准留学生的常备工具软件

在我上高中的那个年代,电脑相对还不是特别普及,Internet也是刚刚才开始进入千家万户。那时候为了下一个不到5M的QQ,往往需要用“网络蚂蚁”(当年极其流行的一种下载工具)挂上一刻钟。不过回忆起来,那还是一段挺有趣的日子,“网虫”们的素质都很高,可以放心和全国乃至世界各地的人们交流乃至交友。素雅的页面也能让人专注的欣赏美文雄文,感受字里行间的思想和力量。

闲话休提,对于今天的高中生来说,电脑和智能手机基本已经是标配了。虽然有些学校在平时禁止住校的学生使用电子设备,但是在周末和假期学生们还是有足够的时间利用这些工具进行学习和娱乐。对于光纤入户的宽带,虽然QQ的尺寸今天已经膨胀了十倍还多,也能用十几秒钟下完。今天我们所面临的问题,不再是外部条件的限制,而恰恰是要在琳琅满目的世界里选择我们所需要的。接下来,我就根据自己的经验,从四个大方面向我们的学员们推荐一些软件和工具,能让大家更好的用电脑和智能手机帮助自己进行学术活动和留学准备。

网盘软件

网盘软件1

我并不怀疑大家的电脑里至少会有一个大文件夹是用来专门储存学习资料的。但是光是存在电脑里的话,一旦出现故障(比如用Surface时遇到的麻烦事),精心整理乃至有急用的资料可能就付之一炬了。把资料放在优盘里可以部分解决这个问题,也方便在不同的电脑上阅览使用,但毕竟增加了额外的复杂度,何况优盘本身也有遗失和损坏的可能性。

近年来,国内外各大互联网公司均有推出网盘产品,可以比较好的解决上述问题。大多数国外产品在国内不方便使用,于是在深入体验和比较的基础上,基于功能、空间大小和可靠程度等方面,我个人推荐360云盘

网盘软件2

360云盘PC版在操作习惯上比较直观,默认来说文件是不存到本地的。打开某个文件之后,一般软件会在后台下载并缓存,如果之后有修改的话,也会把新版本再上传上去。云盘可以实现文件回退到历史版本,也有一个回收站,这样文件如果误删误改的话都还比较好办。对于图片和视频,云盘有专门的播放器可以不需下载就比较方便的查看。如果需要直接上传或下载文件到本地,可以使用工具栏上的按钮,也可以直接将文件拖动到相应位置。云盘提供简单的基于文件名的搜索。

360云盘与360安全浏览器有比较好的集成,用浏览器下载文件时可以选择直接离线下载到云盘里。对于经常使用的云盘目录,可以选择直接实时同步到本地。对于经常使用的本地目录(比如桌面),也可以选择自动备份到云盘。

360云盘中的文件或文件夹可以方便的分享给他人供转存或直接下载。但是就网上能搜到的资源而言,存在百度网盘里面的相对会更多一些,因此也可以另开一个百度账号。360云盘的共享群功能目前只在手机上可以全部正常使用。

网盘软件3

360云盘手机版可以用来在电脑不在手边时临时查看自己的学习资料。在有Wifi或者流量充足的情况下也可以方便的观看视频。但是我觉得更重要的功能是可以设置它自动备份手机拍摄的照片和视频,这样一来,学生们可以轻松的拍摄板书,笔记,PPT,乃至全程录下老师的整个上课过程(不过最好还是先征求老师同意)。在备份完成之后,回头只要在电脑上分类整理好就可以,有限的手机内部存储空间也可以释放出来重新利用。

网盘软件4

对于现在在美国和加拿大就读高中的学生,比较好的替代品是GDrive和Dropbox。

笔记软件

据我了解,很多学生们还不知道笔记软件的存在。对于相应的需求,大家可能一般是直接用Word来解决。但是这么做的话,在跨文档检索和整理归类方面就会有诸多不便。更重要的是,从心理上这会是两种完全不同的模式:一般来说,字处理软件的目标是产出正式的成品,因此无论是在排版上还是在遣词造句上人们都会更加斟酌。但事实上,这种斟酌不是在所有情况下都必须的,甚至对于额外工作量的恐惧往往会给人带来情感上的障碍,造成拖延或者所谓的writer's block。使用笔记软件的话,因为没有分页视图,一些高级的排版功能也不被支持,反而能使人更专注于记录和思考。对于笔记来说,半成品是可以被许可的,因此学生们可以先粗糙的完成一部分,再在之后审阅补充。与实体的笔记本不同,现代笔记软件可以方便的增删查改,更可在多台电脑和智能手机间同步。这一类产品中,网易公司出品的有道云笔记是我的推荐。

笔记软件1

有道云笔记PC版提供常见的格式功能。除此之外,可以方便的进行屏幕截图,以及插入附件、表格和带提醒功能的待办事项。笔记可以通过各种途径分享,也可以分篇用阅读密码加密(在记录如银行账号、身份证号、密码或日记等敏感信息时)。阅读视图可以用于复习。

有道云笔记用笔记本组-笔记本-笔记的三级体系来组织笔记。在这个基础上,可以通过时间和标签进行多维度的筛选,并可继续用字句片段搜索出目标笔记。笔记中存有大量附件的情况下,附件中心是一个很方便的功能。网易最近正在集中开发推广协作群的功能,不过这个对于学生的意义不大。

有道云笔记手机版可以用来随时随地查看复习笔记或记下新想法。手机端不能处理文字格式,但比PC版多出来手写和录音。照片中转站和云盘的类似功能一致,但是有储存时限的限制,因此一般不推荐用。

笔记软件和下面讨论的日历一起使用的话,可以建立起个人专属的时间管理(GTD, Getting Things Done)系统。和下面讨论的词典软件一起使用的话,可以建立起个人专属的单词记忆系统。建立这些系统的过程本身要比专门的GTD或背单词软件繁琐一些,但是完成之后也是可以跨平台使用的,而且在具体细节上不会受到制约(比如背单词软件提供的解释一般没有英文)。考虑到建立和组织这些系统本身也是一个复习和思考的过程,我还更推荐学生们进行相关的尝试。

对于现在在美国和加拿大就读高中的学生,一个比较好的替代品是Evernote。

日历

日程表是美国人生活的一部分,准留学生们也可以从今天开始利用它来培养起自己的时间观念。常见的QQ邮箱就附带有一个基本可用的日历功能。

日历1

QQ邮箱的日历可以按月、日或事件来查看,在设置中亦可选择多种提醒方式。一般来说,学生们可以先把平时在校上课时间用一个不提醒的重复事件来排除在外。剩下的时间段则可以小时为单位妥善安排。全天事件可用来标注纪念日或者截止日期。原则上我比较推荐的方式是日历上的安排尽量留有一些余地,但是每天要坚持做到日事日毕。

在每过一个月或者一个季度以后可以检查一次,看一看自己的时间主要都花在什么地方以及长远的计划是否有得到很好的执行。对于一小时之内的时间管理,可以参考微观的“番茄工作法”。

有两种方式能在智能手机上使用QQ邮箱中的日历功能。如果希望使用手机自带的日历程序,需要按照QQ邮箱网页版日历上的指示进行设置。如果想省事的话只需要下载QQ邮箱手机版,用邮箱地址和密码登陆后即可将日历同步到本地。设置完成之后,无论哪种方式都能对事件进行有效的提醒,或者让学生随时随地的更新日程安排。

日历2

对于现在在美国和加拿大就读高中的学生,一个比较好的替代品是Gmail。

词典软件

读写英文文章,好的英语字典是必不可少的工具。我推荐使用MDict作为字典软件。这是一个比较有历史的独立软件,本身并不附带字典,而是可以管理查询mdd格式的词典文件,在相关的论坛上可以比较方便的获取。

词典软件1

MDict PC版提供标准的查词、复制释义、收藏夹(生词本)、查询历史和发音功能,没有其他的花拳绣腿或是广告来分散学习者的注意力。如果把词典放到云盘里面,就可以方便的在几台电脑间同步生词本和查询历史。对于有一定基础的准留学生,我们推荐配上Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary这本词典;对于刚刚开始背托福单词的学生,可以考虑再加上一本Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary。最好选择英英的原始版本,这样近似于native speaker的学习环境能够帮助培养起对语言和释义的敏感。如果在释义中遇到生词也没有关系,可以方便的点击它来切换到其解释,读完之后也可通过工具栏按钮返回。

在我们的网站aadps.net上可以找到MDict免安装版的下载链接(如果无法查看论坛帖子的话,注册一个账号即可)。考虑到词典的权威性,对于有标准化考试应试需求的准留学生,我们不推荐有道词典和必应词典。

MDict有支持iPhone和iPad的付费版,不提供Mac的版本。不过对于使用iPhone,iPad和Mac的学生,可以直接使用新版操作系统里内置的词典功能,虽然对于美国英语没有除New Oxford American Dictionary以外的选择,但是查词取词的便利性能够弥补上这一不足。

语料库

字典并不是万能的。一个最简单的例子,没有任何一本字典会讲清楚in the States和at the States哪个是正确的用法。网上有一些更专业的工具可以解决这类问题,当代美式英语语料库就是其中之一。学生们可以通过corpus.byu.edu/coca来访问这个在线工具,并需要注册一个免费的账号来解除访问限制。最简单的使用方法是在屏幕左侧的搜索框里输入欲查询的词组,其中用*替换不确定的词,如* the States。点击SEARCH后屏幕右侧偏上的地方就会按使用频度列出所有的可能组合,单击每一个词组后则能在下边看到相应的例句。用这种方式,不但可以验证某些短语是否有特定的用法,有时还能学到新的习惯搭配。

