如何写好英语作文
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为什么你需要开始英文写作?

在英语听说读写中,写作被公认为是最难的一项。它涉及语言表达以及逻辑思维能力,而这两种能力的提升都需要经年累月的练习。也正因为这一点,很多人对写作望而却步,始终不敢开始动笔。今天写这篇文章的目的也在于说明,为什么你必须进行英文写作,以及如何开始。

--写作练习主要有以下几个作用:

1. 提升语言学习能力。在写英语作文的时候,我们经常会遇到词不达意的情况,这种情况会促使我们认识到自己语言表达上的不足,从而有针对性地进行提升,比如通过查词典确定某个专业名词的写法或某个单词的搭配,通过语法书学习某个知识点或者句型,通过搜索引擎了解某个话题的背景资料等。这种探索过程带来的收获是仅通过大量阅读和听力练习所无法得到的。

2. 培养修改的习惯。在写完一个句子或者段落之后,我们往往会对它们进行检查修改,比如寻找更精确的用词,检查语法,调整句式等。举个例子,我们可能会在一开始写出这样的句子:

Opening more bus and train lines will relieve stress on public transport systems, and governments should encourage their citizens to opt for public transport.

写完之后对句子进行检查,不难发现一些问题:lines 的用法不准确,public transport 这个词出现了两次,不够多样。句子可以改成:

Opening more commuter routes will relieve stress on public transport, and governments should encourage city dwellers to travel by bus or train.

通过这样的反馈修改过程,我们能逐渐提升对语言的敏感度。

3. 养成英语思维模式。在写作的时候我们会尝试用英语进行思考,这个过程会对之前学过的表达起到激活和巩固的作用,有利于语言能力提升。

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在写作中我们会不断寻找更加合适的表达,并且还能针对其中暴露的问题进行针对性的提升。写作还能起到促进阅读和听力的作用,即我们常说的“带着目的去阅读(做听力)”。经常练习写作的同学应该都有这样的体会:在阅读和听力中会很容易留意到与之前写过或者正在构思的话题相关的内容,并且能够很快提取出信息。这有点类似于软件的后台运行功能,虽然大脑表面上在处理其他事情,但潜意识里还处于监听状态,一旦遇到相关信息会很快被唤醒。

4. 提升我们的逻辑思维能力。写作的过程就是思考的过程,只有想清楚才有可能写清楚。写作练习提供了一个契机,使我们有机会对一些日常生活话题进行深入思考,并在这个过程中提升自己的思辨能力。举个例子,在GRE 作文中,我们可能会遇到这样的题目:

1) The best way to teach is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones.

2) It is primarily through our identification with social groups that we define ourselves.

3) If a goal is worthy, then any means taken to attain it are justifiable.

这样的题目其实很有价值,它会引导我们思索一些日常生活中熟视无睹的问题。比如上面第二个问题 It is primarily through our identification with social groups that we define ourselves.(我们主要是通过社会群体的认知来定义自身的),题目中反映的观点在现实生活中很容易找到映射。社会群体无所不在,从幼儿园和小学开始,孩子们就通过不同群体将自身与其他人区分开来,到了大学阶段是各类社团和学生组织,进入社会之后则是通过各种不同的职业身份来定义自身(比如程序员群体,设计师群体),甚至到了老年阶段还有各种各样的兴趣俱乐部来帮助他们寻找认同感。写这篇文章的过程就是对这一社会现象进行思索的过程。

又比如第三个题目 If a goal is worthy, then any means taken to attain it are justifiable. (如果目标值得争取,任何实现它的手段都是合理的)。对于这类问题答案并不能一概而论,实现目标的手段是否合理往往要综合考虑收获与代价,要平衡各方利益关系,以及考虑个人价值观取向。这个题目同样很有现实意义,比如司法上有一个“毒树之果”案例:以非法手段获取的证据在审判中不具有证明力,这也是对题目假设的一个回应。类似这样的问题能够引发很多有价值的思考,这些都有助于我们更好地认识这个世界。

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怎样开始练习英文写作?

英文写作可以从考场作文开始,雅思、托福或者GRE 作文题目都是很好的练习材料,这些题目大都贴近日常生活,同时,它们对写作者的逻辑思维能力也有一定的要求。在写这些文章的过程中,我们既能磨练语言能力,又能学习如何严谨地分析问题,有条理地阐述自己的观点,这对于个人综合能力提升有巨大的帮助。实际练习时可以一周写一至两篇,写完后对照范文或者请其他人修改,找出自己的不足之处。

写作绝非易事,它需要大量(痛苦的)思考,需要对文字进行无数次的改写雕琢,它可能会让你面对空白的电脑文档而一筹莫展,它可能会让你吃不好饭睡不好觉。一切正如 William Zinsser 所说:

Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair. If you find that writing is hard, it's because it is hard.

但同时写作也能给你带来巨大的满足感。

写作是将一件东西从无到有创造出来的过程,而创造,是人类最大的乐趣之一。完成一篇文章所带来的成就感足以抵消之前所有的劳累困顿。

很多人不愿意开始做一件事情,往往都是出于同一个理由:害怕做不好。实际情况是,没有谁在一开始就能把事情做得很好,一切都是熟能生巧。如果因为担心写不好而选择不开始,那么永远没有写好的可能。只有开始动笔了,进步才会发生。

参考文献:

[1] Krashen , Stephem .Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition[ M] .Oxford:Pergamon Press, 1982.

[2] Swain, Merrill .Three Functions of Output in Second Language Learning[ M] .Oxford :OxfordUniversity Press, 1995.

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怎样写一篇作文(1)

前几天我在文章为什么你需要开始英文写作?中建议每个人都开始动笔写点东西,但仍然有不少同学反映不知道如何开始,或者是写完之后不知道怎样修改。对此,我将在公众号上开设一个新专栏,对一些典型的习作进行分析,提出修改建议。同时我也会动手写一篇同题作文作为对比,以帮助大家掌握写作的基本思路。修改的步骤可参考:怎样修改一篇作文?

对于作文修改可以参考下面几个要点:

1) 用词:对照词典检查是否出现词不达意或用词冗余现象;

2)句式:检查是否有语法错误,比如主谓一致,垂悬句式,时态问题等。对于冗余句子可以进行精简。

3)逻辑:检查各个论点是否符合要求,论据是否充分有力,段落展开过程是否做到逻辑清晰。

下面要分析的文章是一篇雅思作文,题目是:

Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems.

这是原始作文版本:

文/小蔡

Many countries of the world are currently experiencing problems caused by rapidly growing populations in urban areas, and both governments and individuals have a duty to find ways to overcome these problems.

Overpopulation can lead to overcrowding and poor quality housing in many large cities. Poorly heated or damp housing could cause significant health problems, resulting in illness, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Another serious consequence of overcrowding is a rising crime rate as poor living

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conditions may lead young people, in particular, to take desperate measures and turn to crime or drugs.

In terms of solutions, I believe the government should be largely responsible. Firstly, it is vital that the state provides essential housing and healthcare for all its citizens. Secondly, setting up community projects to help foster more community spirit and help keep young people off the street is a good idea. For example, youth clubs or evening classes for teenagers would keep them occupied. Finally, more effective policing of inner city areas would also be beneficial.

Naturally, individuals should also act responsibly to address these problems, and the motivation to do this would hopefully arise if the measures described above are put into place by the government. This is because it will encourage people to have more pride in their own community and improve the situation.

Therefore, it is clear that the problems caused by overpopulation in urban areas are very serious. Yet if governments and individuals share a collective responsibility, then it may well become possible to offer some solutions.

点评版本:

Many countries of the world (of the world 属于赘词,去除)are currently experiencing problems caused by rapidly growing populations in urban areas, and both governments and individuals have a duty to find ways to overcome these problems . (同一个句子中出现了两个problems ,不够简洁,可以改为 them )

Overpopulation can lead to overcrowding and poor quality housing (改为 housing quality)in many large cities. Poorly heated or damp housing (改为 houses 更好)could cause significant health problems, resulting in illness (可去除), such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Another serious consequence of overcrowding is a rising crime rate as poor living conditions may lead young people, in particular, to take desperate measures and turn to crime or drugs.(此处逻辑有问题,房屋居住条件差与年轻人走向犯罪并没有必然联系。可以改成 Competition for jobs is getting intense due to overpopulation. That means

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more young people will be out of work, and to make a living, some of them may turn to crime.)

In terms of solutions, I believe (I believe 可以去掉) the government should be largely responsible. Firstly, it is vital that the state provides essential housing and healthcare for all its citizens. (提供住房和医疗给所有市民有点不切实际,可以改成 provides housing subsidies and healthcare for poor citizens)Secondly, setting up community (句子中出现了两个 community ,可以去掉一个或者设法进行同义词替换) projects to help (help 去除) foster more community spirit and help (help 去除)keep young people off the street is a good idea. (is a good idea 表达有点口语化,可以改成 ...keep young people off the street also helps )For example, youth clubs or evening classes for teenagers would keep them occupied. Finally, more effective policing of inner city areas (inner city 本身包含有 area 的概念,areas 应去掉)would also be beneficial.

