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考研英语阅读利剑——主题

2005-11-30 14:39 赵庆华 

  复习快到12月份,面对只有一个多月的时间即将步入研究生考试考场,很多学生似乎变得更加迷茫,似乎以前所复习的内容不知道如何有效地总结归纳,更不知道作为考研英语当中的重头戏——阅读理解怎么样才能真正为自己在大考当中获得稳定的分数。

  很多同学毫无目的的去阅读大量的文章,有的同学甚至是为了阅读而去阅读,在阅读的过程中毫无章法可言。如果这种状态一直持续到考试当天的话,对于很多学生来说,应该是一件非常可怕的事情。因为考研英语阅读理解在平时看起来似乎很难,但在正式的考试当中,它其实能够为广大考生贡献很大的力量。因为在考研阅读的文章选择、编写以及试题的设置的过程当中,事实上是有很多规律的,并且从考官的角度来说,他们从来不期望所有的考题的正确率都不到20%。换句话说,考研阅读其实是有一部分送分的题目的。只要考生在考场上清楚文章的行文规律以及抓住出题的规律,正确率达到60%以上并不是可望而不可及的事情。大家要知道,历年考研英语阅读理解的正确率几乎都在60%左右徘徊。

  那么我们今天这篇文章想给大家主要解决的问题就是在真正阅读理解的过程中,被我们称为利剑的——主题的重要性。大家首先要清楚,在国内,不论是什么类型的英语考试,只要是阅读理解,那么文章就有且只有一个主题。这种唯一性就直接导致命题者在设置考题的时候就不可避免地无法绕开主题出题。也就是说在考试的时候,阅读理解的主题一定是你的阅读重点,如果时间不够的话,抓住主题也能帮你获得一些分数。下面我们就用2004年的一篇真题给大家解释一下。2004年的这篇考题对于当年的考生来说,有点难度,因为文章当中的核心词汇是很多同学不认识的词——alphabetism,并且这篇文章所主要论述的观点也是有的考生所不太熟知的——字母歧视的问题。

  我们首先来看一下第一个段落:

  Over the past century, all kinds of unfairness and discrimination have been condemned or made illegal. But one insidious form continues to thrive: alphabetism. This, for those as yet unaware of such a disadvantage, refers to discrimination against those whose surnames begin with a letter in the lower half of the alphabet.

  本段中出现了一个转折词,其后的内容是我们需要关注的,而后面的内容告诉我们:one insidious form continues to thrive: alphabetism。这里就出现了刚才所提过的生词alphabetism,其实考官在后面给考生进行了详尽的解释This, for those as yet unaware of such a disadvantage, refers to discrimination against those whose surnames begin with a letter in the lower half of the alphabet。也就是说alphabetism指的就是字母歧视。读到这里,我们可以确定第一个段落的主题——现在存在着不为大家所重视的字母歧视的问题。

  下面我们需要关注的是第二段作者有没有对于第一段的观点有没有改变。

  It has long been known that a taxi firm called AAAA cars has a big advantage over Zodiac cars when customers thumb through their phone directories. Less well known is the advantage that Adam Abbott has in life over Zoe Zysman. English names are fairly evenly spread between the halves of the alphabet. Yet a suspiciously large number of top people have surnames beginning with letters between A and K.

  在读第二段第一句的过程中我们发现作者仅仅是在举例子,并且没有发现有转折词出现。那么如果时间比较紧张的同学在现场就可以将这一段略看。也就是说第二段和第一段的作用是一样的,为了支持第一段的观点。行文至此,作者要想再转变自己的观点,可能性不是很大。在读第三段的时候我们需要关注的仍然是作者是否将第一段的主题转变。

  Thus the American president and vice-president have surnames starting with B and C respectively; and 26 of George Bush's predecessors (including his father) had surnames in the first half of the alphabet against just 16 in the second half. Even more striking, six of the seven heads of government of the G7 rich countries are alphabetically advantaged (Berlusconi, Blair, Bush, Chirac, Chrétien and Koizumi). The world's three top central bankers (Greenspan, Duisenberg and Hayami) are all close to the top of the alphabet, even if one of them really uses Japanese characters. As are the world's five richest men (Gates, Buffett, Allen, Ellison and Albrecht).

