论文写作书推荐《Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace》

迅速提高英语写作能力,得首先从写好一个句子开始!我也曾写出复杂、冗长而自觉很棒的句子,其实又臭又长、让人摸不着头脑。如果你也是,那么下面我的回答(其实是阅读笔记扩展版),就非常适合你!亲测有效!上周四刚和导师视频见面,导师就夸我英语继续有很大提升,多亏了要分享的这本书 ‘Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace’。

nderstanding How We Express Judgements (明白我们是如何表达观点)

看一个例子:

1a. The cause of our schools’ failure at teaching basic skills is not understanding the influence of cultural background on learning.

如果我们改写成这样:

√1b.Our schools have failed to teach basic skills because they do not understand how cultural background influences the way a child learns.

是不是更清楚明了呢?那么句子修改的原则什么呢?

Telling Stories About Characters And Their Actions(说关于主角们的故事)

拿一个经典童话故事做分析:

不是要说爱情故事啊,本人只是觉得图片美采用的

2a. Once upon a time, as a walk through the woods was taking place on the part of Little Red Riding Hood, the Wolf’s jump out from behind a tree occurred, causing her fright.

这个句子在很多同学看来却是非常高大上,不像一般人会写的套路(主+谓+宾+宾补),并不是那么简单、直接,然后真相是这样的么?看看这个改写的这个版本:

√2b.Once upon a time, Little Red Riding Hood was walking through the woods, when the Wolf jumped out from behind a tree and frightened her.

改写的这个版本,确实更好懂了,因为:

1) 动作由主人公发出。

2) 动词直接体现具体且重要的动作。

但是也许有很多同学觉得这个句子不像2a高级,但是高级的句子绝对不是把读者搞晕。这是第一要义。Clarity的第一个原则:

#Principle of Clarity 1: Make Main Characters Subjects

现在用我们的Principle of Clarity 1分析一下2a这个例子,主语(下划线)不是故事的主角(斜体)

2a. Once upon a time, as a walk through the woods was taking place on the part of Little Red Riding Hood, the Wolf’ s jump out from behind a tree occurred, causing her fright.

这个句子的主语分别是walk和jump,二者都不是主人公;它们是动作的抽象名词表达。再加入动词(黑体)以分析:

√2b Once upon a time, as a walk through the woods was taking place on the part of Little Red Riding Hood, the Wolf’ s jump out from behind a tree occurred, causing her fright.

was taking place和occurred都没有代入主角,a walk 是 was taking place的主语,显然看不见小红帽,the Wolf不是主语,它只是jump的修饰部分。2a这句话,故事的主角,小红帽和大灰狼这些一等一的主角,最吸引读者的主角、最活灵活现、最亮的人物竟然全部跑了龙套,这故事还能继续读下去么?

答案是:不能的!因此,答应我,让故事的主角挑起大梁!我们写成:

√2b Once upon a time, Little Red Riding Hood was walking through the woods, when the Wolf jumped out from behind a tree and frightened her.

我们的主角和我们的主语汇合了(斜体+下划线),谓语也是具体的主角发出的动作。很棒!分析到这里,我们的Clarity的第二个原则也明显了:

#Principle of Clarity 2: Make Important Actions Verbs

2a中的主语是walk和jump,二者都不是主人公;它们是动作的抽象名词表达;而在2a中was walking, jumped, frightened 都是具体的动作,是由主角直接发出的。

小结:主语=故事主角,谓语=重要动作。记住这两点写出生动有趣、清晰明了的故事就实现了第一步!

就简单2点: 主语=故事主角, 谓语=重要动作
Fairy tales and academic or professional writing(童话故事和学术/专业写作)

有人肯定会质疑,童话故事和大学写作、职场写作相去甚远,上满提出的两个选择能用么?

是不是骗人的,拉出来试试就好了!

同学,你的问题乍听很合理呀,而上面的两个原则则是铁打的合理,因为学习和工作场所中的大部分的句子也依旧是主人公X做了Y事情。

举个实例来说话:

3a. The Federalist’s argument in regard to the destabilization of government by popular democracy was based on their belief in the tendency of factions to further their self-interest at the expense of the common good.

我们可以用我们之前分线小红帽和大灰狼的方法来分析一下3a这个句子。找到主人公用斜体标出

3a. The Federalist’s argument in regard to the destabilization of government by popular democracy was based on their belief in the tendency of factions to further their self-interest at the expense of the common good.

这个句子,主语是argument,主人公是Federalist,因此我们可以直接看出主语和主人公是分离的,这不符合#Principal of Clarity 1.

接着我们看看谓语和动作的合体情况。谓语用黑体标出,动作用大写标出。

3a. The Federalist’s ARGUMENT in regard to the DESTABILIZATION of government by popular democracy was based on their BELIEF in the tendency of factions to further their self-interest at the expense of the common good.

