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托福历史类文章结构及其文章摘要题的解题思路

2019-10-24 10:17:50 阅读( 707 )

众所周知,“生物+历史+地质地理”题材的文章构成了我们托福阅读考试中雷打不动的最大的三个板块。如果将托福阅读中的纯粹历史事件类和考古类文章合并在一起作为“大历史类”来看的话,那么这类题材无疑是托福阅读各学科背景中占比第二大的类型,仅此于生物类文章。

 

历史类文章的组织结构相较于其他题材的文章而言可以说是比较丰富的,大体可以分为以下四类:

 

(一)按时间顺序或历史事物发展的自然顺序来进行记叙 

谈到历史类文章,那么自然是与“时间”这个概念脱不开干系的。第一类的历史文章就是如此,它并非按托福文章常见的总分或总分总结构进行布局,而是按历史事物的产生,发展,成熟,高潮甚至衰落等各个阶段向前推进。这类文章看似行文松散,实则是形散而神不散,全文以“时间顺序”这个纵轴贯穿始终。

 

例如TPO29-01这篇文章:“ The History of Waterpower 水利的历史”,这篇文章共七段,开篇首段并没像大多数文章那样采用Introduction引入段,而是直截了当,开门见山地指出至少在公元前5世纪,“水轮water wheel”就已作为最早的水利应用装置出现并投入使用,即“a waterwheel that raised water for irrigation in attached jars. The device appears to have evolved no later than the fifth century B.C., perhaps independently in different regions of the Middle and Far East”。

 

接下来的六段,作者根据时间的推移,按顺序描述了水利应用技术及装置发展演进的过程,包括:最早的水车在公元前1,2世纪在不同的地域先后产生了,“The earliest waterpower mills were probably vertical-axis mills for grinding corn, known as Norse or Greek mills, which seem to have appeared during the first or second century B.C. in the Middle East and a few centuries later in Scandinavia;

 

水车应用并不仅仅局限于农业,而是在不同产业均有使用,“Raising water and grinding corn were by no means the only uses of the waterpower mill, and during the following centuries, the applications of waterpower kept pace with the developing technologies of mining, iron working, paper making, and the wool and cotton industries”;

 

进入蒸汽时代后水利应用前景一度暗淡,然而在一个世纪后又再现了繁荣,“The coal-fired steam engine was taking over, and the waterwheel was fast becoming obsolete. However, a century later the picture was completely different”;

 

随后1832年法拉利发现电磁感应现象,电动涡轮机相继成功问世,“In 1832, the year of Michael Faraday’s discovery that a changing magnetic field produces an electric field, a young French engineer patented a new and more efficient waterwheel and his device was the first successful water turbine”;

 

文章最后描述了1881年世界第一个公用事业发电厂使用的正是水利发电,之后则因河水水量波动变化不可靠很快被蒸汽动力所取代,“In 1881, the Godalming power station in Surrey, England, on the banks of the Wey River, created the world’s first public electricity supply. The power source of this most modern technology was a traditional waterwheel. Unfortunately this early plant experienced the problem common to many forms of renewable energy: the flow in the Wey River was unreliable, and the waterwheel was soon replaced by a steam engine.”

 

不难看出,第一类历史文章的结构是按时间的纵轴顺序来组织的,那么文章摘要题通常会要求考生能在描写的各历史阶段中分辨与挑选出最具有划时代意义的,或期间内产生了最大变化发展的那几个时间阶段。我们将其做概括总结后,一般就是六选三所要求的选项。但这种文章因为并非总分或总分总结构,所以容易偏重对细节的描写和考察,六选三题从正面直接选有时显得不容易分辨,这时需配合从反面排除错误选项的技巧来做。

 

(二)按历史人物或历史事件所带来的结果或影响进行描述 

人类波澜壮阔的历史画卷往往是在那些灿若星辰的历史人物引领下描绘而就的,或是由那些能够产生重大冲击或具划时代意义的历史事件像珍珠般贯穿而成的。这些伟大的人物和历史事件必然会给人类历史留下重大而深远的影响或和结果,第二类历史文章就是按照这些影响和结果来进行分类描述的

 

例如TPO43-01 The Empire of Alexander The Great亚历山大大帝的帝国,这篇文章是非常典型的总分结构。全文共6段,首段开篇明义总述了亚历山大大帝通过东征建立了一个前无古人的辽阔帝国,随后施行了一系列改革,给其帝国带来了几项影响深远的后果“consequences”,对应首段最后一句总结句“Alexander’s actions had several important consequences for the region occupied by the empire.”

