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COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY
FRANCIS P. DONNELLY
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.
TEACHERS of speaking and writing have always distinguished three stages in the art of composition. The first is invention (inventio), the finding of thoughts to establish or amplify the truth of a statement. The second is the arrangement of the thoughts (dispositio), and the third (elocutio) treats the fitting expression of the thoughts.
The third stage, described by the word style, is the subject of Model English, Book II. Invention is the chief topic of Book I, better known under its former title, Imitation and Analysis. Arrangement is adequately treated in both books. The two books embody a complete and practical presentation of the art of composition for secondary schools.
Model English, as its name implies, teaches composition, in the way every art must be taught, by the following of master-models. Definitions are given in the form of directions, and technical terms are kept subordinate. Definitions and terms have their legitimate use, but to commit them to memory does not make writers or speakers. (See appendix, Directions for Teachers.) The speaker or writer is made by speaking and writing, and though each one should furnish his own thoughts, he need not, and for the most part cannot, devise new words or new forms of sentences and paragraphs. For these he must go to the best authors, avoiding individual mannerisms and adopting what is standard in English.
In Model English a great variety of forms is presented; defects are pointed out; excellent traits are emphasized; the composition is analyzed; subjects are suggested which may be readily adapted to any class of scholars, and every topic is so prepared that the student is stimulated to think for himself and then to put his own original thoughts into the accepted English form before him.
In Book I, the models are taken from the Sketch Book of Irving, which contains examples of every process and every type of composition and is in a style not complicated by difficult thought. In Book II, a wider choice is offered to more advanced students, who need not, unless they so choose, follow the model as closely in sentence structure as was done in the earlier exercises of Book I.
Since the writer's first book was issued, an ever-increasing number of books with texts and models have appeared, and educators are now awakening everywhere to the fact, which for a time was obscured, that the art of writing or speaking must be learned, like all arts, from models judiciously followed. The author of Model English has used successfully in class many of the models here studied and has experienced through long years of teaching quick and gratifying results from this oldest and best of methods.
F. P. DONNELLY, S.J. COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS, WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS,