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449. Write in full the titles and names of the authors of several essays, lyrics, novels, epics, and dramas of which you know something.
450. Make a list of the books required in preparation for the entrance examination in English by some college, and classify them as far as possible under the divisions given above.
451. Make a list of the books you have read during the last two years and classify them under the divisions given above. If the classification does not seem to include some of your books, make suitable divisions yourself (for example, history, biography, science, etc.).
452. Make a list of at least twelve books in your own home and classify them under appropriate headings.
146. Longer Compositions. In our short compositions we have given considerable attention to unity - whether in a sentence, a paragraph, or a group of paragraphs. Hereafter many of our themes will be longer, but whether paragraph, chapter, or book, every composition should be a unit.
Individuals constitute the family, families make the town, towns the state, and states the nation; and each whether family, town, state, or nation is a whole, composed of smaller parts. In a similar way sentences, in themselves units, form a larger unit, the paragraph; paragraphs, the chapter; and chapters, the book.
147. Means of securing Unity. As you know, in order to secure unity you should choose your subject carefully. You must decide upon your point of view, the position from which you consider your subject, you must have
in mind a definite goal, and you must advance with your eyes on that goal. Suppose, for example, that you are invited to speak ten minutes to a group of grammar-school pupils on the merits of your high school. Their object in giving you the invitation is to get information which shall help them to decide whether to attend the high school. That object gives you a limited subject. You will try to interest them so much in the doings of your school that they will be eager to enter it, and you will select from the topics which occur to you only those that serve your purpose. In brief, to secure unity you must (1) keep in mind one main thought, and (2) present that thought from a carefully fixed point of view.
453. State in a single sentence the main thought that you would naturally bring out in writing on one of the subjects mentioned in Exercise 368.
454. State in another sentence the point of view you would take in presenting that thought.
455. (1) Choose a subject on which you can write some six or eight paragraphs. Word it so that you will be likely to keep the same point of view throughout the paper. If, for example, your subject is "Things seen from a Train," word it so that it will be clear that a passenger is writing. (2) Change the wording so as to accommodate as many different points of view as you think are worth taking. In the case just given as an example, the conductor, the brakeman, the engineer, the fireman, the newspaper boy, the porter, and others would have something to say.
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 a more serious demand of a speaker. He must arrange whole groups of thoughts so that the transition from one group to another will be easy and natural.
Let us suppose that in the ten-minute talk on your high school you wish to emphasize four matters: (1) the caliber of the pupils in the school; (2) the good condition of athletics; (3) the large number of available studies; and (4) the unusually strong body of teachers. In whatever way you arrange these divisions of your subject, you must make it plain that one leads up to another, and that each contributes its part to the main thought. As you pass from topic to topic, and from paragraph to paragraph, you should show in some way that you are moving toward your destination.
To apply to connected paragraphs the methods of securing coherence in the sentence (see sects. 119, 120) and in the paragraph (see sect. 107), we may summarize them thus:
1. The last sentence of a paragraph may introduce the subject of the next paragraph. (For example, see the last sentence in sect. 107.)
2. The first sentence of a paragraph may refer to the preceding paragraph (a) through a conjunction or conjunctive phrase or (b) through a demonstrative adjective. (See sect. 108.)
3. A transitional sentence, and sometimes a paragraph, may be used to connect two paragraphs. In one of the Spectator papers appears a story of which the following is an abstract:
Mahomet, "that famous imposter," was snatched one morning from his bed and taken by an angel to paradise. As the prophet was being carried off he upset a pitcher of water, but though he visited the
whole of paradise and held ninety thousand conferences, so short a time elapsed before Gabriel restored him to earth, that Mahomet was able to stand upright the overturned pitcher before the water was all spilt.
Immediately after this story Addison inserts the following transitional paragraph:
There is a very pretty story in the Turkish Tales which relates to this passage of that famous imposter, and bears some affinity to the subject we are now upon.
After this transitional paragraph a story is told of a sultan of Egypt who ridiculed the adventure of Mahomet.
To secure coherence, then, you must see that each division of the subject leads up to the next, and that each contributes its part to the main thought.
456. (1) Bring to class as many examples as you can find of the foregoing methods of passing from one paragraph to another. You may consult editorials, magazine articles, and whatever books you happen to be reading.
(2) Outline the life of an author whose work the class is now reading. Get any help you can from the arrangement that follows:
457. Make a detailed outline of one period of the life of the author.
458. Make a detailed outline of one period of the life of a favorite character.
459. Give the class a talk based on one of your outlines.
460. Write a letter to a friend explaining fully your school life. Make the letter coherent and give special attention to the transition from one paragraph to another.
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 you give him the one or two points you wish him to note with especial care? In other words, how can you secure emphasis? We shall proceed to examine two ways.
150. Emphasis through Position. We have already seen in our study of paragraphs that what we put first attracts attention, and that we may expect people to remember longest what comes last. In other words, emphasis may be secured by position.
461. If you were to use the following topics in writing an autobiography, in what order would you arrange them, and why?
Plans for the future.
462. If you were to write a paper on your interest in the following games, in what order would you arrange them, and why?