VALUE OF A PLAN. Just as a builder would hesitate to erect a house

without a carefully worked-out plan, so a writer should be loath to

begin an article before he has outlined it fully. In planning a

building, an architect considers how large a house his client desires,

how many rooms he must provide, how the space available may best be

apportioned among the rooms, and what relation the rooms are to bear to

one another. In outlining an article, likewise, a writer needs to

determine how long it must be, what material it should include, how much

space should be devoted to each part, and how the parts should be

arranged. Time spent in thus planning an article is time well spent.

Outlining the subject fully involves thinking out the article from

beginning to end. The value of each item of the material gathered must

be carefully weighed; its relation to the whole subject and to every

part must be considered. The arrangement of the parts is of even greater

importance, because much of the effectiveness of the presentation will

depend upon a logical development of the thought. In the last analysis,

good writing means clear thinking, and at no stage in the preparation of

an article is clear thinking more necessary than in the planning of it.

Amateurs sometimes insist that it is easier to write without an outline

than with one. It undoubtedly does take less time to dash off a special

feature story than it does to think out all of the details and then

write it. In nine cases out of ten, however, when a writer attempts to

work out an article as he goes along, trusting that his ideas will

arrange themselves, the result is far from a clear, logical,

well-organized presentation of his subject. The common disinclination to

make an outline is usually based on the difficulty that most persons

experience in deliberately thinking about a subject in all its various

aspects, and in getting down in logical order the results of such

thought. Unwillingness to outline a subject generally means

unwillingness to think.

THE LENGTH OF AN ARTICLE. The length of an article is determined by two

considerations: the scope of the subject, and the policy of the

publication for which it is intended. A large subject cannot be

adequately treated in a brief space, nor can an important theme be

disposed of satisfactorily in a few hundred words. The length of an

article, in general, should be proportionate to the size and the

importance of the subject.

The deciding factor, however, in fixing the length of an article is the

policy of the periodical for which it is designed. One popular

publication may print articles from 4000 to 6000 words, while another

fixes the limit at 1000 words. It would be quite as bad judgment to

prepare a 1000-word article for the former, as it would be to send one

of 5000 words to the latter. Periodicals also fix certain limits for

articles to be printed in particular departments. One monthly magazine,

for instance, has a department of personality sketches which range from

800 to 1200 words in length, while the other articles in this periodical

contain from 2000 to 4000 words.

The practice of printing a column or two of reading matter on most of

the advertising pages influences the length of articles in many

magazines. To obtain an attractive make-up, the editors allow only a

page or two of each special article, short story, or serial to appear in

the first part of the magazine, relegating the remainder to the

advertising pages. Articles must, therefore, be long enough to fill a

page or two in the first part of the periodical and several columns on

the pages of advertising. Some magazines use short articles, or

"fillers," to furnish the necessary reading matter on these advertising


Newspapers of the usual size, with from 1000 to 1200 words in a column,

have greater flexibility than magazines in the matter of make-up, and

can, therefore, use special feature stories of various lengths. The

arrangement of advertisements, even in the magazine sections, does not

affect the length of articles. The only way to determine exactly the

requirements of different newspapers and magazines is to count the words

in typical articles in various departments.

SELECTION AND PROPORTION. After deciding on the length of his article,

the writer should consider what main points he will be able to develop

in the allotted space. His choice will be guided by his purpose in

writing the article. "Is this point essential to the accomplishment of

my aim?" is the test he should apply. Whatever is non-essential must be

abandoned, no matter how attractive it may be. Having determined upon

the essential topics, he next proceeds to estimate their relative value

for the development of his theme, so that he may give to each one the

space and the prominence that are proportionate to its importance.

ARRANGEMENT OF MATERIAL. The order in which to present the main topics

requires thoughtful study. A logical development of a subject by which

the reader is led, step by step, from the first sentence to the last in

the easiest and most natural way, is the ideal arrangement. An article

should march right along from beginning to end, without digressing or

marking time. The straight line, in writing as in drawing, is the

shortest distance between two points.

In narration the natural order is chronological. To arouse immediate

interest, however, a writer may at times deviate from this order by

beginning with a striking incident and then going back to relate the

events that led up to it. This method of beginning _in medias res_ is a

device well recognized in fiction. In exposition the normal order is to

proceed from the known to the unknown, to dovetail the new facts into

those already familiar to the reader.

When a writer desires by his article to create certain convictions in

the minds of his readers, he should consider the arrangement best

calculated to lead them to form such conclusions. The most telling

effects are produced, not by stating his own conclusions as strongly as

possible, but rather by skillfully inducing his readers to reach those

conclusions by what they regard as their own mental processes. That is,

if readers think that the convictions which they have reached are their

own, and were not forced upon them, their interest in these ideas is

likely to be much deeper and more lasting. It is best, therefore, to

understate conclusions or to omit them entirely. In all such cases the

writer's aim in arranging his material should be to direct his readers'

train of thought so that, after they have finished the last sentence,

they will inevitably form the desired conclusion.

With the main topics arranged in the best possible order, the writer

selects from his available material such details as he needs to amplify

each point. Examples, incidents, statistics, and other particulars he

jots down under each of the chief heads. The arrangement of these

details, in relation both to the central purpose and to each other,

requires some consideration, for each detail must have its logical place

in the series. Having thus ordered his material according to a

systematic plan, he has before him a good working outline to guide him

in writing.

PLANNING A TYPICAL ARTICLE. The process of gathering, evaluating, and

organizing material may best be shown by a concrete example. The

publication in a New York paper of a news story to the effect that the

first commencement exercises were about to be held in the only factory

school ever conducted in the city, suggested to a special feature writer

the possibility of preparing an article on the work of the school. To

obtain the necessary material, he decided to attend the exercises and to

interview both the principal of the school and the head of the factory.

