阅读素材 | 我的写作历程

阅读素材 | 我的写作历程
标准 9322

My writing journey

【导读】

 

本文的作者在中国长大,他一直在努力提升自己的英语技能,所以当他通过电子邮件把自己的文章第一稿发给他的博导时,他很紧张。一周后,他收到博导的回复邮件,改动特别大。起初,看到他的文章有很多需要修改之处,他深感沮丧。但是当他认真研读后,他认识到了他的不足之处。博导把他的很多句子都改成了短句,还建议他不要使用不必要的长句和复杂的短语。这个建议与他在国内准备语言水平考试时学到的恰恰相反。他一直以为,在写作中,使用复杂的语法和高级词汇往往更容易得高分,他就是这样来练习写作的。通过这次文章修改,他意识到,在写作方面,他还有很多需要学习和改进的地方。

 

My writing journey

我的写作历程

By Yunhe Tong

刘立军 选编

 

I grew up in China and was still developing my English skills, so I was nervous when I emailed my Ph.D. supervisor the first draft of a manuscript. One week later, he sent it back full of changes. At first, I was frustrated that my writing required so much editing. But after I took a closer look, I realized where I’d gone astray. He had shortened many of my sentences and commented that I should avoid unnecessarily long and complicated phrases. The advice was counter to what I’d learned when studying for English language proficiency exams. Showing off complex grammar and advanced vocabulary had always brought higher scores, so that’s how I approached writing. But I clearly had more lessons left to learn.

 

I started to learn English when I was 14 years old. I needed to pass a written English exam to be admitted to high school in China, so my teacher had us practice vocabulary and grammar. In later years, I needed to pass other English exams to gain admission to university, and to graduate. Writing wasn’t a huge component of them — instead, they consisted mostly of multiple choice questions testing reading comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar.

 

The first time I needed to write anything substantive in English was during my master’s program in China, when I wanted to submit a manuscript to an international journal. I didn’t have enough confidence to compose my first draft in English, so I wrote it in Mandarin and used an online translation tool. The paper was accepted, which gave me a feeling that my strategy worked. But as I read more papers in English and reassessed my own writing, I realized that my approach wasn’t ideal. The tool had translated my text word for word, creating sentences that were technically correct but sounded unnatural, in part because sentences are structured differently in Mandarin and English.

 

I knew if I wanted to continue publishing, I would need to write in English directly — and when I went to the United Kingdom for my Ph.D., I had no choice. Suddenly, I not only had to publish papers in English; I also had to write emails and prepare proposals in that language. (I needed to speak English, too, which was its own challenge — but that’s a different story.)

 

At first, I sometimes sat at my computer all day and only ended up with 200 words of text. I couldn’t tell whether my writing was any good. Every time I composed a sentence, I imagined someone laughing at it.

 

One day I’d had enough of writing the same sentence over and over. I decided to write the first draft of a manuscript as quickly as possible. That’s when something magical happened: The sentences seemed to flow out of me, and in a few hours I had a rough draft. I had to go back and edit my work later, but it was a relief to have text to work with — and to know that my draft could only get better.

 

My supervisor’s feedback on the draft was another turning point. Without his comments, I wouldn’t have figured out that complicated sentences and big words might confuse my readers. He also helped me see the importance of telling a story as clearly as possible, paring down tangential details.

 

I now think through my simplified message before I start to write. I also try to get a first draft down quickly, doing my best to quiet the perfectionist voice in my head. Then I go back and take a closer look to see whether I can make my sentences more concise and trim any unnecessary details. I’ve also become more relaxed about editing: Even if I receive a manuscript full of changes again, I will just take it as an opportunity to discover problems I am not aware of. Lately, though, I’ve noticed that my supervisor has made fewer revisions, which gives me confidence I’m making progress.

 

It’s frustrating to know I will probably never write as well as my supervisor. But I take solace in the fact that writing is hard for many native English speakers, too. It’s not like solving a straightforward math problem — there’s an art to it, and it can take years of practice. I hope my journey can help others develop writing strategies that work for them.

 

 

词汇

 

1. go astray: to go in the wrong direction or to have the wrong result 走错方向;误入歧途。例如:Jack’s parents thought the other boys might lead him astray. 杰克的父母认为,其他的男孩可能会把他引入歧途。

2. show off: (informal, disapproving) to try to impress others by talking about your abilities, possessions, etc. 炫耀自己;卖弄自己。例如:He’s just showing off because that girl he likes is here. 他不过是在表现自己,因为那位他喜欢的姑娘在场。

3. approach v. to start dealing with a problem, task, etc., in a particular way 着手处理;对付。例如:What’s the best way of approaching this problem? 什么是处理这个问题的最佳方式?

