Assume correct position; practice the movement without, and then with, the penholder. Be sure that you are using exactly the right movement, and practice the two-space compact ovals two or three minutes at the rate of two hundred to a minute. (Drill 3.)
When two lines are connected in an angle, a positive stop at the point of connection is necessary. This principle applies to the top of capital A where the upward and the last downward strokes are joined. This stop is such a small fraction of a second in duration that it can hardly be detected. Without the stop at the tpp of capital A, a loop will be made. To emphasize this stop in connection with capital A, the following conversational count has been developed. “You stop, you stop, at the top, you stop, every time, at the top. How long do you stop at the top? Not long, but you stop, every time, at the top. What for, what for, what for? Oh! To close them up, to close them up, to close them up.” and repeat. Other conversational counts that may be used with capital A arc, “Roll the arm, on the muscle; see it roll, on the muscle; slide the hand, on the fingers, see them slide, over the paper, make them glide.” Make your letters the same size as in the drill, and begin each letter as the pen moves downward. Make capital A in groups of five, and move the paper a little to the left after each of the first two groups as indicated by the check mark. When the third group of five has been finished, move the paper to the right to its correct position for beginning a line. Learning to move the paper in this and in other drills is very important. There are three groups of five, making fifteen letters to a line in drill 6, and five lines, seventy-five letters, should be made in a minute.
The dotted line between the first and second letters shows the path over which the pen should move without touching the paper, in passing from one letter to the next. A count of ten should be used in each group of five, and the count for each line should be 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, move the paper, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, move the paper, l-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, move the paper. In beginning every practice period hereafter, your program should be the two-space compact oval, one minute — two hundred ovals, and capital A, at a speed that will produce at least sixty-five and very soon seventy-five in a minute. For the present, three minutes could very profitably be spent in repeating the capital A with an easy, swinging, rhythmic motion. Select your best capital and compare it with the models giving close attention to size, slant, width, distance between letters, and the beginning and finishing lines.
If pupils have copies of this Manual, study it closely, and follow it absolutely in daily practice, rapid improvement will be evident from week to week, and the ideal in rapid, easy, legible writing will soon be attained.