Whether you're sitting down to write a research paper for English class about Buddha or you're hours deep in the writing portion of SAT, you want to write a great essay. And although different people have different notions about what makes an essay truly "great," there are a number of things that educators and writers generally agree upon as gold-quality standards. Here are three of those qualities that can take your essay from basic to fabulous.

不管你是坐下來準備寫一篇英語課上有關佛陀的研究報告,還是深思怎樣完成入學考試的作文部分,你都會想要寫得一手好文章。雖然不同的人對于優秀的文章有不同的觀念,但是也有許多教育家和作家公認的黃金標準。這里有三個品質,是你的作文從普通向出色進步時需要具備的。

1. Language

語言文字

The usage of language in an essay is more than j4ust the actual words you use throughout. Things like sentence structure, stylistic choices, levels of formality, grammar, usage, and mechanics all come into play.?

在一篇文章中,語言文字的使用不僅僅是你在全篇所使用的詞語,句子結構、文體選擇、不同的形式、語法、用法、文字處理等都可以發揮作用。

Good Language

好的文字

Good language in an essay is merely adequate. It's basic. There's nothing inherently wrong with your language, but there's nothing exceptional about it, either.

文章中好的語言文字只能說是差強人意,它應該作為基本的要求??赡苣愕恼Z言沒有什么內在的問題,但也可能沒有什么新意了。

Good essay language means you're using some variety in your sentence structures. For instance, you may write a few simple sentences interspersed with some compound sentences. Your level of formality and tone are also appropriate to the essay. You're not using familiar language and slang, for example, when you're writing a research report in class. Good language in an essay does not disrupt your thesis. Your point gets across and that's all well and fine if you're happy with a good essay.

好的文章語言意味著你使用了不同種類的句子結構。例如,你可能會將一些簡單句和復合句結合起來使用。你的文章形式和語氣也要適合整篇文章,而不是一味使用自己熟悉的語言和俚語。比如說,當你在班里寫一篇研究報告時,好的語言不會干擾到你的論點。如果你對一篇好文章滿意,那么這篇文章肯定能夠把你的論點講清楚。

Example: When Jack walked into his grandmother's kitchen, he spotted the freshly baked cake on the counter. He helped himself to a huge piece. It was chocolate, and the frosting was a delicious vanilla buttercream. He licked his lips and took a gigantic bite.

例子:當杰克走進奶奶的廚房時,他發現了柜臺上剛烘焙好的蛋糕,就給自己弄了一大塊。蛋糕是巧克力的,上面的奶霜還是香草奶油的。他舔舔嘴唇,咬了好大一口。

Great Language

優秀的語言文字

Great language is fresh, full of sensory detail when appropriate and propels your essay forward in invigorating ways. Great language uses a variety of sentence structures and even some intentional fragments when appropriate. Your tone isn't merely adequate; it enhances your argument or point.

優秀的語言文字就是在你將文章內容向前推進時,使用充滿活力和感官細節的語言。優秀的語言使用多種句子結構,甚至在合適的時候故意分段。語氣的使用不應該僅僅差強人意,它可以作為你的論點或論據。

Your language is precise. It's chosen specifically to add nuance or shades of meaning. The sensory details you select pull your readers in, giving them goosebumps, and make them want to keep on reading. Great language makes readers take what you've said very seriously.

語言文字要精確。要用心地選擇語言文字來增加一些細微差別或語義色彩,你選擇的感官細節要能使讀者身臨其境,讓他們起雞皮疙瘩,有讀下去的欲望。優秀的語言文字能使讀者認真對待你表達的內容。

Example: Jack stepped over the threshold of his grandmother's kitchen and inhaled. Chocolate cake. His stomach rumbled. He walked to the counter, mouth watering, and took a? rose-pattered china plate from the cabinet and a bread knife from the drawer. The slice he sawed off was enough for three. The first bite of rich vanilla buttercream made his jaw ache. Before he knew it, nothing was left but chocolate crumbs scattered on the plate like confetti.

