (shoor) 

meat (met) 

foot (fut) 

machine (mashen) 


book (buk) 



e net 






rule (rool) 


they (tha) 
thine (thin) 

e term 


firm (ferm) 





boy (boi) 

urn (ern) 


worm (werm) 




1. Study the exercise to discover exactly what is required. 

2. Select the particular subject which is to be used for the talk. 

3. Review the text for the purpose of gaining a thorough 
understanding of the principles involved in the exercise. 

4. Obtain the necessary experiences : thinking, observing, read- 
ing, experimenting, interviewing, discussing. 

5. Study and classify the material which is to be used. 

6. Prepare the outline : find the main topics ; complete the out- 
line ; prepare the cards which are to be used in giving the talk. 

7. Practice the talk : repeat the talk just as it is to be given in 
class. Do not memorize. 

8. Face the class with the desire to contribute something useful 
and interesting. 





Mark an X in the appropriate column after each item which apphes to the 
particular speech being examined. Thus, if the talk is obviously a descrip- 
tion, and its treatment of details is fairly good, put an X in the column labeled 
" Fair," after the topic, "Details well handled." The marks maybe connected 
down the page, to show graphically the general quality of the talk. Scoring 
by percentages is not very reliable. If it is desired, however, the following 
plan may be used : Call excellent 9 points (or 90 per cent), good 8 points, 
fair 7 points, poor 6 points. Suppose a student gains three 9's, four 8's, six 
7's, and two 6's, he would then have 27 + 32 + 42 + 12, or 1 13 points in all. 
Since he has been marked on 15 items, his average would be 75 per cent. 

For all talks : 

1. Value and interest of the subject selected . . 

2. Value of the details selected for the talk . 

3. Outline of the talk 

4. Outline made clear to the hearers .... 

5. Use of illustrations and other helps .... 

6. Opening words — introduction 

7. Closing words 

8. Vocabulary — appropriate, correct, and varied 

9. Fluency 

10. Variety and emphasis in tone, pitch, and speed 

11. Enthusiasm 

1 2. Control of body, and gestures 

13. Use of face and eyes 

For unclassified talks : 

14. Naturalness and adaptation to purpose . 

15. General effectiveness 

For explanations : 
15. Clearness 

For arguments : 

14. Evidence well handled 

I 5. Effectiveness of reasoning .... 

For narrations : 

14. Details made interesting throughout 

15. Plot or point well brought out . . 

For descriptions : 

14. Details well handled . ..... 

15. Vividness of effect 

Knowledge of material 

E G F P 







x^ ~ 






X ~ 




Accepting a report, 329 

Additional talks and exercises, 195- 
224; reading, 195; current topics, 
201 ; discussions, 203; impromptu 
talks, 207 ; humorous stories and 
jokes, 209; interviews, 212; con- 
versations, 216; extempore plays, 
220. Exercises: 199, 202, 206, 
208, 211, 215, 218, 224 

Adjourn, motion to, 307, 3S4, 3S5 

Adopting a report, 329 

Affirmative, first speaker of, 278; 
second speaker of, 282 

After-dinner speech, 186 

Aids, in explanations, reference 
books as, 11, 236; drawings as, 
II, 19, 21, 152; diagrams as, 11, 
153, 241 ; gestures as, 18; use of 
objects as, 18, 19, 154; simple 
devices as, 20 ; in acquiring a 
vocabulary, 66 ; in description, 
98; technical terms as, 155; maps 
as, 202 ; in collecting evidence, 237 

Amend, motion to, 306, 316, 331, 

384, 385 
Analogy, 121 ; reasoning by, 247, 

248 ; tests of, 249 

Announcement speech, 176 ; prepa- 
ration for, 176; importance of 
detail in, 177 

Appeal, in debate, 263 ; uses of, 
264; by second negative, 283, 
284; parliamentary, 309, 321, 385 

Appearance of speaker, 44-56 ; be- 
fore speaking, 45 ; as to standing 
position, 45 ; as to hands and feet, 
46 ; after speaking, 47 ; as to facial 
expression, 51; as to head, 52; 
as to use of eyes, 53. Exercises : 

