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and should, in general, consist of the writing of single paragraphs and short themes upon subjects within the knowledge and the experience of the pupils, in order that their effort may be directed toward the method of treatment rather than toward collecting the facts or ideas to be expressed. At this point there should be much practice in explaining or defining terms, stating propositions, and in the writing of short explanatory themes.
Joan of Arc, The English Mail Coach De Quincey
Emerson 1 Conciliation with America
Macaulay Selections in Poetry
Lycidas, Comus, L'Allegro, Il Penseroso Milton
Macaulay Plan and Purpose of Study. — During the third and fourth years selections from the different forms of discourse should
1 When four years are allowed for the course in literature the more cult selections may be left until the fourth year,
be read for a closer study of the author's meaning, his choice of words, the sources of his literary material, and the various qualities which contribute to the effectiveness of his style. Through the reading and study of literature in the previous years, students have learned how to read for a writer's thought and for an understanding of his method in the treatment of a subject. They should also have developed some power in comparing and judging of literary merit. The teacher's aim at this time should be to direct this development, to aid students in forming correct estimates, and in cultivating true literary feeling.
The portion of the text (Part III) intended to accompany the reading of the third year treats of literary excellence and some of the means by which it may be secured. A careful use of this will show students not only how others have used language effectively; but it will help them to improve the quality of their own language. This is one of the results of the study of English which the teacher should confidently expect; quite as confidently, in fact, as an increased knowledge of the rules that govern the correct use of spoken and written language.
Composition. The composition writing, though dealing with the same types of discourse as during previous years, should show a marked improvement over earlier work in the pupil's facility in the use of language, in his ability to present vivid word pictures, and to express thought with clearness and accuracy. The work in exposition and argument should receive particular attention, and while it may general consist of the writing of single paragraphs and short themes, at least one or two themes should be written of sufficient length to permit of the use of a carefully prepared outline in the development of an explanation or an argument.
In cases where four years are allowed for the course in English, the final work in argument should be left until the last year of the course, when students will be better able to understand the elements of argumentation and the methods employed in the statement of questions, the development of proofs, and the preparation of complete outlines and briefs.
If the student has done conscientious work during the preceding years, the result will be apparent in his composition. It will show an increased freedom in his choice and use of literary material, and in his power to express himself in correct and forcible English. His final composition should be a test of his ability to treat a subject with something like completeness, and should be the result of his best effort in writing English.