词典软件2

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TOEFL综合写作练习

写文书 In the United States, employees typically work five days a week for eight hours each day. However, many employees want to work a four-day week and are willing to accept less pay in order to do so. A mandatory policy requiring companies to offer their employees the option of working a four-day workweek for four-fifths (80 percent) of their normal pay would benefit the economy as a whole as well as the individual companies and the employees who decided to take the option. The shortened workweek would increase company profits because employees would feel more rested and alert, and as a result, they would make fewer costly errors in their work. Hiring more staff to ensure that the same amount of work would be accomplished would not result in additional payroll costs because four-day employees would only be paid 80 percent of the normal rate. In the end, companies would have fewer overworked and error-prone employees for the same money, which would increase company profits. For the country as a whole, one of the primary benefits of offering this option to employees is that it would reduce unemployment rates. If many full-time employees started working fewer hours, some of their workload would have to be shifted to others. Thus, for every four employees who went on an 80 percent week, a new employee could be hired at the 80 percent rate. Finally, the option of a four-day workweek would be better for individual employees. Employees who could afford a lower salary in exchange for more free time could improve the quality of their lives by spending the extra time with their families, pursuing private interests, or enjoying leisure activities. 听力

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写文书 In many organizations, perhaps the best way to approach certain new projects is to assemble a group of people into a team. Having a team of people attack a project offers several advantages.
First of all, a group of people has a wider range of knowledge, expertise, and skills than any single individual is likely to possess. Also, because of the numbers of people involved and the greater resources they possess, a group can work more quickly in response to the task assigned to it and can come up with highly creative solutions to problems and issues. Sometimes these creative solutions come about because a group is more likely to make risky decisions that an individual might not undertake. This is because the group spreads responsibility for a decision to all the members and thus no single individual can be held accountable if the decision turns out to be wrong.
Taking part in a group process can be very rewarding for members of the team. Team members who have a voice in making a decision will no doubt feel better about carrying out the work that is entailed by the decision than they might doing work that is imposed on them by others.
Also, the individual team member has a much better chance to "shine", to get his or her contributions and ideas not only recognized but recognized as highly significant, because a team's overall results can be more farreaching and have greater impact than what might have otherwise been possible for the person to accomplish or contribute working alone. 听力

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写文书 Rembrandt is the most famous of the seventeenth-century Dutch painters. However, there are doubts whether some paintings attributed to Rembrandt were actually painted by him. One such painting is known as attributed to Rembrandt because of its style, and indeed the representation of the woman's face is very much like that of portraits known to be by Rembrandt. But there are problems with the painting that suggest it could not be a work by Rembrandt.
First, there is something inconsistent about the way the woman in the portrait is dressed. She is wearing a white linen cap of a kind that only servants would wear-yet the coat she is wearing has a luxurious fur collar that no servant could afford. Rembrandt, who was known for his attention to the details of his subjects' clothing, would not have been guilty of such an inconsistency.
Second, Rembrandt was a master of painting light and shadow, but in this painting these elements do not fit together. The face appears to be illuminated by light reflected onto it from below. But below the face is the dark fur collar, which would absorb light rather than reflect it. So the face should appear partially in shadow-which is not how it appears. Rembrandt would never have made such an error.
Finally, examination of the back of the painting reveals that it was painted on a panel made of several pieces of wood glued together. Although Rembrandt often painted on wood panels, no painting known to be by Rembrandt uses a panel glued together in this way from several pieces of wood.
听力

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写文书 Endotherms are animals such as modern birds and mammals that keep their body temperatures constant. For instance, humans are endotherms and maintain an internal temperature of 37℃,no matter whether the environment is warm or cold. Because dinosaurs were reptiles, and modern reptiles are not endotherms, it was long assumed that dinosaurs were not endotherms. However, dinosaurs differ in many ways from modern reptiles, and there is now considerable evidence that dinosaurs were, in fact, endotherms.
Polar dinosaurs
One reason for believing that dinosaurs were endotherms is that dinosaur fossils have been discovered in Polar Regions. Only animals that can maintain a temperature well above that of the surrounding environment could be active in such cold climates.
Leg position and movement
There is a connection between endothermy and the position and movement of the legs. The physiology of endothermy allows sustained physical activity, such as running. But running is efficient only if an animal's legs are positioned underneath its body, not at the body's side, as they are for crocodiles and many lizards. The legs of all modern endotherms are underneath the body, and so were the legs of dinosaurs. This strongly suggests that dinosaurs were endotherms.
Haversian canals
There is also a connection between endothermy and bone structure. The bones of endotherms usually include structures called Haversian canals. These canals house nerves and blood vessels that allow the living animal to grow quickly, and rapid body growth is in fact a characteristic of endothermy. The presence of Haversian canals in bone is a strong indicator that the animal is an endotherm, and fossilized bones of dinosaurs are usually dense with Haversian canals. 听力

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写文书 As early as the twelfth century A.D., the settlements of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico in the American Southwest were notable for their "great houses," massive stone buildings that contain hundreds of rooms and often stand three or four stories high. Archaeologists have been trying to determine how the buildings were used. While there is still no universally agreed upon explanation, there are three competing theories.
One theory holds that the Chaco structures were purely residential, with each housing hundreds of people. Supporters of this theory have interpreted Caco great houses as earlier versions of the architecture seen in more recent Southwest societies. In particular, the Chaco houses appear strikingly similar to the large, well-known "apartment buildings" at Taos, new Mexico, in which many people have been living for centuries.
A second theory contends that the Chaco structures were used to store food supplies. One of the main crops of the Chaco people was grain maize, which could be stored for long periods of time without spoiling and could serve as a long-lasting supply of food. The supplies of maize had to be stored somewhere, and the size of the great houses would make them very suitable for the purpose.
A third theory proposes that houses were used as ceremonial centers. Close to one house, called Pueblo Alto, archaeologists identified an enormous mound formed by a pile of old material. Excavations of the mound revealed deposits containing a surprisingly large number of broken pots. This finding has been interpreted as evidence that people gathered at Pueblo Alto for special ceremonies. At the ceremonies, they ate festive meals and then discarded the pots in which the meals had been prepared or served. Such ceremonies have been documented for other Native American cultures. 听力

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写文书 Communal online encyclopedias represent one of the latest resources to be found on the internet. They are in many respects like traditional printed encyclopedias collections of articles on various subjects. What is specific to these online encyclopedias, however, is that any internet user can contribute a new article or make an editorial change in an existing one. As a result, the encyclopedia is authored by the whole community of internet users. The idea might sound attractive, but the communal online encyclopedias have several important problems that make them much less valuable than traditional, printed encyclopedias.
First, contributors to communal online encyclopedia often lack academic credentials, thereby making their contributions partially informed at best and downright inaccurate in many cases. Traditional encyclopedias are written by trained experts who adhere to standards of academic rigor that non-specialists cannot really achieve.
Second, even if the original entry in the online encyclopedia is correct, the communal nature of these online encyclopedias gives unscrupulous users and vandals or hackers the opportunity to fabricate, delete, and corrupt information in the encyclopedia. Once changes have ben made to the original text, an unsuspecting user cannot tell the entry has been tampered with. None of this is possible with a traditional encyclopedia.
Third, the communal encyclopedias focus too frequently, and in too great a depth, on trivial and popular topics, which creates a false impression of what is important and what is not. A child doing research for a school project may discover that a major historical event receives as much attention in an online encyclopedia as, say, a single long-running television program. The traditional encyclopedia provides a considered view of what topics to include or exclude and contains a sense of proportion that onlie "democratic" communal encyclopedias do not. 听力

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写文书 In an effort to encourage ecologically sustainable forestry practices, an international organization started issuing certifications to wood companies that meet high ecological standards by conserving resources and recycling materials. Companies that receive this certification can attract customers by advertising their products as ecocertified. Around the world, many wood companies have adopted new, ecologically friendly practices in order to receive ecocertification. However, it is unlikely that wood companies in the United States will do the same, for several reasons.
First, American consumers are exposed to so much advertising that they would not value or even pay attention to the ecocertification label. Because so many mediocre products are labeled "new" or improved, "American consumers do not place much trust in advertising claims in general.
Second, ecocertified wood will be more expensive than uncertified wood because in order to earn ecocertification, a wood company must pay to have its business examined by a certification agency. This additional cost gets passed on to consumers-American consumers tend to be strongly motivated by price,and therefore they are likely to choose cheaper uncertified wood products. Accordingly, American wood companies will prefer to keep their prices low rather than obtain ecocertification.
Third, although some people claim that it always makes good business sense of American companies to keep up with the developments in the rest of the world, this argument is not convincing. Pursuing certification would make sense for American wood companies only if they marketed most of their products abroad. But that is not the case, American wood businesses sell most of their products in the United States, catering to a very large customer base that is satisfied with merchandise. 听力

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写文书 Toward the end of his life, the Chevalier de Seingalt (1725-1798) wrote a long memoir recounting his life and adventures the Chevalier was a somewhat controversial figure, but since he met many famous people, including kings and writers, his memoir has become a valuable historical source about European society in the eighteenth century. However, some critics have raised doubts about the accuracy of the memoir. They claim that the Chevalier distorted or invented many events in the memoir to make his life seem more exciting and glamorous that it really was.
For example, in his memoir the Chevalier claims that while living in Switzerland, he was very wealthy, and it is known that he spent a great deal of money there on parties and gambling. However, evidence has recently surfaced that the Chevalier borrowed considerable sums of money from a Swiss merchant. Critics thus argue that if the Chevalier had really been very rich, he would not have needed to borrow money.
Critics are also skeptical about the accuracy of the conversations that the Chevalier records in the memoir between himself and the famous writer Voltaire. No one doubts that the Chevalier and Voltaire met and conversed. However, critics complain that the memoir cannot possibly capture these conversations accurately, because it was written many years after the conversations occurred. Critics point out that it is impossible to remember exact phrases from extended conversations held many years earlier.
Critics have also questioned the memoir's account of the Chevalier's escape from a notorious prison in Venice, Italy. He claims to have escaped the Venetian prison by using a piece of metal to make a hole in the ceiling and climbing through the roof. Critics claim that while such a daring escape makes for enjoyable reading, it is more likely that the Chevaliers jailers were bribed to free him. They point out that the Chevalier had a number of politically well-connected friends in Venice who could have offered a bribe. 听力