44, 47, 5'' 55 
Argument, for beginners, 25-43 ; 
everyday, 25, 225; preliminaries 

to, 25; definiteness in, 26; con- 
sideration in, 26 ; subjects for, 
27, 31, 32; and explanation, 29; 
outline for, 30, 35-38 ; preparing 
for, 32-3S; practicing, 38, 39; 
gestures in, 48; abstract, 119; 
summary for, 132; use of stories 
in, 211. Exercises: 27,30,31,33, 
■36, 38, 40, 42 

Argument and debate, 225-288; 
nature of, 225 ; correct spirit in, 
226; preliminaries for, 227; in- 
troduction and analysis of, 230, 
257 ; building up of, 235; reason- 
ing in, 246; brief of, 254, 270; 
rebuttal in, 265 ; practice for 
speech of, 270; good will in, 
274 ; teamwork in, 276-286. Ex- 
ercises : 229, 234, 243, 251, 259, 
264, 269, 275, 286. See specific 
topics in Index 

Arranging and conducting debates, 
339-356; interschool, 339; in 
debating leagues, 344; within 
the school, 348; triangular, 351 ; 
single, 352 ; with sides chosen 
before the audience, 352 ; with 
proposition selected shortly be- 
fore the debate, 352 ; with three 
speakers on each side, 353 ; with- 
out special rebuttal, 353; with time 
division optional, 353 ; with no 
decision, 353 ; with same resolu- 
tion for all schools and for suc- 
cessive debates, 356 

At large, 333 

Body of explanatory talk, 145 

Hrief, example of, 254 ; expansion 

of, 256; analysis for, 257; order 

of points in, 258; concliLsion of, 

262 ; rebuttal in, 265 ; use of, in 




making speech, 270 ; teamwork 
in preparing, 277 

Business, meetings, 291 ; order of, 
302 ; introduction of, 321 

Business talks, 102-113; need for, 
102 ; appeal to interest and serv- 
ice in, 102; description or expla- 
nation in, 104 ; telling the advan- 
tages in, 105; showing the goods in, 
105 ; emphasizing details in, 105; 
giving references in, 106; giving 
terms in, 107 ; definiteness in, 
108; conclusion of, no; answer- 
ing questions in, in; choosing 
subjects for, n 2. Exercises: 104, 
106, 109, III, 112, 113 

By-laws, 297 ; sample, 300 ; amend- 
ing, 301 

Call, for the orders of the day, 309, 
321, 385; of the house, 333 

Calling, for business, 335 ; for a 
second, 335 ; for debate, 335 

Cards, sample note, 242 ; refuta- 
tion, 267 ; use in speech, 270 ; 
sample, 272; placing, for debate, 
278 ; order of, for rebuttal, 284 

Chairman, importance of, 296 ; tem- 
porary, 297 ; duties of, 322 

Charts, use of, in debate, 242 

Class, debating, 351 

Climax, in narration, 86; in sen- 
tence, 118 

Coherence, in outline, 126, 128, 149; 
in details, 129; in speech, 150 

Commit, 333 

Committees, need for and kinds of, 
327; standing, 327; special, 327 ; 
report of, 328; of the whole, 331 

Communications, 335 

Conclusion, of explanation, 14, 17; 
of argument, 39 ; of narration, 88 ; 
of description, 97; of business 
talk, no; in form of summary, 
132 ; broad and comprehensive, 
133; illustrative sentences for, 
133, 134; importance of, 134; 
of explanation, 148; distinctness 
in, 170; of current topics, 201; 
make sure of, 28C ; of brief, 262 

Consideration, objection to, 31 1 , 32 1, 
385. See Courtesy 

Constitution, of an organization, 
297 ; sample, 298 ; amending, 299 

Control, of hands, 46, 50; of facial 
expression, 51, 52; of thoughts 
and feelings, 52 ; of tone of 
voice, 292 

Conversations, 216; in argument, 25 

Courtesy, in interviews, 212 ; in 
argument, 26, 274; during debate, 
284 ; in using time, 2S6 ; in use 
of parliamentary law, 290 ; in 
business meetings, 291 ; as fair 
play, 295 

