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MY WIFE WHO HAS BEEN OF CONSTANT ASSISTANCE
AND INSPIRATION TO ME IN THE PREPARATION OF MY MANUSCRIPT THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED
This book is designed to meet a special need. It makes no pretense of running the whole gamut of expression and furnishing the student with all he needs to know from elementary speaking to advanced argumentation or interpretative reading. It is limited to a single field and chiefly to the work of a single course. It is the outgrowth of a need that I have long felt in my classes for a textbook which, without entering into unnecessary detail, would furnish the student with the essentials for instruction in practical speaking.
After experimenting with this problem for several years it is my conclusion that for courses in practical speaking two things are essential :
First, a definite amount of accurately expressed theory; that is, enough theory of the subject so that the student will not have to work blindly. This theory should be presented clearly and comprehensively, that he may be able to grasp it easily without having to flounder among technicalities which he has neither time nor need to master.
Second, a maximum of practice. Each problem as it is presented should be put into immediate practice by means of actual speech work upon the platform, and this practice should be kept up constantly from the first recitation till the last. Without this, any theory of the subject that may be presented is valueless. It is the actual doing, and this alone, that brings results.