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Outlining The Article

Having selected the main topics and having decided in a general way how he intended to develop each one,

Having selected the main topics and having decided in a general way how he intended to develop each one, he then fixed upon the best order in which to present them.

After his introduction giving the striking results of the school in a summary lead, it seemed logical to explain the firm's purpose in undertaking this unusual enterprise. He accordingly jotted down for his second topic, "Purpose in establishing the school," with the two sub-topics, "Firm's statement on program" and "Head of firm's statement in interview." The methods of-instruction by which the remarkable success was attained, impressed him as the next important point. His readers, having learned the results and the purpose of the school, would naturally want to know by what methods these girls had been transformed in so short a time. As his third topic, therefore, he put down, "Methods of instruction." For his fourth division he had to choose between (1) the results as shown by the pupils' written work, (2) the cost of the school, and (3) the schoolroom and its equipment. From the point of view of logical order either the results or the schoolroom might have been taken up next, but, as all the explanations of the methods of instruction were quoted directly in the words of the teacher, and as the pupils' exercises were to be given verbatim, he thought it best to place his own description of the schoolroom between these two quoted parts. Greater variety, he foresaw, would result from such an arrangement. "The schoolroom," then, became the fourth topic.

Since the pupils' work which he planned to reproduce had been exhibited on the walls of the schoolroom, the transition from the description of the room to the exhibits on the walls was an easy and logical one.

By this process of elimination, the cost of the school became the sixth division, to be followed by the summary conclusion.

He then proceeded to fill in the details needed to develop each of these main topics, always keeping his general purpose in mind. The result of this organization of material was the following outline: I. Summary lead 1. Striking results—time required 2. Commencement—when and where held 3. Graduates—number, nationality, certificates 4. School—when and where established 5. Example to other firms II. Purpose of school 1. Firm's statement on commencement program 2. Head of firm's statement in interview III. Methods of instruction 1. Practical education 2. Letter writing—geography, postal regulations, correspondence 3. Arithmetic—money, expense accounts, reports of work 4. Civics—history, biography, holidays, citizenship, patriotism 5. Personal hygiene—cleanliness, physical culture, first aid, food 6. Cotton goods—growing cotton, spinning, shipping 7. Means of communication—telephone, directory, map of city, routes of travel, telephone book 8. Study outside of classroom IV. The schoolroom 1. Location—floor space, windows 2. Decorations—flowers, motto, photograph of Miss Jessie Wilson 3. Furnishings—piano, phonograph 4. Library—reading to the girls, The Promised Land, Mary Antin, library cards V. Results shown by pupils' work 1. Italian's theme and her remarkable progress 2. Russian's essay on saving 3. Polish girl's exercise about picture 4. Woman of forty and her work VI. Cost of school 1. Expense to firm 2. Cost to Board of Education—salaries and supplies 3. Entire cost per pupil 4. Returns to firm outweigh cost, says employer VII. Summary conclusion 1. Results quoted from program 2. Impression made by girls receiving diploma.

Reference book: How To Write Special Feature Articles

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