Credentials, 333 

Critic, report of, 302, 303, 325 ; 
sample report of, 335 

Criticism, of gestures, 49 ; teacher's, 
303 ; of talks, 388 

Debatable motions, 306, 384, 385 
Debate, and simple argument, 25, 
29; simple, 40; exercises on, 42; 
synonyms used in, 64; and formal 
discussion, 204; steps in prepara- 
tion for, 230; brief of, 254; team- 
work in, 276 ; motion to stop, 
314, 384, 385; rules of, 322; 
interschool, 339. ^1?,? Argument 
Debating, leagues, 344 ; class, 351 
Deduction, 247 ; tests of, 249 
Definition, 136; by interpretation, 
137 ; by distinguishing differ- 
ences, 137; of technical terms, 
155; of oration, 189; in debating, 
231, 239 ; in rebuttal, 266 ; of par- 
liamentary terms, 333 
Democracy in parliamentary prac- 
tice, 290-296 
Demonstrations, 18, 19, 154 
Description, gi-ioi ; purpose of, 
91 ; aid of senses in, 91 ; outline 
for, 92 ; point of view in, 93 ; 
central idea of, 94 ; order of parts 
of, 95 ; conclusion of, 97 ; helps 
in, 98 ; technical, 99 ; concrete 
character of, 119; as evidence, 
226. Exercises : 92, 93, 94, 96, 
97, 98, 100 



Diacritical marks, 5S. 386 

Dictionar)-, use of, for pronunciation, 
58 ; for spelling. 66 ; in prepara- 
tion for reading, 197 

Dilemma. 266 

Discussion, of current topics, 202 ; 
informal, 203 ; how conducted, 
204; in parliamentary society, 295 

Divide the question, 319, 385 

Division, vote of, 331, 333 

Drawing diagrams, 11, 19, 21, 152, 

153' 241 
Duties of officers, 321-327 

Elections, 332 

Equipment for doing and making, 6 

Eulogy, 191 

Evidence, 225; collecting, 235; 
sources of, 236-239 ; testing, 239 ; 
recording, 241, 242 ; arranging, 
241 ; distinguished from reasoning, 
246. Exercise: 243 

Example, reasoning by, 247, 248 ; 
tests of, 249 

Examples and illustrations, 118 

Executive committee, 327 

Executive session, 331 

Ex-officio, 333 

Explanation, 3-24, 136-162; every- 
day, 3 ; defined, 5 ; preparation 
for, 5-17; outline of, 6, 13; of 
process, 6; helps in, 11, 13, 18- 
20; logical order of, 13 ; subjects 
for, 20, 22-24, i5<*^-i62, 375-382; 
abstract, 119; additional consider- 
ations in, 136-162 ; kinds of, 136; 
defining in, 136; analyzing in, 
137; of reasons and purposes, 140; 
of processes and operations, 142 ; 
collecting the material for, 142; 
introduction of talk in, 143; out- 
line of, 145-149; as evidence, 
226; in debate, 233. Exercises: 
8, II, 15, 17. 20, 22, 138, 141, 143, 
144, 147, 149, 151, 156-162 

Expunge, 320, 385 

Extempore plays, 220; evolved 
from interviews, 220; plot of, 
221; preparation for, 223; pres- 
entation of, 224 

Extempore practice, 64 ; of debate 
speech, 271 

Extempore and impromptu speak- 
ing, 207 

Eyes, use of, in speaking, 53 

Farewell speech, 192 

Filling blanks, 319, 331 

Fix time for next meeting, 306, 385 

Floor, obtaining the, 321, 322, 385 

Fluency, 62-68 

Forms, for evidence, 242 ; for de- 
bater's cards, 272 ; parliamentary, 
335; for mock trial, 371 

Forms of discourse, "]"] 

Gestures, 48 ; in debate, 270 

Grading talks, 388 

Grammar, correction of, errors in, 

Gregg's "Parliamentary Law," 291, 

Helps. See Aids 

Historian, 326 

History in debate, 231, 279 

How to make and how to do. See 

Humor, in nomination speech, iSi ; 

in toast, 186; in argument, 211 
Humorous propositions for debate, 

Humorous stories and jokes, 209 

Imagination, use of, 122 
Impromptu speech, 207 ; rapid 
thinking in, 207; in interviews, 2 1 5 
Inauguration speech, 192 
Indefinite postponement, 319, 385 
Individual competition in debate, 

