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Two Years' Course In English Composition | by Charles Lane Hanson



This book provides an abundance of material for the first and the second year of any high school. Part One gives a good many subjects on which young pupils have successfully talked and written, and presents the first essentials of composition work, with emphasis on unity and coherence, - whether of theme, paragraph, or sentence, - spelling, word formation, the use of the dictionary, and letter writing. Work on these essentials may be supplemented by such selections from Part Three as the teacher chooses to make, for example, from the chapter on Narration. The long chapter on Grammar, at the end of Part One, is so arranged and so placed that the more difficult portions may readily be postponed till the second year.

TitleTwo Years' Course In English Composition
AuthorCharles Lane Hanson
PublisherGinn And Company
Year1912
Copyright1912, Charles Lane Hanson
AmazonTwo Years' Course In English Composition

By Charles Lane Hanson, Author Of "English Composition," Etc. Editor Of Carlyle's "Burns," Etc.

-Preface
This book provides an abundance of material for the first and the second year of any high school. Part One gives a good many subjects on which young pupils have successfully talked and written, and pr...
-Part One. Chapter I. The Value Of Composition
1. Oral Composition On the street, in our homes, in the history recitation, from morning till night, we are composing sentences, whether in conversation or in more carefully prepared talks, called ...
-4. Learning To Talk And To Write
Boys and girls sometimes hesitate to talk or to write because their experiences do not seem to be worth sharing with others. They often fail to understand that teachers and classmates will be interest...
-5. Reading A Help To Writers
Usually we read books for the entertainment they give us, but as students of composition we turn to them for help. We still enjoy an exciting story, but we begin to study the writer's way of putting t...
-6. The Importance Of Reading Aloud
A sure way of developing a taste for good books is through reading aloud. If you can have the pleasure of listening for half an hour a day to some of the best sentences of good writers, you will soon ...
-7. The Importance Of Good Recitation
To recite good English is no less important than to read aloud. When you commit passages to memory, learn only such selections as you are willing to live with for weeks, to say over scores of times, t...
-Chapter II. The Choice Of A Subject. 8. Subjects Based On Experience
In our talking and writing it will at first be best for us to choose subjects based on our own experience. And we should remember that the books we read and the thoughts we have are as much a part of ...
-9. Books That Suggest Good Subjects
We are not necessarily to read for the sake of finding subjects on which to write. Sufficient motive comes from the companionship of a good book. Yet it is interesting and profitable to write out our ...
-10. Subjects Based On Imagination
Now and then we find our thoughts wandering from realities into the imaginative world, and it is sometimes worth while to tell of an excursion of this sort. 1 It will be interesting and suggestive ...
-11. Limited Subjects
After we have chosen a subject which seems suitable, we may find that we lack both time and space for a treatment of it which would be satisfactory either to ourselves or to our readers. We should the...
-Chapter III. The Manuscript
Manuscript, we believe, takes precedence of print. Most of us will read a letter before we will read a book. - N. P. Willis. 12. Neatness What cleanliness is to the man, neatness is to the...
-14. The Sentence And Its Punctuation
Ancient manuscripts were written continuously, thus: ONEWORDFOLLOWEDANOTHERCLOSELY. Later the words were separated by spaces, and sometimes by dots and other marks. The punctuation marks now emp...
-15. Spelling
Five hundred years ago readers and writers were not particular about spelling; the same word was often spelled in several ways. In our time, however, it is important to spell with accuracy. If you hav...
-16. The Paragraph
We can help the reader grasp our meaning quickly by arranging our sentences in groups. A group of sentences which relate to a single division of the subject is called a paragraph. Every paragraph shou...
-17. The Two Copies Of The Manuscript
Although it is important to acquire facility in writing good compositions1 without copying them, for some time you will do well to make two copies of the papers you write outside the classroom. In ...
-18. Revising And Rewriting
Every composition is to be revised carefully and returned to the teacher.1 In most cases there should be no need of rewriting; corrections made on the original paper will show whether the criticisms h...
