【原创经验文章】如何写作美丽 Essay:停止 Summary,开始 Commentary

当教授给出一个 assignment 要求你写作一篇关于文学、关于电影、关于戏剧的 essay 时,你知道怎样才能写出一篇符合要求、成绩优异的论文吗?也许你会找不到有效的方法。但,其实,最基本的提高文章质量的方法就是:停止 summary,开始 commentary。并且这个方法可能比你想象的要容易。

在这篇文章中,我将解释一下论文中事件总结(summary)和事件评论(commentary)的区别,并向大家展示如何利用 commentary 和 summary 相结合使文章看起来更美好。

Part 1: 学习 Summary 和 Commentary 之间的区别

你需要了解 Summary 和 Commentary 之前的区别,主要有三个方面:

> Summary 是简单总结介绍事情(事件)的要点
> Commentary 是一系列的解释和说明

> Summary 主要停留在表面
> Commentary 是挖掘写作对象深层次的东西

> Summary 主要是已有内容的提炼和重复
> Commentary 是原创的内容

Summary 只有一种特征,也只有这种形式:你阅读或者观看一个作品,然后提炼和重复写下这个作品是关于什么的。

而 Commentary 包含很多形式,比如

Commentary and summary

下面是一个现实生活中 Summary 和 Commentary 的例子

在生活中,你看到的电影描述或者某本书封底的一些文字就是 Summary。比如《教父II》在IMDb的电影描述:

Commentary-and-summary-2

而你日常看到的书评或者影评就属于 Commentary,比如下面这个来自 Rotten Tomatoes 的评论:

Commentary-and-summary-3

正如你所看到的,对于《教父II》的Summary和 Commentary的主要区别就是 Summary只包括电影的摘要而没有对电影的意见和评价。但在Rotten Tomatoes的影评中包含了对电影的详细评价和评分。

Part 2: Sample Essay

在你从以上了解了Summary 和 Commentary的情况下,我们现在来用例子做一个示范。我从我喜欢的一部电影 Shaun of the Dead 中选取一个场景分别进行 summary 和 commentary。当然,因为我们现在需要用这部恐怖喜剧片作为示例,如果你没有看过这部电影,可能你需要先观看一遍这部电影,当然,我保证,这个电影很好看。

与此同时,为了这次的示范,我们可以通过 Youtube 再温习一遍上面所说的,我这次需要进行评论的这部电影中的那部分场景。

首先,看一下我是如果对这一幕场景进行总结的,以下是这幕场景的 Summary:

In this scene from the 2004 movie Shaun of the Dead, Shaun (played by Simon Pegg) wakes up with a hangover and walks to the convenience store to buy a soda and an ice cream. In his hungover condition, he does not notice anything that is going on around him. On his way to the store, he walks by what appears to be zombies roaming the street. There is mayhem all around him. A car window is smashed and the alarm is blaring, a person is running for his life away from zombies, there are bloody handprints on the cooler, and the convenience store clerk is missing. On his way home, Shaun passes even more zombies, including one who he mistakes for a homeless person. When the zombie approaches him, Shaun says, “No, I don’t have any change. I didn’t even have enough for the shop.” He makes it home safely and turns on the TV, ignoring the news reports about the zombie invasion.

上面这段Summary 可以说完美的总结了这一幕场景,但毫无疑问,它无法提供额外的信息,我只是总结了这个电影片段,复述了电影中发生了什么事情,我没有讨论我对这个电影的任何评价或者对它表现出任何兴趣或者厌恶。

当你的教授要求你提供一个影评作业时,我确信,他并不是希望你提供一个详细的 Summary 回顾整个电影的事件,即使像上面那样完美的 Summary也是不行的。Summary 只是一个回顾,并不代表你的思想,教授要的是你的思想。

事实上,你对事件的背景进行简要的 summary,可以为你的影评和评论提供全文背景,上面的 Summary 就可以作为我们评论的事件背景。而在现实写作中,我们在写作影评讲述自己的观点和评论的同时,可以穿插着完成 Summary这件事,或者说,你在写作Summary的同时,可以穿插着完成 Commentary,从而完成整篇文章。现在我们就来开始完成这项工作。

1. 一个明确的观点 (Opinion)

首先,我可以在我的summary中插入一条我的观点主张,作用在于强调我的意见倾向,并帮助读者跟随我的整体思路阅读文章。

In this clever and satirical scene from the 2004 movie Shaun of the Dead, Shaun (played by Simon Pegg) wakes up with a hangover and walks to the convenience store to buy a soda and an ice cream.

