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The best tool for measuring general merit is the Thorndike Scale, for legibility, the letter exposure method of Starch, for ease of production the computation of the number of letters writ- ten per minute. These three methods will measure adequately the three chief elements in writing. Starch made a survey of handwriting in the schools of Madison, using the three methods of measurement outlined in the preceding paragraphs. A specimen from each pupil in the ten schools of the system was obtained, a total of 2,190. These were procured at the end of the school year in order to make it possible to establish definite standards of attainment in handwriting for each grade.

To each teacher the following typewritten instructions were given : 83 Writing Test. Each pupil is to write "Mary had a little lamb" repeatedly for two minutes. To get an accurate record of the time the teacher should see that each pupil is ready with pen and ruled paper. They should write as well as they can and without interruption at natural speed for two minutes, when the teacher will give the signal to stop. The speed, legibility and form of each sample was then measured.

The speed is indicated in terms of so many letters per minute, the legibility in terms of reading time per letter, the form in the buy academic papers terms of the Thorndike scale. The combined results are given in the following tables.

The different schools are indicated by letters at the left, the grades are numbered across the top.

The blank spaces are due to erroneous per- formance of the test in those particular grades. Speed of writing in letters per minute, Grades Schools. Legibility improves tremendously in the first two years, and then more gradually, reaching a maximum in the fourth year, after which there is no improvement. The tables show how accurate a comparison may be drawn between the work of the same grades in different schools. The weakness of the class is at once made clear and when recognized can be remedied.

Further, class averages can be used to set average stand- ards of attainment for the various grades.

Very evidently such definite standards are needed, not only best paraphrasing online in writing but in every school subject. With such standards and with adequate means of measuring efficiency any qualified person could go into a school room and measure the ability of individuals or of the class as a whole in any subject. Such measurements would prove whether the class was up to the average standard or not, and if deficient, buy research paper no plagiarism to what extent and in what respects. An empirical standard de- rived from the average performances of a large number of individuals at their best is the only safe guide for what should be demanded from a class.

The averages as given in the tables above are tentatively valid standards for speed, legibil- ity, and form in handwriting.

A universal standard, of course, would require the combining of the averages of many school systems. It is likely, however, that such combined averages would not differ greatly from those given above. The following table puts these in convenient form : 86 Table IV.

Tentative Standards for all Grades in Speed, Form and Legibility. The advantages of precise measurements shown upon a standard chart of attainment are many.

It enables the teacher to pick out weaknesses in either individuals or the entire class, and so direct her instruction towards remedying the defect. It makes it possible to measure progress from time to time in a precise fashion. It makes better supervision possible by giving the principal a tool for estimating justly the efficiency of the various grades and teachers in his school.

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Most important of all, it enables a scientific investigation of methods and conditions of teach- ing writing. I — Legibility, Form and Speed, WE are now in a position to discuss in greater detail the relations existing between the three chief elements in writing, viz. If these three elements were highly correlated the discussion of their relationship and relative importance would not be so neces- sary, as by improving any one factor we could be certain of improving the others along with it. His results are shown in the following table : Speed and Form 10 Speed buy academic papers and Legibility 12 Form and Legibility 34 From this it appears that there is practically no correla- tion between speed and legibility and speed and form. In other words, increased speed tends to decrease quality and legibility. Form and legibility correlate to a higher degree, but less than might have been expected. Since these three factors are to a great extent independent of one another, it is necessary to decide to which one the high- est value must be given. Are form and legibility to be developed at the expense of speed, or speed at the expense of the other two?

How can a proper balance be struck, so that no one element will suffer unduly? Writing is a mode of expression, a way of conveying thought. Unless it is legible, it is useless for its purpose. Legibility, therefore, is the most important single element in writing for either the producer or the recipient. Writing is not writing at all unless it can be read.

The writing is valuable only for the meaning it contains, and provided the meaning is plain, the shorter the time in which buy academic papers it can be produced the better for the writer. Rapidity means efficiency, economy of time, and, therefore, is of the utmost importance to the writer. Beauty and aesthetic quali- ties, in a word, form, must therefore be ranked as lowest in value of the three elements. Of course, of two samples of writing, each of equal legibility and produced at the same rate of speed, that one that appeals most to our sense of beauty will be judged the better. If, however, the additional beauty has been procured at the cost of rapidity, we can no longer safely say that the writing is better, for one element, and that one the least important, has been enhanced at the expense of another. If any one objects to such a low estimate of the aesthetic qualities in writing, we must reply that writing is a tool for work, and must be judged as a tool, i. If a cord of wood must be cut, any sane man prefers a sharp saw, no matter how poor its appearance may be, to a beautiful but dull one. In the same way we must give more weight to the strictly utilitarian quali- ties of writing than to its aesthetic appeal. We may conclude that the order of the three elements in writing when ranked in the order of descending value, will be: (1) Legibility. Legibility itself is not a simple quality, but a complex de- pending upon various factors.

A simple analysis shows that the main factors in legibility are the following: 89 (1) The clear formation of letters, so that they are readily recognizable. One of the most important faults in writing is that of poor spacing. Fortunately, it is also one best buy research paper of the easiest to remedy. As a practical guide, the proper space between words is about the width of the letter "m," whatever that may be for the in- dividual writer.

Less space than this is confusing, a much greater space makes reading difficult, as the work of the eyes is increased and the continuity is lost when too large spaces are left.

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