Naturally, individuals should also act responsibly to address these problems, and the motivation to do this would hopefully arise (motivation 与 arise 搭配不妥,可以改成 motivation will be strengthened) if the (the 去除)measures described above are put into place by the government. This is because it will encourage people to have more pride in their own community and improve the situation. (这一段逻辑有问题,整段并没有写到个人对于解决拥挤问题的方法,而是在强调政府的作用)

Therefore, it is clear that the problems caused by overpopulation in urban areas are very serious. (这句话与文章主题无关,人口过多带来严重问题已经是题干中的既定事实,不需要再三强调)Yet if governments and individuals share a collective responsibility, then it may well become possible to offer some solutions. (句子太拖沓且指代不明,可以改成 then problems attendant on overpopulation will become solvable)

总结:

文章在语法和用词上没有太多硬伤,但部分表达可以更加简化。主要问题在于论证逻辑,例如第二段中出现的居住条件差与年轻人犯罪的关系,第四段中关于个人采取的措施等。

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解决该问题的办法是仔细推敲文章中每一句话与上下文以及文章主题的联系。如果实在看不出逻辑上的漏洞,可以将文章翻译成中文,这样论证中存在的问题会更加一目了然。

下面是我写的同题作文。文章思路如下:

分析人口过多带来的两大问题:交通拥挤以及住房问题。

政府的解决方案:

(1)针对交通问题:修建交通基础设施

(2)针对住房问题:做好城区规划;发放住房补贴以及无息贷款

个人的解决方案:

(1)针对交通问题:住在离公司近的地方,缓解交通压力

(2)针对住房问题:与家人或朋友合租,减小住房负担

People flock to cities in search of a better life, but at the same time bring forth problems such as traffic congestion and rising house prices, posing a challenge both to governments and individuals.

Overpopulation leads to traffic conundrums. The influx of people overloads city transport systems, leaving in its wake traffic jams in which daily commuters have to spend long hours fuming on trains. As they expend more time on the road, their time spent on meaningful work would decline accordingly, resulting in a significant production loss to society. The rise in population also gives birth to housing problems, for example rent increases and high property price, since the competition for a place to shelter gets ever more intense. Consequently, those less well-off have to live on the outskirts of cities where the cost of living is lower, often at the expense of commuting time and life satisfaction.

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Governments can take measures to resolve these issues. One concerns building infrastructure. Opening more commuter routes will relieve stress on public transport, and city officials should encourage residents to travel by bus or train. As to housing problems, good urban planning and policy help. More high-rise apartment blocks could be built in densely populated urban areas to increase housing stock and lower price. Doling out housing subsidies and low-interest loan also lightens the burden of would-be home buyers.

Individuals for their part make contributions too. By choosing to live close to their workplace, office workers cut commuting time and reduce road traffic. Young people can also opt to share a roof with their friends or families to bring living costs down.

Problems attendant on overpopulation are numerous but not insolvable. Governments and individuals should make a concerted effort to cure the ills of city life, so as to ensure more can enjoy the virtue of it.

怎样写一篇作文(2)

在上一期的分析中有不少人提出了这样一个问题:怎样判断一个词使用是否准确?对此最简单的方法是:查词典。对于不确定的词一定要多翻翻它在词典中的释义以及搭配,切忌望词生义,比如 disinterested ,看表面意思我们很容易将其理解为“不感兴趣的”,实际上它的含义是“客观的,公正的”。对于搭配问题也是如此,比如“做生意”是 do business, 而不是 make business, 这些问题都可以在词典中找到答案。

另外一个是简洁问题。句子的目的应该是为文章主题服务,因此与文章主题无关的句子尽量不要出现,不要为了凑字数而写作文。此外,要避免出现堆砌句式表达的现象,比如:

English becoming the dominant language around the world, the minority languages are comforted with an endangered situation.

这里并没有必要使用独立主格结构,句子直接写成下面这样会更加自然:

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Minority languages are at risk as English becomes world-dominant.

要写出简洁的句子需要通过大量的模仿和练习(例如《经济学人》文章就是一个很好的模仿对象)。写作时拥有这个意识,已经踏出了第一步。

今天要分析的文章题目是:

A growing number of people feel that animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights as humans while others argue that humans must employ animals to satisfy their various needs, including uses for food and research.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

这是原始作文版本:

文/小蔡

Some people believe that animals should be treated in the same way humans are and have similar rights, whereas others think that it is more important to use animals as we desire for food and research. This essay will discuss both points of view.

With regard to the exploitation of animals, some people believe their various needs should firstly be met. That is because humans are absolutely vital beings on the planet, and everything, from food, clothing, shelter to transportation etc., must be done to ensure human survival. If killing animals can provide humanity with food; if experimenting on animals can find cures for diseases; if employing animals can satisfy humanity’s survival needs, this humanity’s rights must take priority over animal suffering. Additionally, supporters of such opinions believe that animals do not feel any pain as humans do; therefore slaughtering, eating, testing animals and the other use of animals for any needs is morally acceptable.

However, I believe these above arguments cannot hold water. It is because the human can think and feel the pain that they are complexly evolved

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creatures who are accorded rights on the basis. Similarly, animals are also works of the demiurge and able to think and are certainly able to feel pain, so non-human animals should also have the same rights as humans. In addition, a substantial amount of animal research is done for cosmetics, soaps and shampoos rather than finding cures for diseases, so this is unnecessary. Furthermore, with the state-of-the-art technology development, humans could get the nutrients and vitamins that they need from green vegetables, fruits, and other man-made organic compounds. At the same time, it has also been proven that a vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of disease like high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease. Therefore, still killing animals for food is beyond all reason.

In conclusion, although some people argue killing animals for research and food is acceptable, I would argue there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that this is not the case.

点评版本:

Some people believe that animals should be treated in the same way as humans are and have similar rights, whereas others think that it is more important to use animals as we desire for food and research. This essay will discuss both points of view.

With regard to the exploitation of animals, (套话,可去除)some people believe their various needs should firstly be met. (firstly 改为 first ,即 should be met first )That is because humans are absolutely vital beings on the planet, and everything, from food, clothing, shelter to transportation etc., must be done to ensure human (human 改为 their )survival. If killing animals can provide humanity with food; if experimenting on animals can find cures for diseases; if employing animals can satisfy humanity’s survival needs, this humanity’s rights must take priority over animal s' suffering. Additionally, supporters of such opinions believe that animals do not feel any pain as humans do; therefore slaughtering, eating, testing animals and the other use of animals for any needs is morally acceptable.

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However, I believe these above arguments (改为 these arguments above)cannot hold water. It is because the human (改为 humans )can think and feel the (the 去掉)pain that they are complexly evolved creatures who are accorded rights on the basis. (accord 与 right 搭配不妥,可写成 are granted rights )Similarly, animals are also works of the demiurge (demiurge 这个词用在这里很别扭,直接改成 nature )and able to think and are certainly able to feel pain, so non-human animals (没有 non-human animals 这个说法,改成 non-human species )should also have the same rights as humans. In addition, a substantial amount of animal research is done for cosmetics, soaps and shampoos rather than finding cures for diseases, (这一说法不符合常理,很多动物实验都是用于医学研究)so this is unnecessary. Furthermore, with the state-of-the-art technology development , (用词过于拖沓,可改成 with technological advances )humans could get the nutrients and vitamins that (that 可去除)they need from green vegetables, fruits, and other (other 用词有误,man-made organic compounds 与前面的 vegetables, fruits 并不属于同一类别,可直接将 other 删去)man-made organic compounds. At the same time, it has also been proven that a vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of diseases like high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease. Therefore, still killing animals for food is beyond all reason. (改成 Employing animals to satisfy humans' needs is reasonable. 此外,这一段论证有问题。题干要求是 Discuss both views and give your opinion. 但文章到这里只讨论了支持利用动物的人以及作者自己的观点,并没有讨论反对利用动物的人的观点)

In conclusion, although some people argue killing animals for research and food is acceptable, I would argue there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that this is not the case.

总结:

这篇文章出现的问题主要有两大类:用词搭配以及论证逻辑。

用词方面出现的问题是过于单一,全篇出现了大量的 human 以及 animals ,可以采取替换的方面来增加用词多样性,比如 animals 可以换成 wildlife, living creatures, living things 等。此外,还有部分搭配较为别扭,例如 who are accorded rights, still killing animals for food is beyond all reason, 这部分问题可以通过查词典来解决。

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论证上出现的问题是只阐述了其中一方以及自己的观点,没有给出另外一方的看法,属于审题不严谨。

下面是我写的同题作文。

主要思路如下:

(1)论述支持赋予动物人类权利一方的理由:

(a )动物也会感到疼痛,道德上剥削动物不合适。如果赋予他们人类权利,就可以保护它们;

(b )剥削动物可能会破坏生态平衡,危及到人类自身生存;

(2)论述反对赋予动物人类权利一方的理由:

(a )权利与义务是对等的,动物没有付出义务,就不能得到权利;

(b )动物是重要的食物来源,禁止屠杀动物会带来严重后果;

(c )动物实验对于医学研究来说同样意义重大;

(3)给出自己的立场:可以利用动物,但是要适度

文/魏剑峰

Opinion is divided as to whether animals should be entitled the same rights as humans. While the argument that animals ought to be treated as equals may seem morally correct, careful employment of them to meet our demands is defensible and necessary.

