TOEFL Writing Logic

面对托福写作,很多同学都很迷茫。已经学了多年的英文,多多少少都可以写出一些句子或者段落,但是并不清楚这些段落是否符合托福的胃口,不知道自己的作文水平在一个什么样的阶段。如果想要在托福写作中拿高分甚至满分,一定要做到一件事情,叫做“投其所好”。事实上,这里的“其”不仅仅是代表着ETS的喜好,更是美国学术对于写作的要求。因此,不要仅凭着自我感觉写作文,研究托福写作的评分标准势在必行。在这里,笔者将针对其中一条非常重要的评分标准,带领着同学们一起来感受语言的魅力。

 

在托福写作的评分标准中,有着这样一个神秘的词“coherence”,翻译成中文叫做“连贯性”,即托福作文要求体现出文章的连贯性。看到这里,很多同学已然崩溃。“老师!这句话我们每个字都认识,但是完全不明白什么意思。怎么样的文章是连贯的?怎样是不连贯的?”在Merriam-Webster词典中,它是这样解释的:systematic or logical connection or consistency. 大家注意到,有两个非常关键的词:logical connection(逻辑联系)。也就是,一篇符合连贯标准的文章,一定是有正确的逻辑联系的。到这里,另一个谜团又出现了。怎样体现文章的逻辑关系呢?我们先来看看下面这一段很可爱的话:

 

Pandas are clumsy. Pandasare lovely. Pandas symbolize the spirit of peace and harmony. Pandas are sent as presents to manycountries. Human activities have caused a sharp decrease in the population ofpandas.

 

这一段话,没有语法问题,意思表达得也很清楚。拆开看每一句都是完整正确的句子。但是,这段话给人的感觉是非常孤立,句子与句子之间没有火花,而不是一段完整、关联性强的话。按照OG的评论,这样的多个短句组成的句子,看起来非常的”choppy” (支离破碎)。如何解决这个问题呢?其实很简单,就是使用逻辑连接词

 

Although pandas are clumsy, they are lovely and popular. Since theysymbolize the spirit of peace and harmony, they are sent as presents to manycountries. However, human activities have caused a sharp decreasein the population of pandas.

 

加上逻辑连接词后,有没有明显感觉段落的凝聚力更强了呢?

 

事实上不仅仅是在托福写作中,有这一项要求,在GRE,SAT等考试中,有着同样对于逻辑连接性的评判标准:

 

  • develops and organizesideas satisfactorily and connect them with transitions“(GRE Argument评分标准)

 

  • coherence or progression of ideas” (SAT Essay评分标准)

 

对于各位想要体现自己逻辑性强的同学,托福作文便是你们展示自己能力的平台了。逻辑连接词本身非常简单,但是很多同学会想不起来用它们。为什么呢?因为中文和英文在逻辑表达上是不同的。中文讲究“意合”,即通过前后句的意思领悟前后句的逻辑关系,所以很多时候不用连接词依然能够顺利表达一个句子。而英文讲究“形合”,即在句子的形式上,一定要用逻辑连接词去表达逻辑联系。正是因为中英文的表达差异,很多中国考生在写作文的时候不记得用逻辑连接词,导致扣分。

 

接下来,将带领大家一边欣赏托福高分段落,一边为大家进行高频逻辑连接词的归类。

 

例1:

To assign tasks to teammates inorganizing school affairs, one must know how to give clear description abouttask requirements and how to motivate others to contribute to collectiveactivities. , his/her communicative skillsare expected to increase accordingly.

 

分析:

空格前的句子,表达的是通过领导队员组织活动的过程中需要做的事情。空格后面的句子表达的是通过领导团队之后能够达到的效果。很明显,过程和效果应该是因果关系,于是就知道在空格当中应该填入表达“所以”的连接词。一想到所以,很多同学第一反应就是so,除此之外,还有其他很多选择。归纳总结一下,表示“所以”的逻辑连接词:

as a result, accordingly, hence, so,thus, therefore, in this way …

 

填入逻辑连接词

To assign tasks to teammates inorganizing school affairs, one must know how to give clear description abouttask requirements and how to motivate others to contribute to collectiveactivities. In this way,his/her communicative skills are expected to increase accordingly.

 

既然见到了“所以”,那么当然也不能少了“因为”。但是要特别注意,在英语中,“因为”“所以”水火不容,不可以同时出现在一个句子里。

 

表示“因为”的逻辑连接词:

because, since, as, for

because of, due to, thanks to, owingto

 

特别注意:

because, since, as, for+句子

because of, due to, thanks to, owingto+名词性成分

 

听过一首歌,叫做Because of you吗?你看,人家不叫because you吧。因为you虽然是代词,但仍然是名词性质。其实非常好区分,前面四个是单词较短,所以后面接长的完整句子;而后面四个是短语搭配,比较长,所以后面接比较短的名词性成分。简而言之,就是“短+长”,“长+短”(当然,并不一定句子就比名词性成分长,只是为了让大家方便记忆)。这是一个很简单的考点,但是很多考生容易忽略,导致扣分很可惜。

 

例2:

The major reason why a practical planappears more appealing is that it seems to guarantee an easy and smoothsuccess. , most practicalplanners tend to underestimate or even overlook the potential challenges lyingin a task.

