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FOR SCHOOLS

BY

ROBERT HERRICK, A.B.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

AND

LINDSAY TODD DAMON, A.B.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF RHETORIC, BROWN UNIVERSITY

REVISED EDITION

CHICAGO

SCOTT, FORESMAN AND COMPANY

1903

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PREFACE

Certain beliefs in reference to the teaching of English. composition in schools have influenced the authors in preparing the present text-book.

1. In the earliest years, the critical aim in teaching should be subordinated to the constructive, stimulative aim; the pupil should be encouraged to write freely and even unconsciously at first, to form habits of thought and of invention before his expression is minutely criticised and pruned. For this reason Part I has been made a preliminary course of constructive work. To these chapters nothing of a merely negative or minutely critical nature has been admitted. The processes of work that a conscientious writer follows are described, as closely as possible in the natural order in which these processes occur in a writer's experience.

2. Much, if not all, of the usual freshman course of rhetoric in colleges can properly be included in the secondary course in English without requiring more time than is already devoted to the subject. In view of the fact that only a small percentage of the students of secondary schools enter college, it seems desirable to present to the high-school pupil all the elementary facts of style, such as usage, important rhetorical principles, and paragraphing. Many of the best text-books designed for schools, however, are purposely incomplete in treatment; they take for granted that the student will pursue a further course of instruction.

3. In the usual secondary course, the text-book in rhetoric is too markedly separated from the work in com

t

position. Frequently it is assigned to be taught during one year of the course, or one term of a year, and is afterwards dismissed from the pupil's attention. This is due in part to the fact that most text-books are designed for a short course, in which the subject is presented methodically and theoretically. The authors of the present book believe that the text-book should accompany the pupil as far as possible through his course—at least for two years. Part I is intended to provide for a year's class-work in composition; Parts II, III, and IV are intended for a second year of more systematic drill in the principles of rhetoric. Part V may either be included in the second year or expanded to give work for an additional year. This lengthening of the course does not imply, however, that daily lessons in the text-book should be required. Probably one recitation period each week will be sufficient for the formal work on the text-book.

4. From the design of Part I it results naturally that some topics are treated twice in the book. The authors feel that this repetition in the practical study of an art is not only desirable, but even essential, in order that the young writer may be taught to consider again and again, under new aspects, the few old and rather obvious rhetorical truths. The application of these truths in new circumstances is the important matter. The aim of the authors in this particular has been to prepare a book for teaching, not a systematic treatise.

5. With this aim in view, much attention has been given to the exercises. A school-book on writing should present rhetorical theory as a necessary comment upon the exercises, not the exercises as an appendix to the text. In spite of the extended exercises provided for each chapter, teachers will probably find it wise to supplement rather than curtail this part of the book. Again for the sake of practical results in teaching, a large part of the illus

trative material in the exercises has been taken from the writing of young students. Beginners learn by observing the defects and the excellences of compositions within their own power of emulation, not by the exclusive study of masterpieces. For the same reason it has been deemed wise to leave these crude examples of writing in as natural a state as possible. Only the grosser blunders have been removed, for, while each extract has been chosen to illustrate one specific error, the other obvious faults of composition that appear will provide opportunities for exercising the pupil's critical skill. Further, it is assumed that the study of literature will accompany the course in composition, and that illustrations of effective writing to supplement those given in the text will not be hard to find.

6. Finally, a word must be said about two debatable. points. The use of examples of bad English to teach correct English usage has been widely condemned of late years, yet this book follows the older method in providing, in Part II, copious exercises of this nature. Much can be said in favor of this form of exact drill in usage. In many cases, it is the only effective method. Still, wherever a teacher deems that his class would be harmed by examples of bad English, he can easily omit the debatable sections of Chapters IX, X, XI, XII, XIII. Again, the authors have felt doubtful whether formal treatment of the kinds of composition should be included in a secondary school As the pupil meets the various literary forms in his study of English classics, however, some discussion of the general laws underlying them would seem to be useful at this period

course.

No text-book should pretend to completeness of treatment or to exclusive originality of presentation, least of all a text-book upon the subtle and baffling subject of literary expression. The authors of Composition and Rhetoric for

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