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English: Composition and Literature   By: (1862-1936)

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In "English: Composition and Literature" by W. F. (William Franklin) Webster, readers are taken on a comprehensive and engaging journey through the world of English language and literature. The book serves as an exceptional guide for students and educators alike, providing a wealth of knowledge and resources to aid in the study of English.

One remarkable aspect of this book is its balanced approach to both composition and literature. Webster skillfully intertwines the two disciplines, recognizing their interconnectedness and emphasizing the importance of a strong foundation in both areas. By doing so, readers are able to enhance their reading and writing skills simultaneously, enabling a holistic understanding of the English language.

The book is intelligently structured, moving seamlessly from one topic to the next. Webster begins by laying the groundwork for effective writing, covering fundamental aspects such as grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. As the book progresses, readers are exposed to various writing styles, teaching them how to craft persuasive essays, argumentative papers, and creative pieces.

Moreover, "English: Composition and Literature" delves into literary analysis, introducing readers to an array of classic and contemporary texts. The book provides in-depth explanations of various literary devices, enabling readers to recognize and interpret them within the context of a given work. Webster's selection of texts is diverse, ranging from poetry and drama to novels and short stories, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of different genres.

One of the book's notable strengths is its emphasis on critical thinking and the development of analytical skills. Throughout the chapters, Webster encourages readers to engage with the texts, asking thought-provoking questions and providing guidance on how to analyze theme, character development, and narrative structure. This approach encourages active reading, fostering a deeper appreciation and understanding of literature as an art form.

Furthermore, "English: Composition and Literature" stands out for its inclusion of practical exercises and writing prompts. These assignments encourage readers to apply the concepts they have learned, reinforcing comprehension and allowing for creative expression. The book also incorporates samples of student writing, illustrating both effective techniques and areas for improvement, thus providing valuable benchmarks for aspiring writers.

Although this book excels in many areas, it could benefit from more visual aids and illustrations to complement the text. While the thorough explanations and examples are excellent, visual representations could further enhance the learning experience, particularly for visual learners.

In conclusion, "English: Composition and Literature" by W. F. Webster is an outstanding resource for anyone seeking to improve their English language and literature skills. The book's comprehensive content, balanced approach, and emphasis on critical thinking make it an invaluable tool for students and educators alike. With its engaging style and practical exercises, this book is sure to inspire and empower readers on their journey to becoming proficient in English composition and literature.

First Page:




Principal of the East High School Minneapolis, Minnesota

Houghton Mifflin Company Boston: 4 Park Street; New York: 85 Fifth Avenue Chicago: 378 388 Wabash Avenue

The Riverside Press Cambridge

Copyright, 1900 and 1902, by W. F. Webster All Rights Reserved


In July, 1898, I presented at the National Educational Association, convened in Washington, a Course of Study in English. At Los Angeles, in 1899, the Association indorsed the principles[1] of this course, and made it the basis of the Course in English for High Schools. At the request of friends, I have prepared this short text book, outlining the method of carrying forward the course, and emphasizing the principles necessary for the intelligent communication of ideas.

It has not been the purpose to write a rhetoric. The many fine distinctions and divisions, the rarefied examples of very beautiful forms of language which a young pupil cannot possibly reproduce, or even appreciate, have been omitted. To teach the methods of simple, direct, and accurate expression has been the purpose; and this is all that can be expected of a high school course in English.

The teaching of composition differs from the teaching of Latin or mathematics in this point: whereas pupils can be compelled to solve a definite number of problems or to read a given number of lines, it is not possible to compel expression of the full thought... Continue reading book >>

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