例子: 杰克一踏進奶奶廚房的門檻就被吸引住了,那是一塊巧克力蛋糕。他的肚子也叫了起來,走進柜臺,杰克的口水都流了出來,他從櫥柜里拿出一個玫瑰圖案的瓷盤,又從抽屜里拿出一把切蛋糕用的刀。他切了三人量的一大塊,第一口就咬到了滿滿的香草奶油,使他食欲大開。在他緩過神來之前,盤子里就只剩下巧克力碎末。

2. Analysis

分析

Teachers are always asking you to "dig deep" in your essay, but what does that really mean? Depth is the level at which you analyze the topic you are writing. The deeper you dive into your essay, the more poking and prodding at values, tensions, complexities, and assumptions you will do.

老師們總是讓你“深入發掘”自己的文章,但這到底是什么意思呢?深度就是你分析文章主題的層次。你對自己文章發掘得越深,你就會發現更多價值觀、沖突、復雜性和設想。

Good Analysis

好的分析

The word "analysis" in and of itself implies a certain level of depth. A good analysis will use reasoning and examples that are clear and adequately demonstrate the importance of the topic. Support may be relevant, but it may come across as overly general or simplistic. You will have scratched the surface of the topic, but you will not have explored as many of the complexities as you could have.

“分析”一詞本身就暗含有一定的深度。好的分析會使用清晰并能論證主題的推理和例子。支持也許是相關的,但也可能會顯得過于寬泛或簡單化。你可能已經觸及到了主題,但你不能像那些復雜的例子一樣進行深入探索。

Let's take, for example, this question: "Should cyberbullying be stopped by the government?"

我們以這個問題為例子:“政府應該杜絕網絡暴力嗎?”

Example: Cyberbullying needs to be stopped in its tracksby the government because of the harm that it causes to the victim. Teenagers who have been bullied online have had to be treated for depression, have felt compelled to change schools, and some have even committed suicide. A person's life is too important not to intervene.

例子:政府需要阻止網絡暴力的發展,因為它會有導致自殺的危害。遭受網絡暴力的會在情緒上感到低落,被迫轉學,有些人甚至會自殺。人的生命何其珍貴,故政府應干涉。

Great Analysis

優秀的分析

A great analysis of a topic is a thoughtful critique that demonstrates insight. It critiques assumptions and details not hinted at in just a good analysis. In the example above, the good analysis mentions the harm to a victim of bullying and names three things that could happen to him or her because of it, but doesn't get into other areas that might offer more insight like societal values, governmental control, effects rippling from one generation to the next, for example.

優秀的分析是對深入剖析思考后的批評。它對那些沒有進行好好分析的設想和細節進行了批評。在上面的例子中,好的分析提到了暴力會導致自殺的危害,并且舉出了三件由可能會發生在別人身上的事,但卻并沒有涉及一些會引發思考的領域,例如社會價值觀、政府調控、對下一代人的影響。

Example: Although cyberbullying needs to be stopped - the effects are to dire not to intervene - the government cannot be the entity to regulate speech online. The fiscal and personal costs would be staggering. Not only would citizens be forced to give up their First Amendment rights to free speech, they would have to relinquish their rights to privacy, as well. The government would be everywhere, becoming even more of a "big brother" than they are right now. Who would pay for such scrutiny? Citizens would pay with their freedom and their wallets.

例子:雖然網絡暴力需要被杜絕,它的后果太可怕,需要進行干涉。但政府不能從本質上控制網絡發言,那樣財政和個人的開銷都會十分巨大。不僅公民們的放棄第一修正案所賦予的自由發言權,他們還得放棄隱私權。政府就會變成一個無所不在的“老大哥”。誰會為這些監控買單呢?公民會犧牲掉他們的自由和錢包。

3. Organization

組織

Organization can quite literally make or break your essay. If a reader doesn't understand how you've gotten from point A to point B because none of your dots seem to connect, then he or she won't be compelled to read any further. And more importantly, he or she will not have listened to what you have had to say. And that's the biggest problem there is.