 

分析:

空格前讲a practical plan的好处,空格后面有一个词”underestimate”,很明显是一个贬义词在讲它的坏处,因此,空格应该表达的是转折关系。表示转折关系的逻辑连接词有:

but, however, while, whereas, yet,nevertheless, nonetheless …

 

填入逻辑连接词:

The major reason why a practical planappears more appealing is that it seems to guarantee an easy and smoothsuccess. However, most practical planners tend to underestimate or evenoverlook the potential challenges lying in a task.

 

转折关系是同学们最熟悉,也最不会忘记的。但是不要每次都but, however,恰当使用while, yet等,也会让你们句子“高大上”起来的。如:Public schoolsare more controversial yet more popular.

 

例3:

media contains inappropriate information forchildren, which has imposed certain negative effects on them, such as theincreasing scenes of violence and pornography, television and movies bring a lot morebenefits to children. For one thing, educational TV programs and documentariesare instrumental in enlightening children in an interesting way.

 

分析:

第二个空格前,有一个很显眼的词,inappropriate,“不恰当的,不合适的”,是一个很强烈的贬义词,第二个空格后有一个很明显的褒义词,benefits,很显然第二个空格前后是相反的关系。但是,只是转折就完了吗?这里的段落重点是在论述后面media的好处,前面不仅仅是一个简单的陈述坏处,更是在进行让步。让步的逻辑关系让很多同学摸不着头脑,因为让步是“欲抑先扬”的战略。就像生活中的“好人卡”:我承认你很好,但是,我已经有喜欢的人了。也就是先退一步讲与自己对立一方的合理性,然后回到自己的立场进行狠狠的反驳。也就是中文的“虽然……但是……”。因此,这句话应该加入表示“虽然……但是……”的逻辑连接词,如:

although, though, even though (后面不能加BUT)

admittedly, granted (后面能加BUT)

还有类似短语:it is true, there is no denying that…

 

填入逻辑连接词:

Admittedly, media containsinappropriate information for children, which has imposed certain negativeeffects on them, such as the increasing scenes of violence and pornography. However,television and movies bring a lot more benefits to children. For one thing,educational TV programs and documentaries are instrumental in enlighteningchildren in an interesting way.

 

例4:

Now search engines and on-linecourses enable children to handle problems on their own. , communication technologies alsoallow students to have discussions or debate on forums or chatting rooms, wheregreat experience can be shared and ideas exchanged.

 

分析:

空格前面讲search engines,后面讲communication technologies。两者应该是并列/递进的关系。表示并列/递进的连接词,如:

in addition, furthermore, also,besides, moreover, what`s more, similarly…

 

填入逻辑连接词:

Now search engines and on-linecourses enable children to handle problems on their own. Besides,communication technologies also allow students to have discussions or debate onforums or chatting rooms, where great experience can be shared and ideasexchanged.

 

以上,为大家总结了托福写作中,最高频的四大类逻辑连接词:因果、转折、让步、并列/递进。虽然他们都很简单,但却特别容易被忽视。希望各位考生能够在写作中熟练运用各类逻辑连接词,让自己的作文充满连贯性。

 

特别注意

当我们一想到“和”“所以”“但是”,第一反应都会想到这三个词:and, so, but,于是写出了类似于下面这段话:

 

Baseball is the great American sport.And, it is thought of as asummer pastime. So as soon asthe weather turns warm, all the neighborhood kids find a field to toss a ballaround. And soon they form teams and play each other. But all summer, they always find time to listen to pro gameson the radio. And they watchthem on TV.

 

这样的coordinating conjunctions (并列连词),完全没有达到提升句子逻辑的效果,因此尽量不要用到句子的开始,尤其是学术文章中。如OG所说,它一样会让你的文章显得choppy(支离破碎),所以可以采用其他方式去避免,如句式变化,修改以后,一段话可以变成这样:

 

Baseball, the great American sport,is thought of as a summer pastime. As soon as the weather turns warm, all theneighborhood kids find a field to toss a ball around. Soon, they form teams andplay each other, but all summer, they always find time to listen to pro gameson the radio. And they watch them on TV.

 

很明显,去掉这样一些在句首的并列连词,将句子结构进行变换以后,段落语言不再显得低龄化。比如,原本And连接的两个句子,把其中一个变成了插入语” the great Americansport”, 将后面保留。而后面的两句去掉了原本的并列连词,反而显得自然。

 

因此,我们需要使用逻辑连接词去体现逻辑,但是不能矫枉过正,在有必要的时候使用逻辑连接词即可。

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