356 _ 
Induction, reasoning by, 247, 250; 

tests of, 249 
Informal action, 291, 322, 331 
Interclass debating tournament, 349 
Interpretation, of passages, 137 ; of 

questions in debate, 231, 279, 280, 

Interschool debate, 339 ; the agree- 
ment, 339 ; preparation at each 



school, 341 ; immediate prepara- 
tion, 343 ; the contest, 343 

Interviews, courtesy and directness 
in, 212 ; agreements made in, 214 ; 
teamwork in, 278 

Introduction, of explanation, 14, 16, 
143; of narration, 80 ; importance 
of, 131 ; of a speaker, 182 ; of cur- 
rent topics, 201 ; of one person 
to another, 217; of debate, 230, 
233 ; given by first affirmative, 
278; of business, 321 

Introductory outline, 144 

Issues, of debate question, 232, 257 ; 
restated, 262 ; divided between 
members of a team, 277 ; fair 
statement of, 279 ; acceptance 
of, 281 

Jefferson's Manual, 289 

Jokes, 209; point of, 210; kind to 
tell, 210; application of, 211 

Judgment, of helps in explanations, 
19 ; of speaker by appearance, 
45 ; in use of gestures, 49 ; in use 
of slang, 70 ; of person careless 
in speech, 72 ; in giving terms in 
business talks, 107 ; in the use of 
pauses, 167 ; in forceful speaking, 
174; in choice of current topics, 
201 ; in debate refutation, 267, 284 

Key, for use of motions, 306, 385; 
for pronunciation, 386 

Lay on the table, 313, 384, 385 

Leagues, debating, 344 

Limit, of time in debate, 273 ; 
marked on cards, 285 ; fairness 
in observing, 286 ; of parliamen- 
tary debate, 330 

Lists of topics for reference : school 
affairs, 375; city affairs, 377; 
county affairs, 378 ; state affairs, 
378 ; national affairs, 379 ; world 
affairs, 380 ; other topics, 380 ; 
general suggestions, 381 

Main motion, 320, 384, 385 
Majority and plurality, 333 

Marking talks, 388 

Meeting and session, 333 

Memoranda, of new words, 60 ; of 
material preserved, 143 ; of facts 
in brief, 256; for team mates, 278 

Memorization to be avoided, 64, 66, 
187, 190, 271, 387 

Minority report, 329 

Minutes, 302, 303, 325, 336; dis- 
pensing with, 338 

Mock trial, 369-372 ; choice of offi- 
cers for, 369 ; preliminary plans 
for, 369 ; progress of, 370 ; ex- 
amples and forms of, 371 

Motions, precedence of, 294, 384, 
385 ; kind to make, 295 ; classi- 
fication of, 304 ; illustrations in 
use of, 304; pending, 305; direc- 
tions for use of, 306 ; withdrawal 
of, 312; tabled, 313; substitute, 
318 ; principal or main, 320; spe- 
cial, 330; to reconsider, 330; re- 
newal of, 333 

Narration, 77-90; subjects for, 79; 
planning, 80 ; introduction for, 
80; point of view in, 81 ; details 
in, 82 ; kinds of, 83 ; without plot, 
83 ; with plot, 86 ; climax in, 86 ; 
conclusion of, 88 ; concrete, 1 19 ; 
in humorous stories, 209 ; as evi- 
dence, 226. Exercises : 79, 84, 88 

National political convention, 373 

Negative, first speaker of, 280 ; 
second speaker of, 282 

Nominating speech, 179, 332; ap- 
peal for votes in, 180; originality 
in, 181 

Nominations, closing, 330, 332 

Notes, taking, 13 ; may be dispensed 
with, 14, 16; use in a speech, 54, 
55 ; in announcement speech, 
177 ; in argument, 242, 270, 272 ; 
on opponent's speech, 280, 282 ; 
secretary's, 324 

Notice for reconsideration, 321, 330 

Objection to consideration, 31 1, 321, 

Obtaining the floor, 321, 322 



Officers, rights and duties of, 321 ; 
chairman, 322 ; president, 323 ; 
vice president, 324 ; secretary, 
324; critic, 325; treasurer, 326; 
sergeant at arms, 326 ; historian, 
326 ; combinations of duties of, 
326; special duties of, 327; re- 
ports of, 335-338 ; for mock trial, 

