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Suggested topics for description:
(a) The Smallest (or Largest) Man I Ever Saw.
you have visited).
wonder you have witnessed).
The first thing you should do in an expository composition is to decide on your subject, that is, the general thing you are to talk on, whether football, fishing, hazing, or the honor system. After settling this question, then determine what phase of that subject you are to treat. In doing this, you are limiting the scope of your treatment. A talk on “Fishing" would certainly be too general, but one on "How I Fish for Trout” would force you to confine yourself within definite bounds. This business of narrowing down your subject to fit a specific title is helpful to both you and your hearers. No person can talk well
on a general subject, because there is so much that can be said that it is difficult to know just where to take hold, to know what to say first. The result of a general talk is a floundering around and saying nothing that counts or impresses.
Having selected your title, you are now ready to divide your topic into two or three main headings. These divisions constitute your mental outline. If you do not remember clearly the different orders of arranging material, turn to section 49 and re-read it. Suppose your title is “How I Fish for Trout." Perhaps the following points come to you at random: 1. Playing for and landing the trout; 2. The kind of tackle and bait; 3. The best place for trout-fishing. Now, common sense will tell you that you
should not begin your talk with the first point. What, then, is a good order to use in telling how to do things? One of the orders that will cover most explaining cases in the time order, telling of things in the actual sequence that you would perform them in life,-telling in the first of your talk what should be done first, and in the second part, what should be done second, and so on. If you apply the time order to the headings above, you would have the following mental outline:
1. The kind of tackle and bait.
3. Playing for and landing the trout. Probably you are wondering whether you should subdivide your main headings. In general, it is best not to do so. If your talk is to be a long and complicated one, you might have some minor divisions in mind. The trouble with employing subdivisions is that you will be formal, and what you say will have the tinge of a public speech. You must have freedom so as to have naturalness and spontaneity of expression.
You need not give, in exact words, the title of your
(a) How I Fish.
on the Farm.
(m) The Qualities it Takes to Make a Good Sales
man. (n) The Difference Between Culture and Refine
ment. (0) The Habit of Losing One's Temper. (p) The Student Who Works His Way Through
EXPOSITORY ORAL COMPOSITIONS The talk given below on the League of Nations was made soon after the signing of the Armistice. It is printed here to suggest how you can treat a topic of current interest, using magazines and newspapers to obtain information to date. Some of the ideas contained here were read by the student in the editorial and news columns of papers issued on the day the talk was given.
1. THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS The League of Nations has perhaps created more interest, and is more widely discussed than any other similar thing in all the world's history. It ought to be, for it will influence more people-if adoptedthan any constitution or treaty ever has. A League of Nations in some form now seems practically certain, but just what that form will be it is not now clear.
In England and the United States, opinion about the League is divided. Some people think the League is idealistic and impractical. Others think it is practical and will prove a success. The people of France are doubtful about its success. They are afraid it will not have power to enforce its will. The French are unwilling to rely wholly on it for protection. They are afraid Germany will disregard it, and strike another blow at them. They believe that Germany will do this because she has been so slow in demobilizing her army, because she has been so assertive and has not the attitude of a conquered people, and because she has recently recruited and organized an army of 600,000 men, and placed it on the eastern front for protection against Russia. France feels that Germany does not need such a large army for protection, but that Germany is merely using the trouble in Russia as an excuse for maintaining a large army that is really intended to strike France with. The majority of the people of Italy are in favor of the League, and believe that it is the solution of many of the problems of peace and war.
Whether the League will be successful or not, no one can tell. It is such a tremendous undertaking that we are in but a poor position yet to pass solid judgment on it. I saw a cartoon the other day that dealt with the League of Nations idea. The cartoon was divided into four parts. One part represented