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写文书 Car manufacturers and governments have been eagerly seeking a replacement for the automobile's main source of power, the internal-combustion engine. By far the most promising alternative source of energy for cars is the hydrogen-based fuel-cell engine, which uses hydrogen to create electricity that, in turn, powers the car. Fuelcell engines have several advantages over internal-combustion engines and will probably soon replace them.
One of the main problems with the internal-combustion engine is that it relies on petroleum, either in the form of gasoline or diesel fuel. Petroleum is a finite resource; someday, we will run out of oil. They hydrogen needed for fuel-cell engines cannot easily be depleted. Hydrogen can be derived from various plentiful sources, including natural gas and even water. The fact that fuel-cell engines utilize easily available, renewable resources makes them particularly attractive.
Second, hydrogen-based fuel cells are attractive because they will solve many of the world's pollution problems. An unavoidable by-product of burning oil is carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide harms the environment. On the other hand, the only byproduct of fuel-cell engines is water.
Third, fuel-cell engines will soon be economically competitive because people will spend less money to operate a fuel-cell engine than they will to operate an internal-combustion engine. This is true for one simple reason: a fuel-cell automobile is nearly twice as efficient in using its fuel as an automobile powered by an internalcombustion engine is. In other words, the fuel-cell powered car requires only half the fuel energy that the internal-combustion powered car does to go the same distance. 听力

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写文书 The sea otter is a small mammal that lives in waters along the western coast of North America from California to Alaska. When some sea otter populations off the Alaskan coast started rapidly declining a few years ago, it caused much concern because see otters play an important ecological role in the coastal ecosystem. Experts started investigating the cause of the decline and quickly realized that there were two possible explanations: environmental pollution or attacks by predators. Initially, the pollution hypothesis seemed the more likely of the two.
The first reason why pollution seemed the more likely cause was that there were known sources of it along the Alaskan coast, such as oil rigs and other sources of industrial chemical pollution. Water samples from the area revealed increased levels of chemicals that could decrease the otters' resistance to life-threatening infections and thus could indirectly cause their deaths.
Second, other sea mammals such as seals and sea lions along the Alaskan coast were also declining, indicating that whatever had endangered the otters was affecting other sea mammals as well. This is fact again pointed to environmental pollution, since it usually affects the entire ecosystem rather than a single species. Only widely occurring predators, such as the orca (a large predatory whale), could have the same effect, but orcas prefer to hunt much larger prey, such as other whales.
Third, scientists believed that the pollution hypothesis could also explain the uneven pattern of otter decline: at some Alaskan locations the otter populations declined greatly, while at others they remained stable. Some experts explained these observations by suggesting that ocean currents or other environmental factors may have created uneven concentrations of pollutants along the coast. 听力

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写文书 A recent study reveals that people especially young people are reading far less literature, novels, plays, and poems, than they used to. This is troubling because the trend has unfortunate effects for the reading public, for culture in general, and for the future of literature itself.
While there has been a decline in book reading generally, the decline has been especially sharp for literature. This is unfortunate because nothing else provides the intellectual stimulation that literature does. Literature encourages us to exercise our imaginations, empathize the others, and expand our understanding of language. So by reading less literature, the reading public is missing out on important benefits.
Unfortunately, missing out on the benefits of literature is not the only problem. What are people reading instead? Consider the prevalence of self-help books on lists of best sellers. These are usually superficial poorly written, and intellectually undemanding. Additionally, instead of sitting down with a challenging novel, many persons are now more likely to turn on the television, watch a music video, or read a Web page. Clearly, diverting time previously spent in reading literature to trivial forms of entertainment has lowered the level of culture in general.
The trend of reading less literature is all the more regrettable because it is taking place during a period when good literature is being written. There are many talented writers today, but they lack an audience. This fact is bound to lead publishers to invest less in literature and so support fewer serious writers. Thus, the writing as well as the reading of literature is likely to decline because of the poor standards of today's readers. 听力

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写文书 Jane Austen (1775-1817) is one of the most famous of all English novelists, and today her novels are more popular than ever, with several recently adapted as Hollywood movies. But we do not have many records of what she looked like. For a long time, the only accepted image of Austen was an amateur sketch of an adult Austen made by her sister Cassandra. However, recently a professionally painted, full-length portrait of a teenage girl owned by a member of the Austen family has come up for sale. Although the professional painting is not titled Jane Austen, there are good reasons to believe she is the subject.
First, in 1882, several decades after Austen's death, Austen's family gave permission to use the portrait as an illustration in an edition of her letters. Austen's family clearly recognized it as a portrait of the author. So, for over a century now, the Austen family itself has endorsed the claim that the girl in the portrait is Jane Austen.
Second, the face in the portrait clearly resembles the one in Cassandra's sketch, which we know depicts Austen.
Though somewhat amateurish, the sketch communicates definite details about Austen's face. Even though the Cassandra sketch is of an adult Jane Austen, the features are still similar to those of the teenage girl in the painting. The eyebrows, nose, mouth, and overall shape of the face are very much like those in the full-length portrait.
Third, although the painting is unsigned and undated, there is evidence that it was painted when Austen was a teenager. The style links it to Ozias Humphrey, a society portrait painter who was the kind of professional the wealthy Austen family would hire. Humphrey was active in the late 1780s and early 1790s, exactly the period when Jane Austen was the age of the girl in the painting. 听力

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写文书 Private collectors have been selling and buying fossils, the petrified remains of ancient organisms, ever since the eighteenth century. In recent years, however, the sale of fossils, particularly of dinosaurs and other large vertebrates, has grown into a big business. Rare and important fossils are now being sold to private ownership for millions of dollars. This is an unfortunate development for both scientists and the general public.
The public suffers because fossils that would otherwise be donated to museums where everyone can see them are sold to private collectors who do not allow the public to view their collections. Making it harder for the public to see fossils can lead to a decline in public interest in fossils, which would be a pity.
More importantly, scientists are likely to lose access to some of the most important fossils and thereby miss out on potentially crucial discoveries about extinct life forms. Wealthy fossil buyers with a desire to own the rarest and most important fossils can spend virtually limitless amounts of money to acquire them. Scientists and the museums and universities they work for often cannot compete successfully for fossils against millionaire fossil buyers.
Moreover, commercial fossil collectors often destroy valuable scientific evidence associated with the fossils they unearth. Most commercial fossil collectors are untrained or uninterested in carrying out the careful field work and documentation that reveal the most about animal life in the past. For example, scientists have learned about the biology of nest-building dinosaurs called oviraptors by carefully observing the exact position of oviraptor fossils in the ground and the presence of other fossils in the immediate surroundings. Commercial fossil collectors typically pay no attention to how fossils lie in the ground or to the smaller fossils that may surround bigger ones. 听力

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写文书 Every year, forest fires and severe storms cause a great deal of damage to forests in the northwestern United States. One way of dealing with aftermath of these disasters is called salvage logging, which is the practice of removing dead trees from affected areas and using the wood for lumber, plywood, and other wood products. There are several reasons why salvage logging is beneficial both to a damaged forest and to the economy.
First, after a devastating fire, forests are choked with dead trees. If the trees are not removed, they will take years to decompose; in the meantime, no new trees can grow in the cramped spaces. Salvage logging, however, removes the remains of dead trees and makes room for fresh growth immediately, which is likely to help forest areas recover from the disaster.
Also, dead trees do more than just take up space. Decaying wood is highly suitable habitat for insects such as the spruce bark beetle, which in large numbers can damage live, healthy spruce trees. So by removing rotting wood, salvage logging helps minimize the dangers of insect infestation, thus contributing to the health of the forest.
Third and last, salvage logging has economic benefits. Many industries depend upon the forests for their production, and because of this a fire can have a very harmful effect on the economy. Often, however, the trees that have been damaged by natural disasters still can provide much wood that is usable by industries. Furthermore, salvage logging requires more workers than traditional logging operations do, and so it helps create additional jobs for local residents. 听力

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写文书 The cane toad is a large (1.8kg) amphibian species native to Central and South America. It was deliberately introduced to Australia in 1935 with the expectation that it would protect farmers' crops by eating harmful insects. Unfortunately, the toad multiplied rapidly, and a large cane toad population now threatens small native animals that are not pests. Several measures have been proposed to stop the spread of the cane toad in Australia.
One way to prevent the spread of the load would be to build a national fence. A fence that blocks the advance of the toads will prevent them from moving into those parts of Australia that they have not yet colonized. This approach has been used before: a national fence was erected in the early part of the twentieth century to prevent the spread of rabbits, another animal species that was introduced in Australia from abroad and had a harmful impact on its native ecosystems.
Second, the toads could be captured and destroyed by volunteers. Cane toads can easily be caught in simple traps and can even be captured by hand. Young toads and cane toad eggs are even easier to gather and destroy, since they are restricted to the water. If the Australian government were to organize a campaign among Australian citizens to join forces to destroy the toads, the collective effort might stop the toad from spreading.
Third, researchers are developing a disease-causing virus to control the cane toad populations. This virus will be specially designed: although it will be able to infect a number of reptile and amphibian species, it will not harm most of the infected species; it will specially harm only the cane toads. The virus will control the population of cane toads by preventing them from maturing and reproducing. 听力

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写文书 The United Kingdom (sometimes referred to as Britain) has a long and rich history of human settlement. Traces of buildings, tools, and art can be found from periods going back many thousands of years: from the Stone Age, through the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the time of the Roman colonization, the Middle Ages, up to the beginnings of the industrial age. Yet for most of the twentieth century, the science of archaeology, dedicated to uncovering and studying old cultural artifacts, was faced with serious problems and limitations in Britain.
First, many valuable artifacts were lost to construction projects. The growth of Britain's population, especially from the 1950s on, spurred a lot of new construction in British cities, towns, and villages. While digging foundations for new buildings, the builders often uncovered archaeologically valuable sites. Usually, however, they proceeded with the construction and did not preserve the artifacts. Many archaeologically precious artifacts were therefore destroyed.
Second, many archaeologists felt that the financial support for archaeological research was inadequate. For most of the twentieth century, archaeology was funded mostly through government funds and grants, which allowed archeologists to investigate a handful of the most important sites but which left hundreds of other interesting projects without support. Furthermore, changing government priorities brought about periodic reductions in funding.
Third, it was difficult to have a career in archaeology. Archaeology jobs were to be found at universities or with a few government agencies, but there were never many positions available. Many people who wanted to become archaeologists ended up pursuing other careers and contributing to archaeological research only as unpaid amateurs. 听力

