Abbott's work provides rules and exercises for eliminating ambiguity in writing. The premise of this textbook is the notion that clarity, unlike many other characteristics of writing and speech, can be achieved through mechanistic rules and practice. The Schultz Archive only includes a brief excerpt, consisting of the title page, preface and partial table of contents.
1875 copyrighted text. The author is credited as Professor in Davidson College. In this rhetoric principles and rules are stated briefly and any overlap with other subjects, such as psychology, logic, and aesthetics, is avoided. The introduction covers definition, aim and method of study, distribution, of rhetoric. Part one covers the processes of discourse: subject of a discourse, invention, disposition, amplification. Part two covers style: qualities of prose style, choice of words, figures of speech, the sentence, the paragraph, division of style (higher, lower, middle). Part three covers the elementary forms of discourse: description, narration, exposition, argument. Part four covers principal forms of prose: dialogue and epistolary, didactic prose, historical prose, oratorical prose. The author credits the influence of Lectures on the English Language by Hon. Geo. P. Marsh, Theories of Style by J. K. F. Rinne, German Style by Karl Becker, and Homletics by Vinet. The Schultz Archive copy cuts off on page 231, missing pages 232 through at least 279 (according to the ToC).