这个的谓语,was based on 和further都动作实指,而argument,destabilization,belief这3个带有具体动作变成了名词化。在3a这个句子中,在读者终于找到谓语was based on,竟然经历了由13个单词组成的主语——The Federalist’s ARGUMENT in regard to the DESTABILIZATION of government by popular democracy——这样的后果是,读者实在没有耐心找到谓语了,或者是读者找到了谓语也已经忘记了主语,那么结果就是读者云里雾里。

如果我按照童话故事里‘小红帽走在森林里…大灰狼跳出树林…吓了小红帽一大跳‘的套路——主语=主角,谓语=重要动作 改写,看一下效果,肉眼可见的将句子缩减了1/3长度:

√3b. The federalists argued that popular democracy destabilized government, because they believed that factions tended to further their self-interest at the expense of the common good.

我再不辞辛苦的按照套路分析一遍,主人公用斜体标出,主语用下划线,谓语用黑体标出,动作用大写标出

√3b. The federalists ARGUED that popular democracy DESTABILIZED government, because they BELIEVED that factions TENDED TO FURTHER their self-interest at the expense of the common good.

主语和主人公合体,谓语和重要动作也合体。完美!

现在,你还能说小红帽大灰狼的童话故事撰写’套路’——主语=主角+谓语=重要动作在学校和办公室说不通么?

授之以渔——实现clarity,只需abc3步

a. 诊断:找到谓语(极可能不是实指的重要动作),用下划线标明一个句子谓语出现前的所有单词,找到主语(可能是抽象名词,幸运的是主角)

b. 分析:找到段落主角,找到重要动作(极可能是动词的名词化)

c. 重写:将由动词衍生的名词转为动词,将主角提为主语,用连词连接分句,形成完整的句子。

一个例子:Our loss in sales was a result of their expansion of outlets.

a. Our loss in sales was a result of their expansion of outlets.

b. Our LOSS in sales was a result of their EXPANSION of outlets.

c. Loss—> lose, expansion—>expand; out—> we, their—>they——>We lost our sales because they expanded outlets.

提供几个练习给你练练手(可在评论区贴出答案,欢迎交流)?

–>There was an affirmative decision for expansion.

–>A revision of the program will result in increases in our efficiency in the servicing of clients

–>Our more effective presentation of our study resulted in our success, despite an earlier start by others.

–>Decisions in regard to administration of medication despite inability of an irrational patient appearing in a Trauma Center to provide legal consent rest with the attending physician alone.

更多关于谓语名词化的具体辨识方法:

1. 一个句子的主语是动词的名词化,其谓语动词则没有实际意义,如be, has, seems.

2. 一个没有意义的谓语之后,通常紧随一个动词的名词化形式。

eg: 某人/机构 conduct an investigation, make an evaluation, make a discussion, make an examination, provide a suggestion, etc. 不如直接用 某人/机构 investigates, evaluates, discusses, examines, suggests.

3. 动词的名词化形式通常以there is/are开头。

eg: There is no need for our further study of this problem.

经过ab分析套路——>There is no NEED for our further STUDY of this problem.

c.重写——>we need not study this problem further.

4. 一个句子中由2个以上的动词名词化形式,它们一定是由多个介词连接。

eg: We did a review of the evolution of the brain.

经过ab分析套路——>We did a REVIEW of the EVOLUTION of the brain.

c重写——> we reviewed how the brain evolved.

说了这么多要识别并改造动词的名词化形式,也能一棍子打死动词的名词化,以下是几个合理运用得场景:

1. 短小、意指前面提到过的内容。
2. 替代令人尴尬的the fact that 。
3. 动词与其名词化一致。
4. 该动词的名词化为大家所熟知,不需解释

Clarity, not simplemindedness! 请大家保持简洁,不简单!

现在有了Clarity-abc分析利器,大家就可以:

—>拿出自己的文章开始诊断、分析、修稿了!

—>拿出自己常读的文献,分析分析别人的别人的paper写得如何!记住,虽然是发表的文章,但语言质量可不一定能保证。

大家都要勤加练习,将Clarity-abc分析利器熟练成一种写文/读文的习惯!实践、大量实践才是最高效的学习!用完之后大脑形成新的连结,自动就记住了,就不需要背了。

当然,实现Clarity,还需要’Be Concise& Emphasized’。

在实现Clarity之时,真算是迈过了英文写作的第一个坎,接下来我们还需要学习如何将一个个清晰明了的句子’hang together’,连成逻辑顺畅、主题紧扣的段落,以实现——Cohesion&Coherence;完成段落之后,我们将继续学习和实践如何将一个个段落成篇成文,以实现——Global Coherence。最后进入高阶写作——优雅。

因此,此回答未完待续…..

最后,推荐好书《Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace》[1] 也即我阅读笔记的出处,加拿大代写了解一下?

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