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托福独立写作常见的审题误区

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2015年06月04日

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  审题,是写作的第一步,却经常被大家所忽略。有太多考生只着眼于如何写出漂亮的句子和高级的词汇,而没有搞清写作的本质--考察学生针对某一话题进行准确连贯表述的能力。这也是为什么很多同学虽然英语不弱,在托福考试的独立部分中却只能拿到 fai r或 good 当中较低的4分。那么到底怎样才能更加容易地拿到独立写作的满分呢? 笔者今天将通过列举以往考过的真题进行解析,告诉大家如何审题,换句话说,如何使高分变得更加achievable。

  同学们考写作考了这么多年,大多数出题的形式都已烂熟于心,看到题目之后觉得熟悉于是兴冲冲提笔就写,其实,这种看似"熟练"的表象下藏着巨大的隐患--同学们很有可能因为看得太快而忽略某个决定题目意思的关键词。例如:

  例1:

  Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Advertising is the only main cause for people's unhealthy eating habits.

  看到这个题目,同学们立刻会开始想,有没有other reasons for unhealthy habits,想出三条如:1. People's tight schedules do not allow them to eat at regular hours; 2. Sometimes people are eager to lose weight or to keep fit so that they go on "endless diets"; 3. Bearing heavy burden both physically and mentally, some consider eating constantly as their most effective stress reliever. 综上所述,advertising is not the only cause.

  这个写法看起来非常完备,但其实犯了一个不起眼却严重的错误--题目不是要我们证明it is not the only cause,而是要我们去证明it is not the only main cause。多一个"main",意思是很不一样的。如果我们只需要证明it is not the only cause,那么找出other causes即可即例1中的写法。但是,如果我们要证明it is not the only main cause,就需要证明other causes that we mentioned are also main causes,这就需要在每一段中加上一些专门的说明。或者,更简单的办法是去证明advertising is not even a cause, 直接在每段的末尾加上advertising与该段所论述的unhealthy eating habit无关的论述即可。If it is not a cause, how can it be the onlymain cause? 这样一来,就不用通过证明还有其他main cause来反驳了,事实上,证明某种cause是main cause还是挺有难度的,因此笔者推荐同学们用后一种方式进行论述。因此,文章还是disagree,而三段的主题句分别应该是:1、1. People's tight schedules do not allow them to eat at regular hours, and it is obvious that they are too busy to be influenced by advertising; 2. Sometimes people are eager to lose weight or to keep fit so that they go on "endless diets", and this is more like a result of human nature, the pursuit of beauty, but not advertising; 3. Bearing heavy burden both physically and mentally, some consider eating constantly as their most effective stress reliever, and it is quite clear that no advertising encourages them to do so.

  例2:Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Colleges and universities should offer more preparation for student before they start working.

  看到这个题目,很多同学会可能会这样写:Agree. 1. Students should take morespecializedcourses(专业课)in order to be knowledgeable and skillful enough for their future careers(接着开始论述being knowledgeable and skillful的重要性); 2.Participating in internships helps students to have a clearer picture of their vocational development in the future(接着开始论述,如果没有实过习,在工作的时候是多么地feel so unprepared); 3. Attending more club activities is an effective way to improve social skills, which are crucial for success both in life and at work(接着开始论述good social skills对职业和生活的帮助).如果不看括号里的内容,仅看主题句,这篇文章是没有任何问题的。然而,括号中的论述从严格意义上来讲,是不能支持"more"这个关键词的。举个简单的例子:"我们需要钱"和"我们需要更多钱"在证明的时候重点是不一样的。如果证明"我们需要钱",应该详细

  阐述钱的"不可或缺性",比如生活、学习、教育都需要钱;但是如果证明"我们需要更多钱",重点则应该放在"钱不够"的论述上,证明在学习、生活、教育方面的预算都很紧张。同样地,上面的题目中仅仅证明Knowledge for careers, field experience and social skills are important是不够的,事实上,这些根本不需要证明,需要证明的事情是graduates today are not well prepared in the three aspects. 因此这篇文章应该是一篇"抱怨型"的文章,详细地去论述学校工作的不足。参考思路如下:Agree. 1. Many students today complain that they cannot learn practical skills and up-to-date information, for some of their teachers are not qualified enough to teach specialized courses; 2. Since many students are not allowed enough time to participate in internship programs before graduation, they know very little about what their future jobs like; 3. Joining clubs is possible for every college student, yet not every club provide is capable of offering enough opportunities for students to practice their social skills.

  同学们在写文章的时候一定要注意,学术论文写作不是句型和辞藻的堆砌,整篇文章一定是一个well-organized system,这个system中很重要的原则之二就是--

  1、每个中间段的topic sentence是用来支持main idea的;

  2、topic sentence后面的每句话都是用来支持该topic sentence的。在上面的两个例子中,大家会发现例1的错误主要是main idea没有很好地被topic sentence支持;而例2的错误在于topic sentence虽然看起来是支持main idea的,但是论述的内容可能跟关键词"more"无关,从而不能有力地支持topic sentences。这些错误的起因,则是对题干中关键词的忽略。


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