-19. Pupils' Criticisms
In recitation, sometimes a pupil will read his composition aloud, and teacher and classmates will make criticisms; sometimes papers will be exchanged and criticized by the pupils. On other occasions t...
-Chapter IV. The Composition As A Whole. 20. The Composition As A Unit
By this time certain matters concerning composition should be clear. In the first place, our purpose as students of English composition is to learn how to express our own thoughts. It follows, therefo...
-21. Making The Outline
To make a plan, or outline, of what we are going to say or write is to express each thought in tabular form as concisely and accurately as possible. Plans of this kind are as valuable in the preparati...
-22. Filling In The Outline
In your opening sentences be plain and direct, but try to arouse an interest in what is to come. As you continue, give most attention to those parts of the subject which you consider most important. I...
-Reading A Newspaper
I. News Section 1. General news. 2. Political news. 3. Foreign news. II. Sporting Section 1. News. 2. Comments. III. Amusement Section 1. Daily story. 2. Anecdotes. 3. Jo...
-Chapter V. The Paragraph As A Unit
23. Independent Paragraphs We have thought of the paragraph as a group of sentences that refer to one topic, or to one division of the subject. It often happens that a short composition on a limite...
-26. The Plan Of The Paragraph
In order that we may include everything that belongs in a paragraph - and nothing else - it is wise to have in mind, if not on paper, an outline of the details. In a straightforward account of a singl...
-27. Connected Paragraphs
We write many themes and letters in which we must make several paragraphs. In the first of the following selections the opening paragraph describes a forest, which was reached after an hour's climbing...
-28. Paragraph Topics
We have learned that in preparing a theme it is often helpful to make a list of topics. Sometimes it will be best to devote a paragraph to each topic. If, for example, we are to give a brief account o...
-29. The Topic Sentence
In section 25, the words in italics practically give in a sentence the main thought of the paragraph from The Sketch-Book. Such a sentence is often called a topic sentence; it frequently appears in ...
-Chapter VI. The Sentence As A Unit. - Punctuation
30. The Sentence The first two facts to fix in mind about the sentence are these : 1. A sentence is the expression in words of a complete thought - whether a statement, command, question, or exc...
-32. Punctuation
Punctuation is a matter of courtesy; if we are polite, we shall see to it that the reader has all the aid that the most careful punctuation can give. It is also a matter of great practical value; fail...
-33. The Period
As soon as we express a complete thought, we are to let the reader know that he has reached the end of the sentence. In talking we show by a pause when we come to the end of a thought, but in writing ...
-34. The Interrogation Point
The interrogation point needs careful consideration, for there is a general tendency in certain kinds of questions to substitute the period. For instance, a request is often put in the form of a quest...
-35. The Exclamation Point
Much of the value of the exclamation point lies in its infrequent use, and young writers should be careful not to overwork it. V. The exclamation point stands at the end of a sentence, or of a grou...
-36. The Comma
We must not only separate our sentences, but must also make use of whatever marks will help us so to group the words within a sentence that they will be most readily understood.1 Of such marks the mos...
-37. The Semicolon
Although the semicolon is not much used by young writers, it is sometimes indispensable, and we must therefore become familiar with its different functions. XX. The semicolon separates short clause...
-38. The Colon
XXIII. A series of words which explain a clause should be preceded by the colon. Four boys deserve particular attention: John, James, Charles, and Henry. XXIV. The colon introduces a second clau...
-39. The Dash
The dash as a mark of punctuation should be little used by beginners in composition writing. XXVIII. The dash should be used to show an interruption - sometimes sudden and abrupt. It suspends the c...
-40. Parentheses
XXXI. Marks of parenthesis are used to inclose expressions that do not form an essential part of the sentence. Know then this truth (enough for man to know), Virtue alone is happiness below. ...
-41. Brackets
XXXII. Brackets inclose insertions whose connection with the text is slight. They are seldom required except in quoted matter, where, to make the author's meaning clear, it is sometimes necessary to i...
-42. The Apostrophe
XXXIII. The apostrophe marks the omission of a letter or letters: as, His, I'm, don't, man's. (For the possessive case see sect. 73). XXXIV. The apostrophe marks the omission of figures in dates. ...
-43. Quotation Marks
Quotation marks are of two kinds - double ( ) and single (' '). XXXVI. Double quotation marks inclose the exact words of a speaker or writer. We heard him say, All is well. XXXVII. Single...
-44. The Hyphen
The hyphen (-) is used to divide a word at the end of a line. It separates syllables. A word of one syllable is never split. We may write com-mittee or commit-tee, but not comm-ittee or committ-ee. Th...
-45. Asterisks And Leaders
Asterisks (* * *) or leaders (. . .) indicate omissions. 1. She. . began a song. . . . The hand failed on the strings, the tune halted, checked, and at a low note turned off to the poor little nurs...
-Chapter VII. Spelling: Word Formation And Capitalization. 46. Ways Of Learning To Spell
It is probably true that many persons remember a word as they remember a face. For them the ideal way to learn to spell is to look carefully at the words as they read. But some of us do not master spe...
-47. Rules For Spelling
Many persons find rules useful. For them the following are included: 1. Monosyllables, and words accented on the last syllable, which end in a single consonant following a single vowel, double the ...
-48. The Formation Of Plurals
The plural of most nouns is formed by adding s to the singular. When, however, the sound of s makes an extra syllable, es is added: as, lunch, lunches. Exceptions: i. Nouns ending in y following a ...
-49. Syllabication
It is difficult to give definite rules for syllabication, but it seems wise to offer certain suggestions and to point out a few possible errors. 1. The division of a word into syllables may be dete...
-50. Prefixes And Suffixes
At best the spelling of an English vocabulary is a difficult task. Many words we must learn to spell by main strength. So many of our terms, however, are made up of simple parts that if we know some...
-51. Spelling And The Use Of The Dictionary
In fixing the spelling of any word, one must be sure of the pronunciation and the meaning. The list given below may be used in a variety of ways (see, for example, pp. 78, 79); but it is suggested tha...
-52. The Use Of Capitals
In connection with spelling we must pay careful attention to the use of capitals. Capitalization is a great help to us in giving prominence to words and in making our meaning clear. The following rule...
-Chapter VIII. Letter Writing
We naturally wish to become skillful in the kind of writing that has a practical value. A matter of such general interest and great importance that every one should be impatient to master it, is lette...
-53. Letter Writing As A Form Of Training
It is only to the two or three friends with whom we think aloud, that we write with perfect freedom. Most of our correspondence must be limited; and the limitations make it, as a form of training, m...
-54. The Paper
With the numerous kinds and sizes of paper at our disposal in these days, we have no excuse for not choosing paper suited to our various needs. White unruled paper is always in good taste for all form...
-55. The Beginning Of A Letter
In beginning a letter we should consider (i) the heading, (2) the address, and (3) the salutation. Study the following illustrations: I 36 Allen Street, Cambridge, Mass., May 1, 1911. M...
-56. The Body Of The Letter
The main part of the letter, or the body, should begin on the hne below the salutation. The following arrangement is a good one: Bucksport, Maine, July 15, 1904. Messrs. Thomas Y. Crowell & C...
-57. The Conclusion Of A Letter
In the conclusion of a letter there are the complimentary close and the signature. The complimentary close, like the salutation, should be in harmony with the relations existing between the writer ...
-58. The Folding Of A Letter
A letter should be folded with the first page inside. If the paper is of the ordinary business-letter size, fold it first from the bottom nearly to the top. Then make a fold from right to left a li...
-59. The Direction Of The Envelope
It is customary to arrange the name and address of the person to whom the letter is written in three or four lines. The name is written across the middle of the envelope, and so placed as to leave abo...
-61. Business Letters
Having mastered the forms, the writer of a business letter should take pains to be (1) clear and (2) concise. He should tell the busy man whom he is addressing precisely what that man needs to know an...
