The following chapters will furnish exercises in composition, both oral and written
Too Long; Didn't ReadThe following chapters will furnish exercises in composition, both oral and written, based upon the various phases of business. They are intended to show the application of the principles underlying manufacturing, buying, and selling. Of course, we cannot expect to go into great detail in any one of the divisions. That must be reserved for future study, perhaps reserved until the time that you enter a particular business. We must remember that our first consideration is the study of English, the problem of clear-cut expression. Underlying clear-cut expression is clear-cut thinking. It cannot be repeated too often that without a definite thought there can be no definite wording of the thought. To say, "I know, but I don't know how to tell it," shows a lazy brain. Learn to exercise your thinking powers so that you can force them to stay upon a subject until you have thought it out carefully and can express it. All of the oral exercises in the following chapters require careful preparation. This does not mean that they should be written out before the recitation, but it does mean that they must be carefully thought out. The preparation need not take a particular form. The main thing is that you know exactly the points that you wish to make before you begin to speak. If the exercise calls for a paragraph, have clearly in mind the plan by which you expect to expand your thought. Perhaps you expect to begin with, or to lead up to, a topic sentence. Remember that this may be done in several ways. Choose whichever plan seems best. If the exercise does not call for a particular form, such as a paragraph or a debate, you are left free to develop your thought in the way that you think fits your subject best and to the length which you think it demands.
There are many different kinds of businesses. We shall not attempt to consider any except the most common and fundamental. Some, like farming or mining, consist in bringing forth certain products from the ground. Such products are called raw materials, of which an example is wheat. Some raw materials are sold and used unchanged, but most of them go through the process of manufacture in order to be directly usable. The miller is an example of a manufacturer, because from wheat he makes flour. In this chapter we shall study the principles underlying manufacture.
The exercises do not by any means exhaust the subject. Each one is to be considered as a nucleus about which others are to be grouped. If you live in a manufacturing district, other subjects will easily suggest themselves. If you have studied Industrial History or Commercial Geography, you probably have in mind a number of topics for discussion. If you know but little about raw materials, read some of the books suggested in Exercise 257. At all events let your work be definite. Whatever statements you make be able to substantiate by an illustration of something that you have seen or heard or read.