  扫过第三段,我们发现作者举了另外一个例子,也就是领导人的名字,再次验证第一段的观点。到此,我们便可确认——现在存在着不为大家所重视的字母歧视的问题——是我们全文的主题所在。

  在读第四段的时候我们心里应该很有数了,因为我们已经抓住了全文的主题,按照考研文章的一般行文思路,后面应该是继续阐述的过程。

  Can this merely be coincidence? One theory, dreamt up in all the spare time enjoyed by the alphabetically disadvantaged, is that the rot sets in early. At the start of the first year in infant school, teachers seat pupils alphabetically from the front, to make it easier to remember their names. So short-sighted Zysman junior gets stuck in the back row, and is rarely asked the improving questions posed by those insensitive teachers. At the time the alphabetically disadvantaged may think they have had a lucky escape. Yet the result may be worse qualifications, because they get less individual attention, as well as less confidence in speaking publicly.

  好,第四段我们只需要记住有个理论出现就可以了。如果后面考到我们再去仔细阅读。

  The humiliation continues. At university graduation ceremonies, the ABCs proudly get their awards first; by the time they reach the Zysmans most people are literally having a ZZZ. Shortlists for job interviews, election ballot papers, lists of conference speakers and attendees: all tend to be drawn up alphabetically, and their recipients lose interest as they plough through them.

  第五段的句首仍然是全文主题的改写——The humiliation continues。后面以毕业典礼为例,证明这一观点。

  读出这些内容后我们直接做后面的题目。

  46. What does the author intend to illustrate with AAA A cars and Zodiac cars?

  [A] A kind of overlooked inequality.

  [B] A type of conspicuous bias.

  [C] A type of personal prejudice.

  [D] A kind of brand discrimination.

  典型的例证题。题干的内容出现在第二段,我们应该找的题点在第一段也就是第一段的主题,即全文主题。正确答案为A,全文主题的改写。

  47. What can we infer from the first three paragraphs?

  [A] In both East and West, names are essential to success.

  [B] The alphabet is to blame for the failure of Zo? Zysman.

  [C] Customers often pay a lot of attention to companies' names.

  [D] Some form of discrimination is too subtle to recognize.

  从前三个段落中我们能得出什么?这个问题本身就告诉我们,前三个段落在这篇文章中的作用是一样的,也就是说我们需要寻找前三个段落的主题,而第二段和第三段都是例子段落,所以我们仍然应该从第一个段落的主题出发。正确答案为D选项,仍然是全文主题的体现。

  48. The 4th paragraph suggests that

  [A] questions are often put to the more intelligent students.

  [B] alphabetically disadvantaged students often escape form class.

  [C] teachers should pay attention to all of their students.

  [D] students should be seated according to their eyesight.

  这个题目考第四段,题干中说的很清楚,但第四段我们没有仔细阅读,在做题的时候我们就可以好好把第四段研读一下。而其中的内容无非就是将现在有些老师的错误做法提出来,进行批评而已。所以正确选项为C。

  49. What does the author mean by "most people are literally having a ZZZ" (Lines 2-3, Paragraph 5)?

  [A] They are getting impatient.

  [B] They are noisily dozing off.

  [C] They are feeling humiliated.

  [D] They are busy with word puzzles.

  本题为词汇题,根据词汇题的同性原则,我们需要寻找出题词汇的前后左右附近有无having a ZZZ的同性词汇。而这道题目很多同学在做的时候会发现正确选项的正确性并不是很容易确定,其实本题的选项来自于最后一句话中的and their recipients lose interest as they plough through them,并结合常识而得出B。由于本文重点解释的是主题的重要性,所以在这里便不对这道题目多加叙述。

  50. Which of the following is true according to the text?

  [A] People with surnames beginning with N to Z are often ill-treated.

  [B] VIPs in the Western world gain a great deal from alphabetism.

  [C] The campaign to eliminate alphabetism still has a long way to go.

  [D] Putting things alphabetically may lead to unintentional bias.

  最后一道题很明显就考这篇文章的主题,如果找不到主题对应的正确选项,就要从细节的角度把握了。而D选项大家在做题的时候会发现正是全文主题的改写方式。

  04年的这篇文章一共考察了五道题目,大家可以发现其中三道题目直接针对文章主题出题,一道题目间接考察文章主题。由此可见,把握主题在阅读的过程中的重要性。所以建议广大考生在考场上做阅读理解的时候切记要抓住文章命脉——主题。

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