-62. Letters Of Friendship And Courtesy
We have access to many friendly letters that are interesting and inspiring. Some of the best have been written by Eugene Field, Scott, Lowell, Cowper, Thackeray, Thomas Jefferson, Washington Irving, L...
-63. Formal Notes
A note that is written in the third person is called a formal note. An invitation sent out by a school, a class in the school, a club, or any group of persons is likely to be in the third person; and ...
-64. Informal Notes
Most of us seldom have occasion to write a note in the third person. We prefer to write informal notes - those in which we use the first person. Then instead of sending the message in a ready-made for...
-Chapter IX. The Correct Sentence: A Review Of Grammar
It is not so much a merit to know English as it is a shame not to know it. Why is it that a boy enjoys taking a bicycle apart? Possibly one reason is that some day it may be convenient to know ho...
-65. The Parts Of Speech
Words are divided according to their uses into eight classes called parts of speech. Noun A noun is a word used as a name of a person, place, or thing. Pronoun A pro-noun 1 is a word which...
-66. The Flexibility Of Parts Of Speech
In our study of the relation between words we must not forget that a word is sometimes one part of speech, sometimes another. For example, in the sentences that follow notice the part of speech of eac...
-Nouns. 67. Kinds Of Nouns
A noun is either proper (one's own name, Fred) or common (a name common to a class of objects, table). Three varieties of common nouns deserve special mention: collective nouns, - names of groups (sch...
-68. Declension Of Nouns
Nouns are inflected to show differences in number and case. Such an inflection of a noun is called a declension. For example: Singular Plural Nomin...
-69. Number
Nouns change their form in order to show whether they indicate one person or thing (singular number), or more than one (plural number). To this rule a few nouns are exceptions, and in deciding whether...
-70. Case
Case is the form of a noun (or pronoun) which shows its relation to other words in the sentence, - its construction. Nouns have the same form in both the nominative and the objective case, but a diffe...
-74. Gender
Gender is distinction of sex. The gender of a noun or pronoun denoting a male being is masculine; that of a noun or pronoun denoting a female being, feminine; and that of a noun or pronoun denoting an...
-Pronouns. 75. Classification Of Pronouns
According to their use, pronouns belong to one of the following classes: (1) personal, (2) relative, (3) interrogative, (4) demonstrative, (5) indefinite. 1. As the name implies, personal pronouns ...
-76. Antecedent
A pronoun must agree with its antecedent - the noun or pronoun that goes before it and for which it stands - in person, number, and gender. Its case depends upon the clause in which it stands. John...
-78. The Case Of A Pronoun
It is sometimes difficult to determine the case of a pronoun, especially when a parenthetical expression follows a relative pronoun. A pupil wrote, We should vote for the person whom we think is be...
-79. Possessives
It is to be noted that the possessive pronouns are complete without the apostrophe; for example, my, mine, our, ours, her, hers, Us, their, theirs, whose. We must not confuse it's (it is) with the pro...
-80. Pronouns In -Self
Pronouns in -self are emphatic or reflexive. We say, I prefer to attend to that myself. Let him fight it out for himself. Know thyself. But we ought not to say, Another girl and myself took a...
-Verbs
No part of speech is more important than the verb. Like nouns and pronouns, verbs change their form in order to express different meanings, and in addition have the help of such words as shall, may, c...
-83. Principal Parts
The principal parts of a verb are the forms which determine its conjugation; for example, go, went, gone, are the principal parts of the verb go. They are the present tense, first person, singular; th...
-84. Voice
In the sentence, James kicked the football, the subject James is acting, and the verb kicked is said to be in the active voice. James does the kicking. In the sentence, The football was kick...
-85. The Mood
The different manners (modes) of expressing the thought of the verb are called moods. 1. John works. (A fact, - indicative mood). 2. I wish John were working. (A wish, an unreality, not a fact...
-86. Infinitives
In addition to the moods there are three special verb forms to consider: infinitives, participles, and gerunds. A finite verb is limited; an infinitive is unlimited. In John walks the action is li...
