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Student’s Book

Language awareness 1

Paragraphing

Read the entire essay once or twice. Decide where each new paragraph should begin. Where does the author begin to discuss a different topic? Underline the first sentence of each paragraph.

Culture, Logic and Rhetoric1

Logic, which is the basis of rhetoric, comes from culture; it is not universal. Rhetoric therefore, is not universal either but varies from culture to culture. The rhetorical system of one language is neither better nor worse than the rhetorical system of another language, but it is different. English logic and English rhetoric, which are based on Anglo-European cultural patterns, are linear—that is, a good English paragraph begins with a general statement of its content and then carefully develops that statement with a series of specif­ic illustrations. A good English paragraph may also use just the reverse sequence: it may state a whole series of examples and then summarize those examples in a single statement at the end of the paragraph. In either case, however, the flow of ideas occurs in a straight line from the opening sentence to the last sentence. Furthermore, a well-structured English paragraph is never digressive. There is nothing that does not belong to the paragraph and nothing that does not support the topic sentence. A type of construction found in Arabic and Persian writing is very different. Whereas English writers use a linear sequence, Arabic and Persian writers tend to construct a paragraph in a parallel sequence using many coordinators such as and and but. In English, maturity of style is often judged by the degree of subordination rather than by the degree of coordination. Therefore, the Arabic and Persian styles of writing, with their emphasis on coordination, seem awkward and immature to an English reader. Some Asian writers, on the other hand, use an indirect approach. In this kind of writing, the topic is viewed from a vari­ety of angles. The topic is never analyzed directly; it is referred to only indi­rectly. Again, such a development in an English paragraph is awkward and is unnecessarily vague to an English reader. Spanish rhetoric differs from English rhetoric in still another way. While the rules of English rhetoric require that every sentence in a paragraph relate directly to the central idea, a Spanish-speaking writer loves to fill a paragraph with interesting digres­sions. Although a Spanish paragraph may begin and end on the same topic, the writer often digresses into areas that are not directly related to the topic. Spanish rhetoric, therefore, does not follow the English rule of paragraph unity. In summary, a student who has mastered the grammar of English may still write poor papers unless he/she has also mastered the rhetoric of English. Also, the student may have difficulty reading an essay written by the rules of English rhetoric unless he/she understands the "logical" differ­ences from those of his/her own native tongue.

Structuring the text

  1. Some words and expressions for ordering and arranging the parts of an essay2.

function in the text

Example

beginning

I should like to preface /'prefis/ any argument with a true story. J

mapping out the text

text

I shall return to this point later in my essay. J

„,„.. , . , . |

connecting points

This brings me/us to my next area of discussion, which is finance. J

Focusing

I should now like to address the question of the arms race. I

ordering points

The arguments are presented in ascending/descending order of importance. |

quoting/referring

The ideas of several writers will be cited in support of the argument.

The text alludes to several themes that need closer examination.

1

including/excluding material

Discussion of the roots of the problem is beyond the scope of this essay. It is impossible to deal with all the issues in this short essay. There will only be space to touch upon the big question of political responsibility.

drawing conclusions

We are forced to conclude that unemployment will always be with us.

Fill in the gaps with words from the table that express the meaning in brackets.

a. I shall …………… to this issue later in this essay. (come back to)

b. The question of monetary union …………………. us to our next topic: the idea of a federal Europe. (means we’ve arrived at)

c. Smith just ……………….upon the subject of Internet policing but does not go into it in depth. (mentions only briefly)

d. I shall attempt to ………………the problem of censorship later in this discussion. (attend to, consider)

e. Psychological factors in learning foreign languages are …………….. this essay. (outside the topic area)

f. I shall discuss the poets in …………………...order, that is to say I shall comment on the least important ones first.

g. In the final analysis, we are ……………… that there is little hope of stamping out illegal drugs altogether. (have no choice but to believe)

h. This section has attempted to ……………………….. a range of useful vocabulary for formal writing. (give all the necessary information about)

Connecting ideas

  1. Indicate which of the three linkers is the correct one.

  1. Sanlito and RKB have only been doing business for a couple of months. …………..,

Sanlito’s management have already given RKB their full confidence.

a. Despite b. Nevertheless c. Besides

2. Their prices are very competitive. ………, we decided not to do business with them/

a. Nonetheless b. Although c. Furthermore

3. We reached out to customers with special offers, continuity programmes and appreciation letters. ……………, customer retention did not improve.

a. However b. Despite c. Even though

4. Negotiating prices and securing orders is very exciting. …………., ensuring that the customer remains a customer can be a humdrum affair.

a. Moreover b. In spite of c. On the other hand

5. He likes keeping himself to himself. ………., he spends a lot of time entertaining suppliers.

a. As well as b. Besides c. Yet

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