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STRATTON D. BROOKS
La Salle, Mlinois
NEW YORK .:: CINCINNATI ::: CHICAGO
To MARCIA STUART BROOKS WHOSE TEACHING FIRST DEMONSTRATED TO THE AUTHORS THAT COMPOSITION COULD BECOME A DELIGHT AND PLEASURE, THIS BOCK IS DEDICATED
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 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 which 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 I the elements of description, narration, exposition, and argument, reserving 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.