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Essays for First-year Students
COPYRIGHT, 1923, BY
PRINTED IN THE U. S. A. BY
THE QUINN & BODEN COMPANY
RAHWAY. N. J.
In this age, when one has the wealth of the past to draw from as well as the tremendous output of presentday writers, the problem of selecting essays is not so much that of choosing the best as that of putting aside the equally good. Despite the vast amount of material to tempt the compiler, a collection of essays chosen by one man necessarily represents his personal judgment and, to a certain extent, his individual interests. Adventures in Essay Reading cannot, however, claim that element of unity. Instead, it reflects in a composite way the judgments and interests of a large staff of instructors. Each member of the Department of Rhetoric of the University of Michigan was asked to place in the hands of a committee a list of the ten essays he would select for his first-year students. Naturally the total list was long and varied. The essays most frequently mentioned were given first consideration by the committee of editors, but inability in many cases to secure the reprinting privilege from authors and owners of copyrights made it impossible to include all the favorites.
The dominant questions in the mind of each instructor as he made his selections were probably: Will this essay appeal to college students? Will it prompt them to read more from the same author? Will it give them a taste of the joy of thinking? One may assume that the idea of selecting pieces which would serve as models for writing was present, but incidentally.
Authors and publishers have been generous in allowing the inclusion of modern copyrighted essays.