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科技写作漫谈 (53):保持读者的注意力 精选

已有 6734 次阅读 2009-11-7 21:04 |个人分类:科技写作|系统分类:科研笔记

层层推进中心思想

尽量避免冗长的段落和句子,使用更少的论据和更精炼的语言使论点层层推进。不停地重复已经表述清楚的东西会带来两种后果:段落变长、变松散了。长出来的部分是由过度解释造成的,不必要的解释不仅降低阅读速度,而且影响段落的简洁。

有时候冗长是由于缺少核心焦点。只是把一些杂乱的、难以梳理清楚的论点和问题堆积起来,而没有对段落进行重新组织。缩短过长段落的方式:保留最能支持观点的主要论据,删减其余部分;将分散的相关论据结合起来;调整段落结构,删除重复的、不一致的关键词。

When ideas are not in motion, two things happen to a paragraph: its length grows and its cohesion decreases. Additional length is often a consequence of paraphrasing. With paraphrasing, the paragraph lengthens without actually moving the ideas forward, since the sentences have the same meaning. Needless paraphrases slow down reading and reduce conciseness. (第3句黑体部分的意思已经涵盖在前两句中)

举例说明

通过举例可以使读者了解其不熟悉的事件或细节。举例可通过文字和标点符号提示,如:for example, namely, such as, in particular, specifically以及冒号,都可以引起读者的高度注意,因为它们表明下文是简单易懂的、明确的、详尽的。

不过,仅仅通过文字通常难以实现充分的理解。数据能使形容词更加真实;图表有助于阐明、分析、解释、说明及归纳总结。没有图表的文章容易产生混乱;读者的兴趣会很因为缺乏清晰的理解而衰退。当Fig. X”的字样在文章中出现时,读者紧锁的眉头很容易舒展开来。

设问可以重新调整并制定观点、可以挑战观点以示不容忽视、可以清楚设立段落议题。因此,设问最有效的思想推进和注意力获取工具。

       What method provides enough contact force to polish these highly complex surfaces? Manual polishing with a belt machine would appear to be the obvious answer. (作者用了一种聪明的手法来引发读者的期望。这种“obvious” 常用的技术手段可能不是最好的,或者不是唯一的)

Instead of unidirectional motion along a single pathway, can we have unguidedmotion through themyriad of shapes? Asking this question leads us in the right direction. We are forced to envision all the possible structures of the protein and how they are arranged and connected. (通过问题调动读者,使之对新观点产生兴趣,而摆脱传统思想)

              有时形容词、副词和助动词都可以表示疑问,只不过经过了伪装。例如:

Thinking in terms of energy landscapes, the Levinthal argument is quite strange.

The energy landscape/funnel metaphor leads to a very different picture of the folding process than the pathway metaphor.

再设悬念

提问就是再设悬念的有效方法,其他表示意想不到的转折或新奇亮点的方式有:

l         明显的矛盾、分歧、例外、限制:however, but, contrary to, although, in contrast, on the other hand, while, whereas, whilst, only.

l         意想不到的情况:interestingly, curiously, surprisingly, the problem is that, should have (but did not), might have (but did not), unexpectedly, unforeseen, seemingly.

l         明显不同的新的选择:rather than, instead, alternatively.

在下面的例证中,作者为保持读者的阅读注意力,在连续的四句话中用到了(1)一个例子,(2)两个数字,(3)一个图表,(4)吸引注意力的词汇 “however”“important contradiction ”,以及(5)一个问题。

For example, Strunfbach (6) reported a 27% increase in error rate when using the annealing method to improve the initial clusters obtained by the Clusdex method. Using the same methods and the same data, we observe a 52% decrease in error as seen in Fig. 3. In our case, however, cleaned and normalized data is used instead of cleaned data only. We therefore need to evaluate whether our findings represent an important contradiction. In particular, we need to ask: Are our data normalisation assumptions valid?

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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