4. substantive adj. (formal) dealing with real, important or serious matters 实质性的;本质上的;重大的;严肃认真的。例如:substantive issues 实质性问题

5. in part: partly; to some extent 部分地;在某种程度上。例如:Her success was due in part to luck. 她的成功在某种程度上是由于运气好。

6. end up: to find yourself in a place or situation that you did not intend or expect to be in 最终成为;最后处于。例如:If you go on like this you’ll end up in prison. 如果你继续这样,早晚得进监狱。

7. pare down: 减少

8. tangential adj. (formal) having only a slight or indirect connection with sth. 稍微沾边的;离题的;不相干的。例如:a tangential argument 牵强附会的论点

9. solace n. (formal) a feeling of emotional comfort when you are sad or disappointed; a person or thing that makes you feel better or happier when you are sad or disappointed 安慰;慰藉;给以安慰的人(或事物)。例如:His grandchildren were a solace in his old age. 晚年从孙辈们身上得到安慰。

10. straightforward adj. easy to do or to understand; not complicated 简单的;易懂的;不复杂的。例如:a straightforward process 简单的过程

 

练习

Choose the best answer.

 

1. What advice did the Ph.D. supervisor give regarding the author’s writing?

A. To use more complex grammar and advanced vocabulary.

B. To avoid unnecessarily long and complicated phrases.

C. To write longer sentences.

D. To add more details to his writing.

 

2. What type of exams did the author need to pass in order to gain admission to high school and university in China?

A. Multiple choice exams testing writing skills.

B. Essay exams testing reading comprehension.

C. Multiple choice exams testing reading comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar.

D. Oral exams testing speaking skills.

 

3. What was the author’s reason for using an online translation tool when writing his manuscript for an international journal during his master’s program in China?

A. To ensure that the paper was accepted.

B. To save time on writing the draft in English.

C. To improve his confidence in writing in English.

D. To translate the text from Mandarin to English.

 

4. What motivated the author to start writing directly in English?

A. The desire to improve his English language skills.

B. The need to publish papers in English.

C. The challenge of communicating in another language.

D. The opportunity to study in the United Kingdom.

 

5. What did the author do to overcome his struggle with writing and produce a rough draft of a manuscript?

A. He imagined someone laughing at his writing.

B. He spent all day composing 200 words of text.

C. He wrote the first draft as quickly as possible.

D. He edited his work multiple times.

 

6. What was the author’s supervisor’s feedback on his draft?

A. The author needed to use more complicated sentences and big words.

B. The author needed to include more tangential details in their writing.

C. Complicated sentences and big words might confuse readers.

D. Telling a story was not important in his writing.

 

7. What does the author do before he starts writing now?

A. He tries to quiet the perfectionist voice in his head.

B. He makes a list of complex words to use.

C. He spends hours thinking about his writing.

D. He writes several drafts before submitting anything.

 

8. What is the author’s attitude towards his writing ability compared to his supervisor’s?

A. The author is confident he will eventually write as well as his supervisor.

B. The author is frustrated that he may not be able to write as well as his supervisor.

C. The author thinks writing is easy for everyone, including his supervisor.

D. The author believes his supervisor’s writing ability is not worth admiring.

 

解析

Choose the best answer.

 

1. What advice did the Ph.D. supervisor give regarding the author’s writing?

A. To use more complex grammar and advanced vocabulary.

B. To avoid unnecessarily long and complicated phrases.

C. To write longer sentences.

D. To add more details to his writing.

 

【答案】B

【解析】根据文章第一段“He had shortened many of my sentences and commented that I should avoid unnecessarily long and complicated phrases.”,可以看出导师建议作者避免使用过长或过于复杂的短语。因此,答案为B选项。A选项与文章中提到的导师的建议相反;C选项与文章中提到的导师的建议相反;D选项未被提及。

 

2. What type of exams did the author need to pass in order to gain admission to high school and university in China?

A. Multiple choice exams testing writing skills.

B. Essay exams testing reading comprehension.

C. Multiple choice exams testing reading comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar.

D. Oral exams testing speaking skills.

 

【答案】C

【解析】根据文章第二段的描述,作者在14岁时开始学习英语,为了进入高中和大学需要通过各种英语考试。文章提到,这些考试大多数是选择题,测试的是阅读理解、词汇和语法。因此,C选项测试阅读理解、词汇和语法的选择题考试正确答案。A选项与文章中提到的不符合;B选项中的“essay”(小论文)是错误的;D选项中提到的“oral”(口试)也没有在文章中提到。

 

3. What was the author’s reason for using an online translation tool when writing his manuscript for an international journal during his master’s program in China?