接下来就开始“分“项描述,第2段说明了第1个影响即the first consequence: 希腊文明在中东区域得以广泛扩张传播,对应第2段首句中心句”The first of these was the expansion of Greek civilization throughout the Middle East”;

 

第3段和第4段记叙了第2个影响the second consequence,即传统希腊城邦政体的终结,以及城邦所代表的一切,对应第三段的首句“Second, this internationalism spelled the end of the classical Greek city-state - the unit of government in ancient Greece - and everything it stood for;同时人才发展模式发生转变,原先为人所重视的“通才”在国际化发展之后不再适用,逐渐被职业化的专才所取代,对应第四段首句: “This implied that the city-state was based on the idea that citizens were not specialists but had multiple interests and talents — each a so-called jack-of-all-trades who could engage in many areas of life and politics ”;

 

第5段和第6段描述了第3个影响the third consequence: 希腊的哲学理念与中东世界的宗教思想互相融合,形成了新的文明并扩散到了全世界,对应着第5段首句“Third, Greek philosophy was opened up to the philosophy and religion of the East.”以及第6段的最后一句总结句“The combination of the religious instinct of Asia with the philosophic spirit of Greece spread across the world in the era after Alexander’s death, blending the culture of the Middle East with the culture of Greece”。

 

这种类型的历史文章其文章摘要题一般比较好预判,即要求考生能够概括出文章主要描述的那几个重要的 consequences 或 effects,如果恰好是三个的话,那么一一对应选出来就好,如果consequences或effects多于三个,那么出题者通常会把其中几个进行两两合并,汇总成一个句子;或者是在诸个后果或影响中选择出三个最重要的,设置成三个句子作为正确答案。

 

因此这种文章的六选三题,通常从正面来直接选反而比较好选。

 

比如The Empire of Alexander The Great亚历山大大帝的帝国这篇文章,它的六选三正确答案分别是:

B. Increasing urbanization and the elimination of trade barriers meant the end of the Greek city-state and the creation of a much larger political and economic body;

D. The expansion of Alexander’s empire led to the diffusion of Greek language, literature, and thought throughout the Middle East;

E. The empire saw the birth of a new culture, merging Greek philosophical ideas with the religious spirit of Asia.

 

正好分别对应原文所描述的第2,第1和第3个consequence.

 

(三)按照历史现象或历史事件背后成因探讨进行叙述的文章

第三类历史文章与上述的第二类在结构上非常相似,均是典型的总分或总分总结构。只不过将探究历史事件的结果和影响换成了探究历史事件背后形成的原因

 

例如TPO49-03 The Background of Industrial Revolution 工业革命的背景这篇文章,文章共6段,第1段先总述工业革命由于经济方面的积淀是在欧洲发端的,“The Industrial Revolution had several roots, one of which was a commercial revolution that, beginning as far back as the sixteenth century, accompanied Europe’s expansion overseas.”然后将话题自然而然地引向了英国,说明工业革命最初在英国兴起绝非偶然,在欧洲取得优势的基础上,英国的经济体制更加强劲稳固,“Europe’s economic institutions, particularly those in England, were strong, had wealth available for new investment, and seemed almost to be waiting for some technological breakthrough that would expand their profit-making potential even more.”

