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suitable for a descriptive oral composition; but you can select an exposition or a narrative that has much description.
Remember that in description every author has two points of view towards the object being described -a physical point of view, and an emotional, or mental, point of view. The physical point of view is the physical position in which he is situated in respect to the object described, --whether he is above it, far from it, to one side of it, or within it. The emotional, or mental, point of view is the feeling or attitude of mind he has towards the object,—whether a feeling of love, pity, admiration, or gloomy sadness. Washington Irving describes Ichabod Crane as he sees him on the profile of a hill in the distance, with his clothes fluttering like a scare crow's rags. Trying's physical point of view is from the side, at a distance, with Crane on the hill, outlined against the sky. His emotional point of view is humorous contempt. Observe your author's points of view and try to retain them.
Use concrete, specific words in your descriptions. Choose expressions denoting action. Avoid the use of many adverbs. Do not make your descriptions long. Long descriptions are tiresome in written language, and more so in spoken language.
38. Suggested Sources from which to Get Descriptions for Oral Compositions of the First Form.(a) Magazines
(1) Art World.
(2) Country Life.
(6) Travel (well illustrated). (b) Books of travel, of description of places and
(c) Books of animal and outdoor life.
39. Exposition.—Exposition is best given by talk. ing it in divisions, or topics. State at the first of each division, in a few words, what you are discussing in that division. Then enter into detailed explanation. The topic sentence is more important in oral composition than in written, because it tends to make the talker stick to his topic, and it helps the hearer to follow more easily.
Often it is desirable to change the order of arrangement of the original so as to suit better your hearers.
40. Suggested Sources from which to Get Expositions for Oral Compositions of the First Form.(a) Magazines
(1) American Magazine.
(8) Education (articles on teaching and educa
tion in general). (9) Educational Review (similar to Educa
tion). (10) English Journal (deals with good English
and methods of teaching English). (11) Fortnightly Review. (12) Harper's Magazine. (13) Independent. (14) Literary Digest. (15) McClure's Magazine. (16) Munsey's Magazine. (17) Nation. (18) National Geographic Magazine. (19) New Republic. (20) North American Review. (21) Outlook. (22) Popular Mechanics. (23) Popular Science Monthly. (24) Review of Reviews. (25) School and Society. (26) Scientific American. (27) Scribner's Magazine. (28) South Atlantic Quarterly. (29) Survey.
(30) World's Work. (b) Essays and Lectures (in book form) (1) Arnold, Matthew-literary essays and lec
(3) Burroughs, John — Wake Robin; Winter
Sunshine; Birds and Poets; Locusts and
Signs and Seasons; Indoor Studies.
Intelligent. (8) Hazlitt, William-essays and lectures. (9) Huxley, Thomas 11.—Essays and Lectures. (10) Lamb, Charles-Essays of Elia. (11) Newman, J. II.-The Idea of a University. (12) Palmer, G.H.-Self-Cultivation in English. (13) Poe, E. A.-essays. (14) Ruskin, John - Sesame and Lilies; The
Crown of Wild Olives. (15) Stevenson, R. L.-Virginibus Puerisque;
Familiar Studies of Men and Books; Mem
oirs and Portraits.
Below is a long magazine article, reprinted in full. Often you will have need to re-tell just such a lengthy article. You should try your hand at reproducing the long pieces to see whether you are able to select the important matters and set them forth in good order and with coherence. Following the article are two short oral compositions based on it.
1. The Original Article
BY ALBERT T. CLAY,
Yale University One of the romances of the last 75 years has been the unearthing of the remains of forgotten empires and the deciphering of their ancient records. A little over a half a century ago what was known concerning the ancient peoples of the nearer East, besides that which is contained in the Old Testament, could be written in a very brief form.
Israel was then regarded as one of the great nations of antiquity. Abraham belonged to the dawn of civilization. The references to other people in the Old Testament had but little meaning, for few appreciated the fact that the history of many pre-Israelitish nations had practically faded from the knowledge of man.
The pick and spade of the explorer, however, and the patient toil of the decipherer have thrown a flood of light upon the situation; ruin-hills of the great past have been opened up to the light of day, out of which emerge marvelous revelations in the form of written records and other remains.
ASTOUNDING REVELATIONS These, although written in languages and scripts
*Reprinted by special permission from the National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 29; Copyrighted 1916.