Monday, January 14, 2008

Composition 1

[This post is part of the "Working Week" series.]

Composition is the art of constructing texts. As Herbert Grierson (1944) has pointed out, this construction project can be understood on three levels: the sentence, the paragraph and the whole text. But he also emphasizes the relation between these levels. Not only is the "the ideal paragraph" essentially "an expanded sentence" (115), the work should always be guided by the same principles. At all levels, "coherence and the right distribution of the emphasis as determined by the purpose you have in view" are paramount (135). Composition demands that we put words together, in sentences, paragraphs, and texts, to achieve a well-defined goal.

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