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A MINIMUM COURSE IN RHETORIC

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TWENTY-FIVE ASSUMPTIONS

This book, at one point or another, proceeds on the following assumptions :

1. Rhetoric should aim at effective, respectable Englishnot at authorship.

2. It should present nothing incomprehensible or not immediately applicable.

3. Inspiration is less important than discipline during the rhetoric year; for mechanical accuracy is gained only by discipline, and any consequent stiffness or artificiality can be outgrown.

4. Theory should never overshadow practice.

5. Long practice should be devoted to what requires expertness for its true mastery; less practice, to what requires mere knowledge.

6. But there is a long step between correct knowledge and correct habits, and this step can be effected only by frequent writing and sharp penalty.

7. The form of practice least burdensome to the teacher is much work in the exercises.

8. But a theme of three or four hundred words should be written as often as once a week. From this there is no royal road of escape.

9. The theme topic should be interesting to the pupil and well within his powers.

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