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写文书 In the past century, the steady growth of the human population and the corresponding increase in agriculture and pesticide use have caused much harm to wildlife in the United States, birds in particular. Unfortunately for birds, these trends are likely to continue, with the result that the number of birds in the United States will necessarily decline.
First, as human populations and settlements continue to expand, birds' natural habitats will continue to disappear. Forests, wetlands, and grasslands will give way to ever more homes, mails, and offices. As the traditional areas suitable for birds keep decreasing, so will the size of the bird populations that depend on those vanishing habitats
Second, agricultural activities must increase to keep pace with the growing human population. The growth of agriculture will also result in the further destruction of bird habitats as more and more wilderness areas are converted to agricultural use. As a result, bird populations in rural areas will continue to decline.
Third, as human settlements expand and agriculture increases, the use of chemical pesticides will also increase. Pesticides are poisons designed to kill agricultural and home garden pests, such as insects, but inevitably, pesticides get into the water and into the food chain for birds where they can harm birds. Birds that eat the poisoned insects or drink contaminated water can die as a result, and even if pesticides do not kill birds outright, they can prevent them from reproducing successfully. So pesticides have significantly contributed to declines in bird population, and because there will continue to be a need to control agricultural pests in the future, this decline will continue. 听力

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写文书 In the 1950s, Torreya taxifoha, a type of evergreen tree once very common in the state of Florida, started to die out. No one is sure exactly what caused the decline, but chances are good that if nothing is done, Torreya will soon become extinct. Experts are considering three ways to address the decline of Torreya.
The first option is to reestablish Torreya in the same location in which it thrived for thousands of years. Torreya used to be found in abundance in the northern part of Florida, which has a specific microclimate. Microclimate exists when weather conditions inside a relatively small area differ from the region of which that area is a part. Northern Florida's microclimate is very favorable to Torreya's growth. This microclimate is wetter and cooler than the surrounding region's relatively dry, warm climate. Scientists have been working to plant Torreya seeds in the coolest, dampest areas of the microclimate.
The second option is to move Torreya to an entirely different location, far from its Florida microclimate. Torreya seeds and saplings have been successfully planted and grown in forests further north, where the temperature is significantly cooler. Some scientists believe that Torreya probably thrived in areas much further north in the distant past, so by relocating it now, in a process known as assisted migration, humans would simply be helping Torreya return to an environment that is more suited to its survival.
The third option is to preserve Torreya in research centers. Seeds and saplings can be moved from the wild and preserved in a closely monitored environment where it will be easier for scientists both to protect the species and conduct research on Torreya. This research can then be used to ensure the continued survival of the species. 听力

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写文书 Many consumers ignore commercial advertisements. In response, advertising companies have started using a new tactic, called "buzzing". The advertisers hire people, buzzers, who personally promote [buzz] products to people they know or meet. The key part is that the buzzers do not reveal that they are being paid to promote anything. They behave as though they were just spontaneously praising a product during normal conversation. Buzzing has generated a lot of controversy, and many critics would like to see it banned.
First, the critics complain that consumers should know whether a person praising a product is being paid to praise the product. Knowing this makes a big difference: we expect the truth from people who we believe do not have any motive for misleading us. But with buzzing what you hear is just paid advertising, which may well give a person incorrect information about the buzzed product.
Second, since buzzers pretend they are just private individuals, consumers listen to their endorsements less critically than they should. With advertisements in print or on TV, the consumer is on guard for questionable claims or empty descriptions such as "new and improved." But when consumers do not know they are being lobbied, they may accept claims they would otherwise be suspicious of. This may suit the manufacturers, but it could really harm consumers.
And worst of all is the harmful effect that buzzing is likely to have on social relationships. Once we become aware that people we meet socially may be buzzers with a hidden agenda, we will become less trustful of people in general. So buzzing will result in the spread of mistrust and the expectation of dishonesty. 听力

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写文书 In the United States, it had been common practice since the late 1960s no to suppress natural forest fires. The
"let it burn" policy assumed that forest fire would burn themselves out quickly, without causing much damage. However, in the summer of 1988, forest fires in Yellowstone, the most famous national park in the country, burned for more than two months and spread over a huge area, encompassing more than 800,000 acres. Because of the large scale of the damage, many people called for replacing the "let it burn" policy with a policy of extinguishing forest fires as soon as they appeared. Three kinds of damage caused by the "let it burn" policy were emphasized by critics of the policy.
First, Yellowstone fires caused tremendous damage to the park's trees and other vegetation. When the fires finally died out, nearly one third of Yellowstone's land had been scorched. Trees were charred and blackened from flames and smoke. Smaller plants were entirely incinerated. What had been a national treasure now seemed like a devastated wasteland
Second, the park wildlife was affected as well. Large animals like deer and elk were seen fleeing the fire. Man smaller species were probably unable to escape. There was also concern that the destruction of habitats and the disruption of food chains would make it impossible for the animals that survived the fire to return.
Third, the fires compromised the value of the park as a tourist attraction, which in turn had negative consequences for the ocal economy. .with several thousand acres of the park engulfed in flames, the tourist season was cut short, and a large number of visitors decided to stay away. Of course, local businesses that depended on park visitors suffered as a result. 听力

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写文书 Genetic modification, a process used to change an organism's genes and hence its characteristics, is now being used to improve trees through genetic modification. It is possible to create trees that produce more fruit, grow faster, or withstand adverse conditions. Planting genetically modified trees on a large scale promises to bring a number of benefits.
First, genetically modified trees are designed to be hardier than nature trees; that is, they are more likely to survive than their unmodified counterparts. In Hawaii, for example, a new pest-resistant species of papaya trees has been developed in response to ring spot virus infections that have repeatedly damaged the native papaya tree population. Planting the genetically modified papayas has largely put an end to the ring spot problem.
Moreover, genetically modified trees promise to bring a number of economic benefits to those who grow them. Genetically modified trees tend to grow faster, give greater yields of food, fruit, or other products and be hardier. This allows tree farmer to get faster and greater returns on their farming investment and save on pesticides as well.
Finally, the use of genetically modified trees can prevent overexploitation of wild trees. Because of the growing demand for firewood and building timber, many forests around the world are being cut down faster than they can be replaced. Introducing genetically modified trees, designed for fast growth and high yield in given geographic conditions, would satisfy the demand for wood in many of those areas and save the endangered native trees, which often include unique or rare species. 听力

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写文书 Ethanol fuel, made from plants such as corn and sugar cane, has been advocated by some people as an alternative to gasoline in the United States. However, many critics argue that ethanol is not good replacement for gasoline for several reasons.
First, the increased use of ethanol fuel would not help to solve one of the biggest environmental problems caused by gasoline use: global warming. Like gasoline, ethanol releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when it is burned for fuel and carbon dioxide is greenhouse gas: it helps trap heat in the atmosphere. Thus, ethanol offers no environmental advantage over gasoline.
Second, the production of significant amounts of ethanol would dramatically reduce the amount of plants available for uses other fuel. For example, much of the corn now grown in the United States is used to feed farm animals such as cows and chickens. It is estimated that if ethanol were used to satisfy just 10 percent of the fuel needs in the United States, more than 60 percent of the corn currently grown in the United States would have to be used to produce ethanol. If most of the corn were used to produce ethanol, a substantial source of food for animals would disappear.
Third, ethanol fuel will never be able to compete with gasoline on price. Although the prices of ethanol and gasoline for the consumer are currently about the same, this is only because of the help in the form of tax subsidies given to ethanol producers by the United States government. These tax subsidies have cost the United States government over $11 billion in the past 30 years. If the United States government were to stop helping producers in this way, the price of ethanol would increase greatly. 听力

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写文书 Populations of the yellow cedar, a species of tree that is common in northwestern North America, have been steadily declining for more than a century now, since about 1880. Scientists have advanced several hypotheses explain this decline.
One hypothesis is that the yellow cedar decline may be caused by insect parasites, specially the cedar bark beetle. This beetle is known to attack cedar trees: the beetle larvae eat the wood. There have been recorded instances of sustained beetle attacks overwhelming and killing yellow cedars, so this insect is a good candidate for the cause of the tree's decline.
A second hypothesis attributes the decline to brown bears. Bears sometimes claw at the cedars in order to eat the tree bark, which has high sugar content. In fact, the cedar bark can contain as much sugar as the wild berries that are a staple of the bears' diet. Although the bears' clawing is unlikely to destroy trees by itself, their aggressive feeding habits may critically weaken enough trees to be responsible for the decline.
The third hypothesis states that gradual changes of climate may be to blame. Over the last hundred years, the patterns of seasonal as well as day-to-day temperature have changed in northwestern North America. These changes have affected the root systems of the yellow cedar trees: the fine surface roots now start growing in the late winter rather than in the early spring. The change in the timing of root growth may have significant consequences. Growing roots are sensitive and are therefore likely to suffer damage from partial freezing on cold winter nights. This frozen root damage may be capable of undermining the health of the whole tree, eventually killing it. 听力

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写文书 Animal fossils usually provide very little opportunity to study the actual animal tissues, because in fossils the animals' living tissues have been largely replaced by minerals. Thus, scientists were very excited recently when it appeared that a 70-million-year-old fossil of Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex), a dinosaur, might still contain remains of the actual tissues of the animal. The discovery was made when researchers deliberately broke open the T. rex's leg bone, thereby exposing its insides to reveal materials that seem to be remains of blood vessels, red blood cells, and collagen matrix.
First, the breaking of the fossilized leg bone revealed many small ranching channels inside, which probably correspond to hollows in the bones where blood vessels were once located. The exciting finding was the presence of a soft, flexible organic substance inside the channels. This soft substance may very well represent the remains of the actual blood vessels of T. rex.
Second, microscopic examination of the various parts of the inner bone revealed the presence of spheres that could be the remains of red blood cells, tests showed that the spheres contained iron-a material vital to the role of red blood cells in transporting oxygen to tissues. Moreover, the spheres had dark red centers (substances with iron tend to be reddish in color) and were also about the size of red blood cells.
Third, scientists performed a test on the dinosaur leg bone that showed that it contained collagen. Collagen is a fibrous protein that is a main component of living bone tissue, in which it forms a so-called collagen matrix. Collagen (or its chemical derivatives) is exactly the kind of biochemical material that one would expect to find in association with bone tissue. 听力

