Conversation and Composition

Study English Composition in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

Your habits of speech are likely to become permanent and errors of speech will creep into your written work. Short sentences are quite as necessary as long ones, and in some cases, such as the portraying of strong emotion, are more effective. Even a succession of short sentences may be used with good results to describe rapid action. In conversation, also, sentences are generally short, and often grammatically incomplete, though they may be understood by the hearer. Sometimes this incompleteness is justified by the idiom of the language, but more often it is the result of carelessness on the part … Continue

Learn English Composition the Right Way in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

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If you were taught to write in a modern school, it’s likely that you didn’t like your writing classes and never felt that you were learning how to write. You felt this way because it was true. Modern schools attempt to teach writing in a way that is artificial and contrary to the natural way we communicate with others. We find great pleasure in sharing our ideas with others by speaking because we talk about topics we’re interested in, about which we have knowledge, and we talk with people whom we believe are interested in what we have to say. … Continue

English Composition, Lesson 17. Variety

Study English Composition in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

In this lesson, we will continue to study how “euphony” can be improved in our composition by giving attention to variety. To complete the objectives of this lesson, complete the following tasks: Study the lesson for mastery. Complete the lesson assessment. Lesson Of the many elements which affect the euphony of a theme none is more essential than variety. The constant repetition of the same thing grows monotonous and distasteful, while a pleasing variety maintains interest and improves the story. For sake of it we avoid the continual use of the same words and phrases, substituting synonyms and equivalent expressions … Continue

English Composition, Lesson 15. Probability

Study English Composition in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

To complete the objectives of this lesson, complete the following tasks: Study the lesson for mastery. Complete the lesson assessment. Lesson Not everything that the imagination may furnish is equally worth expressing. If you choose to write about something for which imagination supplies the ideas, you may create for yourself such ideas as you wish. Their order of occurrence and their time and place are not determined by outward events, but solely by the mind itself. The events are no longer real and actual, but may be changed and rearranged without limit. An imaginative series of events may conform closely … Continue

English Composition, Lesson 14. Advantages and Disadvantages of Imaginative Theme Writing.

Study English Composition in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

To complete the objectives of this lesson, complete the following tasks: Study the lesson for mastery. Complete the lesson assessment. Lesson Ideas furnished by the imagination are no less your own than are those furnished by experience, and the same freedom in the choice of language prevails. They are, however, not apt to be so clear and definite. At the time of their occurrence they do not make so deep and vital an impression upon you. If not recorded as they occur, they can seldom be recalled in the original form. Even though you attempt to write them down as … Continue

English Composition, Lesson 13. Relation of Imagination to Experience

Study English Composition in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

To complete the objectives of this lesson, complete the following tasks: Study the lesson for mastery. Complete the lesson assessment. Lesson All ideas are based upon and spring from experience, and the imagination merely places them in new combinations. For the purpose of this book, however, it is convenient to distinguish those themes that relate real events as they actually occurred from those themes that relate events that did not happen. That body of writing which we call “literature” is largely composed of works of an imaginative character, and for this reason it has sometimes been carelessly assumed that in … Continue

English Composition, Lesson 12. Order of Events

Study English Composition in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

In this lesson, we will study how the order of events is to be expressed in writing. To complete the objectives of this lesson, complete the following tasks: Study the Lesson for mastery. Complete the lesson Assessment. Compose Theme V. Self-correct your theme. Submit your final theme for review. Lesson The order in which events occur will assist in establishing the order in which to relate them. If you are telling about only one person, you can follow the time order of the events as they actually happened; but if you are telling about two or more persons who were … Continue

English Composition, Lesson 11. Selection of Details

Study English Composition in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

You are at present concerned with telling events that actually happen; but this does not mean that you need to include everything that occurs. If you wish to tell a friend about some interesting or exciting incident at a picnic, he will not care to hear everything that took place during the day. He may listen politely to a statement of what train you took and what you had in your lunch basket, but he will be little interested in such details. In order to maintain interest, the point of your story must not be too long delayed. Brevity is … Continue

English Composition: Observation of Actions

Study English Composition in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy

Many of our most interesting experiences arise from observing the actions of others. A written description of what we have observed will gain in interest to the reader, if, in addition to telling what was done, it gives some indication of how was done. A list of tools a carpenter uses, and the operations he performs during the half hour we watch him, may be dull and uninteresting; but our description may have an added value if it shows his manner of working so that the reader can determine whether the carpenter is an orderly, methodical, and rapid worker or … Continue