No edition or printing information is given in the copy. The author has a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College. As indicated by the subtitle, the work is intended for secondary and college students. Includes topics historical, imaginative, argumentative and subsequent brief chapters on: plan, or analysis; elaboration of points; criticism of one's own work; form of finished composition; composition an essential factor in the study of rhetoric; and figures of speech. The work seems addressed more to the teacher of the students than the students themselves. It attempts to explain how to students should mentally approach the act of writing but its language suggests a teacher thinking about the student’s mental habits rather than the student working though his own thoughts.
1894 copyrighted text. The author is credited as having a Ph.D. from Leipsic and as Professor of the English Language in Wesleyan University. The preface explains the book is the result of teaching composition in secondary schools and college and aims to give brief practical suggestions to young writers (and is not a guide to English criticism). It puts special emphasis on the choice and treatment of themes, and the author argues that the study of composition should be combined with the study of literature, as the best models of English prose provide a standard for students to measure their writing against. The book is in two sections: theory and practice. Theory chapters cover words, sententences, paragraphs, the theme, the plan, kinds of composition (description, narration, exposition, argument, persuasion), composition and revision, and style. Practice chapters cover words, sententences, paragraphs, the theme, the plan, kinds of composition (description, narration, exposition, argument, persuasion), studies in literature, and punctuation. Excerpts from celebrated writers are used as illustrative examples. The Schultz Archive's copy is roughly the complete text.
1894 printing of the 1893 copyrighted text. It is apparently identical to the Schultz Archive's 1893 printing, with the exception of a few pages of advertisements at the end. The author is credited as Assistant Professor of English in the Leland Stanford Junior University. Designed to be a supplement to a more technical grammatical and rhetorical treatise, this text shows students how to find material and work that material into good, interesting compositions. Seventy-three exercises deal with particular kinds of composition, specimen subjects and themes are given with observations and suggestions for treatment, and models of various kinds of composition are provided (but these models are of student work or writing of a similar level of accomplishment). The work is divided into two parts. Part one, Composition Based on Experience and Observation, has sections on finding material, narration, description, and narration and description combined. Part two, Composition Based on Reading and Thought has sections on principles of composition, exposition, argumentation, persuasion, and miscellaneous forms (such as news, book reviews, letter, dialogue, as humor). John Genung's Rhetoric is listed as an influence. The Schultz Archive's copy is roughly the complete text.