Page:The Craftsmanship of Writing.djvu/11

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PREFACE

The present volume is the outgrowth of a course in essay writing, offered two years ago in connection with the University Extension work of Columbia University. It embodies in part what the author then undertook to teach his students, supplemented by what the students quite unconsciously taught the author. There was a class which, taken collectively, offered much diversity of scholarship, a wide range of preparation for writing. Yet one and all of them presented practically the same sort of problem; one and all said in effect: "I have had such and such training; I have worked hard and willingly; yet my manuscripts do not sell. What is the matter with my preparation? What books should I read? What course should I take?" And in a wider way, these are the questions that are to-day being asked throughout the length and breadth of this continent. Now the purpose of this volume is to answer these questions, by pointing out that the fault is primarily with the