Supporters of animal rights have a point. Animals, they argue, can feel pain when torture is inflicted upon them, just like humans do. Thus, any kind of exploitation, for example imprisonment, castration and laboratory tests, is tantamount to cruelty. If living creatures were granted human rights, such brutal treatment could be spared. Another reason why other species should have equality is they are an indispensable part of ecosystems. Exploiting

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wildlife, or even putting them under existential threat would upset the ecological balance of our planet, causing knock-on effects on mankind’s survival.

Those who consider such entitlements undeserving may argue on practical grounds. For every human right there is a corresponding responsibility, for instance paying taxes, participating in local community and obeying laws, none of them within the reach of animals. In this regard, granting them the privilege man enjoys would be unfair to dedicated citizens. Moreover, farm animals such as poultry, cattle and pigs are an important source of food supply in many parts of the world. Banning the slaughter of them would come as a blow to the lives of hundreds of millions, leading to hunger and malnutrition. Laboratory animals also contribute to the advances of modern medical technologies. Without lab mice and rabbits, scientists would have difficulty in developing new drugs patients are desperately in need of. It is pragmatic and justifiable, therefore, to make good use of these living things.

My view is that humans can employ animals for practical purposes, but should do so in moderation. At the same time, society should make an effort to rein in animal cruelty and preserve endangered species, so as to make sure all creatures great and small are treated in a humanitarian way.

怎样写一篇作文?(3)

魏剑峰英文悦读

各位好,欢迎来到作文专栏的第三期,关于该专栏的介绍可见怎样写一篇作文?

一般来说,写作训练主要有几个要点:

1. 提升语法基础

2. 提升用词和句型能力

3. 训练逻辑思维能力

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其中第三点最难,也最需要经过大量刻意训练。建议写作经常没有思路的同学平时可以多找一些作文题目想观点(如果实在想不到观点,可以上网搜一搜英文报道或者文章,看看他们是怎么写的),列出主要提纲,思考观点之间的逻辑关系,然后再对照范文,看看自己的思路是否正确。经过一两个月的训练,你的审题能力将会有很大提升。

今天要分析的作文是关于大学生住校的问题,题目是:

It is better for students to live away from home when they are at university than to live with parents. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

这是原始作文版本:

文/小蔡

In some countries, university students live at home, whereas in other countries university students go to other cities and do not live with family. Do you think the advantages for living away from home during university outweigh the disadvantages?

Being admitted to university is a step towards adulthood, which puts a high value on independence. However, in some countries, university students are opting to live with parents rather than independently living in other cities during university. I believe that the disadvantages for it outweigh the advantages when independence cultivation and social competence are taken into consideration.

Leaving the parental nest and living in the halls of residence in other cities can develop undergraduates’ independence. It is because when they move into a new environment and live away from their past support system that they are forced to become more resilient and survive independently at the university. For example, tidying up the room by themselves, washing and mending their clothes alone, doing a part-time job to pay for their own bills, maintaining good health to deal with loads of study etc. Clearly, those chances to develop mental and behavioural independence are hard to come by through staying with parents during college.

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In addition to independence fostering, boarding in the university can help students fully involved in campus life, which plays an important part in the socialization of undergraduates. In effect, leaving home to go to university is a rite of passage. Without parental prying eyes, undergraduates can freely throw themselves into activities and make friends with people from different social and cultural backgrounds. This helps undergraduates boost their confidence and develop social skills, such as teamwork and communication. In contrast, university students who live with their parents are less likely to socialize with their fellow students because they remain in their pre-university social groups, and more likely to feel isolated from their peer group at the university.

In conclusion, I am convinced that benefits for boarding university rather than living home are more significant than drawbacks, because, for undergraduates, this is not only an opportunity to develop independence but also a process of socialization.

下面是点评版本:

Being admitted to university is a step towards adulthood, which puts a high value on independence. However, in some countries, university students are opting to live with parents rather than (不一定是住在其他城市,住在本市也有可能,可以直接改成 rather than live independently ). (前面已经有提到 university students, 因此 during university 可以删去)I believe that the disadvantages (介词使用有误,应改成 of )it outweigh the advantages when independence cultivation and social competence are taken into consideration.

Leaving the parental nest (与前面的 leaving the parental nest 表意重复,可删去)can develop undergraduates’ independence. (survive 这个词用得有点重,整个句子可以改成 That is because when they live away from home comfort, they have to be resilient and learn to acquire necessary life skills. )For example, tidying up the room by themselves, washing and

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mending their clothes alone, doing a part-time job to pay for their (赘词,删去)bills, maintaining good healthto deal with loads of study (loads of 是很口语化的表达,用在正式写作里面不合适,这里可以改成 to learn effectively)etc. Clearly, those chances to develop mental and behavioural independence are hard to come by through staying with parents during college.

In addition to independence fostering, boarding in the university can help students get fully involved in campus life, which plays an important part in (改成 developing interpersonal skills)In effect, leaving home to go to university is a rite of passage. Without , (改成 without the prying eyes from parents)undergraduates can freely throw themselves into activities and make friends with people from different social and cultural backgrounds. This helps (undergraduate 在这一段重复了很多次,这里可以改成 them )boost their confidence and develop social skills, such as teamwork and communication. In contrast, university students who live with their parents are less likely to socialize with their fellow students because they remain in their pre-university social groups, and are more likely to feel isolated from their peer group at the university.

In conclusion, I am convinced that the benefits for boarding university rather than living at home (改成 outweigh )than the drawbacks, because, for undergraduates, this is not only an opportunity to develop independence but also a process of socialization.

总结:

文章总体上没有离题,提到了大学生离家住的两个好处:能够培养独立性以及人际沟通能力。但是作者对培养独立性这个观点的论证不够深入,最好能够多举一些例子,或者更加详细说明离家住能够培养独立性的原因。

此外文章用词存在一些问题,部分句子可以写得更加精简。

写作思路:

It is better for students to live away from home when they are at university than to live with parents. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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本次作文题目要求我们分析判断大学生在家住和在外面住哪个更好。这里支持正方或者反方都可以。

如果是认为大学生在家住更有好处,可以列举出理由:

1)在家住更加方便,大学生可以节省更多时间学习;

2)在家住能够省下住宿费,这对于贫困学生来说尤其重要;

3)在家住有家长的监督,学生不至于堕落(比如沉迷酒精或者游戏)

如果是认为大学生在外面住更有好处,可以给出理由:

1)在外面住能够培养学生独立生活的能力,这对他们未来的生活有益;

2)大学生选择住学校还能增进同学情谊,提升人际沟通能力;

3)同时,住在学校离各种教学设施更近,有利于学习。

下面是我写的同题作文,对大学生在外面住持支持态度:

文/魏剑峰

University students today are given more latitude in deciding whether to live away from their families or not. While opting to remain home-based may save money and offer some convenience, adopting a different lifestyle yields more long-term benefits.

Leaving the parental nest helps youngsters develop independence and prepares them for life’s demands and challenges. Families can act as a shelter and paradoxically, a constraint for youths: a shelter under which they can survive and thrive; a constraint for those who grow reliant on indulgent parents and find it difficult to acquire life skills. By dispensing with home comfort,

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students have the chance to try out new things and solve problems themselves, whether it be fixing domestic appliances or cooking a meal. In this process, they gain practical experience and lay a solid foundation for future self-reliance.

Youngsters living with their peers can better cultivate interpersonal skills, for they are provided with precious opportunities to learn important lessons about open-mindedness and cooperation, from showing respect for roommates’ personal habits to dealing with minor conflicts. Such skills will hold them in a good stead in terms of career development, given that companies large and small have placed a premium on team spirit. Moreover, being school-based has academic perks. College students are able to make and maintain a friendship with their classmates, who can be supportive during group work and collaborative learning. It is also easier for them to get access to educational facilities, i.e. libraries, laboratories, etc.

Granted, there are certain disadvantages of moving away from parental supervision. Young people living beyond the reach of their parents may fall prey to instant gratification, such as video games, alcohol and drugs. Rising rents could also become a heavy burden. However, as youngsters learn to be more self-disciplined and seek out financial support by doing part-time jobs or applying for a grant, this will not prove to be much of a problem.

In conclusion, I am convinced that the benefits of living away from home outweigh the drawbacks. For those who pursue independence and social maturity, flying the nest is something they should opt for.

怎样修改一篇作文?

