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英语写作的误区及解法

发布时间:2020-12-03 17:01:43 阅读:207 作者:致远教育 字数:1632 字 预计阅读时间:5分钟
导读:英语写作的本质是交流思想,而不是炫技。又长又难的文章只会为读者的阅读理解造成麻烦,进而让他们失去耐心,干脆不读。仅仅是这两个误区,就让我们好的思维和观点丧失了传播的机会,得不偿失。所以,我们应该怎么办?

英语写作的本质是交流思想,而不是炫技。又长又难的文章只会为读者的阅读理解造成麻烦,进而让他们失去耐心,干脆不读。仅仅是这两个误区,就让我们好的思维和观点丧失了传播的机会,得不偿失。所以,我们应该怎么办?

英语写作

01.从写作原则出发

首先,“be relentlessly clear”。做到绝对清晰。

还未开始写作的时候,我们要保持脑子的清晰。从读者的角度出发,搞清楚我们为什么要写作,要达到什么目的,主旨是什么,读者画像是什么。一切无关内容,要有狠心删除。

“When writing Berkshire Hathaway’s annual report, I pretend that I’m talking to my sisters. I have no trouble picturing them: Though highly intelligent, they are not experts in accounting or finance. They will understand plain English, but jargon may puzzle them. ”

——巴菲特

在《The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Plain English Handbook》的前言中,巴菲特说要“ground your prose by having a particular reader in mind”。写作时,要想象自己是写给有一个具体的读者,要写得“接地气”。

“My goal is simply to give them the information I would wish them to supply me if our positions were reversed. To succeed, I don’t need to be Shakespeare; I must, though, have a sincere desire to inform.”

——巴菲特

其次,“waste no words”。做到绝对精简。

能用一个字表达的,就不用两个字。能用before就不用prior to。

能用active voice主动语态就不用passive voice被动语态。

能用更强烈的动词取代be动词,就这么去做。

我们需要在众多渠道中争夺读者们稀缺的时间和关注,必须锱铢必较。

NOT THIS:

Efficiency measures that have been implemented by the company with strong involvement of senior management have generated cost savings while at the very same time assisting in the building of a culture that is centered around the value of efficiency. We anticipate that, given this excising of unnecessary expenditures and enhanced control of other expenditures, the overall profitability of the company will be increased in the near term of up to four quaters.

[73 words]

BUT THIS:

Our senior management team has cut costs and made the company more efficient. We expect to be more profitable for the next four quarters. 

[24 words]

最后,“be plain spoken”。做到表达自然和朴实。

如何去做呢?

很简答。像你说话那样去写作。

国内语文教育中的写作,过分重视辞藻的华丽和修辞的使用,把每个人都当做作家去培养,忽视了对平实的说明文和议论文写作能力的培养。而商业世界,最常用的其实就是这两种体裁。辞藻的堆砌和修辞的滥用,反而会极大的伤害一篇文章的可读性。

在写作过程中,Sandra一直说:“What are you trying to say? Just say it.” 我一直没懂她是什么意思,直到我看到了巴菲特对一个金融机构的商务策划书的改写段落。

NOT THIS:

Maturity and duration management decisions are made in the context of an intermediate maturity orientation. The maturity structure of the portfolio is adjusted in the anticipation of cyclical interest-rate changes. Such adjustments are not made in an effort to capture short-term, day-to-day movements in the market, but instead are implemented in anticipation of longer-term, secular shifts in the interest rates (i.e., shifts transcending and/or not inherent to the business cycle). Adjustments made to shorten portfolio maturity and duration are made to limit capital losses during periods when interest rates are expected to rise. Conversely, adjustments made to lengthen maturation for the portfolio’s maturity and duration strategy lies in the analysis of the U.S. and global economies, focusing on levels of real interest rates, monetary and fiscal policy actions, and cyclical indicators. (某金融机构商务策划书段落)

Words: 136

Sentences: 5 (all passive voice)

Average sentence length: 27.2

Flesch  Reading Ease: 8.2

BUT THIS:

We will try to profit by correctly predicting future interest rates. When we have no strong opinion, we will generally hold intermediate-term bonds. But when we expect a major and sustained increase in rates, we will concentrate on short-term issues. And conversely, if we expect a major shift to lower rates, we will buy long bonds. We will focus on the big picture and won’t make moves based on short-term considerations.(巴菲特的改写)

Words: 74

Sentences: 5 (none passive voice)

Average sentence length: 14.8

Flesch Reading Ease: 60.1

Flesch Reading Ease是一个英文的可读性检验工具。从0-100,分数越高代表可读性越高。结合上面两段的评分和我们的观感,可以很好地反映出文本的易读性对吸引注意力的影响程度。

英语写作

02.从文章结构出发

Better Business Writing这本书介绍了一个有趣的角色扮演框架:MACJ。这四个字母分别是Madman, Architect, Carpenter, 和Judge四个单词的首字母。它讲究在写作的时候,要按顺序分别扮演这四种不同的角色。每扮演一个特定角色,就只做好角色范围内的事情。

第一步,收集素材,整合观点,应该像madman。只需要追求思维的活跃,观点的新颖,连逻辑都不需考虑。天马行空,自由自在,把想说想写的原原本本地扔在纸上/word文档上。

第二步,思考文章结构,重点考虑逻辑合理性。从第一步中得到的观点和素材中,选取不超过三个主要的观点进行阐述。用三句完整的句子表达文章的主要观点,并对这些观点进行排序。若有提及时间,即按时间顺序撰写。若未提及时间,按逻辑顺序,并永远把最重要的观点写在最前面。

第三步,做一个老老实实的工匠。给自己定时,以最快的速度把文章写完。这一步一定要记得不犹豫不回顾不修改,一股脑儿把文章的主体写完。

第四步,带上法官的帽子,严苛地筛选与主题符合的内容,对车轱辘话、不直接相关的句子和修辞,毫无情面地删掉。是我们字斟句酌,以及修改文法、句式、标点符号的时间。

使用这一框架的重中之重是要记得在一个时间段内,只扮演一个角色。这个方法,可以把大块的写作压力拆分成一个一个的小块任务。既有助于我们开始写作,避免writer’s block(作家写不出东西来的心理阻滞感),还有利于拆分重点,各个击破。

结语:

天马行空的写作当然是畅快的。但没有约束就没有自由。我当然不会因为两次被要求重写而放弃英文写作,相反,我会遵守我所学到的三个原则:be relentlessly clear, waste no words, 和be plain spoken,通过扮演Madman, Architect, Carpenter, 和Judge这四个不同角色,约束自己,写出可读性更强的文章来。

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