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LIKE all textbooks of elementary college rhetoric published during the past few years, this manual combines a minimum of theory with a maximum of practice.

books in three particulars :

It differs from other

(1) More emphasis than usual is laid on the value of freshman rhetoric as the medium of general mental discipline. Such chapters as those on note-taking (III), textbook study (V), and recitation (VI), undertake to apply the principles of mental efficiency to college work without distinction of subject. The freshman sorely needs instruction in the use of his mind as a thinking machine. Mathematics is supposed to perform this function in the curriculum, but so far as the writer's observation goes, it is not so studied as to improve the ordinary student's general powers of application. The ability to study books is fundamental in higher education. Rhetorical instruction may surely be made to contribute to this end.

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(2) This book aims to provide a far larger amount of material for practice than most works of the sort. There are about seven hundred original subjects for themes, essays, and written exercises. By relieving the ordinary student of the irksome and often valueless labor of thinking up subjects of his own, time is released for more careful writing and revision. Full liberty of choice outside these lists will of course be allowed by teachers in many cases, but they will be spared the task of suggesting topics to students who are without preferences.

(3) In the selection of essay subjects much care has been taken to include topics of general interest and intrinsic value.


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In particular, the series of civic subjects suggested in the Appendix for use in connection with Chapter II, the series based on English history and the biographical topics in Chapter XVIII, are believed to be valuable additions to a freshman


Since the book is designed to be used in connection with Woolley's Handbook of Composition, or some similar compendium of grammatical details, little space is given to defects in sentence structure and other matters adequately treated by Woolley. The attention of teachers is called to the Suggestions to Teachers at the end of the Appendix.

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