Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/234

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printed report also demands care, but the opportunity for revision is here of longer duration, extending even to the correction of the paged proof. Finally, the diagrams, pictures and maps appropriate for a printed essay may be minutely accurate; but such accuracy is generally unnecessary, if not indeed undesirable, in the illustrations that accompany a spoken report.

In view of these contrasts, it is evidently desirable that an investigator should consider the use that he proposes to make of a report while he is preparing it; just as he must consider the intellectual standing of the audience or of the readers to whom it is addressed. Practice in the preparation of reports of different grades is therefore an important part of the training of any student who wishes, in his maturer years, to do his share in guiding the thought of the part of the world that is interested in the subject which he cultivates. He should have actual experience in the delivery of both short and long oral reports, sometimes in elementary form for the easy edification of young hearers, sometimes in advanced technical form for keen criticism by older hearers; also in the writing of short and long reports of elementary and of advanced style. Conscious effort and repeated opportunity are necessary for safe and rapid progress.

Five Styles of Presentation.—Reports, whether spoken or printed, differ also in the method of presentation that they follow. The more commonly employed methods may be named the narrative, the inductive, the analytic, the systematic and the regional methods, each of which may be advantageously employed in certain cases. The narrative method is suitable in rendering preliminary account of journeys in new fields, rather than final account of elaborate investigations; the inductive method is serviceable in reporting investigations of a relatively simple character, in which abundant facts lead to an undisputed result; the analytical method serves for more elaborate investigations, in which several rival hypotheses have to be tested and a safe explanation discovered and demonstrated; the systematic, when the related results of many studies are to be compared, classed and arranged; and the regional, for the climax of geographical work, when a specified district is to be described. These various methods may of course be modified or combined to suit individual needs, and various other methods may be invented; but we can here give further attention only to the five announced, with particular reference to their use in oral reports. What has been said above as to the contrast between oral and written presentation may suffice for the present to indicate the manner in which a report that is to be printed and read must differ from one that is to be spoken and heard.

The Narrative Method.—The presentation of events, observations and reflections in a chronological order is the essential feature of the narrative method. A diary kept during the progress of an excursion,