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写好段落的三个标准(二)

时间:2008-4-8栏目:英语写作指导

3.连贯性(coherence)
  连贯性包括意连和形连两个方面,前者指的是内在的逻辑性,后者指的是使用转换词语。当然这两者常常是不可分割的。只有形连而没有意连,句子之间就没有内在的有机的联系;反之,只有意连而没有形连,有时行文就不够流畅。
  1) 意连
  段落中句子的排列应遵循一定的次序,不能想到什么就写什么。如果在下笔之前没有构思,边写边想,写写停停,那就写不出一气呵成的好文章来。下面介绍几种常见的排列方式。
   A.按时间先后排列(chronological arrangement)
  We had a number of close calls that day. When we rose, it was obviously late and we had to hurry so as not to miss breakfast; we knew the dining room staff was strict about closing at nine o'clock. Then, when we had been driving in the desert for nearly two hours ----- it must have been close to noon ---- the heat nearly hid us in; the radiator boiled over and we had to use most of our drinking water to cool it down. By the time we reached the mountain, it was four o'clock and we were exhausted. Here, judgement ran out of us and we started the tough climb to the summit, not realizing that darkness came suddenly in the desert. Sure enough, by six we were struggling and Andrew very nearly went down a steep cliff, dragging Mohammed and me along with him. By nine, when the wind howled across the flat ledge of the summit, we knew as we shivered together for warmth that it had not been our lucky day.
  本段从 "rose"(起床)写起,然后是吃早餐("not to miss breakfast", "closing at nine o'clock"),然后是 "close to noon",一直写到这一天结束("By nine--")。

  B. 按位置远近排列(spatial arrangement)。例如:
  From a distance, it looked like a skinny tube, but as we got closer, we could see it flesh out before our eyes. It was tubular, all right, but fatter than we could see from far away. Furthermore, we were also astonished to notice that the building was really in two parts: a pagoda sitting on top of a tubular one-story structure. Standing ten feet away, we could marvel at how much of the pagoda was made up of glass windows. Almost everything under the wonderful Chinese roof was made of glass, unlike the tube that it was sitting on, which only had four. Inside, the tube was gloomy, because of the lack of light. Then a steep, narrow staircase took us up inside the pagoda and the light changed dramatically. All those windows let in a flood of sunshine and we could see out for miles across the flat land.
  本段的写法是由远及近,从远处("from a distance")写起,然后"get closer",再到("ten feet away"),最后是 "inside the pagoda"……当然,按位置远近来写不等于都是由远及近。根据需要,也可以由近及远,由表及里等等。
  C. 按逻辑关系排列(logical arrangement)
   a. 按重要性顺序排列(arrangement in order of importance)
  If you work as a soda jerker, you will, of course, not need much skill in expressing yourself to be effective. If you work on a machine, your ability to express yourself will be of little importance. But as soon as you move one step up from the bottom, your effectiveness depends on your ability to reach others through the spoken or the written word. And the further away your job is from manual work, the larger the organization of which you are an employee, the more important it will be that you know how to convey your thoughts in writing or speaking. In the very large business organization, whether it is the government, the large corporation, or the Army, this ability to express oneself is perhaps the most important of all the skills a man can possess.
  这一段谈的是表达能力,它的重要性与职业,身份有关,从"not need much skill"或 "of little importance"到 "more important",最后是 "most important"。


  b.由一般到特殊排列(general-to-specific arrangement)
  If a reader is lost, it is generally because the writer has not been careful enough to keep him on the path. This carelessness can take any number of forms. Perhaps a sentence is so excessively cluttered that the reader, hacking his way through the verbiage, simply doesn't know what it means. Perhaps a sentence has been so shoddily constructed that the reader could read it in any of several ways. Perhaps the writer has switched tenses, or has switched pronouns in mid-sentence, so the reader loses track of when the action took place or who is talking. Perhaps sentence B is not logical sequel to sentence A ---- the writer, in whose head the connection is clear, has not bothered to provide the missing link. Perhaps the writer has used an important word incorrectly by not taking the trouble to look it up. He may think that "sanguine" and "sanguinary" mean the same thing, but the difference is a bloody big one. The reader can only infer what the writer is trying to imply.
  这一段谈的是a writer's carelessness,先给出一个general statement作为主题句,然后通过5个 "perhaps"加以例证。
  c. 由特殊到一般排列(specific-to-general arrangement)
  I do not understand why people confuse my Siamese cat, Prissy, with the one I had several years ago, Henry. The two cats are only alike in breed. Prissy, a quiet, feminine feline, loves me dearly but not possessively. She likes to keep her distance from people, exert her independence and is never so rude as to beg, lick, or sniff unceremoniously. Her usual posture is sitting upright, eyes closed, perfectly still. Prissy is a very proper cat. Henry, on the other hand, loved me

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