Old business, 302, 303, 315 
Opening words, of narration. So ; 
of business talks, 103. See Intro- 
Oration, 189; appeal in, 263 
Order, of points, in description, 92, 
128; in narration, 128; in expla- 
nation, 13, 128, 145 ; in argument, 
34, 128, 258 ; rules of, 298, 300 ; of 
business, 300, 302, 303 ; point 
of, 310, 321,385; special, 313, 330 
"Order, Rules of," Robert's, 291, 

Orders of the day, 309, 31 5, 321. 3^5 
Outline, for explanation, 6, 14; for 
simple argument, 30, 35, 36; for 
description. 92 ; unity and coher- 
ence in, 126, 128; introduction 
of, 131; conclusion of, 132; by 
cause and effect, 146; by prob- 
lem and solution, 146; making a 
clear, 149; for announcement 
speech, 177; for nominating 
speech, 179; for speech of in- 
troduction, 182; for presentation 
and response speech, 185; for 
oration, 190; for current topics, 
201 ; for impromptu speech, 207; 
equivalent to finding issues, 232 ; 
equivalent to brief, 254, 2 58; for 
refutation, 267 ; of opponent's 
speech, 280 ; for committee re- 
port, 328. See Brief 

Parliamentary law, 289-338 ; gen- 
eral considerations of, 289-296; 
origin of, 289 ; need of in Oral 
English study, 289; value of, 290; 
when used, 291 ; how used, 292; 
precedence of motions in, 294 ; 
society for use of, 296; order of 

business in, 302 ; precedence of 
questions in, 304 ; rights and 
duties of officers and members 
under, 32 1 ; committee work and 
reports under, 327 ; special points 
of, 330; special processes in, 331 ; 
technical terms in, 333 ; special 
forms of, 335. Exercises : 294. 
See specific topics in Index 

Parliamentary society, 204 ; organi- 
zation of, 293, 296; name of, 293; 
programs of, 294 ; constitution 
and rules of, 297 ; order of busi- 
ness in, 302 ; rights and duties of 
members and officers in, 321 ; 
m'inutes of, 336 

Pending, 305, 334 

Place for next meeting, 307 

Plays, extempore. See Extempore 

Plot, in narration, 83, 86 ; climax in, 
86; in extempore plays, 221 

Plurality, 334 

Point of order, 310, 321, 385 

Point of view, in narration, 81 ; in 
description, 93 

Position, of body, when speaking, 
45; unsupported, 46; after the 
talk, 47 ; of head, 52 ; active in 
standing, 164 

Postpone, to a definite time, 315, 
384, 385; indefinitely, 319, 385 

Practice, in explanations, 16; in 
arguments, 38 ; in control of feet 
and hands, 47; of gestures, 48; 
of extempore speaking, 64 ; for 
correcting grammar, 72; of ex- 
planatory talk, 149; of tongue 
and lips, 165; for range of tone, 
172; of toasts, 1S8; for reading, 
197 ; in impromptu speaking, 
207; of interviews, 214; of de- 
bate speech, 270; for refutation, 
285 ; of parliamentary motions, 
294 ; parliamentary, 303 

Precedence, of motions, 294; moan- 
ing of, 304 ; tables for, 384, 385 

Presentation speech, 184 

President, 323 

Previous question, 314, 384, 385 



Principal or main motion, 320, 384, 


Priority, 294, 334, 384, 385 

Privilege, question of, 307, 321, 385 

Privileged questions, 304 

Program of meeting, 294, 302, 303 

Pronunciation, of new words, 57 ; 
exercises in, 58, 59 ; key for, 386 

Proposition, statement of, 227 ; 
analysis of, 230 ; issues of, 232 ; 
proof of, 235 

Propositions for debate, 357 ; edu- 
cational, 357 ; national affairs, 
360; local interests, 361; civics, 
economics, sociology, 363 ; sci- 
ence, 365 ; athletics, 366; humor- 
ous, 366; miscellaneous, 367 

