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科技写作漫谈 (61):以主题为基调的写作模式

已有 5107 次阅读 2010-3-7 08:25 |个人分类:科技写作|系统分类:论文交流

围绕一个固定主题的行进模式

句子的主题在连续的句子中重复,该主题或者是直接的重复,或者通过使用介词、同义词重复,或者用更加通用或特定的名称进行重复。读者熟悉了主题,阅读起来就很流畅。在下面的这个例子中,trapping就是固定主题。

        Trapping is unimportant at high temperatures where there is plenty of energy to escape. But trapping leads to very slow dynamics at low temperature. In the case of liquids, this trapping causes the glass transition—a dramatic slowing of motion on cooling.

在第一句中,作者非常熟练地为接下来的内容对读者设立了期望:关于在低温时诱捕的重要性的解释。这种期望通过运用“but”形成对比来加以强调。第二句话也创造了一个在第三句话中完成的期望: “very slow dynamics”的结果是什么? “The glass transition” 请注意这里通过运用同位语,“a dramatic slowing of motion on cooling”, 恰如其分地解释了这个不常见的关键词。在这三句话中,期望和固定主题的行进虽然独立存在,但是它们相互作用使得文章更加有趣。

       这句话本来可以用如下方式表述:Trapping is important at low temperature because it leads to very slow dynamics, as there is not much energy for the molecules to escape.

当你读完这句话后,想知道“very slow dynamics”的结果的愿望是不是就不如上段文字那样强烈了?这句话对期望的设定很小,它和上段文字的前两句话在用词数量上是一样的。然而,这句话文字较长而且两个串联使用的原因(“because”, “as”)导致句子更为复杂。因为没有对比高低温度,本段文字也减小了可比性。

通过主题的组成部分或主题的次要方面的行进模式

在这种行进模式中,通常在句首声明主题,接下来的句子验证这一主题。在下面的这个例子中,第一个句子是关于视觉(visuals)效果的。接下来的两句话评述了视觉效果的两个方面:位置和说服力。

Visuals are star witnesses standing in the witness box to convince a jury of readers of the worth of your contribution. Their placement in your paper is as critical as the timing lawyers choose to bring in their key witness. More importantly, their convincing power is far beyond that of text exhibits.

链式行进模式

在链式行进模式中,主题和重点呈菊链方式展开。句尾的重点成为了下一句句首的主题。这种常用的行进模式很容易被读者接受,请看下面的例子。

         The protein when it is first made exists in an extraordinarily large variety of shapes, resembling those accessible to a flexible strand of spaghetti. The Brownian motion of the protein strand will carry it willy-nilly between various shapes, somehow finally getting it to settle down into a much less diverse family of shapes, which we call the ‘native structure’ of the protein. The average native structures of many proteins have been inferred experimentally using X-ray crystallography or NMR.

菊链方式中的内容不需要从一句到另一句逐字重复。前一句的动词往往成为下一句句首的名词。

Applying Kalman filters reduced the noise in the data sent by the low-cost ultrasonic motion sensors. The reduction was sufficient to bring down the detection error rate below 15%.

有时,前一句的一部分(下段的划线部分)在下一句的句首进行了简要改述。这种情况通常以“This”或者“This result”开始下一个句子。

       The above observations can be generalized to a rather important conclusion. If large mole differences between species exist in a data set (and this is often the normal case for catalytic reactions), then the reactions involving both major and minor species should be rewritten to include only the latter. This should solve the problem of abnormal gradients in the extent of reactions for most cases.

作者在此使用了重要的词来吸引读者的注意力 (“generalized to a rather important conclusion”) 或引起科学家的兴趣 (“solve the problem of abnormal gradients”,“ generalized to a rather important conclusion”)。另一方面,这有一个关于问题指代的很好的例子。考虑一下最后的这个“This”指什么?如果你的答案是“the reactions”, 那就请你再读一遍这个句子,因为你的答案是不正确的。最后的这个“This”指代的是“the rewriting”

摘编自《科技英语写作进阶》(任胜利, 莫京, 安瑞 . 科学出版社, 2009年出版)



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