Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Maxwell, Lyle||Stehr, B. W.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Business Education


Shorthand--Study and teaching


Purpose: This study was undertaken to determine the minimum standards of achievement in the first year of shorthand in selected community unit high schools in Illinois in order to provide information on reading skill, knowledge of theory, dictation speed, and transcription rate standards for first-year shorthand. Method and Source: A questionnaire was compiled and sent to selected community unit high school first-year shorthand teachers in order to obtain information on the actual shorthand standards in these selected schools. Eighty-three questionnaires were sent and 70 replies were received. These 70 responses constitute the source of the data recorded in the findings. On the basis of these findings, several recommendations were made. Summary of Findings: 1. There were few prerequisites in most of the schools for taking first-year shorthand. Typewriting was not always considered a necessary prerequisite. 2. Most of the respondents felt that one year of shorthand was usually not adequate for preparing students for the initial stenographic position. 3. Two years of shorthand was offered in about two-thirds of the schools. 4. Most teachers confined theory work to the first semester of the first year of shorthand. Very little was done in the second semester with theory. 5. The most common minimum speed requirement for first-year shorthand was 60 words per minute. 6. Most of the dictation is new letter-type material. Office-style dictation was not given until the last of the second semester if at all. 7. The most common length of dictation was three minutes. In this case, all of the dictation was transcribed. However, those respondents who gave five minutes of dictation required that only three minutes be transcribed. 8. Approximately two-thirds of the respondents required students to produce mailable copy at the end of the first-year. The most common general accuracy requirement was 95 per cent. 9. Students were usually evaluated at the end of the first-year on the basis of taking dictation and transcribing the dictation in a satisfactory manner. General Recommendations: 1. Typewriting should be a prerequisite for first-year shorthand. 2. There should be some basis for advising students in regard to enrolling in shorthand. 3. If only one year of shorthand is available, a careful evaluation of the course should be made in order to adequately prepare students for stenographic positions. 4. Shorthand theory should be learned in the first-semester and reinforced in the second semester. 5. The minimum speed requirement for first-year shorthand should not be less than 80 words per minute. 6. Students should learn to transcribe at the typewriter and produce work in proper and mailable form. 7. Test dictation should be of new material so that students will learn to take new matter dictation readily.


Includes bibliographical references.


141 pages




Northern Illinois University

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