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It is the function of habit to remove from the conscious sphere all the petty but constantly recurring details of life. This relegation of such minor actions to the control of the lower centres leaves the higher brain centres free to work upon more important matters. In nothing is the beauty of such an arrangement more clearly shown than in writing. The mere mechanics of the necessary action are relegated to and controlled by the lower centres in the practised writer, and so his conscious thought can be directed wholly and solely towards the idea to be expressed. If a writer does research paper writer online not reach the point at which the process of writing becomes wholly automatic, his training has been faulty or his practice insuffi- cient. Any inquiry into the psychology of writing with a view to sound pedagogy must therefore consider this question, "How may the writing habit be taught so as to become so automatic that the higher centres may be left free to think of the idea expressed? To attempt to teach the child meaningless, unassoci- ated strokes and letters is worse than useless. A few elementary movement drills may be practised for the purpose of gaining control and freedom of action, and the appropriate letters may be made in connec- tion with these drills. This method may be effective if writ- ing is not begun until the child is eight or nine years of age, for by that time the child has perhaps acquired the ability to imitate a word of two or three letters, especially if reading has already been taught for a year or two. If writing is taught at an earlier age, nothing but hopeless confusion could result from following such procedure except in the case of especially brilliant pupils.

Children of five or six years of age pick out only the research paper writer online most characteristic or interesting points in what they see. It is an impossibility for them to concentrate their at- tention to the extent necessary for even rough analyses. They cannot carry in the memory the form of even one letter with- out a great deal of repeated effort. To ask them to imitate a whole word without first breaking it up into its elements for them is to set an appalling task.

Freeman has thought too much of the end to be achieved and too little of the extremely small ability of the average child of six, or even eight.

He would overtax their ability and remove the most effective incentive to good practice — success. If writing is begun so early, the only possible method is the synthetic, beginning with the simplest strokes and working them into larger and larger combinations as proficiency increases. These consider- ations enforce the tentative conclusion reached in the his- torical sketch of writing, that the synthetic method of teach- ing writing is the best and most economical. It is not necessary, however, or advisable to teach the whole alphabet in this fashion before combining letters into words and so beginning the practice of writing in word-units rather than letter-units. The consonants may then be buy cheap paper online mastered, the child working the vowels and consonants into syllable-units, preferably syllables which form complete words, e. In this way the symbols acquire not only a sound value for the child, but also convey an idea at the earliest possible moment! Meaningful combinations should be sought as much as possible, and prac- tice should be directed towards the production of these rather than towards the production of meaningless syllables.

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The emphasis at this early stage of learning to write must be laid, however, upon the correct form of the letters and their component parts. If the forms are incorrectly learned and practised, they will inevitably become automatic in these undesirable shapes, and to change at a later stage to better forms will be a matter of extreme difficulty. It follows, there- fore, research paper writer online that correctness in form is more important at first than either rapidity or meaning.

This furnishes another argument in favour of the synthetic method, as it permits a sufficiently 45 long delay over the elements of letters to guarantee a reason- ably correct adaptation of them. The great danger in using the synthetic method in this fashion lies in the fact that too often the method of writing by research paper writer online letter-units is never enlarged to word-units or even larger ones.

In adult life, the child will never need to write letter by letter, but rather phrase by phrase, and unless care is taken to work towards larger and larger units the small unit be- comes habitual, and inevitably results in slow writing, which demands so much attention for itself that the mind is hamp- ered in its thought. Such a writer is in a position analogous to that of the reader who never succeeds in getting the mean- ing of the passage without slowly and laboriously spelling it out word by word. Such a reader is apt to miss the full mean- ing of the passage as a whole by his attention to individual letters and words.

So the writer who must think of each letter separately has no chance to centre his attention upon the full expression of his thought, nor has his thought an opportunity to be fully elaborated. To obviate this danger the teacher must see that practice is not directed wholly towards letter- forms, but rather toward the writing of word-units and phrase-units as soon as the child can handle them reasonably well. The writing-lesson is not only a lesson in the forms of letters and their production, but also a language lesson, and after the initial stages have been passed, mainly a language lesson. Writing is merely a tool of thought, never an end in itself, and only that teacher who keeps clearly in view this fact, and is always consciously working towards this end, can be a successful teacher of writing. No matter how beautiful, even and regular the writing may be, the teaching has been faulty unless it is used by the pupils as a natural means of ex- pression and not regarded as an end in itself. Ease and speed are much more valuable than beauty, the expression of mediocre but genuine thought even in poor writing much more desirable than poems beautifully but unintelligently copied.

It is none the less true that in the first stages of learning to write the meaning of the word imitated will be pretty well lost from consciousness during the process of imitation. The at- tention must of necessity be mainly directed towards the forms 46 of the letters and the movement necessary for their produc- tion. The child looks at the copy to be imitated, then follows his own stroke carefully with his eyes, keeping the form of the letter he is imitating in the forefront of his attention.

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