2. 一段简要的说明 (Interpretation)

接下来,我会向的summary中插入一小段解释性的说明

In his hungover condition, he does not notice anything that is going on around him. This provides insight on how Shaun, like many of us, lives his day-to-day life, almost as a zombie himself, just going through the motions without noticing the world in which he lives.

3. 些许的独特见解 (Insight)

再下来,插入一些个人见解

On his way to the store, he walks by what appears to be zombies roaming the street. There is mayhem all around him, but this mayhem isn’t a far cry from Shaun’s daily reality. A car window is smashed and the alarm is blaring. Today it is from a zombie, but on a normal day, a regular thief could have smashed it. A person is running for his life away from zombies, but on a normal day, it could be a person running to catch the bus.

4. 恰当的个人反应 (Personal Reaction)

另外,再向 summary 中插入一些我的个人反应

There are bloody handprints on the cooler, and the convenience store clerk is missing, which, along with the creepy music soundtrack, gives a sense of impending doom as the viewer watches Shaun obliviously bumble along.

5. 准确的意见评价 (Evaluation)

最后,在 summary中插入我自己的个人评价和更多的意见见解

On his way home, Shaun passes even more zombies, including one who he mistakes for a homeless person. When the zombie approaches him, Shaun says, “No, I don’t have any change. I didn’t even have enough for the shop.” Incidents like these make this film the perfect satirical comedy about what it means to be alive in the 21st century. This is emphasized again when Shaun makes it home safely and turns on the TV, ignoring the news reports about the zombies. This brilliant satire points to the sad fact that a typical person’s life is already so horrible that a zombie apocalypse wouldn’t even mark a change for the worse.

最终,我们得到了一篇 Shaun of the Dead 某一幕场景的影评,如下:

In this clever and satirical scene from the 2004 movie Shaun of the Dead, Shaun (played by Simon Pegg) wakes up with a hangover and walks to the convenience store to buy a soda and an ice cream.

In his hungover condition, he does not notice anything that is going on around him. This provides insight on how Shaun, like many of us, lives his day-to-day life, almost as a zombie himself, just going through the motions without noticing the world in which he lives.

On his way to the store, he walks by what appears to be zombies roaming the street. There is mayhem all around him, but this mayhem isn’t a far cry from Shaun’s daily reality. A car window is smashed and the alarm is blaring. Today it is from a zombie, but on a normal day, a regular thief could have smashed it. A person is running for his life away from zombies, but on a normal day, it could be a person running to catch the bus.

There are bloody handprints on the cooler, and the convenience store clerk is missing, which, along with the creepy music soundtrack, gives a sense of impending doom as the viewer watches Shaun obliviously bumble along.

On his way home, Shaun passes even more zombies, including one who he mistakes for a homeless person. When the zombie approaches him, Shaun says, “No, I don’t have any change. I didn’t even have enough for the shop.” Incidents like these make this film the perfect satirical comedy about what it means to be alive in the 21st century. This is emphasized again when Shaun makes it home safely and turns on the TV, ignoring the news reports about the zombies. This brilliant satire points to the sad fact that a typical person’s life is already so horrible that a zombie apocalypse wouldn’t even mark a change for the worse.

Part 3: 其它需要考虑的写作规则

从上面你已经看到在现实中的 commentary 写作,下面,我要指出一些同样重要的规则,来帮助你更好的写作论文。

规则1: 避免主观的短语

即使在写作中的内容是个人见解和意见,但也需要在其中避免使用主观的语句,比如:“I hope”,“I believe”,或者“I think”等短语语句。这些口语化短语会使你的文章繁琐冗余(因为很明显,你写一篇essay的目的就是表达你所想),并且会在一定程度上降低你的可信度。

规则2: 保持 Commentary 和 Summary 比例 2:1

在一般情况下,你应该提供两倍于背景事实描述的评论和意见。虽然 summary 对于呈现读者背景知识很重要,但 commentary 是写好一篇优秀 essay 的关键所在。

规则3: 依照教授的规则写作

在实际写作中,有时教授可能只希望你对某件事情给出意见观点;另一些时候,教授可能只希望你提供你对某件事的洞察和解释;还有一些时候,教授可能给你更多的自由空间进行独立写作。无论教授给出何种写作指导和要求,需要记住的是,严格按照教授的作业规则写作是最重要的。

声明:此文章为原创文章授权刊登,文章原作者拥有文章版权
ESSAYSHIFU 是 R&D Writing Service 旗下品牌,由 R&D美加事业一部 独立运营

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