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写文书 In 1938 an archaeologist in Iraq acquired a set of clay jars that had been excavated two years earlier by villagers constructing a railroad line. The vessel was about 2,200 years old. Each clay jay contained a copper cylinder surrounding an iron rod. The archaeologist proposed that vessel were ancient electric batteries and even demonstrated that they can produce a small electric current when filled with some liquids. However, it is not likely that the vessels were actually used as electric batteries in ancient times.
First of all, if the vessels were used as batteries, they would probably have been attached to some electricity conductors such as metal wires. But there is no evidence that any metal wires were located near the vessels. All that has been excavated are the vessels themselves.
Second, the copper cylinders inside the jars look exactly like copper cylinders discovered in the ruins of Seleucia, an ancient city located nearby. We know that the copper cylinders from Seleucia were used for holding scrolls of sacred texts, not for generating electricity. Since the cylinders found with the jars have the same shape, it is very likely they were used for holding scrolls as well. That no scrolls were found inside the jars can be explained by the fact that the scrolls simply disintegrated over the centuries.
Finally, what could ancient people have done with the electricity that the vessels were supposed to have generated? They had no devices that replied on electricity. As batteries, the vessels would have been completely useless to them. 听力

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写文书 The zebra mussel, a freshwater shellfish native to Eastern Europe, has long been spreading out from its original habitats and has now reached parts of North America. There are reasons to believe that this invasion cannot be stopped and that it poses a serious threat to freshwater fish populations in all of North America.
First, the history of the zebra mussel's spread suggests that the invasion might be unstoppable. It is a prime example of an invasion made possible by human transportation. From the zebra mussel's original habitats in Eastern Europe, ships helped spread it out along new canals built to connect Europe's waterways. The mussel can attach itself to a ship's bottom or can survive in the water—called "ballast water"-that the ship needs to take on to properly balance its cargo. By the early nineteenth century, the mussel had spread to the whole of Europe. It was later carried to the east coast of North America in the ballast water of ships traveling from Europe. The way ships have spread the zebra mussel in the past strongly suggests that the species will soon colonize all of North America.
Moreover, once zebra mussels are carried to a new habitat, they can dominate it. They are a hardy species that does well under a variety of conditions, and they have a high rate of reproduction. Most important, however, zebra mussels often have no predators in their new habitats, and species without natural predators are likely to dominate their habitats.
Finally, zebra mussels are likely to cause a decline in the overall fish population in habitats where they become dominant. The mussels are plankton eaters, which means that they compete for food with many freshwater fish species. 听力

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写文书 The little ice age was a period of unusually cold temperature in many parts of the world that lasted from about the year 1350 until 1900CE. There were unusually harsh winters, and glaciers grew larger in many areas. Scientists have long wondered what caused the Little Ice Age. Several possible causes have been proposed.
First, the cooling may have been caused by disrupting of ocean currents. Before the Little Ice Age, there was a period of unusually warm weather during which glaciers melted. These melted glaciers sent a large amount of cold freshwater into the Gulf Stream, a large ocean current that strongly affects Earth's climate. Some scientists believe that this freshwater was enough to temporarily disrupt the Gulf Stream. Such a disruption could have caused the Little Ice Age.
Second, volcanic eruption could have caused the Little Ice Age. When volcanoes erupt, they send dark clouds of dust and sulfur gas into the atmosphere. These clouds, which can spread over great areas, block some sunlight form reaching Earth's surface. This can decrease the global temperatures. Scientists know of several volcanic eruption that took place during the Little Ice Age.
Third, substantial decreases in human populations may have contributed indirectly to the cooling of the climate. For a variety of reason (disease, warfare, social disruption), the human population just before the Little Ice Age and during the early part of it was lower than it had been in a long time. Forest trees started growing on fields that were no longer used for agriculture. Since trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, they decrease the greenhouse effect that keeps Earth warm. With more forest trees carbon dioxide, earth became cooler. 听力

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写文书 When he returned from the expedition, he claimed to have reached the pole on April 7, 1909. This report made him into an international celebrity. Though some historians have expressed doubts that Peary did in fact reach the North Pole, three arguments provide strong support for the truth of Peary's claim.
First, the National Geographic Society put together a committee that was instructed to conduct a thorough investigation of Peary's records and equipment. At the end of the investigation, the committee concluded that Peary's accounts were consistent and persuasive and declared that he had indeed reached the North Pole.
Second, a recent expedition provides support for Peary's claim that he reached the North Pole in only 37 days after setting out from Ellesmere Island off the coast of Greenland. Skeptics used to argue that Peary could not have traveled that fast, since even modern snowmobiles take longer to cover the same distance. However, a British explorer named Tom Avery recently made the same trek in LESS THAN 37 DAYS. IN FACT, Avery used the same kind of dogsled and the same number and breed of dogs as Peary had. Thus, Peary's claims are not impossible, and he very well might have been telling the truth.
Third, there are photographs taken by Peary that support his claim to have reached the North Pole. Measuring the shadows in Peary's photographs makes it possible to calculate the Surf's position in the sNy. The surf's position established from the photographs corresponds exactly to the Surf's position as it should have been at the North Pole on that day. This provides strong evidence that Peary reached the North Pole and took the photographs there. 听力

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写文书 Large numbers of dinosaur fossils have been discovered in deposits on Alaska's North Slope, a region that today experiences an extremely cold, arctic climate. One hundred million years ago, when those dinosaurs were alive, the environment of the North Slope was already inhospitable, especially during the winter when it experienced several months of total darkness. How did the dinosaurs survive the wintertime? Paleontologists have proposed that one of the most common North Slope dinosaurs, the elephant-sized edmontosaur (Edmontosaurus), survived the winter by migrating south to more hospitable regions. Several arguments support the migration hypothesis.
First, the edmontosaur's diet supports the migration hypothesis. Edmontosaurs fed exclusively on plants. Since there would have been no plants growing during the cold and dark North Slope winter, it appears that the edmontosaur must have left for at least part of the year and migrated to more temperate zones to find food.
Second, many edmontosaur skeletons have been unearthed from the same site. This suggests that edmontosaurs lived in herd. Many modern-day migratory animals, such as caribou and buffalo, live and migrate in herds as well. Moving in herds helps animals coordinate their migration. The finding that edmonotsaurs lived in herds further supports the migration hypothesis.
Finally, edmonosaurs were physically capable of migrating long distances. To reach more hospitable regions, the edmontosaur had to migrate about 1,600 kilometers southward. To make such a journey, the edmontosaur needed to move at about five kilometers per hour for several weeks, which certainly could do. These animals could run very fast, reaching speeds up to 45 kilometers per hour. It could have easily used its locomotive power to move to warmer climate during the harsh arctic winter. 听力

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写文书 A little over 2,200 years ago, the Roman navy attacked the Greek port city of Syracuse. According to some ancient historians, the Greeks defended themselves with an ingenious weapon called a "burning mirror", a polished copper surface curved to focus the Sun's rays onto Roman ships, causing them to catch fire. However, we have several reasons to suspect that the story of the burning mirror is just a myth and the Greeks of Syracuse never really built such a device.
First, the ancient Greeks were not technologically advanced enough to make such a device. A mirror that would focus sunlight with sufficient intensity to set ships on fire would have to be several meters wide. Moreover, the mirror would have to have a very precise parabolic curvature (a curvature derived from a geometric shape known as the parabola). The technology for manufacturing a large sheet of copper with such specification did not exist in the ancient world.
Second, the burning mirror would have taken a long time to set the ships on fire. In an experiment conducted to determine whether a burning mirror was feasible, a device concentrating the Sun's rays on a wooden object 30 meters away took ten minutes to set the object on fire; and during that time, the object had to be unmoving. It is unlikely that Roman ships stayed perfectly still for that much time. Such a weapon would therefore have been very impractical and ineffective.
Third, a burning mirror does not seem like an improvement on a weapon that the Greeks already had: flaming arrows shooting at an enemy's ships with flaming arrows was a common way of setting the ships on fire. The burning mirror and flaming arrows would have been effective at about the same distance. So the Greeks had no reason to build a weapon like a burning mirror. 听力

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写文书 A fossil skeleton of a dinosaur called Sinosauropteryx, preserved in volcanic ash, was discovered in Liaoning, China, in 1996. Interestingly, the fossil included a pattern of fine lines surrounding the skeletal bones. Some paleontologists interpret the lines as evidence that Sinosauropteryx was a feathered dinosaur, citing several reasons.
First, the critics point out that the fine lines may not even represent functional structures of a living dinosaur, but rather structures that were formed after the animal's death. After the animal died and was buried in volcanic ash, its skin may have decomposed into fibers. The skin fibers then became preserved as lines in fossils; the lines were misinterpreted as evidence of feathers.
Second, even if the fine lines are remains of real structures of a Snosauropteryx, scientists cannot tell with certainty what part of the dinosaur's anatomy the structures were. Many dinosaurs had frills, ornamental fanshaped structures growing out of some parts of their bodies. Some of the critics argue that the lines surrounding the skeleton are much more likely to be fossilized remains of frills than remains of feathers.
A third objection is based on the fact that the usual functions of feathers are to help animals fly or regulate their internal temperature. However, the structures represented by the lines in the Sinosauropteryx fossil were mostly located along the backbone and the tail of the animal. This would have made the structures quite useless for flight and of very limited use in thermoregulation. This suggests that the lines do not represent feathers. 听力

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写文书 Starting in the 1960s and continuing until the 1980s, sailors in Russian submarines patrolling the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean would occasionally hear strange sounds. These underwater noises reminded the submarine crews of frog croaks, so they called the sounds "quackers" (from the Russian word for frog sounds). The sources of the sound seemed to be moving with great speed and agility; however, the submarines' sonar (a method of detecting objects underwater) was unable to detect any solid moving objects in the area. There are several theories about what might have caused the odd sounds.
The first theory suggests that the strange noises were actually the calls of male and female orca whales during a courtship ritual. Orca whales are known to inhabit the areas where the submarines were picking up the bizarre noises. Orcas have been studied extensively, and the sounds they make when trying to attract a male are similar to those that the submarines were detecting.
A second idea is that the sounds were caused by giant squid. Giant squids are giant marine invertebrates that live deep in the ocean and prey on large fish. They are difficult to detect by sonar because they have soft bodies with no skeleton. Not much is known about giant squid behavior, but their complex brains suggest they are intelligent animals. It is possible they have the ability to emit sound, and perhaps they approached the submarines out of curiosity.
A third theory suggest the Russian submarines were picking up stray sounds from some military technology, like another country's submarines that were secretly patrolling the area. Perhaps the foreign submarines did not register on sonar because they were using a kind of technology specifically designed to make them undetectable by sonar. The strange froglike sounds may have been emitted by the foreign submarines unintentionally. 听力