In thinking over the subject beforehand, he jotted down these points

upon which to secure data: (1) the origin and the purpose of the school;

(2) its relation to the work of the factory; (3) the methods of

instruction; (4) the kind of pupils and the results accomplished for

them; (5) the cost of the school; (6) its relation to the public school

system. At the close of the graduation exercises, he secured the

desired interviews with the teacher in charge and with the head of the

firm, copied typical examples from the exhibition of the pupils' written

work, and jotted down notes on the decoration and furnishing of the

schoolroom. Since the commencement exercises had been reported in the

newspapers, he decided to refer to them only incidentally in his story.

After considering the significance of the work of the school and what

there was about it that would appeal to different classes of readers, he

decided to write his story for the magazine section of the New York

newspaper that he believed was most generally read by business men who

operated factories similar to the one described. His purpose he

formulated thus: "I intend to show how illiterate immigrant girls can be

transformed quickly into intelligent, efficient American citizens by

means of instruction in a factory school; this I wish to do by

explaining what has been accomplished in this direction by one New York

factory." He hoped that his article would lead readers to encourage the

establishment of similar schools as a means of Americanizing alien

girls. The expository type of article containing concrete examples,

description, and interviews he concluded to adopt as the form best

suited to his subject.

The average length of the special feature stories, in the magazine

section of the paper to which he intended to submit the article, proved

to be about 2000 words. In order to accomplish his purpose in an article

of this length, he selected five main topics to develop: (1) the reasons

that led the firm to establish the school; (2) the results obtained; (3)

the methods of instruction; (4) the cost of the school; (5) the

schoolroom and its equipment.

"What part of my material will make the strongest appeal to the readers

of this newspaper?" was the question he asked himself, in order to

select the best point with which to begin his article. The feature that

would attract the most attention, he believed, was the striking results

obtained by the school in a comparatively short time.

In reviewing the several types of beginnings to determine which would

best suit the presentation of these remarkable results, he found two

possibilities: first, the summary lead with a striking statement for the

first sentence; and second, a concrete example of the results as shown

by one of the pupils. He found, however, that he did not have sufficient

data concerning any one girl to enable him to tell the story of her

transformation as an effective concrete case. He determined, therefore,

to use a striking statement as the feature of a summary lead.

From his interview with the head of the firm, and from a formal

statement of the purpose of the school printed on the commencement

program, he obtained the reasons why the school had been established.

These he decided to give _verbatim_ in direct quotation form.

To show most interestingly the results of the teaching, he picked out

four of the six written exercises that he had copied from those

exhibited on the walls of the schoolroom. The first of these dealt with

American history, the second with thrift and business methods, and the

third with personal hygiene. For the fourth he selected the work of a

woman of forty whose struggles to get into the school and to learn to

write the teacher had described to him.

Figures on the cost of the school he had secured from the head of the

firm according to his preliminary plan. These covered the expense both

to the employers and to the city.

His description of the schoolroom he could base on his own observation,

supplemented by the teacher's explanations.

For his conclusion he determined to summarize the results of this

experiment in education as the firm stated them on the commencement

program, and to give his own impression of the success of the school.

Thus he sought to give final reinforcement to the favorable impression

of the school that he wished his article to create, with the aim of

leading readers to reach the conclusion that such schools should be

encouraged as invaluable aids to the Americanization of alien girls.

OUTLINING THE ARTICLE. Having selected the main topics and having

decided in a general way how he intended to develop each one, he then

fixed upon the best order in which to present them.

After his introduction giving the striking results of the school in a

summary lead, it seemed logical to explain the firm's purpose in

undertaking this unusual enterprise. He accordingly jotted down for his

second topic, "Purpose in establishing the school," with the two

sub-topics, "Firm's statement on program" and "Head of firm's statement

in interview."

The methods of-instruction by which the remarkable success was attained,

impressed him as the next important point. His readers, having learned

the results and the purpose of the school, would naturally want to know

by what methods these girls had been transformed in so short a time. As

his third topic, therefore, he put down, "Methods of instruction."

For his fourth division he had to choose between (1) the results as

shown by the pupils' written work, (2) the cost of the school, and (3)

the schoolroom and its equipment. From the point of view of logical

order either the results or the schoolroom might have been taken up

next, but, as all the explanations of the methods of instruction were

quoted directly in the words of the teacher, and as the pupils'

exercises were to be given _verbatim_, he thought it best to place his

own description of the schoolroom between these two quoted parts.

Greater variety, he foresaw, would result from such an arrangement. "The

schoolroom," then, became the fourth topic.

Since the pupils' work which he planned to reproduce had been exhibited

on the walls of the schoolroom, the transition from the description of

the room to the exhibits on the walls was an easy and logical one.

By this process of elimination, the cost of the school became the sixth

division, to be followed by the summary conclusion.

He then proceeded to fill in the details needed to develop each of

these main topics, always keeping his general purpose in mind. The

result of this organization of material was the following outline:

I. Summary lead

1. Striking results--time required

2. Commencement--when and where held

3. Graduates--number, nationality, certificates

4. School--when and where established

5. Example to other firms

II. Purpose of school

1. Firm's statement on commencement program

2. Head of firm's statement in interview

III. Methods of instruction

1. Practical education

2. Letter writing--geography, postal regulations, correspondence

3. Arithmetic--money, expense accounts, reports of work

4. Civics--history, biography, holidays, citizenship, patriotism

5. Personal hygiene--cleanliness, physical culture, first aid,


6. Cotton goods--growing cotton, spinning, shipping

7. Means of communication--telephone, directory, map of city,

routes of travel, telephone book

8. Study outside of classroom

IV. The schoolroom

1. Location--floor space, windows

2. Decorations--flowers, motto, photograph of Miss Jessie Wilson

3. Furnishings--piano, phonograph

4. Library--reading to the girls, _The Promised Land_, Mary Antin,

library cards

V. Results shown by pupils' work

1. Italian's theme and her remarkable progress

2. Russian's essay on saving

3. Polish girl's exercise about picture

4. Woman of forty and her work

VI. Cost of school

1. Expense to firm

2. Cost to Board of Education--salaries and supplies

3. Entire cost per pupil

4. Returns to firm outweigh cost, says employer

VII. Summary conclusion

1. Results quoted from program

2. Impression made by girls receiving diplomas

THE COMPLETED ARTICLE. Since the establishment of a school in a factory

was the novel feature of the enterprise, he worked out a title based on

this idea, with a sub-title presenting the striking results accomplished

by the school. The completed article follows, with a brief analysis of

the methods used in developing the outline.