原创2016-12-15魏剑峰英文悦读On Writing Well 的作者 William Zinsser 认为,改写是写作至关重要的一部分(Rewriting is the essence of writing)。很少有人能一下笔就写出完美的文章,好作品都是经过无数次修改之后形成的。

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这句话放在平时的写作练习也同样合适,修改是一个很重要的写作环节,在打磨一篇文章的过程中,我们能够学到很多关于用词、句式和逻辑的知识。每个人都应该学会修改作文。

一般来说,我们可以从以下几个方面着手对文章进行修改:

1) 用词:对照词典检查是否出现词不达意或用词冗余现象;

2)句式:检查是否有语法错误,比如主谓一致,垂悬句式,时态问题等。对于冗余句子可以进行精简。

3)逻辑:检查各个论点是否符合要求,论据是否充分有力,段落展开过程是否做到逻辑清晰。

为了更好地说明上述修改过程,我以最近修改的一篇学生作文为例进行分析:

这是一篇雅思作文,题目为:

People believe that using mobile phones and computers to communicate make us lose the ability to communicate with each other face to face. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

原始的作文版本如下:

We live in a world where communication through state-of-the-art technology such as smart phone and computer is here to stay. Some people consider those wall-to-wall tools can harm our ability to communicate with people face to face. I concur with this opinion. I do believe phones and computers not only rob man of much time and room for face to face, but also reduce the level of people’s interpersonal communication skills.

The modern communication tools are going to make massive inroads into daily life, directly reducing people’s time and opportunity for face to face. A most popular YouTube video —“I Forgot My Phone” is a ca se in point. The two-minute video begins with a couple in bed. The woman stares silently while her boyfriend pays no mind and checks his smartphone. The subsequent

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scenes follow women through a day that is downright dystopian: people ignore her as they stare at their phones during lunch, at a concert, while bowling and even at her birthday party. The clip ends with women back in bed with her boyfriend at the end of the day; he is still using his phone. It needles people about addiction to that little screen and suggests how a modern electronic gizmo nibbles away at people’s face-to-face time and chances.

Smartphone and computer-obsessed culture also kill man’s skills on reading non-verbal communication. According to psychologist, 90% of communication between people is non-verbal. Such as the expression on face, bodily gestures or tone of voice, to name but a few, can all show one’s feelings or thoughts to the other. However, if someone, day and night, is glued to the screen of mobile phone for chatting and tweeting and, all the time, is married to virtual worlds of computer for gaming and socializing, he will hard to catch the subtle tone in employers voice, see parents’ expression as it changes from sad to outraged, and look partners in the eye to see if they are trustworthy. In fact, people heavily relying on screens and losing non-verbal communication could give rise to suspicions, misunderstanding, even divisions.

In conclusion, I am convinced that technology, especially computers and phones, is a good servant but a bad master for communication. If people were continued to stare at screens, they would have lost true face to face and even more than now.

这篇文章可以从下面几个角度进行修改:

1. 用词

用词不当:

1) Smartphone and computer-obsessed culture also kill man’s skills on reading non-verbal communication. kill 不能和 skill 搭配,此处可以改成 hinder/weaken, 后面的介词搭配也有误,不能说 skill on doing sth. 而是 skill at/in doing sth.

2) bodily gestures 生造表达,可以改为 body language

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逻辑:

比起用词和句式方面的不足,这篇文章比较大的问题在于论证逻辑。

题干要求是论证手机和电脑是否削弱了人们面对面沟通的能力,作者对此持肯定态度,认为这些电子产品的过度使用会使人们的沟通能力下降。文章论证过程是:在主体第一段指出手机目前占用人们大部分的时间,并且以 Youtube 上一个视频作为例证。但作者在这里并没有指出为何手机占用时间就会造成面对面沟通能力的下降,缺乏对两者的逻辑关系的说明。

正确的逻辑链条应该是:人们因为过度使用手机而造成面对面沟通机会和时间的减少,这种情况如果持续过长,他们就会因为缺乏训练而导致沟通能力退化。

在主体第二段,作者指出,目前在面对面沟通中,非语言沟通(例如面部表情以及肢体语言)占了很大比例。沉迷手机和电脑会导致人们难以理解这种非语言沟通形式,进而带来很多问题。

但此处的论证同样存在问题:为什么沉迷手机和电脑就会导致人们难以理解非语言沟通形式?这里逻辑出现了跳跃,补全之后是:沉迷手机和电脑会使人们不愿意或很少有时间与其他人沟通,如果太久没有面对面沟通机会,人们这种理解非语言形式的能力就会退化,进而影响面对面沟通能力。把这一层意思表达出来后,整个逻辑链条才完整。

因此这篇文章改写的重点应该是理清逻辑,明确主要的论点论据。

现在我们重新思考一下这个问题:为什么手机和电脑的过度使用会导致面对面沟通能力的下降?

除了上面提到的非语言沟通形式之外,手机和电脑还会带来下面这些影响:

1)很多人在使用电脑或手机聊天的时候很难保持专注,因为他们会受到大量的信息干扰(比如手机推送的新闻和游戏信息等)。习惯了网络聊天的人注意力持续时间会变短,谈话的时候容易分心,这会对他们在现实生活中的交流造成障碍。

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2)不少人习惯了在网络聊天中使用各种流行语和缩写,这种习惯也会被带到现实生活中来。这些网络流行语往往难登大雅之堂,使用过多会给人留下不好的印象。

综合以上分析之后,我们可以开始组织语言对文章进行改写了。下面是我改写的版本,文章没有使用模板以及大词难词,加粗的短语来自《地道英文写作进阶》一书:

We live in a world where smart phones and computers are here to stay. While new technology makes it easier for us to keep in touch with people from far and wide, it also risks weakening our ability to communicate effectively.

The proliferation of smart gadgets could in many ways hinder face-to-face communication skills. Start with non-verbal one. According to psychologists, 90% of communication between people is non-verbal, i.e. facial expressions and body language. It reveals one’s true feelings and thoughts that are hard to convey through texting or sending voice messages. As people grow accustomed or even get addicted to using electronic devices to stay connected, they may shy away from social occasions where a certain degree of interaction is required, such as family meals and team sports. Therefore, they would not be able to develop the ability toread between the lines , and this could make them feel socially awkward and place them at a disadvantage in important events such as job interviews and business negotiations.

Moreover, phones and computers may change people’s conversational behaviour for the worse. Heavy users of such electronics often have a short attention span and are more likely to jump from topic to topic when an idea springs to mind. As a consequence, they may become unfocused and sidetracked during offline conversations. Internet slang also does its bit. Today, youngsters who text with abbreviated forms of words tend to speak with the same acronyms and use internet catchphrases heavily. These forms of talking are often construed as flighty and uneducated, from which misunderstandings ensue.

In conclusion, I am convinced that smart phones and computers do more harm than good when it comes to cultivating interpersonal skills. For those

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who are married to the wizardry of electronic world, turning off their digital gadgets may be the first step in becoming an effective communicator.

逻辑与思辨:怎样增加文章的广度与深度?

原创2016-10-30魏剑峰英文悦读

我们在上一篇文章为什么说漂亮的句子往往是从改写开始的?里面讨论了遣词造句的相关知识,今天我们开始关注文章的深度与广度问题。

你可能会有这样的经历:拿到作文题目后头脑一片空白,不知道如何下笔,或者是洋洋洒洒写了一大段,却发现逻辑混乱,内容空洞。

解决这一问题的关键并不在于词汇和语法,而在于思辨能力。词汇和语法习得大多有章可循,可以通过机械重复训练获得,但思辨能力的培养却要困难得多,因为它与个人的成长历程,读书经历,思考习惯等都有关系。思辨能力训练没有固定套路,但有一些基本原则可以参考:

1. 注重逻辑思维能力训练

写作是思考过程的直接反映,只有想清楚才有可能写清楚。很多人在动笔之前根本没有一个明确的思路,想到哪写到哪,导致写出来的英语作文像是随手做翻译,很容易让读者一头雾水。

避免出现这种问题的一个方法是在动笔之前先列好提纲,确定好每一段的论点论据以及论证方式。同时,还要留意论点和论据之间的逻辑关系,使其经得起推敲。

逻辑关系有两层意思:一层意思是指前后句子有联系,或者指事情之间具有前因后果的关系;另一层意思是指在论证过程中,结论由前提按照推理的一般规则从论据中合乎逻辑地推理出来。即在论证过程中,论据与论题之间存在逻辑关系,从论据能够合理地推导出论题。

在实际操作中,我们有时候会发现一篇文章读起来很难理解,其中一个重要原因就是句子的逻辑关系理不顺,或者句子之间出现了脱节。解决这个问题的一个方法是:文章里面前一句话与后一句话之间一定要有联系。这种联系,可以是通过

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连接词的使用(明连接),也可以通过前后句子之间单词的呼应(暗承接),比如下面这个例子:

I tend to agree that young children can be negatively affected by too much time spent on the computer everyday. This is in front of a screen for too long can be damaging to both the eyes and the physical posture they are using the computer for.