-87. Participles
A participle is a form of a verb which is used partly like a verb, partly like an adjective, - a verbal adjective. In the sentence The boy standing in the corner is Fred, standing is partly verb, pa...
-88. Gerunds
Ending in -ing like the present participle, - but not to be confused with it, - is the gerund, which is partly verb, partly noun. (It is sometimes called the verbal noun in -ing). Seeing us, the do...
-89. Tense
A verb has different forms by which it can indicate the time of action. These forms are called tenses (times). I see you. (Present tense, marking present action). I saw you. (Past tense, or pr...
-90. The Future Tense - Shall And Will
The future tense is a combination of the simple infinitive of a verb with the auxiliary shall or will. It is worth while to note carefully the exact meanings of shall and will. 1. In Independent1 S...
-91. Should And Would
In general, we use should and would as we use their present tenses, shall and will. For example, James says, Will John come? So we say, James asked if John would come. Study the following: ...
-92. Person And Number
In languages like Latin and Greek the verb changes its form to agree with its subject in person and number, as the verb be does: I am I was You are (thou a...
-93. Conjugation
The changes in voice, mood, tense, person, and number which constitute the conjugation of verbs we should remember from our previous study of grammar. To those who do not remember clearly the usual ar...
-94. Potential Phrases
The word potential suggests the possibilities of verb phrases that have the help of certain auxiliaries - may, can, must, might, could, would, and should - in expressing possibility, permission, abi...
-95. Regular And Irregular Verbs
Verbs which form the past tense by adding ed, d, or t, to the present are called regular; all others, irregular. The following list contains the present and past tenses and the past participle of cert...
-Adjectives And Adverbs. 96. This And That
The limiting adjectives this and that, which are commonly called demonstrative, differ from most adjectives in that they are inflected for number (the plural forms are these and those). We must theref...
-Prepositions. 99. The Proper Preposition
Although prepositions do not change their form, it is important to choose the right one in any given instance. There are special prepositions that go with certain words. Thus, we should say differe...
-Conjunctions
Like prepositions, conjunctions do not change their form, but they are sometimes used incorrectly. They are either coordinate or subordinate. 100. Coordinate Conjunctions Coordinate conjunctions...
-102. Phrases
A group of words without a subject and a predicate, used as a single part of speech, is called a phrase. Phrases are used as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs, and according to their use are named noun ph...
-103. Clauses
A clause is a group of words which contains a subject and a predicate. If a clause is used as a single part of speech, it is said to be dependent; other clauses axe independent. ...
-104. Direct And Indirect Discourse
Statements which give the thought of another in his own words are said to be direct quotations or direct discourse; for example: 1. John said, I will come. 2. William writes, The sleighing is...
-105. Relations Between Clauses
Clauses of the same rank are connected by coordinate conjunctions (see sect. 100). Subordinate clauses are introduced by (1) subordinate conjunctions, (2) relative pronouns, (3) adverbs (also called c...
-106. Sentence Analysis
Ability to analyze sentences will help us to understand passages that puzzle us in our reading and to revise phrases that seem awkward in our writing. A thorough knowledge of sentence structure will m...
-Part Two. Chapter X. The Paragraph And Its Development
107. The Coherent Paragraph In our study of Chapters IV and V we have come to realize the value of applying the test of unity to our written work. We have also learned something of the meaning of c...
-110. Emphasis Through Position
When a man makes a speech, he naturally begins in a way that will attract and hold the attention of his audience. If in the course of his talk he at times grows less interesting, when he comes to the ...
-111. Emphasis Through Proportion
If you were to talk for ten minutes to thirty younger boys and girls, you would probably spend most of your time on what you considered the most important or most interesting topic. In the same way, t...
-112. Development Of The Paragraph
In writing independent paragraphs, we have learned much about longer themes. Still more-may be learned by examining a few common ways of developing paragraphs, and practice in writing all these kinds ...
-113. Subjects For Compositions
Again and again pupils dolefully complain that they have nothing to write about, not realizing that this is as absurd a statement as that they can find nothing to talk about at home. They do not remem...
