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Composition-Rhetoric   By:

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First Page:

COMPOSITION RHETORIC

BY

STRATTON D. BROOKS Superintendent of Schools, Boston, Mass.

AND

MARIETTA HUBBARD Formerly English Department, High School La Salle, Illinois

NEW YORK CINCINNATI CHICAGO AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY

1905 STRATTON D. BROOKS.

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London.

Brooks's Rhet. W.P. 10

To MARCIA STUART BROOKS Whose teaching first demonstrated to the authors that composition could become a delight and pleasure, this book is dedicated......

PREFACE

The aim of this book is not to produce critical readers of literature, nor to prepare the pupil to answer questions about rhetorical theory, but to enable every pupil to express in writing, freely, clearly, and forcibly, whatever he may find within him worthy of expression.

Three considerations of fundamental importance underlie the plan of the book:

First, improvement in the performance of an act comes from the repetition of that act accompanied by a conscious effort to omit the imperfections of the former attempt. Therefore, the writing of a new theme in which, the pupil attempts to avoid the error which occurred in his former theme is of much greater educational value than is the copying of the old theme for the purpose of correcting the errors in it. To copy the old theme is to correct a result, to write a new theme correctly is to improve a process; and it is this improvement of process that is the real aim of composition teaching.

Second, the logical arrangement of material should be subordinated to the needs of the pupils. A theoretical discussion of the four forms of discourse would require that each be completely treated in one place. Such a treatment would ignore the fact that a high school pupil has daily need to use each of the four forms of discourse, and that some assistance in each should be given him as early in his course as possible. The book, therefore, gives in Part 1 the elements of description, narration, exposition, and argument, and reserves for Part II a more complete treatment of each. In each part the effort has been made to adapt the material presented to the maturity and power of thought of the pupil.

Third, expression cannot be compelled; it must be coaxed. Only under favorable conditions can we hope to secure that reaction of intellect and emotion which renders possible a full expression of self. One of the most important of these favorable conditions is that the pupil shall write something he wishes to write, for an audience which wishes to hear it. The authors have, therefore, suggested subjects for themes in which high school pupils are interested and about which they will wish to write. It is hoped that the work will be so conducted by the teacher that every theme will be read aloud before the class. It is essential that the criticism of a theme so read shall, in the main, be complimentary, pointing out and emphasizing those things which the pupil has done well; and that destructive criticism be largely impersonal and be directed toward a single definite point. Only thus may we avoid personal embarrassment to the pupil, give him confidence in himself, and assure him of a sympathetic audience conditions essential to the effective teaching of composition.

The plan of the book is as follows:

1. Part 1 provides a series of themes covering description, narration, exposition, and argument... Continue reading book >>




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