The main concern is about the type of computer activities that attract children. These are often electronic games that tend to be very intense and rather violent. The player is usually the "hero" of the game and too much exposure can encourage children to be self-centred and insensitive to others.

上面的作文片段中,"This" 用来指代"I tend to agree..." 一整句的内容,连接词"because" 用来连接从句说明原因,"regardless of" 后面连接名词性从句做进一步说明。"These" 用来指代上一句中出现的 "computer activities",用定冠词"the" 修饰的"player" 和 "game" 则与上一句呼应,指代游戏中的玩家和游戏。通过用好连接词以及语义承接的方式,我们可以将句子甚至段落有机联系起来,使之符合逻辑。

在保证连贯的基础上,还要注意避免逻辑谬误。

举个例子,有这样一个作文片段:

Recently, there is a heated discussion on whether college students should go in for business. Some people think that students should not go in for business, while others suggest that it is a good thing for them to do that. My view is that students should have a chance to set up their business.

My first reason is that students are young and energetic. Some of them are extremely talented. Take Bill Gates for example, who was a smart students at university and he went for business. Later he became a well-known businessman all over the world and got very rich.

文章的用词句式和语法暂且不讨论,如果单独从逻辑的角度来分析,我们会发现不少问题。作者认为学生应该去创业,并且在第二段中列出了两个理由:年轻人

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朝气蓬勃有活力;一些年轻人很有天赋。但这两个理由都站不住脚。年轻人有朝气跟创业并没有必然联系,实际上,创业充满风险,大部分涉世未深的学生并不适合参与。其次,尽管有部分学生具有经商天赋,但这仅仅是个别现象,用个例来代替一般情况,并不具有说服力(以个例代替一般情况是不少成功学鸡汤的常用套路,这些文章通常以一两个成功人物为例子来阐述一些并不具有普适性的方法)。

作者在第二段中列举的比尔·盖茨例子同样也经不起推敲。比尔·盖茨因为创业而选择了退学,这恰恰说明了学业和经商不能兼容,只能两者取其一,这与作者的论点产生了矛盾。

再举个例子:

Although a long prison term may sometimes help us fight crime, we can consider community services as an alternative. These services can make some offenders, especially those who committed minor crimes, law-abiding citizens. If they are sentenced to prison, they are likely to reoffend after being released, which can pose a threat to other members of society.

这个段落的主题是社区服务比长期刑罚更能抑制犯罪,但其中有两个地方出现了逻辑问题。一个是 These services can make some offenders, especially those who committed minor crimes, law-abiding citizens 社区服务会让犯罪较轻的人变成遵纪守法的公民。这里逻辑出现了跳跃,因为两者并没有必然联系。另外一个问题是 If they are sentenced to prison, they are likely to reoffend after being released ... 受到监禁的犯人出狱后会更加容易再次犯罪。这里同样有逻辑问题,为什么受到监禁的犯人出狱后就会更加容易再次犯罪?如果此处能添加一个理由:

If they are sentenced to prison, they may fall prey to other criminals who will not repent of their wrongdoings. Therefore, they are likely to reoffend after being released... 这样逻辑就通顺了。

上面两个案例中出现了很多考生经常犯的逻辑错误:以偏概全,自相矛盾,轻断因果。要避免这些问题,有必要专门进行一些逻辑训练,比如学习一些逻辑学的著作(推荐我最近正在看的一本书 Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking ),以及在动笔之前先对提纲进行分析,确保论证过程不会出现谬误。

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2. 多深入思考

另一个困扰很多人的问题是写作时无话可说,为了凑字数而不断重复观点。之所以会感到“无话可说”,往往是因为思考得不够深入。多分析造成问题的深层次原因,思路会随之打开。

举个例子,很多人喜欢谈到这样一个观点:政府应该管制面向青少年的电影和电视剧,因为它们可能含有暴力内容,青少年容易被这些内容影响从而带有暴力倾向。

大部分人仅仅是提到了这一个观点,但并没有进一步思考:为什么青少年就容易受到这些暴力内容影响?为什么不是成年人容易受到暴力内容影响?仔细分析之后你会发现,这些电影和电视剧通常都由明星主演,这些明星角色在电影中使用暴力,会让人感觉很酷。青少年心智不成熟,容易模仿这些明星的行为,认为使用暴力也是一件很值得炫耀的事情,进而可能会在现实中产生暴力倾向。这才是政府应该管制这些电影和电视剧的深层原因。

以后写作时如果感觉头脑空白,无话可说,不妨先思考问题的原因和结果:是什么原因导致了我们所要分析的这个问题?我们的分析触及到问题本质了吗?我们分析的这个问题,会导致什么样的结果?解决这几个问题之后,思路自然会打开,文章才能有广度和深度。

3. 素材储备

文章论证过程离不开举例,一个精彩的例子能极大增强文章的说服力。对于应试作文来说,积累一定的素材是必要的,因为很多文章都需要使用这些素材来举例。比如下面这个题目:

The greatness of individuals can be decided only by those who live after them, not by their contemporaries (个人的伟大只能由其后来者,而非其同代人来评判)

要写好这个题目需要有一定的知识储备,比如我们要知道哪些人物符合提干的要求。比如:

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美国地球化学家克莱尔·彼得森 (Clair Patterson) 在测定地球年龄的过程中发现大气中铅严重超标,而大气中铅来源于汽油中广泛存在的添加剂。为此,他花费了大半生的时间进行游说,最终使美国政府建立了对汽车工业污染控制的标准。由于汽车行业巨头的阻挠,彼得森所做的铅污染研究工作在当时并没有得到人们的认可。一直到他去世后,大众才了解到其工作的价值。

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clair_Cameron_Patterson#Campaign_against_lead_poisoning

又比如英国科学家罗伯特·胡克 (Robert Hooke)。他在天文学、物理学、生物学、化学、气象学、钟表和机械等学科领域都作出过突出贡献,然而其光芒却被同时代的牛顿所掩盖,导致其研究成果一直鲜有人知。一直到20世纪中后期,人们才重新认识到胡克当时研究的价值,各种介绍其成果的著作以及纪念活动也才开始兴起。

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hooke

如果在写这道题目时能够积累类似的例子,文章会更加具有说服力。

这些例子的积累大多只能依赖平时的阅读,阅读中遇到让人感觉印象深刻的案例,要养成随手收集整理分类的习惯,打造自己的素材库,这样写作时才有可能做到灵活应对。

4. 从阅读中训练思辨能力

人的天性总是趋于安稳,能不运动就不运动,能不思考就不思考。这一点放在阅读里面同样适用。很多人把阅读变成了查单词和长难句分析,对于难度较高的部分,却鲜有涉足,比如分析文章提出了什么样的观点,采用了什么样的论据,采取了什么样的方式来论证,论证过程是否合理。这是因为查单词和分析长难句是机械过程,不需要太多思考;理清论证过程和段落逻辑联系,分析文章结构都需要消耗脑力,执行起来难度比较高。但这种分析阅读方式却能让我们更全面地审视文章,有助于我们培养思辨能力。

最简单的分析阅读方式是采用思维导图,在读完一篇文章后,把文章的主要观点,论据,各个段落之间的联系整理成一张思维导图(可以使用XMind 等工具):

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在此基础上,还可以写文章概要(summary ),这样能够锻炼提取观点以及转述能力,对阅读和写作都有好处。

写作本质上是表达思想的工具,只有思维清晰才有可能写出具有条理性的文章。学习逻辑学知识,多思考问题的原因和结果,以及在阅读中理清作者的思路,积累素材,这些都是值得长期坚持,能提升写作深度和广度的方法。

怎样展开一个段落?

原创2016-12-22魏剑峰英文悦读

我们知道,文章由段落组成,段落的发展从主题句开始,段落由展开句组成。所谓的展开句就是在文章段落中阐明主题句的一些句子。

很多人在写英语作文时会遇到这样的问题:不知道怎样写展开句。他们在拿到作文题目后能够很快确定文章的基本结构和主题句,但对主题句(论点)进行论证时却发现写了两三句后就无话可说,导致分析论证流于表面,无法深入。

遇到这种问题时,可以采取下面这几种方法进行扩展:

1. 举例法:

举例法是目前议论文写作中最常见,同时也是应用最广泛的一种段落展开方法。通过举例能够让文章内容更加丰富,同时更加具有说服力。

比如,有这样一个作文题目:Governments should not fund any scientific research whose consequences are unclear.

如果你支持题目的观点,可以提出这样的分论点:Being circumspect about research whose objectives are too vague can help us avoid significant opportunity costs. 展开该分论点的一个方法是举例,比如可以列举美国的“星球大战”研究计划的例子:

Being circumspect about research whose objectives are too vague can help us avoid significant opportunity costs. Consider the "Star War" defense initiative championed by the then US President Ronald Reagan during the 1980s. In retrospect, this initiative was ill-conceived and largely a waste of taxpayers'

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money —— money that could have been devoted to addressing pressing socio-economic problems of the day, such as AIDS, environmental damage, poverty and drug trafficking. As it turned out, at the end of the "Star War" debacle America was drawn into a quagmire of economic recession and social unrest, to the detriment of the nation at large.