Prospective outline, 144, 270, 279,280 

Pro tem, 334 

Proverbs, concrete, 120; abstract, 
121; exercises with, 124-126 

I'roxy, 334 

Punctuation in speaking, 167, 169, 

Putting the motion, 321, 335 

Question, the real, 231 ; issues of, 
232; of privilege, 307, 321, 385; 
objection to the, 311, 321, 385; 
previous, 314, 384. 385 

Questions, in argument, 26 ; in busi- 
ness talks. III; in interviews, 
213; to be avoided, 228; inter- 
pretation of, 280 ; precedence of, 
304, 384, 385; privileged, 304; 
incidental, 304 ; subsidiary, 304 ; 
principal, 304, 384, 385. See 
Motions, Propositions for debate 

Quorum, 301, 334 

Rally speech, 192 

Reading, as aid to fluency, 66 ; in 
class, subjects for, 195 ; prepara- 
tion for, 196; at sight, 197; for 
a debate, 236 ; quotations, 274 ; 
teamwork in, 278; papers, 311, 
385. Exercises: 199 

Reasoning and evidence, 246; kinds 
of, 247 ; tests of, 249, 250 ; apply- 
ing, 250 

Rebuttal, 265 ; notes for, 265 ; sum- 
mary of methods for, 268 ; placing 
of notes for, 278. See Refutation 

Recess, motion for, 307, 385 

Recitations, See Subjects, Program 
of meeting. Marking talks 

Recognition by chairman, obtaining, 
and immediate, 306, 321, 322, 385 

Reconsider, motion to, 330 

Refer to a committee, 315, 384, 385 

Reference, books, 11, 58, 66, 197, 
236, 239 ; tables, 383 ; suggestions 
for Oral English recitations, 383 ; 
precedence of parliamentary mo- 
tions, 384, 385 ; pronunciation 
key, 386; steps in preparing an 
exercise, 387 ; scale for marking 
talks, 388 

References, and quotations, use in 
debate, 274; topics for, 375; 
tables, 383 

Refutation, 264 ; special methods, 
266 ; outline for, 267 ; centering 
attack in, 267 ; cards for, 267 ; by 
first affirmative, 279; by first nega- 
tive, 281; speeches, 2S3. See Re- 

Renewal of a motion, 333 

Report, committee, 328 ; minority, 
329; disposal of, 329; critics, 302, 

303.325' 335 
Reports of officers, 302, 303. 325, 

326, 335, 336 
Repose, before speaking, 45 ; of 

facial expression, 51 
Rescind, motion to, 320, 331, 385 
Resolutions, sample, 338 
Response, 184 
Reviewing, opposing case in debate, 

262 ; one's own case, 263 
Rights of members and officers, 


Rise, motion to, 331 

Robert's " Rules of Order," 291, 331 

Roll call. 302, 303, 338 

Rules, parliamentary, use of, 291 ; 
when dispensed with, 291 ; of 
parliamentarv society, 293 ; sub- 
mission to. 296; permanent, 297; 
of order, 298, 300 ; standing, 298, 



301 ; amendments to, 301 ; sus- 
pension of, 301, 312, 338, 385 ; of 
debate, 322 ; for debating, 339 

Scale for marking recitations, 388 

Scoring in debates, 345, 347, 354 

Second speakers in debate, 282 

Seconding a motion, 306. 321, 385 

Secret meeting, 331 

Secretary, 324, 336 

Selection of debaters, 354 ; of judges, 
42, 340, 355 

Senses, aid of, in description, 91 

Sentences, variety in, 116 

Sergeant at arms, 295, 326 

Session, executive, 331 ; and meet- 
ing- 333 

Setting, for story, 80 ; in explana- 
tion, 145 

Sign, argument by, 247, 24S; tests 
of, 249 

Sine die, 334 

Slang, 69-72 

Speeches, forspecial occasions, 176- 
194; announcement, 176; nom- 
ination, 179; introduction of a 
speaker, 182 ; presentation and 
response, 184; toast, 186; ora- 
tion, 189; eulogy, 191; farewell, 
192; inauguration, 192; invitation, 
192; rally, 192; valedictory, 192; 
welcome, 193. Exercises: 178, 
181, 183, 1S5, 188, 191, 193 