A. To ensure that the paper was accepted.

B. To save time on writing the draft in English.

C. To improve his confidence in writing in English.

D. To translate the text from Mandarin to English.

 

【答案】D

【解析】根据文章第三段,作者想向国际期刊提交论文。但是由于第一次写论文,他对用英语写作没有足够自信,所以用汉语写好了初稿,然后使用在线翻译工具进行翻译。他最初使用翻译工具的原因是将文本从汉语翻译成英语。因此,答案为D选项。A选项没有被提到,B选项与文章不符,C选项中提升自信未被提到。

 

4. What motivated the author to start writing directly in English?

A. The desire to improve his English language skills.

B. The need to publish papers in English.

C. The challenge of communicating in another language.

D. The opportunity to study in the United Kingdom.

 

【答案】B

【解析】根据文章第四段,作者需要在国际期刊上发表论文,而在国际期刊发表论文通常需要使用英语进行写作。因此,作者意识到如果想继续发表论文,就需要能直接使用英语写作。因此,答案为B选项。A选项未被提及,C选项不符合文章描述,D选项未被提及。

 

5. What did the author do to overcome his struggle with writing and produce a rough draft of a manuscript?

A. He imagined someone laughing at his writing.

B. He spent all day composing 200 words of text.

C. He wrote the first draft as quickly as possible.

D. He edited his work multiple times.

 

【答案】C

【解析】根据文章中间部分的信息,作者最初写作时遇到困难。每次写句子时,他总感觉有人在笑话他。后来,作者决定尽快写出草稿,结果灵感涌现,几个小时内就有了初稿。虽然需要后期编辑,但有了草稿让作者感到宽慰,因为他知道以后的初稿只会越来越好。因此,答案为C选项。A选项是作者的担忧,B选项是作者最初的情况,D选项是作者后期的工作,与题目所考查的作者的使用方法不符。

 

6. What was the author’s supervisor’s feedback on his draft?

A. The author needed to use more complicated sentences and big words.

B. The author needed to include more tangential details in their writing.

C. Complicated sentences and big words might confuse readers.

D. Telling a story was not important in his writing.

 

【答案】C

【解析】根据文章倒数第三段,作者的导师对他的稿件给予了反馈。导师指出,繁杂的句子和过于高级的词汇可能会让读者感到困惑。从导师的评语,作者能够看到把故事讲清楚的重要性,以及要去除那些与故事不相关的细节。因此,答案为C选项。A选项是错误的,因为导师的建议与此相反;B选项也是错误的,与导师的反馈建议相反;D选项与文章相矛盾。

 

7. What does the author do before he starts writing now?

A. He tries to quiet the perfectionist voice in his head.

B. He makes a list of complex words to use.

C. He spends hours thinking about his writing.

D. He writes several drafts before submitting anything.

 

【答案】A

【解析】根据文章倒数第二段,现在作者开始写作之前会考虑精简后的信息。同时,作者试图压制自己脑子里的完美主义声音。他会尽快将初稿写下来,然后回过头来加以修改,使句子更加简洁,删掉不必要的细节。作者还提到,他在编辑方面心态更加放松:即使他再次收到一篇修改过的稿件,他也会将其视为发现自己没有意识到的问题的机会。因此,答案为A选项。B选项未被提及,C选项也未被提及,D选项与文章中的描述不符。

 

8. What is the author’s attitude towards his writing ability compared to his supervisor’s?

A. The author is confident he will eventually write as well as his supervisor.

B. The author is frustrated that he may not be able to write as well as his supervisor.

C. The author thinks writing is easy for everyone, including his supervisor.

D. The author believes his supervisor’s writing ability is not worth admiring.

 

【答案】B

【解析】根据文章最后一段,作者感到沮丧的是自己写作能力可能永远无法与他的导师相匹敌。因此,答案为B选项。A选项与文章不符,C选项与文章中的描述相反,D选项错误,因为文章没有表达作者不欣赏导师的写作能力。


(封面图片来源于摄图网,版权归摄图网所有)

  • 字数:1901个
  • 易读度:标准
  • 来源:刘立军 2023-06-09