使用举例法需要写作者具有一定的素材积累。平时阅读的时候我们要留意收集一些具有一定通用性(即能用于很多题目的论证)同时又有一定的独特性(即没有被用得很滥)的例子。

2. 反证法

反证法的思路是“如果不(接受本段的论证点),会(产生什么样的结果)”,通过这样的方式来对问题进行更加深入的思考。举个例子,对于这样的题目:Students should always question what they are taught instead of accepting it passively. 我们可以提出这样的分论点:Students in fields such as law and political science should think critically about current legal systems. 学习法律和政治学的学生应该学会质疑当今存在的各种法律法规的正确性。通过反证法可以进行思路扩展:如果他们不这样做的话,会发生什么,从而提升论证的深度:

Students in fields such as law and political science should think critically about current legal systems. While law students must learn to appreciate timeless legal doctrines and principles, they should continually question the fairness and justification of current laws. Without such skepticism, our laws would not evolve to reflect changing societal values and to address new legal issues brought by new technologies, fox example AI and self-driving cars.

3. 分类法

分类法也是段落展开的常见方法。分类法根据事物的特点分别归类,很多东西可以被分成不同的类别,不同的东西也可以被归为同一类。主题句确定后,段落的内容有时可以用分类顺序来组织和发展。比如,同样对于上面的题目:Students should always question what they are taught instead of accepting it passively. 我们可以采用分类法进行展开,即对于不同专业领域的学生(比如物理专业,艺术专业,法律专业),质疑精神对他们来说都同样重要:

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The value of skepticism can be illustrated by examples from various fields of study. For students in the field of physics sciences, the ability to question what they are taught is essential. History has seen many physics students, for example Copernicus and Galileo, who queried what they had been taught, thereby paving the way for innovations, invention and discoveries. For art students, it is often bold challenge to established styles and forms, rather than subpar mimicry, that enables them to produce genuinely new art. Even in fields such as law and political science, students must think critically about current legal systems; otherwise, exploitation, tyranny, and prejudice go unchecked.

4. 因果法

因果法是论述类文章中最常使用的方法,因果法用于说明事物发展的原因和结果,可根据结果分析原因,也可以由原因推导结果。因果法非常适合用来扩展思路。如果你文章写到一半觉得无话可说,记得多想想“原因和结果”:是什么原因导致了现在正在描述的现象?现在描述的现象又会导致什么样的结果?把这两点想清楚,文章思路就有了。比如上一篇推送里面我们分析的一篇文章:People believe that using mobile phones and computers to communicate makes us lose the ability to communicate with each other face to face. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

如果我们持同意态度的话,会得出这样的主论点:Using mobile phones and computers to communicate makes us lose the ability to communicate with each other face to face.

确定了论点之后,我们可以用“因果法”来展开:为什么使用手机和电脑会降低人们的面对面沟通能力?造成人们面对面沟通能力下降的因素有哪些?这些因素会导致什么样的结果?

仔细分析之后不难得出下面两条结论:

1)很多人在使用电脑或手机聊天的时候很难保持专注,因为他们会受到大量的信息干扰(比如手机推送的新闻和游戏信息等)。习惯了网络聊天的人注意力持续时间会变短,谈话的时候容易分心,这会对他们在现实生活中的交流造成障碍。

2)不少人习惯了在网络聊天中使用各种流行语和缩写,但这些网络流行语往往难登大雅之堂。如果这种习惯被带到现实生活中来,就会给人造成不好的印象。

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因此可以这样展开:

Smart phones and computers could in many ways hinder our face-to-face communication skills. Take conversational behaviour. Heavy users of such electronics often have a short attention span and are more likely to jump from topic to topic when an idea springs to mind. As a consequence, they may become unfocused and sidetracked during offline conversations. Internet slang also does its bit. Today, youngsters who text with abbreviated forms of words tend to speak with the same acronyms and use internet catchphrases heavily. These forms of talking are often construed as flighty and uneducated, from which misunderstandings ensue.

在实际写作中很少将一种方法运用到底,一般都是将上面多种方法结合,例如反证+举例,因果+举例,分类+反证等,这样论证效果会更好。

同时,为了使展开句写得顺畅连贯,我们还要留意连接词的使用,例如:

转折关系:while, yet, but, however

并列关系:and, also, likewise

让步关系:though, although, despite, in spite of

递进关系:moreover, what is more, furthermore, in addition, besides

写作是思考的反映,经历什么样的思考就会写出什么样的文章。因此,要真正写好一个段落一篇文章,除了采取以上几种方法之外,还要学会训练自己的思考能力,对日常发生的大小事件、别人的观点,要多从不同层面思考它们的前因后果、成立的前提、适用的领域等,让写作水平和思维能力同步提升。

写作提升的一个重要方法:阅读与模仿

原创2016-09-27魏剑峰英文悦读

英文写作是一个创造和发现的过程,一般来说,它主要包含两个方面的能力:语言能力以及逻辑思维能力。其中,逻辑思维能力与每个人的人生经历、知识储备以及思维模式息息相关,这是一个循序渐进的发展过程。相比逻辑思维能力,

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语言能力有着更为清晰的提升路径。语言能力提升的重点在于提升对词汇以及句子的运用能力。

词汇运用能力并不等同于词汇量,词汇运用能力的关键在于对词汇使用语境的精确理解。句子结构的运用能力也并不等同于语法知识,它的关键在于灵活应用各种句型准确地表达自己的思想。

怎样培养词汇运用能力以及句子结构的运用能力呢?对优秀句子和篇章进行模仿练习是一个很好的方法。

语言能力的提升并不是靠学习理论知识,而是大量的练习和模仿。回顾古今中外作家的写作经历,你会发现,人类写作历程堪称一部模仿史。无论是英语写作,还是汉语习作,一开始都离不开大量的阅读与模仿。通过对经典英语文章的模仿,我们能够学习怎样写出灵活地道的句子,更好地理解段落的层次性和逻辑性。

具体来讲,我们可以从句子和段落两个层次入手进行模仿训练。

对句子的模仿

句子是组成篇章的基本单位,只有先写好句子,才有可能写好文章。通过大量模仿经典英语的句式和句子结构,我们能够将其内化,并在写作时做到融会贯通。句型模仿训练的前提是寻找优秀的材料,并提取出相应的句型进行大量的训练。通过大量的模仿将这些优秀的句型变成我们表达的一部分。

目前对于句子模仿从易到难主要有两个方式:替换单词,提取句式

替换单词

将一个句子进行单词替换是最常见同时也是最简单的方法。举个例子,经济学人中有这样一个句子:

The hundred years since the Battle of Waterloo had not been entirely free of disaster —there had been a horrific civil war in America, some regional scraps in Asia, the Franco-Prussian war and the occasional colonial calamity. But continental peace had prevailed. Globalisation and new technology —the telephone, the steamship, the train—had knitted the world together.

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加粗的句子用在全球化相关话题里面不错吧?不过现在是21世纪了,可以将句子相应改一下:

The world is changing at a rapid pace. Globalisation and new technology—the internet, the airplane, the high-speed train—have knitted the world together.

又比如新概念英语4里面出现的一个句子:

As is so often pointed out, knowledge is a two-edged weapon which can be used equally for good or evil.

我们可以将其中的 knowledge 替换为那些具有两面性的事物,比如 nuclear technology / gene engineering / international trade 等:

As is so often pointed out, nuclear technology / gene engineering / international trade is a two-edged weapon which can be used equally for good or evil.

提取句式

提取句式是在单词替换的基础上发展而来,它的难度更高,但训练效果也会更好。在做此类练习时,我们要先对一个句子进行分析,从中提取出一个“通用模板”,然后根据这个模板进行造句练习。举个例子,有这样一个句子:

It is a disturbing omen for the Chinese economy. For all the talk of reform, many government officials still want to paper over bad loans. With credit going to keep moribund companies alive, China’s debt levels have soared even as growth has slowed.

我们可以提取出这样的句型:For all the talk of ...still...

比如可以说:

For all the talk of equal rights for women, gender discrimination is still rife in the workplace.

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又比如这个句子:

China’s advance is all the more potent in the context of a series of disappointments for democrats since 2000. The first great setback was in Russia. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 the democratisation of the old Soviet Union seemed inevitable.

提取出来的句型是 ...is all the more potent in the context of ...

我们可以写:

a) The appeal of online education is all the more potent in the context of soaring university tuition fees.

b) Regulating social media is all the more tricky in the context of widespread use of smartphones by which everyone is able to voice their opinions.

还有这个例子:

So it came as a shock last month when a bill sprinted through the lower house of Congress, on the first day of a new session, that sets out to change the terms of their 30-year concessions after only 17 years.

我们可以提取出来的句型是 It came as a shock ...when ...

比如可以说:

It came as a shock last week when an explosion shaked New York City and injured 29 people.