In from twenty to thirty-five weeks I. SUMMARY LEAD

an illiterate immigrant girl can be 1. Striking results

transformed into an intelligent, efficient Striking statement

American citizen, in this city, in two sentence to

without interfering with the daily work avoid unwieldy sentence.

by which she earns her living. Only

forty-five minutes a day in a factory

schoolroom is required to accomplish

such striking results.

This has just been demonstrated at 2. Commencement

the first commencement of the only Timeliness brought

school conducted in a New York factory. out immediately after

The classes have been held on striking statement

one of the upper floors of the white

goods factory of D. E. Sicher & Co.,

49 West 21st Street, where the graduation Address has local

exercises were held last Thursday interest


Forty girls--Italians, Poles, Russians, 3. Graduates

Hungarians, Austrians among Note concrete details

the number--received the first "certificates

of literacy" ever issued by the

Board of Education. Twenty weeks Striking results

ago many of these young women could emphasized by device

not speak English; many of them had of contrast

never been to school a day in their

lives. Every one present on Thursday Impression on audience

night felt that this was indeed a commencement of remarkable

for these girls. results

It is due to the instruction of Miss Teacher's name has

Florence Meyers, formerly a public local interest

school teacher, that the girls can now

speak English, write good letters, make

out money-orders, cash checks, and

send telegrams. They have also been Additional concrete

taught the principles of our government, details of striking

the importance of personal hygiene, results

and the processes by which cotton

goods used in their work are manufactured.

The school was organized this year 4. School

at the suggestion of Dudley E. Sicher,

head of the firm, in coöperation with

the Board of Education, and has been

under the supervision of Miss Lizzie E. Principal and school

Rector, Public School No. 4, Manhattan. have local interest.

What has been accomplished in this 5. Example to other

factory, which is the largest white firms

goods muslin underwear plant in the Veiled suggestion to

world, will doubtless serve as an example readers

to be followed by other firms.

Its purpose the firm expresses in II. PURPOSE OF SCHOOL

these words: "To hasten assimilation 1. Firm's statement

necessary to national unity, to promote

industrial betterment, by reducing Statement in general

the friction caused by failure to comprehend terms

directions, and to decrease the

waste and loss of wage incidental to the

illiterate worker."

"When a girl understands English 2. Head of firm's statement

and has been taught American business

and factory methods," says Mr.

Sicher, "she doesn't hesitate and Statement in concrete

blunder; she understands what she is terms

told and she does it.

"Intelligent employees do much better

work than illiterate ones, and since

we can afford to pay them better wages,

they are much more contented. From

a business point of view, the school is a

good investment."

The instruction that has accomplished III. METHODS OF INSTRUCTION

such remarkable results has

been eminently practical. "There 1. Practical education

was no time to spend in teaching the

girls anything but the most necessary Teacher's statement

things," explains Miss Meyers, "for I of her problem

could have each one of them for only

forty-five minutes a day, and there was

much to be done in that time.

"Here was a girl, for example, who Problem concretely

could hardly say 'good morning.' shown

Here was another who had never written

a word in her life, either in English

or in any other language. The problem

was how to give each of them what

she most needed in the short time allotted Statement of general

every day. This essentially plan

practical training I organized under

several subjects, each of which was

broadly inclusive.

"When I undertook to teach letter 2. Letter writing

writing, it meant teaching the English

language, as well as writing and spelling.

It meant teaching the geography

of the country, the postal regulations,

and the forms of business and personal


"In teaching arithmetic, I use money 3. Arithmetic

and show them how to make change by

means of addition, subtraction, and

division. I also ask them to keep personal

expense accounts and to make

out reports of the work that they do.

"Civics included American history, 4. Civics

the lives of our statesmen--for these

girls are so eager to be true Americans

that they want to know about our great

men--the origin of legal holidays, the

merits of our system of government,

the meaning of citizenship, and the essence

of patriotism.

"Hygiene is another important 5. Personal hygiene

subject. American standards of living,

personal cleanliness, and sanitary regulations

have to be emphasized. To

aid in counteracting the effects of long

hours at the sewing machines, we have

physical culture exercises. Instruction

in first aid measures is also given so

that they will know what to do in case

of an accident. The nutritive value of

different foods in relation to their cost

is discussed to enable them to maintain

their health by a proper diet.

"As these young women are engaged 6. Cotton goods

in making muslin underwear, it seemed

desirable for them to know where cotton

grows, how it is spun, where the

mills are and how it is shipped to New

York. After they understand the various

processes through which the material

goes before it reaches them, they

take much more interest in their work,

as a part of the manufacture of cotton

goods into clothing."

The use of the telephone, the telegraph, 7. Means of communication

the subway, surface lines, and

railways is another subject of instruction.

A dummy 'phone, telegraph Method of presentation

blanks, the city directory, maps with in this paragraph

routes of rapid transit lines, and the changed for

telephone book, are some of the practical variety

laboratory apparatus and textbooks

that are employed.

"We encourage them to learn for 8. Study outside of

themselves outside of school hours classroom

many of the necessary things that we

have not time for in the classroom,"

says the teacher.

To reach the schoolroom in which IV. THE SCHOOLROOM

this work has been carried on, you take 1. Location

the elevator to the last floor but one of Note effect of using

the factory building. There you find "you"

only a portion of the floor space cleared

for tables and chairs. It is a clean,

airy room with big windows opening

on the street, made gay with boxes of


Flags of many nations about the 2. Decorations

room appropriately represent the many

nationalities among the pupils. On Note character of

one wall hangs a card with the legend: decorations selected

Four things come not back:

The spoken word

The sped arrow

The past life

The neglected opportunity.