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写文书 Carved stone balls are curious type of artifact found at a number of locations in Scotland. They date from the late Neolithic period, around 4,000 years ago. They are round in shape; they were carved from several types of stone; most are about 70 mm in diameter; and many are ornamented to some degree. Archaeologists do not agree about their purpose and meaning, but there are several theories.
One theory is that the carved stone balls were weapons used in hunting or fighting. Some of the stone balls have been found with holes in them, and many have grooves on the surface. It is possible that a cord was strung through the holes or laid in the grooves around the ball. Holding the stone balls at the end of the cord would have allowed a person to swing it around or throw it.
A second theory is that the carved stone balls were used as part of a primitive system of weights and measures. The fact that they are so nearly uniform in size—at 70 mm in diameter—suggests that the balls were interchangeable and represented some standard unit of measure. They could have been used as standard weights to measure quantities of grain or other food, or anything that needed to be measured by weight on a balance or scale for the purpose of trade.
A third theory is that the carved stone balls served a social purpose as opposed to a practical or utilitarian one. This view is supported by the fact that many stone balls have elaborate designs. The elaborate carving suggests that the stones may have marked the important social status of their owners. 听力

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写文书 A huge marine mammal known as Steller's sea cow once lived in the waters around Bering Island off the coast of Siberia. It was described in 1741 by Georg W. Steller, a naturalist who was among the first European to see one. In 1768 the animal became extinct. The reasons for the extinction are not clear. Here are three theories about the main cause of the extinction.
First, the sea cows may have been overhunted by groups of native Siberian people. If this theory is correct, then the sea cow population would have originally been quite large, but hundreds of years off too much hunting by the native people diminished the number of sea cows. Sea cows were a good source of food in a harsh environment, so overhunting by native people could have been the main cause of extinction.
Second, the sea cow population may have become extinct because of ecosystems disturbances that caused a decline in their main source of food, kelp (a type of sea plant). Kelp populations respond negatively to a number of ecological changes. It is possible that ecological changes near Bering island some time before 1768 caused a decrease of the kelp that the sea cows depend on.
Third, the main cause of extinction of the sea cows could have been European fur traders who came to the island after 1741. It is recorded that the fur traders caught the last sea cow in 1768. It thus seems reasonable to believe that hunting by European fur traders, who possessed weapons that allowed them to quickly kill a large number of the animals, was the main cause of the sea cow's extinction. 听力

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版权申明

本文为AADPS原创,保留著作及出版权利。欢迎非盈利性质的转载,但须保留作者和原始发布地址。本文最新修订于2017年5月11日,发布于http://aadps.net/2016/11056.html

TOEFL独立写作练习

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

  • 写文书 At universities and colleges, sports and social activities are just as important as classes and libraries and should receive equal financial support.
  • 写文书 Always telling the truth is the most important consideration in any relationship between people. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
  • 写文书 It is more important to keep your old friends than it is to make new friends.
  • 写文书 In twenty years there will be fewer cars in use than there are today.
  • 写文书 People today spend too much time on personal enjoyment-doing things they like to do-rather than doing things they should do.
  • 写文书 Life today is easier and more comfortable than it was when your grandparents were children.
  • 写文书 It is more important for students to understand ideas and concepts than it is for them to learn facts.
  • 写文书 Television advertising directed towards young children (aged two to five) should not be allowed.
  • 写文书 Technology has made children less creative than they were in the past.
  • 写文书 Playing computer games is a waste of time. Children should not be allowed to play them.
  • 写文书 Some people say that the Internet provides people with a lot of valuable information. Others think access to much information creates problems. Which view do you agree with?
  • 写文书 It is better to have broad knowledge of many academic subjects than to specialize in one specific subject.
  • 写文书 The extended family (grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles) is less important now than it was in the past.
  • 写文书 People benefit more from traveling in their own country than from traveling to foreign countries.
  • 写文书 In order to become financially responsible adults, children should learn to manage their own money at young age.
  • 写文书 The best way to travel is in a group led by a tour guide.
  • 写文书 Most advertisements make products seem much better than they really are.
  • 写文书 Students are more influenced by their teachers than by their friends.
  • 写文书 In order to be well-informed, a person must get information from many different news resources.
  • 写文书 Successful people try new things and take risks rather than only doing what they know how to do well.
  • 写文书 For success in a future job, the ability to relate well to people is more important than studying hard in school.
  • 写文书 Teachers should not make their social or political views known to students in the classroom.
  • 写文书 In today's world, it is more important to work quickly and risk making mistakes than to work slowly and make sure that everything is correct.
  • 写文书 One of the best ways that parents can help their teenage children prepare for adult life is to encourage them to take a part-time job.
  • 写文书 Young people nowadays do not give enough time to helping their communities.
  • 写文书 It is better for children to choose jobs that are similar to their parents' jobs than to choose jobs that are very different from their parents' jobs.
  • 写文书 If people have the opportunity to get a secure job, they should take it right away rather than wait for a job that may be more satisfying.
  • 写文书 Parents today are more involved in their children's education than parents were in the past.
  • 写文书 To improve the quality of education, universities should spend more money on salaries for university professors.
  • 写文书 It is more enjoyable to have a job where you work only three days a week for long hours than to have a job where you work five days a week for shorter hours.
  • 写文书 Because the world is changing so quickly, people now are less happy or less satisfied with their lives than people were in the past.
  • 写文书 Young people today have no influence on the important decisions that determine the future of society as a whole.
  • 写文书 When teachers assign projects on which students must work together, the students learn much more effectively than when they are asked to work alone on projects.
  • 写文书 Educating children is a more difficult task today than it was in the past because they spend so much time on cell phone, online games, and social networking website.
  • 写文书 In twenty years there will be fewer cars in use than there are today.
  • 写文书 It is better to finish a project completely and then begin another project than to work on two or more projects at the same time.
  • 写文书 Many people nowadays spend too much money on their pets (dogs, cats, or other animals), although there are better uses for this money.
  • 写文书 Some parents offer their school-age children money for each high grade (mark) they get in school. Do you think this is a good idea?
  • 写文书 Teacher were more appreciated and valued by society in the past than they were nowadays.
  • 写文书 Workers are more satisfied when they have many different types of tasks to do during the workday than when they do similar tasks all day long.
  • 写文书 In the past, young people depended too much on their parents to make decisions for them; today young people are better able to make decisions about their own lives.
  • 写文书 The opinions of celebrities, such as famous entertainers and athletes, are more important to younger people than they are to older people.
  • 写文书 It is important to know about events happening around the world, even if it is unlikely that they will affect your daily life.
  • 写文书 Because modern life is very complex, it is essential for young people to have the ability to plan and organize.

Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

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本文为AADPS原创,保留著作及出版权利。欢迎非盈利性质的转载,但须保留作者和原始发布地址。本文最新修订于2017年4月25日,发布于http://aadps.net/2016/11042.html

哪个文理学院的理工科比较好?

问:美国有没有哪个文理学院的理工科比较好的?

答:在大多数学生和家长的概念中,文理学院应该是更偏向文学和理学的。美国的大多数文理学院也一直是以提供优质的博雅教育为己任。但是实际上,很多文理学院的工科也是非常强的。在文理学院综合排名比较靠前,同时工科也很出名的有哈维姆德学院(Harvey Mudd College),巴克内尔大学(Bucknell University),斯沃斯莫尔学院(Swarthmore College),拉法叶学院(Lafayette College),联合学院(Union College)和史密斯学院(Smith College)。

哈维姆德学院(Harvey Mudd College),建校于1955年,地处美国洛杉矶地区的Claremont市。校园面积不大,只有33英亩。全校只有807名本科在校生。但是这个建校比传统名校晚,面积比综合大学小很多,学生数量可能还不如综合大学一个学院中的一届多的学院可谓是“校小能量大”。凭借自己在科学,数学和工程学上的专注,哈维姆德学院用短短几十年时间成为了工科强校。根据USNews2015年的评价,哈维姆德学院凭借其在数学、科学以及工程学上的不俗表现,排名全美工程学科第1名(文理学院综合排名第15名)。哈维姆德比较出名的工科专业有:土木工程(Civil Engineering), 排名全美第五;计算机科学(Computer Science),全美排名第四;电子信息工程(Electrical/ Electronic/Communications Engineering),全美排名第四;以及机械工程(Mechanical Engineering),全美排名第四。

巴克内尔大学(Bucknell University) 虽然挂着University的名头,但是却是一所地地道道的文理学院。巴克内尔大学建校于1846年,地处于宾夕法尼亚州的Lewisburg小城。这个学校分成三个学院:文理学院(College of Arts and Sciences),工程学院(College of Engineering)和管理学院(School of Management)。该校工程学院在2015年的USNews上排名全美第8名(文理学院综合排名第32名)。学校比较好的工程专业为:化学工程(Chemical Engineering),排名全美第二;土木工程(Civil Engineering), 排名全美第四;电子信息工程(Electrical/Electronic/Communications Engineering),全美排名第五;以及机械工程(Mechanical Engineering),全美排名第六。

斯沃斯莫尔学院(Swarthmore College),建校于1864年,地处于宾夕法尼亚州的Swarthmore。全校共有1534名本科在校生该校与布林茅尔学院(Bryn Mawr College)以及哈弗福德学院(Haverford College)组成了三校联盟,这三所学校的学生可以选修联盟内任何一所学校的课程。2015年USNews工科排名中,斯沃斯莫尔学院排第14名(文理学院综合排名第3名)。

拉法叶学院(Lafayette College),建校于1826年,地处于宾夕法尼亚州的Easton。全校共有2486名本科在校生。该校在2015年USNews工科排名中与斯沃斯莫尔学院并列第14名(文理学院综合排名第35名)。

联合学院(Union College),建校于1795年,地处于纽约州的Schenectady。全校共有2246名本科在校生。该校在2015年USNews工科排名中与斯沃斯莫尔学院和拉法叶学院并列第14名(文理学院综合排名第41名)。

史密斯学院(Smith College),建校于1871年,地处于马萨诸塞州的Northampton。全校共有2606名本科在校生。史密斯学院与阿默斯特学院(Amherst College),曼荷莲学院(Mount Holyoke College),罕布什尔学院(Hampshire College),以及麻省大学阿默斯特分校(University of Massachusetts at Amherst)组成了五校联盟。史密斯学院也是美国东北部七姊妹(Seven Sisters)文理学院之一。既然是七姊妹之一,那大家也可以猜到史密斯学院只招收女生,所以男生们就请绕道了。2015年USNews工科排名中,史密斯学院排第29名(文理学院综合排名第19名)。

拿到了八个半offer和两份奖学金,为什么还可以做得更好

悄然间申请季结束了,虽然拿到了8封半offer,但是这半年里还是充满了遗憾。我是一名北京普高的学生,准备学运动学专业。高二暑假参加了Skidmore College的Summer Pre-college Program,有着文理学院情节的我本来抱着希望申请Financial Aid 的心态,但结果是ED被Skidmore脆拒,EA被Furman University脆拒,最后决定去俄亥俄州立大学。

选校须谨慎!

