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Entered According to Act of Congress, in the Year 1908, by the
PACIFIC PRESS PUBLISHING COMPANY
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C.
THIS book is planned to afford the learner a practice review of the essentials of English grammar, and a preparation for the study of formal and practical rhetoric. The book is, in brief, a manual of the working principles of English composition. It is designed to serve as a natural transition from the study of grammar to that of rhetoric proper. It is, for this reason, adapted to the needs of the higher classes in grammar schools and the lower classes in high schools.
Part One is replete with matter suited to the task of training the pupil to syntactical accuracy. The materials for study and practice have been selected and arranged with a constant view to the vital pedagogical principal-learning by doing.
The pupil should be taught from the first to punctuate correctly what he writes. No writing is complete until it is punctuated. To punctuate properly is as important as to spell correctly. To master the art of punctuating is to master a very considerable part of the art of clearness in written composition. For this reason the subject is treated with unusual fullness in Part Two.
Part Three sets forth the principles governing the art of letter-writing. But this art, like all others, can not be mastered without much practice. The discussion of principles is, therefore, followed by an abundance of suggestive exercises.
Part Four is in itself a brief manual of composition. It discusses words, sentences, and paragraphs. Figurative language is explained and illustrated with considerable fullness. The principles of clearness, force, unity, variety, and transition are set
forth and illustrated. A marked feature of Part Four is the unusual variety and fullness of practical exercises designed to assist the learner in the extremely important work of building a vocabulary. Other means of attaining the same end will suggest themselves to the teacher.
Part Five treats of synonyms, homonyms, idioms, and phrases, which are in frequent misuse. Many actual and some apparent synonyms are discriminated. Common improprieties of diction are pointed out and their corrections indicated. A somewhat long list of exercises is added, which will exact of the learner original investigation and vigorous, independent thinking.
Some teachers may not like the sequence governing the succession of the several parts of this work. Teachers must not get the impression, however, that it is necessary to study the parts consecutively. Each part is measurably complete in itself, and, to a considerable degree, independent of the other parts. It is not necessary that the study of Part One be finished before lessons are assigned in Part Two. It is evident that the art of punctuation should be well mastered before the study of the "Principles of Effective Composition" is begun. The work prescribed in Part Five should, in my judgment, be distributed over the entire time required to complete the study of the book.
It should never be forgotten that in the arduous process of attaining skill in speaking and writing English, nothing else succeeds like speaking and writing. "We learn by doing.
GEORGE W. RINE.