Many have learned to write an excellent hand while sitting in a poor position, but they certainly could have accomplished much more and with greater ease during the same time had they learned to sit in a better position. The author has tried to make these illustrations speak for themselves, and whose destring to improve their writing should study each illustration very carefully and follow directions given.
Form of Receipt.
Form of Draft.
Instruction for Plate I.
A great deal of time should be spent in practicing the one space letters. The different parts of each letter are illustrated in such a way that any one can see just how each letter is formed. Practice the different principles that are given for the letter, then practice on the letter itself, and after that the combination of letters as shown in the word copies or groups. The figures and commercial abbreviations should be practiced carefully. First, study the form, get a clear conception of the formation of the letter or figure, and then write with a free movement. There is a tendency sometimes with beginners in wanting to slight some of the first work in order that more difficult copies may be taken up. Be careful to work patiently on these small letters, as they are the foundation for good, practical writing. After the principles are practiced, then write a page of each letter, and follow with a page of each word containing that letter. In writing the page of word copies, see that the writing is not spread out too much, or that too wide spacing is left between words. After the proper spacing has been decided upon, see that you write the same number of words throughout the entire page-Instruction for Plate II.
In this plate we have the loop letters. Loop letters are easily made if the right motion is used in producing them. In the formation of the loop we find the right curve and the straight line. For exercise work we have given the oblique movement exercise. Make this exercise fill one large space in height. Take up the letters and words in exactly the same order in which they are given. Do not omit or hurry over any part of this work.
One of the principal faults in forming the loop is in making the first line too straight. It should be quite a decided curve, then make the downward line practically straight. The two lines should cross about one-third the height of the loop, and be careful not to make them too long. Perhaps a little finger action would help you in making these, but let the main motion come from the arm.
Unless you can write all the one space letters as found in Plate I with the muscular movement, you will have a very poor foundation upon which to build loop letters. In your loop letters some space should be left between the top of the loop and the blue line above. If any letter or word seems very difficult, that is the one you should practice on most.
Instruction for Plate III.
In Plate III all the capital letters are presented, and they should be practiced in, the order in which they are given. First practice on the movement exercises and then gradually take up one letter at a time. At least one page should be filled with each word copy. The work grows more difficult as we advance, therefore will be seen the necessity for the thorough working of the preliminary exercises before trying to make these capital letters. Do not sacrifice the movement for form; for, while you may gain some in form, you will lose in movement, without which your writing is poor indeed. After having practiced all of the work given in this plate, it is a good plan to return to some of the letters and review them. Select several of the most difficult capitals and aim to make the greatest improvement possible in those letters. Compare your work with the copy often and see that precisely the same forms of letters are used that are given in the copies. It is better to have but one style of capital letter and practice that so thoroughly that the work becomes almost automatic. You will scatter your forces too much if you try a number of optional forms in capital letters. In giving these letters for practice we have selected the very plainest forms and those that are used most frequently by business men and good business writers everywhere. As soon as one letter is learned you should make a practical application of that form in all of your everyday writing.
Instruction for Plate IV.
There are many who can make a word or a line appear to advantage, but when it comes to a page of miscellaneous work, there is something lacking. The remedy for this is the practice of miscellaneous page work, and we hope our home students will write the work given in Plate IV over many times. There are no new capitals in this, and it will serve as an excellent copy for this class of work. Study the arrangement of your work and be sure to write with the free-arm movement. Avoid every tendency to shade or flourish, and endeavor to cultivate neatness and order in all your practice work. We believe the copies presented contain educational value aside from the practice of penmanship, and we can make our practice doubly valuable by taking up only such copies as contain important statements.
Instruction for Plate V.
The copies in this plate are such as will help those who have occasion to do work in bookkeeping. The first four lines of copies are intended to furnish material for the practice of ledger headings. The writing is made somewhat larger than that used for ordinary correspondence work, as the main thing in ledger headings is to have the work plain and legible in the extreme. Some accountants prefer to shade their ledger headings, and several examples of this kind of shaded writings are given on this plate which will show how this work is done. It requires more skill to do shading and have the work look well, and this should only be attempted by those who are quite proficient in using the pen. The writing used for explanations in bookkeeping entries should always be quite small and should never be shaded nor flourished.
Instructions for Plates VI. and VII.
In letter-writing great care should be taken that the style of writing be perfectly plain. Too much care cannot be taken in writing signatures, as often very good penmen will write their name in such a way that it is difficult to read them. Many presume that their signature is so familiar to the general public that they finish the otherwise well-written letter carelessly in that respect. Do not sign your name with flourishes, but endeavor to use the plain forms that have been given throughout the series of lessons. These forms, in Plates VI and VII, offer excellent models for practice in letter-writing, and be sure that you follow the arrangement in every respect. After practicing on these models you may make a little variation in the subject-matter and sign your own name, and in that way you will get practice that will be very beneficial to you when it comes to actual letter-writing. The only way to make a success of your handwriting is to use good writing in your everyday work.
Instruction for Plate VIII.
These forms will give you an idea how to apply good penmanship in connection with business forms. If you have blank forms similar to the ones presented herewith, you may fill them out in order to get the proper size of writing and correct arrangement of the work. Follow these copies in every particular, as they are based upon up-to-date models of business forms.