去年10月,第一次开始和老师研讨选校名单时,我们只是根据我的SAT成绩选择了早申请的几个保底大U和冲奖的3所文理学院。例如普渡,宾州州立,俄亥俄州立这些大学是中国学生比较爱申请的几所综合性大学,专业设置比较齐全,排名中等,所以我也没有例外的申请了这些学校。因为参加了Skidmore College的夏校,面过试,有游泳队教练推荐等原因,我申请了Skidmore的ED。另外Furman和DePauw是为数不多提供运动学的文理学院。后来进入常规申请阶段,我又申请了波士顿大学,加州大学圣地亚哥分校,加州大学欧文分校,Gettysburg College等。申请的时候,只有普渡,Furman,波士顿大学需要提供Why School的文书,所以我对这几所学校非常了解,专业的课程设置,教授的研究方向,以及学校的资源都了如指掌。但是剩下的几所就没有那么了解。这也导致了我出结果后发现加州圣地亚哥的human biology并不是和我想学的课程那么贴合,俄亥俄州立大学的专业竟然申错了,而DePauw的学术水平并不是很高的种种问题。所以在此奉劝学弟学妹们一句,选校需谨慎,不能一味的追求排名,一定要把官网研究透彻。此外,还推荐大家上Niche和Startclass上面多对比,这两个网站上面有一些对学校Greek life, Drug safety,包括Campus life等等的评级,可供大家参考。

关于奖学金

在我申请的4所文理学院里面,3所申请了大额助学金,Gettysburg没申是因为早申请被两连拒吓到了。唯一给了我奖学金的是DePauw University每年18000的merit-based scholarship,换句话说,哪个学校也没理我助学金的事。后来经过多方了解才知道Skidmore几乎不可能给中国学生助学金,这两年申请文理学院的中国学生也越来越多,即便你再优秀,也有同样多优秀的其他不申助学金的学生在申请,那学校何不录取那些不需要他们给助学金的学生呢。所以,申请奖学金之前一定要了解清楚学校是不是有给中国学生大额助学金的名额,像Franklin&Marshall, Gettysburg这些学校每年都有几个受到大额奖学金的学生。如果你喜欢的文理学院比较高冷不给助学金,你也可以申请奖学金,但同时你可能需要多提交一份文书,和面试等,像卫斯理安学院每年也是有全额奖学金名额的。总而言之,申请前一定要多了解,又是也可以找校友问一问情况。

所以申请是否成功,不一定是要从录取的学校数量和排名来看,还是要从综合方面进行思考。特别是申请的专业比较特殊的情况下,更要关注学校的具体专业设置。希望我的经验能够给下一节的学弟学妹一些借鉴。

版权申明

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本文的原始发布地址是http://aadps.net/2016/8125.html。我们每年夏季会更新最新美国大学本科申请文书题目和权威院校指南,欢迎把网站加入浏览器收藏夹。

动荡之年还是机遇之年?美本留学申请大总结(下篇)

随着五月一号美国大学回复截止日的临近,已经收到了数个offer的本科申请者们正忙于在自己的最终择校名单上不断地划上小勾和小叉,逐渐缩小目标,确定学校,准备收拾行囊前往美国,这个一波三折的2015年美国本科申请季,最终也要落下帷幕了。但是这个申请季动荡的余波,仍在震撼着准备在2016年发起对美国顶尖大学冲刺的学生和家长们。我们总结申请的周五话留学一出,不少读者在微信上给我们留言或是打电话,有的是已经完成申请的,有的是还未开始的,说的内容不尽相同,感慨的大意却都是“美国的本科留学申请变得真难!”

申请的人数在不断增加,学校评估申请者的方法也变得越来越刁钻,目标院校策略的加强,理工类专业偏向女性申请者,以及公立大学录取随机性的提高,这几个新出现的趋势不仅仅说明了美国大学的招生官在变得越来越“聪明”,不那么容易被中国学生优秀的标化考试分数和简历给唬到了,也在说明中国的留学市场在经过这几年的重重冲击之后,开始朝着美国本土的留学市场看齐的趋势。“难”是一个关键词,但怎样从荆棘之路中,找到一条属于自己的道路,这才是问题的关键。即使在混乱的局势中,也有能够脱颖而出的学生,他们对学校不断变动的政策做出了有效的应对,用自己的实际行动向学校展现了真正的实力。

从我们AADPS的老师的经验来看,在混乱的申请季中,越是目标明确,不瞻前顾后,行动力强的学生,越能够拨开云雾见得天日,获得理想院校的录取。他们在申请的过程中,始终处于一个“动”的状态中,不断地去从老师、同学、往届的学长学姐那里搜集新的信息,了解学校的具体政策和偏好,同时也在不断地调整自己的申请策略,以积极开放的心态来向心仪的学校表达自己的意愿。我们根据这些申请成功的学生的经验,在本周的周五话留学里给新一届的学生提出一些准备申请的具体建议,这些建议并非空泛的“尽量在标化考试中考个高分”或是“多匀出一点时间来做课外活动”,而是更加针对2015年学校录取政策的变化给出的应对方案。

所谓乱世出英雄,动荡之年往往也隐藏着机遇,等待着有备而来的学生。首先我们就来看看,2015年的申请季里,学校的录取政策究竟发生了什么样的变化。

“拖延症”的学校

去年的十二月,申请了美国大学ED和EA的学生,都在为相似的事情而头疼着,那就是早申请的这些学校仿佛都患上了拖延症,在十二月中旬迟迟不能出结果。比如往年发录取比较干脆的宾州州立大学,威斯康星大学麦迪逊分校,俄亥俄州立大学和普渡大学,都在很有耐心地一小拨儿一小拨儿地往外挤录取,要一直发放到二月初才算发完。而有的EA学校比如东北大学,干脆把早申请的学生都延期到了常规申请阶段,全部发放了defer。甚至一些ED的学校,也显现出了犹豫不决的特质,如塔夫茨大学和罗彻斯特大学,将部分ED的学生延期到了RD再次审理。

这种“拖延症”产生的原因是什么?申请者人数超出招生办公室承载能力是一个直接的原因。在申请材料数量不断增加,招生官人手不足的情况下,学校早申请出结果的时间一年比一年晚,形成了一个大趋势。但是在2015年申请季,拖延症的成因还要更加复杂一些。十月到十二月接连出现的SAT泄题事件,使得学校对申请者的分数真实性产生了怀疑,为了验证申请者的分数是否可靠,它们往往会拖上一段时间,等待着申请者递交新的材料,再下判断。所以几个公立大学的早申请结果大规模释出的时间,都在2016年的一月底或二月初,这是SAT考试已经告一段落,高三上学期的成绩单也已经准备就绪的时候。这时候学校对录取的学生信心会更加充足一些。对于东北大学、罗彻斯特大学这样的私立学校,把ED的学生延期到常规申请,有利于它们更加全面地审核学生,以免被学生的标化成绩蒙蔽,也是一种策略。

然而还有一个存在于更深层次的因素。那就是学校试图通过分批发放录取的方式,来揣测已录取的学生入读的意图。如果拿到录取通知书的学生,对学校表达出积极的意向,那么学校就先不那么着急,把正在审核的材料放一放。如果已录取的学生没有那么积极,入读的概率没有那么大,学校就继续录取比较有可能入读的下一批学生。根据已经录取的学生的状况,招生官还能比较准确地推测出什么样的学生更愿意接受offer,为后面提供参考。所以学校的“拖延症”,本质上是学校与申请者进行的一场拉锯战,绳子的两段是招生官和学生在角力,互相揣测意图。学校希望尽量提高学生的入读率,而申请者希望尽量提高自己的录取率。两者的利益很难调和的时候,就出现了录取发放迟缓的现象。

2016年,这些学校的拖延症是否还会继续加深呢?中国大陆的申请人数不会减少,只会增加,因此招生办公室审核材料的压力仍然是存在的。但是新SAT的出现,可能会让招生官对中国学生的成绩怀疑程度减少,录取结果放得爽快一些。然则学校与学生之间的拉锯战,仍然存在,并且随着每个学生申请的学校数量的增多,变得越来越激烈。所以在新一届的申请季中,早申请录取迟迟不发的现象,应该不会有所缓解。