A photograph of Miss Jessie Wilson,

now Mrs. Francis B. Sayre, occupies

the space between the two windows.

The picture was presented to the girls

by Miss Wilson herself, just before she This shows enterprising

was married, when a party of them with spirit on the

Miss Meyers went to Washington to part of teacher, girls,

give her a white petticoat they had and firm

made themselves, as a wedding present.

After Miss Wilson had shown them

through the White House and they had

seen her wedding presents, she gave

them this signed photograph.

A piano and a phonograph at one 3. Furnishings

end of the room make it possible for

the girls to enjoy dancing during the

noon hours on three days of the week,

and to have musicals on other occasions.

Shelves filled with books line the 4. Library

walls of a smaller office room opening

off the schoolroom. On two days of

the week during the noon hour, the

teacher read aloud to the girls until

they were able to read for themselves.

Then they were permitted to take

books home with them. Besides this,

they have been encouraged to use the

public libraries, after being shown how

to make out applications for library


"One girl is reading 'The Promised Concrete example

Land,' by Mary Antin," Miss Meyers has "human interest,"

tells you, "and thinks it is a wonderful as related in

book. She was so much interested in the teacher's own

it that I asked her to tell the others words

about it. Although a little shy at

first, she soon forgot herself in her eagerness

to relate Miss Antin's experiences.

She told the story with such

dramatic effect that she quite carried

away her classmates. If we had done

no more than to teach this girl to read a

book that meant so much to her, I believe

our school would have justified

its existence."

Mary Antin herself accepted the Is this paragraph

girls' invitation to attend the graduation out of logical order?

exercises, and made a short address.

The pupils' written work was exhibited V. RESULTS SHOWN BY

on the walls of the room on the occasion PUPILS' WORK

of the exercises, and showed conclusively

the proficiency that they have


The greatest progress made by any 1. Italian's theme and

of the pupils was probably that of an progress

Italian girl. Before coming to this

country, she had attended school and Example of greatest

besides this she had been teaching her progress is put

father at night whatever she had first

learned during the day. Her short

essay on her adopted country read:

This country is the United States Note use of narrow

of America. It is the land of freedom measure without

and liberty, because the people quotation marks for

govern themselves. All citizens love examples quoted

their country, because they know

that this freedom was earned by men

who gave their lives for it. The

United States is in North America.

North America is one of the greatest

divisions of the earth. North America

was discovered on October 12,

1492, by Christopher Columbus.

The fact that Columbus, one of her Is this comment by

countrymen, had discovered the country the writer effective?

in which she and her father had

found a new life, doubtless appealed to

her keen imagination.

That a Russian girl appreciated the 2. Russian's essay on

lessons she had received in the value of saving

opening a dime-savings account, is indicated

by this composition:

I must save money out of my earnings

to put in the bank. I know that

money is safe in the bank.

To deposit means to put money in

the bank.

Cashing a cheque means changing

a cheque for money.

How practical lessons in personal hygiene 3. Polish girl's essay

may be emphasized in connection

with the teaching of composition was

illustrated in an essay of a Polish girl

written under a picture of a woman

combing her hair:

She wished to comb her hair.

She takes the comb in her hand.

She combs her hair.

She wishes to brush her hair.

She takes the brush in her hand.

She brushes her hair.

She combs and brushes her hair

every morning.

She washes her hair often with

soap and water.

The pathetic eagerness of one woman 4. Woman of forty

of forty to learn to read and write was and her work

told by Miss Meyers in connection with

one of the pieces of work exhibited.

"She was an old woman; at least she "Human interest"

seems to me to be over fifty, although appeal heightened

she gave her age as only forty," explained by quoting teacher

the teacher. "She couldn't _verbatim_

read or even write her name. Despite

her age, she begged for a long time to

be permitted to enter the school, but

there were so many young girls who desired

to learn that they were given the

preference. She pleaded so hard that

finally I asked to have her admitted on


"It was hard work to teach her," Progress in penmanship

continued Miss Meyers as she pointed could not be

to some of the woman's writing. The shown by quoting

first attempts were large, irregular exercise

letters that sprawled over the sheet

like the work of a child when it begins

to write. After twenty weeks of struggle,

her work took on a form that, although

still crude, was creditable for

one who had never written until she

was over forty. "Her joy at her success

was great enough to repay me

many times over for my efforts to teach

her," remarked Miss Meyers.

The exact cost to the firm of conducting VI. COST OF SCHOOL

the school, including the wages 1. Expense to firm

paid for the time spent by the girls in

the classroom, has been itemized by

Mr. Sicher for the year just closed, as


Floor space $175.00 Short table of figures

Rent, light, and heat 105.00 is comprehensible

Janitor 357.00 and not uninteresting

Wages at 17¢ an hr., 40

girls 375.00


Total cost, 40 girls $672.00

Total cost per girl 16.80

The Board of Education, for its part 2. Cost to Board of

of the school, paid out $560 for the Education

teacher's salary and for supplies. This

was an expense of $14.80 for each pupil.

The entire cost for educating each 3. Entire cost per pupil

one of the forty girl workers, therefore,

was only $31.60.

That this money has been well spent 4. Returns outweigh

is the opinion of the employer, for the cost

school work increases the efficiency in

the factory sufficiently to make up for

the time taken out of working hours.

"I would rather have these girls in Head of firm's statement

my employ whom I can afford to pay given to convince

from ten to twenty dollars a week," readers

declares Mr. Sicher, "than many more

whom I have to pay low wages simply

because they aren't worth higher ones.

From a business point of view, it saves

space and space is money."

That the result has been what the VII. SUMMARY CONCLUSION

firm had anticipated in establishing

the school is shown by the following 1. Results quoted from

statement which was made on the commencement program

program: "It is the present

belief of the firm that the workers Note appeal of

who have been thus trained have "efficiency" to

gained from 20 to 70 per cent in efficiency." practical readers

How much the girls themselves have 2. Impression given

gained more vital to them even than by girls

efficiency was very evident to everyone Note patriotic appeal

who looked into their faces as they received in closing

the certificates that recognize phrase, which was

them as "Literate American Citizens." a happy choice.

