温度独家 | 谷老师文书写作技巧之以小见大、逻辑关联、承上启下和首尾呼应(二)

在这期的文章中,谷老师我会给大家介绍承上启下和首尾呼应的技巧。


大家都知道,要想做到质量上乘、行文流畅,还需在句子及段落间的过渡和衔接方面多下功夫,力求做到自然且顺畅,也就是所谓的承上启下(transitioning)





要做好这一点,常见的方法有:


①添加小标题(subtitle)或添加项目符号(bullet point)或编号(numbering)


②使用逻辑顺序,时间顺序和主次递进的关联词或过渡词(如because、therefore、consequently、 due to、 despite、next、almost at the same time、finally、on the whole、for example、in addition、equally important、lastly等)

③使用过渡句或过渡段。许多申请者在写文书时往往只专注于某些个体事例,而忽视了若干事例之间的衔接,造成文章段落之间过渡不自然,甚至没有过渡,而是直接从一件事突然跳到另一件事。还有一些申请者想在文章中使用倒叙、插叙等写作技巧,却没有处理好不同内容之间的衔接,写了几段突然闪回一下,造成文章在叙事方面显得杂乱无章

与承上启下相似的另一个文体技巧叫做首尾呼应(echoing)。


首尾呼应是指文章开头和结尾的内容遥相呼应,这样通常可以起到升华主题的效果。例如,申请者B在他的文书第一段中提到自行车旅行:“At age 18, I finished high school and was ready for the adventure of a lifetime—a bicycle trip from Beijing to Guangdong, a total of 2,400 kilometers (about 1,490 miles), covering eight provinces along the east coast of China.”


这是一个非常吸引人的开头,整篇文章也是围绕自行车旅行而展开的。但令人遗憾的是,文章结尾段的两个句子却采用了公式化的写法,第一句介绍自己的目标是学习计算机信息管理,以便毕业之后在IT行业干一番大事业;第二句大概是想表达“我劝天公(即贵校)重抖擞,不拘一格降人才(即我本人)” 的意思。虽然第一句的写法无可厚非,但比起生动的开头,结尾还是差了一点。第二句的问题更为严重,主要反映在文书的point of view, 文书一般都采用第一人称或第三人称he、she、they、it、that或those这样的叙述方式,而“贵校”是第二人称you、 your school、your “esteemed university”,使得文章突然变成了一封书信。除此之外,这句话纯粹是画蛇添足,毫无意义。我们暂时撇开文书不谈,即便学生在申请过程中需要用电子邮件与校方沟通,也就是说此时需要用到第二人称 ,那我们也要避免称校方为 “esteemed university”。因为英美文化里没有 “贵校”之类的恭维礼数。


因此,我会建议申请者在结尾处再加两句,与开头相呼应:“How about a bicycle tour across continental USA? It is not entirely out of the question.”短短两句自问自答,不仅深化了申请者赴美除了求学之外还要享受运动和生活体验的动机,还使全文的主题更加鲜明,可谓首尾呼应的妙用。





下面我们继续通过一个完整的案例来谈谈在文书写作中如何运用逻辑关联、承上启下和首尾呼应。


B同学高中毕业后打算申请去美国读本科,他提供的中文原稿是这样开头的:“刻苦耐劳,这是我祖辈和父辈的传统,我受他们的熏陶和培养,在学习和运动上毫不马虎,成绩名列前茅。我有强烈的同情心和责任感,是我们年级中唯一一个代表我们学校参加省级机器人比赛的选手。”看完这段话后,读者会一头雾水,不知道这篇文章要讲什么。申请者绞尽脑汁想在文书中展现自己的优点,于是想到什么就写什么,导致句子之间没有很好的过渡和衔接,尤其是最后两句“有强烈的同情心和责任感”和“参加省级机器人比赛”之间没有任何逻辑关系。这段文字所传达的信息和申请者的愿望是背道而驰的,不但没有展现他的优点,反而暴露出他思维跳跃、逻辑混乱、文笔一般的缺点。我们对B同学的英文文书做了针对性的修改。以下是修改后的英文范文。


I was fortunate to have grown up in a nurturing environment, where my parents encouraged me to follow my own academic and non-academic preferences. They wanted me to learn and to explore because I was interested, not because it was prescribed by someone else. My mother often tells me that when I was little my frequent words were “let me do it.” I would spend long hours doing projects using my scissors and all types of other tools. I would offer to ignite (点燃) the gas stove when my parents cooked. It was later that I had to ignite and put out a fire of another kind.