对于下面这个句子:

To say that the “age of the grand hotel ran from 1860 to 1960” is to make it seem that Paris’s Grand had no antecedents.

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我们可以提取出 To say that...is to make it seem that...这个类比句型,模仿写出:

To say that universities should merely provide students with employment skills is to make it seem that theoretical knowledge is of secondary importance.

平时在阅读中要有意识地积累这类经典句式,并通过模仿造句地方式将它们内化,这样写出来的句子才会更加规范地道。

对段落的模仿

通过对文章经典段落的模仿,我们能够学习并熟悉段落的基本构架,段落展开方式,以及段落内部句子之间的承接等,在写作时能够更有效地组织自己的思想,写出层次鲜明、逻辑严谨的段落和文章。

举个例子,经济学人在一篇题为 The curious case of the fall in crime 的文章中,对当今西方社会犯罪率下降的原因有这样一个论述:

There is no single cause of the decline; rather, several have coincided. Western societies are growing older, and most crimes are committed by young men. Policing has improved greatly in recent decades, especially in big cities such as New York and London, with forces using computers to analyse the incidence of crime; in some parts of Manhattan this helped to reduce the robbery rate by over 95%. The epidemics of crack cocaine and heroin appear to have burnt out.

这个段落的逻辑非常清晰。开头第一句为主题句,后面三个句子进行展开:

1.Western societies are growing older, and most crimes are committed by young men.

2.Policing has improved greatly in recent decades.

3.The epidemics of crack cocaine and heroin appear to have burnt out.

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我们可以对上面的段落框架进行模仿:

There is no single cause of childhood obesity; rather, several have coincided. Many children have been surrounded by fast food outlets selling unhealthy foods such as hamburgers and hot dogs, which contain a lot of calories, sugar and salt. Moreover, their parents are too busy climbing up the career ladder to keep an eye on their eating habits. Lack of exercise also does its bit. Most children spend too much time sitting in their room watching TV or playing computer games, and too little doing outdoor activities.

有哪些适合模仿的材料

材料质量的高低对于句子和段落模仿的效果会有很大的影响。用于模仿学习的材料要必须足够经典地道。这里推荐两种:

新概念英语3和4

作为影响一代人,经久不衰的英语学习教材,新概念英语3和新概念英语4中提供了非常多值得借鉴的经典句型以及段落篇章。新概念英语教材中类似 Life on a desert island, New Year resolutions, Knowledge and progress, Education 等课文都是极佳的模仿材料,如果能对这些文章做到熟练背诵并模仿,相信你的遣词造句水平会得到很大提升。

经济学人

为经济学人写作的记者们来自历史、哲学、法律等多个领域,不少人文化积淀深厚,是遣词造句以及逻辑论证的高手。他们写出来的文章可圈可点之处非常多,是很好的学习模仿材料。有志于提升英语写作水平的同学可以重点阅读模仿经济学人中这几个栏目的文章:Leaders, Business, Books and arts, Obituary

材料的选择在于精而不在多,认认真真将几十篇文章读懂读透,选取其中的优秀句型段落进行改写模仿,效果比囫囵吞枣读上几百篇文章要好很多。

对经典英语作品的模仿是走向高水平写作的必经之路。我们可以从句子和篇章段落这两个角度入手,将提取出来的句型和段落结构与要写的话题结合起来进行模

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仿,以此来提升自己遣词造句以及逻辑思维能力。除此之外,平时也要养成整理积累好词好句的习惯,建立自己的“语料库”,写作时才能做到厚积薄发。

怎样在阅读中培养批判性思维?

原创2016-09-14魏剑峰英文悦读

批判性思维(critical thinking)是一个在近年来被频繁讨论的概念,几乎所有人都在强调批判性思维的重要性,但对于具体什么是“批判性思维”,很多人并不能给出一个清晰的定义。

到底什么是“批判性思维”呢?

在我看来,批判性思维是一种质疑和求证的能力,进行过批判性思维训练的人在面对问题时不会轻易接受既有结论,而是会进一步对问题进行深入思考,评估问题的深度、广度以及逻辑性,从而得出自己的见解。批判性思维并不等同于标新立异,为了质疑而质疑,它的真正含义在于独立思考,不满足于轻松给自己一个答案。

批判性思维对于信息的接收和甄别具有非常重要的意义。今天我们经常面临的一个问题是:如何在信息海洋中筛选出有价值的信息,以及如何避免错误的信息左右我们的大脑。解决这个问题需要独立思考与质疑精神——这也是批判性思维的核心原则。

缺乏批判性思维容易导致轻信和盲从。关于这一点我们在社交网络上可以找到不少例证,看看朋友圈里被大量转发的谣言以及漏洞百出的成功学和鸡汤故事就知道了。

批判性思维对于英语学习同样意义重大。学习一门语言会不可避免接触到其背后的思想和文化——只要是思想和文化,就必然存在精华与糟粕。怎样在学习英语的同时避免被消极思想文化所影响?一种可行的方案是:带着批判性思维去学习。

经常阅读外刊的同学可能会发现,即使是知名英语媒体,其傲慢与偏见也并不比其他媒体少(特别是涉及到与中国相关的话题)。举个例子,BBC 在报道里约奥运会上秦凯向何姿求婚这一事件时,暗示这次求婚为 male control(男权主导

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行为),在报道其他国家运动员求婚时,则毫不掩饰赞赏之情。这是典型的双重标准。

卫报在评价中国代表团在奥运会上的表现时,有选择性地挑选部分中国网民的言论加以解读,力图混淆视听,给读者造成中国总体运动水平下降以及网民都有酸葡萄心理的印象。

如果阅读时不加思索,对外来的观点照单全收,只会让自己成为他人思想的附庸,甚至是被利用的工具。

既然批判性思维如此重要,那应该怎样去培养它?

培养批判性思维能力的一种行之有效的方法是:进行阅读训练。为了让阅读训练真正发挥作用,我们需要注意以下三个原则:

1. 学会提问

英语中有一个习语叫“not see the forest for the trees”(只见树木不见森林),它也反映出很多人普遍出现的一个阅读问题:过于注重细节而忽略整体,即阅读时只停留在解析生词句子的水平,而忽略了篇章结构和思想内涵等更高层次的内容。

怎样解决这个问题呢?

古希腊哲学家苏格拉底曾经提出以其名字命名的“苏格拉底反诘法”(Socratic method ),该方法通过讽刺、催生、归纳以及定义等形式对学生进行启发和引导,使他们逐步掌握明确的定义和概念。在阅读中可以借鉴这种方法,通过提问的方式引导自己思考以下问题:

1. 文章的主要内容和观点是什么?

2. 文章是站在谁的立场上写的?

3. 文章所用的材料来源于哪些渠道?这些材料可信吗?

4. 作者是否有言外之意?

5. 作者的论证逻辑是否存在问题?对于同样的资料和信息,我们可以做出多少种可能的诠释?

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这种自问自答的方式能让我们跳出“只见树木不见森林”的困境,以更加全面的眼光来看待问题。举个例子,对于上文提到的卫报对于中国运动员在此次奥运会上的报道,采用上面的方法分析,我们不难发现文章存在的问题:

1. 使用 "came in search of gold", "boast", "tub-thumping"等表达来制造中国运动员对金牌趋之若鹜结果却空手而归的意象(注意下面加黑的词);

2. 文章材料选取存在问题,仅选取微博上一小部分网友的评价来代表整体,对占绝大多数的正面评价却视而不见。

When China’s athletes flew down to Rio ahead of the 2016 Olympics they came in search of gold – and lots of it.

“China expects 30-36 golds,” boasted the front page headline in the Global Times, a tub-thumping Communist party controlled tabloid , as the first Games to be held in South America kicked off on 5 August.

But less than a fortnight later those expectations are being downgraded as Chinese sports fans and their soft-power obsessed leaders come to terms with the fact that the Rio Games are unlikely to bear the fruits they had hoped for.

Chinese internet users expressed a mix of nonchalance and sour grapes at the country’s fortunes in Brazil.

“It doesn’t matter how many gold medals we have, as long as all the athletes can come home safely,” one fan wrote on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter.

Another disenchanted commentator captured growing frustration among Chinese sports addicts. “Rubbish Rio!” they grumbled. “Rubbish judges!”