ANOTHER ARTICLE ON THE SAME SUBJECT. This commencement at the factory

school furnished another writer, Nixola Greeley Smith, with material for

a special feature story which was sent out by a syndicate, the Newspaper

Enterprise Association, for publication in several hundred newspapers.

Her story contains only 375 words and is thus less than one fifth the

length of the other article. The author centers the interest in one of

the pupils, and shows the value of the school in terms of this girl's

experience. The girl's own account of what the school has meant to her

makes a strong "human interest" appeal. By thus developing one concrete

example effectively, the author is able to arouse more interest in the

results of the school than she would have done if in the same space she

had attempted to give a greater number of facts about it. Unlike the

longer article, her story probably would not suggest to the reader the

possibility of undertaking a similar enterprise, because it does not

give enough details about the organization and methods of the school to

show how the idea could be applied elsewhere.

The beginning of the shorter story was doubtless suggested by the

presence at the exercises of Mary Antin, the author of "The Promised

Land," who addressed the girls. The first sentence of it piques our

curiosity to know how "the promised land" has kept its promise, and the

story proceeds to tell us. The article, with an analysis of its main

points, follows:



"The promised land" has kept its I. STORY OF REBECCA

promise to Rebecca Meyer! MEYER

Eight months ago an illiterate Austrian 1. Striking statement

immigrant girl, unable to speak or beginning

write English, went to work in a New Note effective use of

York garment factory. device of contrast

To-day, speaking and writing fluently

the language of her adopted country, Second and third

proficient in other studies, she paragraphs show

proudly cherishes the first "certificate striking results in

of literacy" issued by a factory--a one concrete case.

factory which has paid her for going to

school during working hours!

It was Rebecca Meyer who received 2. Commencement

this first certificate, at the graduation Note that Rebecca

exercises held on the top floor of the is the central figure

big women's wear factory of D.E.

Sicher & Co. It was Rebecca Meyer

who delivered the address of welcome

to the members of the board of education,

the members of the firm, her fellow

employees, and all the others gathered

at these exercises--the first of Dash used to set off

their kind ever held in any commercial unique element

establishment, anywhere!

"Isn't it wonderful!" she said. 3. Rebecca's statement

"When I came from Austria, I hoped Slightly unidiomatic

to find work. That was all. How I English is suggestive

should learn to speak the English language,

I did not know. It might take

me years, I thought. That I should go

to school every day, while I worked--who

could dream of such a thing? It

could not be in any other country except


Dudley E. Sicher, head of the firm, II. STORY OF THE SCHOOL

in whose workrooms a regularly organized 1. Origin of school

class of the New York public Note method of

schools has held its sessions all winter, introducing head of firm

stood smiling in the background. Mr.

Sicher is president of the Cotton Goods

Manufacturers' Association. It was

he who conceived the idea, about a

year ago, of increasing the efficiency

of his women employees by giving them

an education free of cost, during working


"One of the first and most noticeable 2. Results of school

results of the factory school has Statement of head

been a marked decrease in the friction of firm

and the waste of time caused by the

inability of employees to comprehend

directions. A girl who understands

English, and has been enabled thereby

to school herself in factory methods

and conditions, doesn't hesitate and

blunder; she understands, and does.

And what then? Why, higher pay."

No wonder Rebecca Meyer is grateful III. CONCLUSION

for the 45 minutes a day in which Rebecca again made

button-sewing has given place to study--no the central figure

wonder she thinks America must Appeal to reader's

be the wonderland of all the world! pride in his country.

ARTICLES COMPOSED OF UNITS. The study of the two special feature stories

on the factory school shows how articles of this type are built up out

of a number of units, such as examples, incidents, and statistics. A

similar study of the other types of articles exemplified in chapter V

will show that they also are made up of various kinds of units. Again,

if we turn to the types of beginnings illustrated in chapter VII, we

shall find that they, too, are units, which in some cases might have

been used in the body of the article instead of as an introduction.

Since, then, every division of a subject may be regarded as a unit that

is complete in itself whatever its position in the article, each of the

several kinds of units may be studied separately. For this purpose we

may discuss five common types of units: (1) examples, (2) incidents, (3)

statistics, (4) scientific and technical processes, and (5) recipes and


METHODS OF DEVELOPING UNITS. In order to present these units most

effectively, and to vary the form of presentation when occasion demands,

a writer needs to be familiar with the different methods of developing

each one of these types. Four common methods of handling material

within these units are: (1) exposition, narration, or description in

the writer's own words; (2) dialogue; (3) the interview; (4) direct or

indirect quotation. Statistics and recipes may also be given in tabular


When a unit may be developed with equal effectiveness by any one of

several methods, a writer should choose the one that gives variety to

his article. If, for example, the units just before and after the one

under consideration are to be in direct quotation, he should avoid any

form that involves quoted matter.

EXAMPLES. In all types of articles the concrete example is the

commonest and most natural means of explaining a general idea. To

most readers, for instance, the legal provisions of an old age

pension law would be neither comprehensible nor interesting, but a

story showing how a particular old man had been benefited by the law

would appeal to practically every one. That is, to explain the

operation and advantages of such a law, we give, as one unit, the

concrete example of this old man. Actual examples are preferable to

hypothetical ones, but the latter may occasionally be used when real

cases are not available. Imaginary instances may be introduced by

such phrases as, "If, for example," or "Suppose, for instance,


To explain why companies that insure persons against loss of their

jewelry are compelled to investigate carefully every claim filed

with them, a writer in the _Buffalo News_ gave several cases in

which individuals supposed that they were entitled to payment for

losses although subsequent investigation showed that they had not

actually sustained any loss. One of these cases, that given below,

he decided to relate in his own words, without conversation or

quotation, although he might have quoted part of the affidavit, or

might have given the dialogue between the detective and the woman

who had lost the pin. No doubt he regarded the facts themselves,

together with the suspense as to the outcome of the search, as

sufficiently interesting to render unnecessary any other device for

creating interest.

