Introduction

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AN EXPLANATION.—The object of this website is to teach rapid, easily-executed, business writing. It has not been written to exploit any one’s skill as a pen artist. It aims to be of use to those who are ambitious to become good, practical business writers. The lessons it contains are not experimental, but have been the means of guiding millions of boys and girls, young men and women to a good business style of writing.

As will be seen at a glance, the Palmer Method of Business Writing has nothing in common with copy-books which have been so largely used in public schools for more than half a century. If they are right, this book is wrong. The two methods of teaching writing are absolutely antagonistic.

The copy-book has but one purpose — to secure absolute mechanical accuracy. The copy-book headline is usually first carefully penciled by a skilled penman after a given model, and shows none of the individuality of the penman employed in its construction. The penciled copy is given to a skilled script-engraver, who engraves it by hand and further perfects it wherever possible. This impossible and lifeless ideal the child is required to imitate through long, dreary pages of copying. No wonder he fails!

It has been proved, through at least two generations, that the copy-book kills individuality and makes freedom of movement impossible. It compels slow finger-action in the formation of letters, giving a fair degree of accuracy where only slow writing is required; but the pupil’s work inevitably becomes scribbling when the least speed is attempted. In the Palmer Method, freedom of movement is the foundation, and, through a constantly repeated series of rapid drills, the application of movement becomes a fixed habit of the learner. Under this plan the pupil’s first attempt is naturally crude, but every drill practiced in strict accord with the printed instructions tends to add grace and accuracy to his work. The sure result is a handwriting that embodies these four essentials — legibility, rapidity, ease, and endurance.

Drill 156: Important improvement in penmanship

The drills and copies in this book are actual writing, executed with a rapid, easy, muscular movement, and then photo-engraved, thus retaining the individuality of the writer.

Pupils practicing from these lessons acquire the general style of the copies, but, at the same time, there is left to them the possibility of developing their own individuality.

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