在“苏格拉底反诘法”中,要特别注意文章出现的“观点”(opinion )和“事实”(fact )之间的区别。前者是个人对某事件的主观看法,而后者则是客观存在的事实和真理。

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比如“谷歌是一家伟大的公司”,这是观点,“谷歌在2016年2月的全球搜索引擎份额为64%”,这是事实。阅读一篇文章时,要明确哪些是作者的观点,哪些是既定事实,同样还要注意作者的观点论证过程是否严谨可靠。

2. 加强逻辑训练,明确常见的逻辑谬误

我们常说“摆事实,讲道理”,即从事实中推导出观点,但同样的事实,不同的人得出的结论却可能大相径庭,因为他们的论证逻辑存在差异。对于议论文来说,论据和论点之间存在这样的关系:

论据——论证逻辑——论点

在这其中,论证逻辑是否严谨合理,是判断一篇文章质量的重要标准。为了得到客观准确的结论,我们需要加强逻辑训练,逻辑训练的第一步是避免常见的逻辑错误。

逻辑错误在生活中并不罕见,比如,下面就是一个很多人都会混淆的推论:

if p then q;

q therefore p

这种谬误被称为肯定后件(Affirming the consequent),它的错误之处在于,使用结果直接推导出原因,而忽略了可能有多种原因会造成这一结果。比如有这样一个说法:很多人在出国之后口语会变好,因此一个人口语不错,一定是出过国。这一推论是不成立的,因为提升口语的方法有很多,出国只是其中一种,在国内同样有很多办法可以提升口语。

又比如下面的“否定前件”谬误(Denying the antecedent):

if p then q;

if not p then not q

这种假设本质上也是一种形式谬误,举个例子,如果有火灾,就会有浓烟。如果没有火灾,是否可以推导出一定没有浓烟?答案是否定的,因为除了火灾外,其他很多原因也会导致浓烟。

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关于常见的逻辑错误,维基百科上给出了一个非常完整而详细的列表,将词条通读完之后,你会发现自己看待世界的方式可能都会发生改变:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

认清这些常见的逻辑谬误,掌握基本的逻辑学原理将有助于我们审视文章论证过程是否严谨可靠,是否存在混淆视听的现象。

3. 对比阅读,了解不同的观点

除了上文所列举的“苏格拉底反诘法”以及逻辑学训练之外,做交叉对比阅读也是一种很好训练批判性思维的方式。交叉对比阅读即针对同一主题或事件,选取多篇不同观点的文章进行对比阅读,学习作者的论证思路,加深对该主题的理解。

怎样寻找针对同一主题的不同文章呢?

大部分常见的话题文章都可以在网上找到。一个简单方法是,在搜索引擎上搜索“主题+文章来源”,可以找到很多同主题文章。例如我们在读完一篇关于 affirmative action(平权运动)的文章之后,还想了解其他作者对这一话题的看法,可以搜索 “affirmative action 文章来源” ,比如搜索 “affirmative action the economist” 可以找到《经济学人》对平权运动的一些报道:

搜索“affirmative action the new yorker” 则可以看到《纽约客》上的相关文章和评论:

可以看到,《经济学人》上的文章大多在反对平权运动,而《纽约客》则对此持支持态度。对比阅读这几篇文章,感受不同观点的碰撞,你会对这一话题有更深的理解。

批判性思维的培养并非一蹴而就,它需要持之以恒的尝试和努力,需要我们多问几个为什么,多进行有深度的思考。平时在阅读学会分清观点和事实,避免常见的逻辑谬误,多倾听不同的声音,这样才能做出正确的判断。

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怎样才能写出地道的英语文章?

原创2016-08-27魏剑峰英文悦读

在和英美人士交流的时候,你会发现这样的现象:同样是在说明一件事情,母语者的表达给人的感觉会更为简洁灵活。举个例子,要表达“他们关系似乎不错”,一般人想到的可能是 "They seem to have a good relationship with each other. ",但老外的说法可能是 "They seem to get along with each other.", 要表达“网上购物正在变得越来越流行”,普通考生会写 “Online shopping is becoming more and more popular.” 母语人士可能会说 “Online shopping is all the rage.” 类似的情况还有很多,为了更好地说明问题,我找了两个作文片段作为对比:

(1) Nowadays, with the rapid development of society, purpose of education being changed. There are some people who think that competition in children should be made. Others believe that children who are taught to cooperate as well as become more useful adults. There are advantages and disadvantages for both of the arguments.

(2) Opponents may argue that university students should place study as their priority as dating in all likelihood may distract them from this objective. However, learning is not all about memorizing textbooks and passing exams. True love holds the key to happiness in life and students are entitled to experience it. Admittedly, a relationship may serve as a distraction in some cases. Yet, it can also yield beneficial results. Couples may encourage each other to achieve academic excellence and support each other in times of crisis. Furthermore, it istantamount to cruelty to hinder the pursuit of true love. The decision as to whether or not to start a relationship should be a personal choice .

片段一来自一篇学生习作,片段二出自英国外教之手。可以明显看出,第二篇习作更为“地道”,这种地道性体现在对短语和句型的灵活使用上。文中出现了诸如“in all likelihood”,“hold the key to sth.”,“be entitled to sth.”,“be tantamount to sth.”,“The decision as to whether or not...should be a personal choice” 这类母语者经常使用,但国内学生却很少接触到的表达。在写作中合理使用这类短语和句型将能够极大增强文章的表达效果。

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怎样才能积累这类地道表达呢?

大量阅读外刊是一种很好的方法。通过研读外刊,我们不仅可以了解英语国家的文化,增长见识,更重要的是还可以学习和积累英语母语者较常使用的词汇、短语和句型,这对我们写出地道英文大有裨益。举个例子,要表达“人们对参加间隔年的看法不一”,很多人可能会写: Different people have different opinions about taking a gap year. 这个表达虽然没有问题,但其实还可以写得更为地道。知名外刊《经济学人》(The Economist)中有这样一个句子:Opinion is divided as to whether programmers will welcome or reject such tools. (人们对于程序员是否会喜欢这样的工具看法不一)其中,Opinion is divided as to ... 就是一个很好的句型,我们可以将其应用到上面的例子中:Opinion is divided as to whether people should take a gap year. 这样的句子会更为地道。

实际上,类似上面的表达在外刊中俯拾皆是。我产生了一个想法:能不能将这些优秀的短语和句型系统整理成书,用于指导阅读和写作呢? 经过仔细分析之后,我发现想法是可行的。这一工作的核心思路并不复杂:从外刊语料库中筛选出常见的短语和表达,然后再进一步整理其中对阅读和写作最有帮助的短语和句型。在确定了具体思路和操作方式后,我正式启动了图书编写工作。英语中有一个单词叫 Serendipity , 我想它可以恰如其分地描述我在写书过程中发现那些漂亮表达的惊喜。任何一个人在看到 pale into insignificance, off the beaten path, have seen better days, go the extra mile, be a shadow of your former self 这样形象生动的表达时,相信欣喜之情会油然而生。就像一个小男孩,在海边沙滩上兴味盎然地寻找精美的贝壳,每找到一枚都能欢欣鼓舞一整天。漂亮表达所带来的惊喜感也是语言学习最大的乐趣之一。

我相信这本书会给你带来惊喜。在书中你将会看到大量让你眼前一亮的表达,这些表达在让你领略英语之美的同时,也会让你的写作和阅读水平更上一层楼。为了对这本书的效果进行检验,我从今年年初开始在公众号上连续更新了十五期的外刊短语句型赏析,对《经济学人》杂志中出现的优秀短语句型进行介绍。在文章评论区你会经常看到这样的留言:

这本书将会延续外刊短语句型赏析系列给你带来的惊喜。它不仅收录了六百多条经典地道的表达,还提供了大量从《经济学人》《时代周刊》《华盛顿邮报》等知名外刊以及各大权威词典上选取的例句,同时配有精准译文。通过阅读这些例

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句,你会对经典短语和句型有更深刻的理解。书中还配有检测练习,每学习完一个单元后,再结合检测练习巩固知识点,学习效果会更好。

全书选取的短语句型都遵循“地道实用”的原则,力求让读者在学完后能快速将这些表达应用到写作中。

举个例子,怎样表达“中国自从1978年以来已经发生了巨大变化”? 你可能会想到:Great changes have taken place in China since 1978. 似乎太千人一面,不如试试看这种写法:

China has changed beyond recognition since 1978. 这样写是不是会更加让人印象深刻?

又比如,“我们的公司正在变得越来越好”用英语应该怎么说?Our company is getting better and better? 试试看这样写:Our company is going from strength to strength.

“顺利通过考试”应该怎么说?你可能会想到 pass the exam easily,这样写虽然没问题,但我们还有更加形象的说法:

sail through the exam 这个表达很有画面感:答题时一马平川,就如船只在海上畅通无阻地航行一样。

除此之外,本书还提供大量写作实用句型,包含事物优缺点论证、解决方案提出、对比等常见主题。

举个例子,在问题解决类话题中,我们可以使用 sth. is not a panacea for... / sth. is no panacea 这个句型来说明“某事物不是解决问题的万全之策”。比如在写关于国际援助话题文章时可以说:Extending international aid is not a panacea for Africa's ailing economy.

在对事物优缺点进行比较时,可以用 be tantamount to sth. 来说明“某事物几乎等同于……,无异于……”,比如上面外教的文章里出现了这样的句子:Furthermore, it is tantamount to cruelty to hinder the pursuit of true love.

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在描述事物的优点时,可以用 A is a testimony to B 来说明“……是某事的一个清楚的证明”。例如在写关于健康的话题时,可以说:The popularity of keep-fit classes is a testimony to people's growing awareness of their health and weight problems.