-Chapter XI. The Effective Sentence
114. Unity In The Sentence We have seen that the ideal paragraph, like the ideal composition, is a unit, and the definition of a sentence shows that the sentence, too, should be a unit. One of the ...
-116. Uniform Construction
If possible, keep the construction of a sentence uniform. One way to do this is to keep the same subject and the same voice throughout the sentence. For example: Change of Construction ...
-117. Long Or Short Sentences
If you indulge in a long sentence, be sure that you keep it well in hand. The longer you allow a sentence to run, the greater is the danger that it will run away with you. A short sentence is easier t...
-119. Coherence In The Sentence
Clear thinking leads to clear writing. If we think of one thing at a time, we shall naturally write of one thing at a time; but even then it is not always easy to express the thought so that it plainl...
-121. Emphasis In The Sentence
Even if our sentences have unity and coherence, we may at times, be able to call more attention to the thought which we consider most important, if we are familiar with several ways of securing emphas...
-123. Superfluous Words
Words which add nothing either to the meaning or to the color of a sentence should be ruthlessly cut from our oral and written compositions. A sentence cannot be effective if it is cumbered with words...
-124. Life In The Sentence
One great lack in oral and written compositions is life and interest, and in your study of the mechanical features of sentence and paragraph making, you should never lose sight of the fact that the re...
-Chapter XII. The Exact Word. 125. A Ready Vocabulary
The learner does not want to be made a receptacle of other men's words and thoughts, but to be made a thinker of thoughts and a wielder of words himself. Some of us little realize how rap...
-127. Words Worth Studying. 1. Synonyms
In order to gain practice in determining the precise meanings, let us study certain words that are used carelessly, or with hesitation, and others that offer opportunity for nice distinction. Synon...
-2. Homonyms
Homonyms are words which are identical in sound but different in meaning: as, be, bee; hear, here; blue, blew. Exercises 418. Use the following homonyms orally in order to show that you understa...
-3. Antonyms
An antonym, in contrast to a synonym, is a word of opposite meaning. The words synonym and antonym are themselves antonyms with reference to each other. Exercises 422. Use the following anto...
-128. Words In Good Use
If we wish to choose the most effective words, we shall select those which are in good use. We shall employ words (1) as they are understood throughout the nation, (2) as they are understood at the pr...
-129. Helps In Choosing Our Words
Only constant attention to our choice of words will make it possible for us to acquire a good vocabulary.. Here are several suggestions which may be helpful. 1. Use The Dictionaries Dictionaries...
-Chapter XIII. The Forcible Word
Just the right way of saying the thing that is to be said is an art more to be desired than much knowledge, and one that goes farther in making life agreeable. - The Century Dictionary. 130. The ...
-132. Specific Words
We have words that are general and words that are specific. A general word names a class of ideas or objects; a specific word names one idea or object. It is interesting, as far as it goes, to know th...
-133. Figurative Words
In talking to a companion, you would be more likely to speak of the red sun and the hot sky, than to use such language as Coleridge's: All in a hot and copper sky The bloody sun at noon Right u...
-134. Similes And Metaphors
We are continually making comparisons between objects of the same kind; for example- The library is more beautiful than the church. This stone is like granite. Lincoln may have been as great ...
-135. Mixed Metaphors
In using figurative language we must not allow mixing of metaphors. Thus: 1. This world with all its trials is the furnace through which the soul must pass and be developed before it is ripe for th...
-136. Metonymy
Metonymy is a figure of speech in which one word is put for another that suggests it. For example: The ballot is more powerful than the bullet. Who steals my purse steals trash. We are reading Long...
-137. Personification
When metaphor and metonymy ascribe personality to things inanimate, they become personification. For example: The storm rages. The ship has found herself. Must I thus leave thee, Paradise ? ...
-138. Apostrophe
Furthermore, addressing inanimate things, or persons not present, as if they could answer, is sometimes called apostrophe. The word suggests the turning from the natural course of the thought in order...