組織可以在字面上對你的文章進行創作或破壞。如果讀者因為沒有句點而無法理解你是怎樣從A觀點切換到B觀點,就不會深入閱讀下去。更重要的是,讀者不會聽你講的內容。這就是最大的問題。

Good Organization

好的結構

A standard five-paragraph essay structure is what most students use when they write essays. They start with an introductory paragraphending with a thesis sentence. They move on to body paragraph one with a topic sentence, and then proceed, with a few scattered transitions, to body paragraphs two and three. They round out their essay with a conclusion that neatly restates the thesis and ends with a question or a challenge. Sound about right? If this sounds like every essay you've ever written, then you can be sure you're not alone. It's a perfectly adequate structure for a basic essay.

標準的五個段落構成的文章結構是學生們在寫作文時用得最多的。他們以介紹段開頭,以主題句結尾。他們以主題句過渡到第一個主體段落,然后用一些過渡語繼續下文,展開第二個和第三個主體段落。他們采用問題式或挑戰式的結尾,并重申了論點。是這樣的吧?如果你也是這樣寫文章,你就可以確定自己也屬于這一類了。對于基本的文章來說,這是一種非常合適的結構。

Example:

1. Introduction with thesis

2. Body paragraph one

?Support one

?Support two

?Support three

例子:

1.帶有論點的介紹

2.主體段落一

佐證一

佐證二

佐證三

3. Body paragraph two

?Support one

?Support two

?Support three

主體段落二

佐證一

佐證二

佐證三

4. Body paragraph three

?Support one

?Support two

?Support three

主體段落三

佐證一

佐證二

佐證三

5. Conclusion with restated thesis

以重申論點結尾

Great Organization

優秀的結構

Great organization tends to move beyond just simple supports and basic transitions. Ideas will progress logically and increase the arguments success. Transitions within and between paragraphs will strengthen the argument and heighten meaning. If you start out organizing your essay strategically, with room for analysis and counterarguments built in, your chances of building a great essay improve by quite a bit. And some students find it easier to get more in depth by writing a four-paragraph essay instead of five. You can engaged more with a particular topic in the body paragraphs if you knock out your weakest argument and focus instead on providing a deeper, more thoughtful analysis with just two.

優秀的結構常常跳出了簡單的佐證和基本的過渡。觀點會按照邏輯推進,并逐步完成論證。段落內部或之間的過渡可以加強論證,使意義表達更明顯。如果你開始組織自己的文章,就要留出空間進行分析和辯論,這樣你寫出一篇好文章的可能性就會大大增加。一些學生發現,比起五段文章,四段文章能夠更加簡單地進行深入發掘。如果你去掉了最薄弱的論證,將盡力集中在用兩個段落進行更深入的分析,就可以在主體段落更多地對特定的主題進行探討。

Example:

1. Introduction with thesis

2. Body paragraph one

  • Support one with detailed analysis
  • Support two that addresses values, complexities and assumptions
  • Counterpoint and dismissal of the counterpoint

例子:

1.包含論點的介紹

主體段一

  • 含詳細分析的佐證一
  • 對價值觀、復雜事物和設想進行討論的佐證二
  • 對應物的使用

3.Body paragraph two

?Support one with detailed analysis

?Support two that addresses values, complexities and assumptions

?Counterpoint and dismissal of the counterpoint

3.主體段二

  • 含詳細分析的佐證一
  • 對價值觀、復雜事物和設想進行討論的佐證二
  • 對應物的使用

4. Conclusion with restated thesis and option for better idea

重申論點、完善觀點的結尾

Writing Great Essays

優秀的文章

If your goal is to move forward out of mediocrity, then spend some time learning the basics of great essay writing. After that, pick up your pencil or paper and practice. Nothing will prepare you better for your next essay then writing strategically-organized, well-analyzed, and carefully-worded paragraphs when the pressure isn't on.

如果你的目的是寫出不一般的好文章,就要花時間學習優秀文章寫作的基本要素。之后,就要拿起筆或紙開始寫作。你不能確保下一篇文章就一定能寫得更好,所以就要在沒有壓力的時候有條理地寫作,認真分析并斟酌每個詞。

聲明:本雙語文章的中文翻譯系滬江英語原創內容,轉載請注明出處。中文翻譯僅代表譯者個人觀點,僅供參考。如有不妥之處,歡迎指正。