评析:

文章开头交代了“我”成长的环境和“我”父母的教育理念,建立起“我”从小就喜欢自己动手的形象。本段最后一句应该会引起读者更为强烈的兴趣:作者又点燃和扑灭了什么火?这句话为下文做了很好的铺垫。



My passion for robots dates back to the summer vacation right after I graduated from elementary school. Mom supported me and allowed me to take classes on robot-making. In the beginning, I just needed to learn some basic steps involved in installing several components, by referring to the process chart, so that the robot could move forward and backward. The real challenge came later when I was assigned to conduct a robot simulation (模拟) in which the robot was to put out fire, a candle fire to be exact. The robot had to find the fire source in an enclosed space and use a fan, water or carbon dioxide to put it out. It took me a long time to fit into the limited space of the robot fire-extinguishing parts. External factors such as the low room temperature at the test time were not favorable for firefighting. But I kept on trying until the robot succeeded in identifying and putting out the fire. The first time I participated in a regional robot-fire-extinguishing contest, I only received an honorary mention, because my robot hit the wall several times due to its lack of slip-resistance on the overly smooth contest ground.


评析:

这段主要是记述“我”参加地区机器人灭火竞赛的经历,也就是第一段里提到的“ignite and put out a fire of another kind”。



Very soon, I was in high school. My robot teacher called one day to tell me that I could skip the regional qualifying contest and directly enter the national-level competition that year. Although I had not played with robots for about one year, I decided to seize this good opportunity to showcase my abilities. In order to avoid the mistakes I had made previously, I changed my sensor (传感器) for a more sensitive one and modified the platform (操作平台) for fire-extinguishing to a faster speed. After updating all the hardware that I could think of, I learned that in national contests, all participating robots were required to follow specified programming codes. The former process-chart mode could not be applied any longer. This rule change came only less than one month before the contest. I forced myself to memorize the frequently-used codes and formats within a very short time period. Together with my partner, we successfully programmed our robot, named Huo Huo (meaning “Fire, Fire”) and got it working. Huo Huo performed well and helped us win our Number 2 ranking in the national contest. As a result, I also became qualified to enter (使报名参加竞赛) Huo Huo for the 2010 international contest held in Columbus, Ohio.


评析:

这段主要叙述“我”参加全国机器人灭火竞赛的经历。最后一句再次起到承上启下的作用,明确告诉读者“我”还参加了国际大赛。



During the whole process of the contest, I received support and encouragement from my friends, teachers, and my parents through emails and long distance calls. The day before my contest, my parents called and took turns to chat with me. They talked about things in a light-hearted manner, but avoided to mention the big event coming up the next day. I knew they wanted to divert my attention and put my nerves at ease. They were ever so skillful in the way they motivated and encouraged me to go all out and give my very best.


评析:

本段来了一个“闪回”,以During the whole process of the contest作为开头,明确提示读者“我”要采用倒叙的方法,回顾一下参赛时发生的事情。



I know wherever I am I can always count on my parents’ support. It is my turn and desire to make them proud.


评析:

开头段落写父母为“我”的成功创造了条件,结尾段落再提父母,不仅和开头段落相互呼应,而且立意更深,是一个感人的结尾。



作者介绍——Mr.Gu

文书 | 面试辅导

文书辅导殿堂级大师


教育学和传播学硕士学位,密歇根州民主党参议员立法助手,拥有多年从事美国“财富500强”的管理培训经验。此外,还拥有超过20年的美国常春藤大学申请文书辅导和面试辅导经验,学生不乏被八所常青藤和全美前三十的名校录取,是业界公认的殿堂级大师。长年在北美、欧洲和亚洲举办大型演讲,在杂志、报刊发表留学文书话题类文章,同时著有多本英文写作指导类书籍,拥有大量的读者粉丝。

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