-139. The Transferred Epithet
We have an effective way of transferring epithets, of extending the attributes of one subject to another with which it is connected. The expression of such a thought, says one writer, must be consi...
-Part Three. Chapter XIV. Literature And The Longer Composition
A skeleton is not a thing of beauty; but it is the thing which, more than any other, makes the body erect and strong and swift. - Austin Phelps. 140. Forms Of Literature Although we ourselv...
-148. Means Of Securing Coherence
Every talk or theme should be coherent. It may be easy to frame a coherent sentence or a coherent paragraph, but to hold the attention of an audience for ten minutes, or even for three minutes, makes ...
-149. Means Of Securing Emphasis
Everything in your composition may have a bearing on the subject, your paragraphs may all fit together, but there is still an important question to answer: Will your hearer sift from all the details y...
-152. The Introduction
Just because a boy wishes to tell us about a day's tramping, it does not follow that he is compelled to mention the precise moment of his waking or the difficulties and the rapidity of his dressing. I...
-153. The Conclusion
You should think twice about your concluding paragraph. At times it should include a careful summary of your whole composition. Now and then you may think of an anecdote that will give point to all yo...
-154. The Value Of A Plan
In short, then, the composition - whatever its length - should have unity, coherence, and emphasis. If you would secure these characteristics, form the habit of simple, straightforward, vigorous think...
-Chapter XV. Narration
Hear as many good stories as you can, and tell one whenever you find a listener. 155. The Study Of Common Forms Of Prose In studying literature with a view to learning how to write, it has p...
-156. The Incident
First we shall study narration. Whether we are trying to tell something that has happened to us, something we have heard, or something we have read, we are continually thinking, I wish I knew how to ...
-157. The News Item
A good newspaper is likely to use almost all the important forms of prose. One of these forms - the news item - merits special attention because of its importance and the opportunity it gives for prac...
-158. Longer Narratives
Whatever skill we acquire in the telling of incidents we can turn to good account when we compose stories which include several events. Of these longer narratives there are two common forms, the short...
-159. Directions For Telling A Story
In reading, as well as in writing, we may profitably keep in mind the following directions for telling a story: 1. Secure unity of effect. Choose material that will bring out the point you wish to ...
-Chapter XVI. Description. 160. Material For Pictures
The story-teller often pauses in his narrative of events to give his hearers bits of description, and all of us have frequent occasion to describe as accurately as possible something we wish to bring ...
-161. A Limited Subject
If we are wise, we shall choose a subject so limited that our description will naturally have unity. The following selection is an excellent illustration of the treatment of a limited subject, and as ...
-162. The Point Of View
After choosing the subject, the next step is to decide upon the point of view. Having once fixed this, the writer should not change it without giving the reader notice. If he moves forward or backward...
-163. Choice Of Details And Plan
Nothing is of greater importance than the choosing of significant details. That choice made, your problem is one of arrangement. In the following lines, note the choice of significant details and t...
-164. Description By Suggestion
We frequently try to write so that another person shall see just what we see, but in many instances the wiser course is to make the reader feel as we feel. Thomas Bailey Aldrich says: I like to have ...
-166. Reproduction Of Sensations
We are so dependent on our eyesight that it is well to remind ourselves occasionally that we have other senses. Obviously one will not often sit down and say, In writing to-day I will use words that...
-167. Directions For Writing Descriptions
We shall find it helpful in writing descriptions to keep in mind the following directions, based on what we have seen to be desirable in a good description. 1. We must indicate clearly our point of...
-Chapter XVII. Exposition
Learn to see and to hear. Seeing and hearing are more matters of the brain than of eye and ear. . . . Exposition demands . . . the exercise of reason as well as of observation, but the two are closel...
-169. Definition
One of the commonest forms of exposition is definition. We are continually trying to explain the meaning of a word, to fix its limits, that is, to define it. For this purpose a synonym is helpful, i...
-171. Unity
Having chosen a limited subject, think it over and write the substance of what you wish to say in a single sentence. If you keep this sentence summary constantly in mind, your work will probably be a ...