Another woman of equal wealth and equally undoubted honesty lost a

horseshoe diamond pin. She and her maid looked everywhere, as they

thought, but failed to find it. So she made her "proof of loss" in

affidavit form and asked the surety company with which she carried

the policy on all her jewelry to replace the article.

She said in her affidavit that she had worn the pin in a restaurant

a few nights before and had lost it that night, either in the

restaurant or on her way there or back. The restaurant management

had searched for it, the restaurant help had been questioned

closely, the automobile used that night had been gone over

carefully, and the woman's home had been ransacked. Particular

attention had been given to the gown worn by the woman on that

occasion; every inch of it had been examined with the idea that the

pin, falling from its proper place, had caught in the folds.

The surety company assigned one of its detectives to look for the

pin. From surface indications the loss had the appearance of a

theft--an "inside job." The company, however, asked that its

detective be allowed to search the woman's house itself. The request

was granted readily. The detective then inquired for the various

gowns which the woman had worn for dress occasions within the

preceding several weeks.

This line of investigation the owner of the pin considered a waste

of time, since she remembered distinctly wearing the pin to the

restaurant on that particular night, and her husband also remembered

seeing it that night and put his memory in affidavit form. But the

detective persisted and with the help of a maid examined carefully

those other gowns.

In the ruffle at the bottom of one of them, worn for the last time

at least a week before the visit to the restaurant, she found the

pin. The woman and her husband simply had been mistaken--honestly

mistaken. She hadn't worn the pin to the restaurant, and her husband

hadn't seen it that night. The error was unintentional, but it came

very near costing the surety company a large sum of money.

The benefits of a newly established clinic for animals

were demonstrated in a special feature article in the _New

York Times_ by the selection of several animal patients as

typical cases. Probably the one given below did not seem

to the writer to be sufficiently striking if only the bare facts

were given, and so he undertook to create sympathy by

describing the poor, whimpering little dog and the distress

of the two young women. By arousing the sympathies of

the readers, he was better able to impress them with the

benefits of the clinic.

The other day Daisy, a little fox terrier, was one of the patients.

She was a pretty little thing, three months old, with a silky coat

and big, pathetic eyes. She was escorted to the clinic by two

hatless young women, in shawls, and three children. The children

waited outside in the reception room, standing in a line, grinning

self-consciously, while the women followed Daisy into the

examination room. There she was gently muzzled with a piece of

bandage, and the doctor examined her. There was something the matter

with one hind leg, and the poor little animal whimpered pitifully,

as dogs do, while the doctor searched for a broken bone. It was too

much for one of the women. She left the room, and, standing outside

the door, put her fingers in her ears, while the tears rolled down

her cheeks.

"Well, I wouldn't cry for a dog," said a workman, putting in some

S.P.C.A. receiving boxes, with a grin, while the three children--and

children are always more or less little savages--grinned

sympathetically. But it was a very real sorrow for Daisy's mistress.

There was no reason for alarm; it was only a sprain, caused by her

mistress' catching the animal by the leg when she was giving her a

bath. Her friends were told to take her home, bathe the leg with

warm water, and keep her as quiet as possible. Her mistress, still

with a troubled face, wrapped her carefully in the black shawl she

was wearing, so that only the puppy's little white head and big,

soft eyes peeped out, and the small procession moved away.

In a special feature story designed to show how much more intelligently

the first woman judge in this country could deal with cases of

delinquent girls in the juvenile court than could the ordinary police

court judge, a writer selected several cases that she had disposed of in

her characteristic way. The first case, which follows, he decided could

best be reported _verbatim_, as by that method he could show most

clearly the kindly attitude of the judge in dealing with even the least

appreciative of girls.

The first case brought in the other day was that of a girl of 16,

who hated her home and persisted in running away, sometimes to a

married sister, and sometimes to a friend. She was accompanied by

her mother and older sister, both with determined lower jaws and

faces as hard as flint. She swaggered into the room in an impudent

way to conceal the fact that her bravado was leaving her.

"Ella," said Miss Bartelme, looking up from her desk, "why didn't

you tell me the truth when you came in here the other day? You did

not tell me where you had been. Don't you understand that it is much

easier for me to help you if you speak the truth right away?"

Ella hung her head and said nothing. The older sister scowled at the

girl and muttered something to the mother.

"No," refused the mother, on being questioned. "We don't want

nothing more to do with her."

"Humph," snorted Ella, "you needn't think I want to come back. I

don't want nothing more to do with you, either."

Miss Bartelme often lets the family fight things out among

themselves; for in this way, far more than by definite questioning,

she learns the attitude of the girl and the family toward each

other, and indirectly arrives at most of the actual facts of the


"How would you like to go into a good home where some one would love

you and care for you?" asked the judge.

"I don't want nobody to love me."

"Why, Ella, wouldn't you like to have a kind friend, somebody you

could confide in and go walking with and who would be interested in


"I don't want no friends. I just want to be left alone."

"Well, Ella," said the judge, patiently, ignoring her sullenness, "I

think we shall send you back to Park Ridge for a while. But if you

ever change your mind about wanting friends let us know, because

we'll be here and shall feel the same way as we do now about it."

To explain to readers of the _Kansas City Star_ how a bloodhound runs

down a criminal, a special feature writer asked them to imagine that a

crime had been committed at a particular corner in that city and that a

bloodhound had been brought to track the criminal; then he told them

what would happen if the crime were committed, first, when the streets

were deserted, or second, when they were crowded. In other words, he

gave two imaginary instances to illustrate the manner in which

bloodhounds are able to follow a trail. Obviously these two hypothetical

cases are sufficiently plausible and typical to explain the idea.

If a bloodhound is brought to the scene of the crime within a

reasonable length of time after it has been committed, and the dog

has been properly trained, he will unfailingly run down the

criminal, provided, of course, that thousands of feet have not

tramped over the ground.

