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A COURSE IN ARGUMENTATIVE WRITING. By GERTRUDE BUCK, Ph.D., Instructor in English at Vassar College. 12mo. 80 cents, net.

A COURSE IN EXPOSITORY WRITING. By GERTRUDE BUCK, Ph.D. (University of Michigan), and ELISABETH WOODBRIDGE, Ph.D. (Yale), Instructors in English at Vassar College. 12mo.

HENRY HOLT & CO., Publishers NEW YORK

EXPOSITORY WRITING

BY

GERTRUDE BUCK, PH.D.

(UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN)

AND

ELISABETH WOODBRIDGE, PH.D.

(YALE)

Instructors in English at Vassar College

NEW YORK

HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

1899

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PREFACE.

THE English teacher, more perhaps than any other, is consciously aiming, not to give his students information, but to make them acquire capacity,-capacity, in this case, for expressing their thought to others. But it is only by writing that the student can learn to write well, though much writing may not teach this, and one of the difficulties which an English teacher has to meet is a no less fundamental one than the difficulty of getting his students to write at all-to write, that is, not perfunctorily, but spontaneously, for this is the only kind of writing that counts.

This difficulty has its source, at least very largely, in the student's sense of the artificial character of his work. What is the use, he thinks, of writing about the birthplace of Hawthorne, or the character of Lady Macbeth? His teacher knows all about them beforehand, and besides, he isn't writing to his teacher, he isn't writing to anybody, he is just "writing a composition" that is to be corrected for spelling, punctuation, paragraphing; or for its lack of certain qualities, such as "clearness," "precision," and "unity." No wonder he finds it hard to write. We ourselves, when alone, do not usually talk aloud about the things around us, describe the picture before us, or the desk, or the view. We should feel "silly" to be talking to nobody. Why should we expect

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