-172. Arrangement Of Material
In connection with unity we must have coherence, - an orderly arrangement of our material, - and in order to secure it we can well afford to take great pains in making a definite plan. Sometimes th...
-173. Methods Of Exposition
In the chapter on the Paragraph and its Development, we have found that the common methods of developing both the paragraph and the longer theme are: (1) by details, or particulars; (2) by examples; (...
-174. Directions For Writing Exposition
In general, the most important aids in securing clear and forcible exposition are: 1. Unity. 2. Coherence, or logical arrangement. 3. Emphasis through proportion. 4. Illustration by exampl...
-175. Special Forms Of Exposition
Among the many forms of exposition the following are of special interest: (1) abstracts - (a) book reviews, (b) notes; (2) newspaper editorials; (3) character sketches; (4) letters. ...
-176. The Abstract
An abstract is somewhat more than an outline, but less than a pure exposition. According to its subject matter, it is variously called an epitome, a resume, a summary, a review. It must contain in som...
-177. Book Reviews
A book review should give a brief account of the subject matter and its treatment. It should go far toward enabling the reader to decide whether the book will be of value or interest to him, and it sh...
-178. Note-Taking
Note-taking is a practical kind of exposition with which every high-school pupil must of necessity become somewhat familiar. No other form of writing requires so ready a pen and so clear a brain as do...
-179. Newspaper Editorials
It is the business of newspaper reporters to present the news. The editor, on the other hand, is expected to point out the significance of important items in the news columns. The reporter of baseball...
-180. Character Sketches
If you will examine many character sketches, you will find that it is often impossible to say that a certain one is a description or that it is an exposition. The two kinds of composition blend. In ou...
-181. Letters
Both business letters and general correspondence frequently take the expository form. Manufacturing concerns of every kind are sending from their offices each month a stream of letters, some of which ...
-Chapter XVIII. Argument. 182. Exposition And Argument
Truth is worth more than victory. From morning till night, at the breakfast table, on the way to school, in recitations, at recess, on the athletic field, over our indoor work and play, - on all ...
-184. The Argumentative Letter
In business correspondence; as well as in our friendly letters, we shall often naturally adopt an argumentative or persuasive style of expression. We are constantly meeting the necessity of proving so...
-185. Debates. Terms Used In Debate
The form of argumentation which is of most practical value to young persons is debating. As an exercise in self-control it is as good as football. The necessity of getting our opponent's point of view...
-187. Framing The Proposition
In a debate much depends on the wording of the question, or proposition. In every case the statement should be perfectly clear, and so framed that no advantage shall be given to either side. Suppose, ...
-188. The Finding Of Material
Aside from the aid you . may be fortunate enough to get from friends, you will need practice in handling library catalogues and tables of contents. You should know where to find, and how to use, recor...
-189. The Brief
In preparing an argument, you need something more than a plan, or topical outline; you need complete statements of all the thoughts that are essential to the argument. These statements compose the bri...
-190. The Speaking
After securing an orderly arrangement of his material, the debater should talk over the whole subject by himself or to a friend so many times that there shall be no hesitation for words when he appear...
-191. Subjects For Debates
The following subjects may suggest others that will prove more satisfactory: 1. A four years' high-school course is better than a three years' course. 2. Canada should be annexed to the United S...
-Argument. 192. The Management Of A Debate
In undertaking a debate the members of the class should understand that one of the first objects is to encourage a large number of speakers to say something to the point. There is always danger that t...
-Appendix. The Musical Reading Of Verse
1. Common Feet In the following stanza (The Lady of the Lake, I) the syllables that we naturally accent in reading have been printed in italics: The stag at eve had drunk his fill, Where dance...
-Outline For Review
I. A sentence is a group of words having unity coherence emphasis. II. A paragraph is a group of sentences ...
-Common Errors
(See pp. 226-234 for words not given here). Accept and except are often confused, especially if mispronounced. Accept means to take, or to receive; except means to omit, or leave out Affect ...









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