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OF

ENGLISH COMPOSITION.

FOR ADVANCED GRAMMAR GRADES, AND FOR

HIGH SCHOOLS, ACADEMIES, ETC.

BY WILLIAM SWINTON,
" HARPER'S LANGUAGE SERIES," BIBLE WORD-BOOK,” ETC.

AUTHOR OF

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, by

HARPER & BROTHERS, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

PREFACE.

This little book is not an addition to the already large number of rhetorics and other works on the theory and mysteries of style. It is strictly a manual for school-work, and has been made with special reference to the rational remodelling recently accomplished, or now in the way of being accomplished, in the Courses of Study in our public schools — a remodelling in which language-training for the first time receives the attention that is its due. The writer trusts that inquiring teachers will find it in harmony with their views and aims.

In the plan here adopted, composition is begun with the very commencement of the study, and is carried on pari passu with the development of rules and principles. It is a matter of common experience that children's power of producing, in an empirical way, is much in advance of their knowledge of the rationale of writing; hence, in the present work, pupils are not kept back from the improving exercise of actual composition until they have mastered the complicated details of rhetorical theory. It should be added, however, that the demands made on the scholar will not be found beyond his powers. He is provided with the material to work on, and his attention is limited to the process of building this material into shape—the author's conviction being that training in the art of expression is as much as can wisely be aimed at in school composition. Pupils must first be taught how to write at all, before they can be shown how to write well—a maxim that has never been out of mind in the making of this book.

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