从第2段起,文章每一段都阐述了一个或几个英国特有的,而其他欧洲列强所不具备的独特优势,其中包括:对外而言,英国处在国际贸易的十字交叉口,对内而言,英国拥有纵横交错,运输成本低廉便利的水道“One was its geographic location at the crossroads of international trade. Internally, Britain was endowed with easily navigable natural waterway, which helped its trade and communication with the world…… it enjoyed a boom in canal building, which helped make its domestic market more accessible”;

 

英国还富含某些欧洲国家所稀缺的煤矿资源,给工厂提供了能源供给且刺激了工业和消费产品的激增,“Great Britain also had rich deposits of coal that fed the factories springing up in industrial and consumer goods”;大量来自乡村的高流动性人口为产业工人提供了充足的来源,“Another advantage was Britain’s large population of rural, agricultural wage earners, as well as cottage workers, who had the potential of being more mobile than peasants of some other countries”;

 

除此之外,英国还拥有更加发达的银行和信用系统以及大量企业家和发明家等等,“Great Britain’s better-developed banking and credit system also helped speed the industrial progress, as did the fact that it was the home of an impressive array of entrepreneurs and inventors”.

 

那么根据上文的分析,类似的,我们对此类文章的摘要题也可以提前进行预判,即六选三大概率会要求我们考生选出文章主要分析的三个或多个成因及因素,这时可能有两种情况:第一种是恰好成因有三,那么一一选出即可;第二种是成因大于三个,那么需从诸多成因中选出最重要的那三个,当然更常见的情况是出题者会将其中几个两两合并在一起,最终汇总成为三个句子即是要挑出的三个正确答案。

 

例如 The Background of Industrial Revolution 工业革命的背景这篇文章的六选三正确答案分别是:

A. The expansion of international trade from the sixteenth century on greatly stabilized the European economy;

B. Intense consumer activity and sound government institutions enabled mechanized labor to develop in Great Britain

E. British entrepreneurs invented a new system of banking that led to rapid economic growth.

 

可以看出,六选三的正确选项就是将文中描述的诸多英国优势因素合并糅杂在了一起。


(四)把历史上地位等同或相似的历史事物对比着来记述

第四种历史文章通常会把两个地位相似的历史事物拿来比照,从多个维度,多个特性出发进行详细的类比描述,但文章在两个描述的客体上会有所偏重,即对比的目的实际上是为了给读者更加生动透彻地说明其中一个事物的本质,特性等

 

例如TPO07-02 Ancient Rome and Greece 古代罗马与希腊这篇文章,全文在政治体制,历史发展,文化艺术等多个方面不断地将古罗马与古希腊这两个欧洲文明史上的”双子星”进行类比,包括,“ Whereas Greece had grown from scores of scattered cities, Rome grew from one single organism. ” 希腊是从二十多个分散的城邦发展而来,然而罗马则是从单一的有机体成长起来; “While the Greek world had expanded along the Mediterranean seas lanes, the Roman world was assembled by territorial conquest ”希腊是沿着地中海的海上航线扩张的,而罗马帝国则是通过陆地领土的占领而壮大 ;“The key to the Greek world lay in its high-powered ships; the key to Roman power lay in its marching legions. “理解希腊世界的关键是其强大的船队,而理解罗马的关键则是他们行进的军团;“The Greeks were wedded to the sea; the Romans, to the land. The Greek was a sailor at heart; the Roman, a landsman.”希腊人紧紧守着海洋,本质上是天生的水手,而罗马人死守着陆地,本质上路上的强兵。

 

但需注意的是,全文虽不断在对二者进行对比,但这种对比是有其偏重性的,即作者想用与希腊种种相异之处来更深刻,更生动地突显罗马文明的特点,使读者能对这种叙述方式感到记忆深刻且耳目一新。

 

那么这种文章的六选三题会偏重于让考生选择罗马与希腊最不同的三个方面,或者此类对比类文章的考察方法也可能会将最后一题设置成七选五,即表格填写题,用以考察考生理解,记忆并正确将两种不同事物的特点进行分类的能力。


本文供稿:王凡 新航道西安学校

标签:托福阅读 新喊道在线

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