Standing committees, 327 

Standing position, 45 

Standing rules, 298 ; amending, 301 ; 
sample of, 301 

Statement of question, 227 

Stating motions, 306-320 

Style in oral composition, 1 14-135 ; 
importance of, 114; awkward- 
ness in, 114; variety in sentence 
structure, 116; in length of sen- 
tence, 116; in form of sentence, 
117; concrete examples and illus- 
trations, 118; figures of speech, 
120; outline for unity and cohe- 
rence in, 126, 128, 130; used in 
debate, 270. Exercises: 116, 118, 
122. 130, 135 

Subjects, for explanations, 22, 15S; 
for narration, 79 ; for business 
talks, 112; for reading, 195; an- 
nouncing, 198; for discussions, 
205; for debate, 227; analyzing, 
230 ; for parliamentary class, 293, 
295; for debates, 357-3^8; for 
recitations and motions, 375-382, 
383. See Propositions for debate, 
Questions, Topics 

Summary, in debate, 39, 262, 270, 
279, 282, 283 ; in description, 97 ; 
in business talks, iio; in most 
talks, 132 ; and appeal, 263 ; of 
rebuttal methods, 268 ; on cards, 

■ 270 ; prospective and retrospec- 
tive, 270 

Suspension of rules, 301, 312, t^t^, 

Synonyms, 63 ; for debating, 64 ; 

exercises for, 68 

Tables, use of, 294, 304 ; reference, 

Take from the table, 313 

Teacher, place in parliamentary 
class, 292, 294 ; report of, 303 ; 
as judge for debates, 340, 342 ; 
as teller, 346; help of, in debate, 
342, 356 

Teamwork, in debate, 276; in read- 
ing, 278 ; in judging points to be 
refuted, 284; cooperation for, 
285 ; benefits of, 286 

Technical descriptions, 99 

Technical parlimentary terms, 333 

Technical terms defined, 136, 155 

Tellers, 334, 346 

Time for next meeting, 306, 385 

Time limit for debate speeches, 41, 
273, 276, 285, 286, 314, 330, 339, 


'I'oast, 186 

'I'oastmaster, 187 

'I'ongue and lips, exercises for, 165, 

Tfjpics, classifying, 126; expressed 
in sentences, 127; arrangement 
of, 129, 150; announcing, in 
reading, 198; current, 201; for 



conversations, 216 ; in briefs, 254. 
See Propositions for debate, Ques- 
tions, Subjects 
Treasurer, 326 

Undebatable motions, 306, 384, 385 
Unfinished business. See Old busi- 
Unity in outline, 126, 130 

Valedictory speech, 192 

Variety, of speaking, 64, 116, 117, 
166; through speed, 167 ; through 
loudness, 169; through pitch of 
voice, 171; in reading, 199; in 
methods of refutation, 266 

Vice president, 324 

Vocabulary, improving, 57-76; in- 
creasing, 59 ; use for fluency, 62 ; 
synonyms for, 63 ; suited to audi- 
ence, 66 ; reading and writing as 
aids in acquiring, 66 ; use of books 
for, 67 ; slang, 69 ; correctness of 
grammar, 72 ; used in debate, 270. 
Exercises: 58, 61, 68, 71, 76 

Voice, good use of, 163-175; ease 
in using, 163; importance of 
mental attitude, 163 ; control of 
breath in, 163; tongue and lips 
as aids to, 165; variety and em- 
phasis, 166; stress, 169; pitch, 
171; enthusiasm and force, 173; 
in debate speech, 270. Exercises : 
164, 165, 168, 170, 172, 174 

Vote, two-thirds, 334; viva-voce, 335; 
taking a, 335 

Voting, methods of, 331 

Warrant, 33 5 
Welcome, speech of, 193 
Withdrawal of a motion, 312, 385 
Words, defined, 57 ; pronunciation 
of, 57 ; adding new, 59 ; appro- 
priated, 60 ; for fluency, 63 ; 
expressive, 65 ; descriptive, 67 ; 
opening. So, 103, 131; appropri- 
ate, gS 

Yeas and nays, voting by, 332 


Los Angeles 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

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OCT 2 2 1959 

SEP 2 7 19tt 

OCT 1 1 1962 
OCT 1 9 mi 

NOV 11 1963 

DEC 2 1963 

DEC 31963 

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