If, for instance, a crime were committed at Twelfth and Walnut

streets at 3 o'clock in the morning, when few persons are on the

street, a well-trained bloodhound would take the trail of the

criminal at daybreak and stick to it with a grim determination that

appears to be uncanny, and he would follow the trail as swiftly as

if the hunted man had left his shadow all along the route.

But let the crime be committed at noon when the section is alive

with humanity and remain undiscovered until after dark, then the

bloodhound is put at a disadvantage and his wonderful powers would

fail him, no doubt.

INCIDENTS. Narrative articles, such as personal experience stories,

confessions, and narratives in the third person, consist almost entirely

of incidents. Dialogue and description are very frequently employed in

relating incidents, even when the greater part of the incident is told

in the writer's own words. The incidents given as examples of narrative

beginnings on pages 135-37 are sufficient to illustrate the various

methods of developing incidents as units.

STATISTICS. To make statistical facts comprehensible and interesting is

usually a difficult problem for the inexperienced writer. Masses of

figures generally mean very little to the average reader. Unless the

significance of statistics can be quickly grasped, they are almost

valueless as a means of explanation. One method of simplifying them is

to translate them into terms with which the average reader is familiar.

This may often be done by reducing large figures to smaller ones.

Instead of saying, for example, that a press prints 36,000 newspapers an

hour, we may say that it prints 10 papers a second, or 600 a minute. To

most persons 36,000 papers an hour means little more than a large

number, but 10 papers and one second are figures sufficiently small to

be understood at a glance. Statistics sometimes appear less formidable

if they are incorporated in an interview or in a conversation.

In undertaking to explain the advantages of a coöperative community

store, a writer was confronted with the problem of handling a

considerable number of figures. The first excerpt below shows how he

managed to distribute them through several paragraphs, thus avoiding any

awkward massing of figures. In order to present a number of comparative

prices, he used the concrete case, given below, of an investigator

making a series of purchases at the store.


Here's the way the manager of the community store started. He

demonstrated to his neighbors by actual figures that they were

paying anywhere from $2 to $8 a week more for their groceries and

supplies than they needed to. This represented the middlemen's


He then proposed that if a hundred families would pay him regularly

50 cents a week, he would undertake to supply them with garden

truck, provisions and meats at wholesale prices. To clinch the

demonstration he showed that an average family would save this

50-cent weekly fee in a few days' purchases.

* * * * *

There is no difference in appearance between the community store and

any other provision store. There is no difference in the way you buy

your food. The only difference is that you pay 50 cents a week on a

certain day each week and buy food anywhere from 15 to 40 per cent

less than at the commercial, non-coöperative retail stores.


The other day an investigator from the department of agriculture

went to the Washington community store to make an experiment. He

paid his 50-cent weekly membership fee and made some purchases. He

bought a 10-cent carton of oatmeal for 8 cents; a 10-cent loaf of

bread for 8 cents; one-half peck of string beans for 20 cents,

instead of for 30 cents, the price in the non-coöperative stores;

three pounds of veal for 58 cents instead of 80 cents; a half dozen

oranges for 13 cents instead of the usual price of from 20 to 25

cents. His total purchases amounted to $1.32, and the estimated

saving was 49 cents--within 1 cent of the entire weekly fee.

Since to the average newspaper reader it would not mean much to say that

the cost of the public schools amounted to several hundred thousand

dollars a year, a special feature writer calculated the relation of the

school appropriation to the total municipal expenditure and then

presented the results as fractions of a dollar, thus:

Of every dollar that each taxpayer in this city paid to the city

treasurer last year, 45 cents was spent on the public schools. This

means that nearly one-half of all the taxes were expended on giving

boys and girls an education.

Of that same dollar only 8 cents went to maintain the police

department, 12 cents to keep up the fire department, and 13 cents

for general expenses of the city offices.

Out of the 45 cents used for school purposes, over one-half, or 24

cents, was paid as salaries to teachers and principals. Only 8 cents

went for operation, maintenance, and similar expenses.

How statistics may be effectively embodied in an interview is

demonstrated by the following excerpt from a special feature story on a

workmen's compensation law administered by a state industrial board:

Judge J.B. Vaughn, who is at the head of the board, estimates that

the system of settling compensation by means of a commission instead

of by the regular courts has saved the state $1,000,000 a year since

its inception in 1913. "Under the usual court proceedings," he says,

"each case of an injured workman versus his employer costs from $250

to $300. Under the workings of the industrial board the average cost

is no more than $20.

"In three and one-half years 8,000 cases have come before us. Nine

out of every ten have been adjusted by our eight picked

arbitrators, who tour the state, visiting promptly each scene of an

accident and adjusting the compensation as quickly as possible. The

tenth case, which requires a lengthier or more painstaking hearing,

is brought to the board.

"Seven million dollars has been in this time ordered to be paid to

injured men and their families. Of this no charge of any sort has

been entered against the workers or their beneficiaries. The costs

are taken care of by the state. Fully 90 per cent of all the cases

are settled within the board, which means that only 10 per cent are

carried further into the higher courts for settlement."

PROCESSES. To make scientific and technical processes sufficiently

simple to appeal to the layman, is another problem for the writer of

popular articles. A narrative-descriptive presentation that enables the

reader to visualize and follow the process, step by step, as though it

were taking place before his eyes, is usually the best means of making

it both understandable and interesting.

In a special feature story on methods of exterminating mosquitoes, a

writer in the _Detroit News_ undertook to trace the life history of a

mosquito. In order to popularize these scientific details, he describes

a "baby mosquito" in a concrete, informal manner, and, as he tells the

story of its life, suggests or points out specifically its likeness to a

human being.

The baby mosquito is a regular little water bug. You call him a

"wiggler" when you see him swimming about in a puddle. His head is

wide and flat and his eyes are set well out at the sides, while in

front of them he has a pair of cute little horns or feelers. While

the baby mosquito is brought up in the water, he is an air-breather

and comes to the top to breathe as do frogs and musk-rats and many

other water creatures of a higher order.

Like most babies the mosquito larva believes that his mission is to

eat as much as he can and grow up very fast. This he does, and if

the weather is warm and the food abundant, he soon outgrows his

skin. He proceeds to grow a new skin underneath the old one, and

when he finds himself protected, he bursts out of his old clothes

and comes out in a spring suit. This molting process occurs several

times within a week or two, but the last time he takes on another

form. He is then called a pupa, and is in a strange transition

period during which he does not eat. He now slowly takes on the form

of a true mosquito within his pupal skin or shell.

After two or three days, or perhaps five or six, if conditions are

not altogether favorable, he feels a great longing within him to

rise to something higher. His tiny shell is floating upon the water

with his now winged body closely packed within. The skin begins to

split along the back and the true baby mosquito starts to work

himself out. It is a strenuous task for him and consumes many


At last he appears and sits dazed and exhausted, floating on his old

skin as on a little boat, and slowly working his new wings in the

sunlight, as if to try them out before essaying flight. It is a

moment of great peril. A passing ripple may swamp his tiny craft and

shipwreck him to become the prey of any passing fish or vagrant

frog. A swallow sweeping close to the water's surface may gobble him

down. Some ruthless city employe may have flooded the surface of the

pond with kerosene, the merest touch of which means death to a

mosquito. Escaping all of the thousand and one accidents that may

befall, he soon rises and hums away seeking whom he may devour.

A mechanical process, that of handling milk at a model dairy farm, was

effectively presented by Constance D. Leupp in an article entitled, "The

Fight for Clean Milk," printed in the _Outlook_. By leading "you," the

reader, to the spot, as it were, by picturing in detail what "you" would

see there, and then by following in story form the course of the milk

from one place to another, she succeeded in making the process clear and


Here at five in the afternoon you may see long lines of sleek,

well-groomed cows standing in their cement-floored, perfectly

drained sheds. The walls and ceilings are spotless from constant

applications of whitewash, ventilation is scientifically arranged,

doors and windows are screened against the flies. Here the

white-clad, smooth-shaven milkers do their work with scrubbed and

manicured hands. You will note that all these men are studiously

low-voiced and gentle in movement; for a cow, notwithstanding her

outward placidity, is the most sensitive creature on earth, and

there is an old superstition that if you speak roughly to your cow

she will earn no money for you that day.

As each pail is filled it is carried directly into the milk-house;

not into the bottling-room, for in that sterilized sanctum nobody

except the bottler is admitted, but into the room above, where the

pails are emptied into the strainer of a huge receptacle. From the

base of this receptacle it flows over the radiator in the

bottling-room, which reduces it at once to the required temperature,

thence into the mechanical bottler. The white-clad attendant places

a tray containing several dozen empty bottles underneath, presses a

lever, and, presto! they are full and not a drop spilled. He caps

the bottles with another twist of the lever, sprays the whole with a

hose, picks up the load and pushes it through the horizontal

dumb-waiter, where another attendant receives it in the

packing-room. The second man clamps a metal cover over the

pasteboard caps and packs the bottles in ice. Less than half an hour

is consumed in the milking of each cow, the straining, chilling,

bottling, and storing of her product.

PRACTICAL GUIDANCE UNITS. To give in an attractive form complete and

accurate directions for doing something in a certain way, is another

difficult problem for the inexperienced writer. For interest and

variety, conversation, interviews and other forms of direct quotation,

as well as informal narrative, may be employed.

Various practical methods of saving fuel in cooking were given by a

writer in _Successful Farming_, in what purported to be an account of a

meeting of a farm woman's club at which the problem was discussed. By

the device of allowing the members of the club to relate their

experiences, she was able to offer a large number of suggestions. Two

units selected from different portions of the article illustrate this


"I save dollars by cooking in my furnace," added a practical worker.

"Potatoes bake nicely when laid on the ledge, and beans, stews,

roasts, bread--in fact the whole food list--may be cooked there. But

one must be careful not to have too hot a fire. I burned several

things before I learned that even a few red coals in the fire-pot

will be sufficient for practically everything. And then it does

blacken the pans! But I've solved that difficulty by bending a piece

of tin and setting it between the fire and the cooking vessel. This

prevents burning, too, if the fire should be hot. Another plan is

to set the vessel in an old preserving kettle. If this outer kettle

does not leak, it may be filled with water, which not only aids in

the cooking process but also prevents burning. For broiling or

toasting, a large corn popper is just the thing."

* * * * *

"My chief saving," confided the member who believes in preparedness,

"consists in cooking things in quantities, especially the things

that require long cooking, like baked beans or soup. I never think

of cooking less than two days' supply of beans, and as for soup,

that is made up in quantity sufficient to last a week. If I have no

ice, reheating it each day during warm weather prevents spoiling.

Most vegetables are not harmed by a second cooking, and, besides the

saving in fuel it entails, it's mighty comforting to know that you

have your dinner already prepared for the next day, or several days

before for that matter. In cold weather, or if you have ice, it will

not be necessary to introduce monotony into your meals in order to

save fuel, for one can wait a day or two before serving the extra

quantity. Sauces, either for vegetables, meats or puddings, may just

as well be made for more than one occasion, altho if milk is used in

their preparation, care must be taken that they are kept perfectly

cold, as ptomaines develop rapidly in such foods. Other things that

it pays to cook in large portions are chocolate syrup for making

cocoa, caramel for flavoring, and apple sauce."

By using a conversation between a hostess and her guest, another writer

in the same farm journal succeeded in giving in a novel way some

directions for preparing celery.

"Your escalloped corn is delicious. Where did you get your recipe?"

Mrs. Field smiled across the dining table at her guest. "Out of my

head, I suppose, for I never saw it in print. I just followed the

regulation method of a layer of corn, then seasoning, and repeat,

only I cut into small pieces a stalk or two of celery with each

layer of corn."

"Celery and corn--a new combi

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