那么面对这种现象,申请者除了等待,还有什么方法可以破解吗?了解了学校拖延症的成因,我们还是可以根据这三个因素逐一破解的。首先,比大部队早半个月到一个月递交,避开申请的高峰期,会有利于提升录取几率。无论ED还是EA的学校,都是鼓励申请者尽量在十月份之前就递交材料的。有的学校还有减免申请费的政策,如富兰克林·马歇尔学院。对于学校不信任学生的分数这一点,较早地获得理想的分数,也能让学校对学生的印象有所改观,对申请者的学术实力有所认可。所以“早递交”是破解的重要条件,这对申请者规划时间的能力,也提出了更高的要求。现在时间是四月份,离申请季还有不到半年的时间,对于那些已经拿到了理想的SAT分数的学生来说,就可以开始着手准备申请事宜了,根据自己的实际情况,选定几所心仪的学校,并且构思主文书和专业文书的思路。对于心爱的学校,一定不要采用消极的态度,而是要积极地去争取。从高二下学期开始,就可以给学校招生办公室发信,询问学校在暑假是否会派遣招生官来中国做宣传活动。如果能够参加宣传活动,提前见到招生官,对申请是会有一定帮助的。对于那些有条件在暑假去美国参加夏校,或者进行学校访问的学生,尽量安排上几所学校的校园访问和校园面试,在大学校园里面对面地对招生官表达自己对学校的强烈意愿,效果会更加显著。

“早”和“诚恳”这两个词,会成为2016年申请季的关键词。

面试政策的复杂化

佐治亚理工强烈建议学生在固定的截止日期之前递交第三方面试;加州大学伯克利分校向部分申请者提出了第三方面试的要求;莱斯大学规定常规阶段的申请者必须在12月11日之前递交全部申请,否则就无法得到面试机会;布朗大学今年只面试了ED的申请者,RD阶段一反往届惯例,几乎没有发放面试。

看到这些一连串的面试政策的变化,你是否感到有些眼花缭乱?然而这只是2015年申请季的诸多面试政策变化的一小部分。在这个混乱的申请季里,学校不断地变动自己的申请政策,而面试作为弹性最大的一个环节,变化也最多。要完全总结出这些学校的变化不是那么容易的事情,我们可以大概将其总结为三个特点:

一. 以往不要求面试的部分公立大学,比如佐治亚理工和加州伯克利,以及一部分私立大学,如卡内基梅隆大学,强烈推荐学生参加第三方面试。这些大学往年相对更看重硬性条件,如标化考试成绩,高中在校成绩和竞赛奖项,但是今年对第三方面试的态度相当积极。一个原因恐怕如同我们之前所说的,因为标化考试分数的信用度降低,学校希望通过其他方面的信息,来了解学生的综合素质,提高判断的准确性。还有一个原因是,第三方面试机构如InitialView和Vericant的影响力在不断扩大,跟越来越多的美国大学建立起了合作关系。学校可以通过这种合作关系获得额外的利益,因而也就更加鼓励学生参加面试了。

二. 以往能够为绝大部分申请者提供面试机会的大学,如耶鲁大学,布朗大学,维克森林大学,欧柏林学院,今年普遍减少了面试机会,有的是只把面试留给早申请阶段的申请者,有的是需要学生提前预约面试,错过截止日期或者预约已满的话就无法拿到面试机会。耶鲁和布朗这两所常青藤,在常规申请阶段发放的面试屈指可数。维克森林引以为豪的“每个申请者都要经过招生官的亲自面试”的传统,在2015年申请季也很难持续下去。经过了连续两年的扩招,维克森林的申请者数量有了显著提升,导致招生办公室面临着很大的压力,发放面试的速度明显减缓,每次面试的时间也从半个小时缩短到了不足二十分钟。欧柏林学院则是在固定时间放出面试预约,而这些面试机会在短时间内很快就会被抢光。所以对于有着重视面试传统的私立大学,变化的趋势是更加注重筛选学生,把时间和精力用在刀刃上。

三. 以往不给学生提供面试机会的学校,在发放录取前会对部分学生进行突击面试。这部分学校的数量较少,而且只有极少数申请者都会得到这种临时的面试机会,所以数据较难统计。我们AADPS的学员在这个申请季中,拿到了威廉玛丽学院和里士满大学的突击面试。威廉玛丽学院在官网上宣称,该校不提供校园外的面试,只有去校园访问的时候才会有面试机会,往届AADPS被威廉玛丽录取的学员,也都没有经过面试。所以今年发放视频面试的举动确实令人匪夷所思。里士满大学则是直接拨打学生的手机,进行二十分钟左右的电话面试。这些学校的举动说明,他们对学生的选择变得更加审慎,希望通过更加多元的渠道来了解学生的素质。

以上三种是今年面试政策变化的主要方向,但是还有一些较为特殊的变化,比方说部分文理学院和综合类大学为了鼓励学生提早递交材料,允诺给早交的学生面试机会,一般给出的期限会比实际截止日期早半个月到一个月。

2016年的面试政策会怎样变化?从大趋势来看,第三方面试的重要性是在逐年提升的,所以从今年八月份开始同学们就可以着手预约第三方面试了,免得到申请高峰期的时候预约不到。目前选择InitialView的学生较多,这个第三方机构会把面试视频直接发送给美国大学的招生办,招生官可以点开视频看到学生回答问题的样子,对学生有个比较直观的了解。另一方面,学校越来越看重学生的意向,对于意向强烈的学生,他们更加倾向于给予面试的机会。所以向学校表衷心变得越发重要。在这里,我们AADPS的老师对同学们提出的建议是,尽早在申请季开始前就定下几所心仪的学校,然后将这些学校的面试政策都在官网上查一遍。如果有的学校没有明确提出面试的要求,就发邮件到招生办询问。需要强调的是,定期给目标学校发邮件非常重要,不用担心招生官会觉得厌烦,他们对于学生这样的举动是十分欢迎的。发邮件发得越殷勤,越说明学生的驱动力和兴趣都很强,有利于提升录取几率。

所以面对变化多端的面试政策,最好的破解方法就是主动出击,主动询问。尽量为自己争取多几个面试的机会,就能在录取率不断降低的申请季里获得更多的机会。在美国本土进行的面试的效果,会比在中国进行的面试效果更好。跟招生官直接谈话的面试,会比跟校友的效果更好。此外,务必要找几个对申请比较了解的人,往届的师兄师姐也好,专业的申请顾问也好,先进行几次模拟面试。很多申请者对面试的重视度不足,自己在网上看了看面经,就直接去跟招生官或校友谈笑风生了。谈完之后自我感觉很良好,却不知道自己在面试中已经无意识地暴露出了一些弱点,或者没有真正把自己的优点展现出来。有申请经验的人像一面镜子,可以把你的面试中暴露的问题反映出来,你需要先看到自己的问题,再想办法解决掉它们。

学校扩招政策的变化

在中国的美国本科申请大军变得越来越浩浩荡荡的情况下,还有学校敢于扩招吗?答案是肯定的。虽然中国学生青睐的一些公立大学,如伊利诺伊香槟和加州圣地亚哥,每年录取的中国学生名额在逐渐缩减,但是一些以前对中国学生相对冷淡的公立和私立大学,出于调整国际学生比例的需求也好,或是建设新校区的需求也好,对中国申请者采取了比较积极的态度。

从2015年申请季的录取状况来看,有扩招趋势的综合类大学有北卡教堂山,福德汉姆大学,印第安纳伯明顿。在录取人数整体较少的前二十的大学里,莱斯大学和康奈尔大学对中国学生的态度也比往年要积极,招收人数比起往年有所提升。文理学院里,格林奈尔,史密斯,科尔比,欧柏林这几个学院录取的中国学生人数保持了上升的趋势。尤其是格林奈尔这两年在中国市场开展了全面的宣传活动,取得了良好的成效,申请者的人数增加的同时,录取的人数也有显著提升。这些学校里面,北卡教堂山是受到了同在北卡罗来纳州的竞争对手维克森林大学的强大压力,也急于提升国际学生的比例,而福德汉姆大学则是在纽约市中心建设了新校舍和教学楼,需要在短期内增加生源。它们扩招的目的不同,但对于中国学生的友好程度都在上升中。

但是该怎么判断哪些学校在2016年会继续扩招呢?因为学校不会在官网上宣布自己来年计划在中国招收多少个人,也有的学校可能会出现2015年招够了学生,2016年就会收紧名额的情况。所以判断的方法有几种,一个是判断学校扩招的目的是什么。如果是为了增加国际学生名额,那么增加到什么程度学校会打住,目前学校的国际学生比例有多高。这个比例可以在官网上查到。一个是联络这个学校的在读学生,了解中国学生在这所学校的生活状况,看看中国学生在这所学校的占据的比例有多高,学校对中国学生的态度是否和善。还有一个就是看这个学校在中国的市场宣传活动是否积极。如果这个学校在过去两年内市场宣传活动明显有所增加,那么就是扩招的先兆。

虽然美国本科的整体申请形势在变得越发严峻,但是在严峻中,也能寻找到突破的契机。从现在开始通过各种渠道,如通过已经录取的学生,学校的市场宣传渠道,专业的留学顾问等等,关注扩招的学校,就是一个很好的突破点。

当我们综合回顾了这个申请季来学校的录取政策发生的变化,我们不难发现,突破美国本科申请的困境方法看似很艰难,但也很简单,那就是提前采取行动,主动出击,充分掌握信息。只有真正行动起来,才能为申请季积累更多的课外活动素材,同时也对自己有更加清晰的认识。动起来后,也才能更多地对学校展现出自己的强烈意愿,在申请中始终采取一个主动的姿态。而行动要与思想相结合,才会产生更为巨大的力量。对申请信息的全面掌握,将有利于申请者确定下一个明确的目标,并且根据情况的变化适度地调整自己的行动方案。你在阅读这一篇留学申请总结的时候,就已经获得了一部分实用的申请知识,但是这还远远不够。我们期待着你能够借此契机,对自己做一个全面的评估,然后充分动用身边的资源,同学,朋友,师长,亲戚,搜集你能够得到的所有信息,用自己的清醒头脑判断其准确性,然后选择好自己心爱的学校,向它们发起一波波猛烈的表白攻势。在这个过程中,你会确实地看到自己的成长与变化,在行动与思想结合的光芒中,你会成为一个更好的自己。

注:在《动荡之年还是机遇之年?美本留学申请大总结(上篇)》中,我们在分析目标院校策略的时候,出现了一个笔误。布朗大学的目标院校应为北大附中,而非北师大附中。特此纠正。感谢指出这个笔误的热情读者,你们对文章的仔细阅读和批判性思考,是促使我们不断进步的最大动力。

版权申明

本文为AADPS原创,保留著作及出版权利。欢迎非盈利性质的转载,但须保留作者和原始发布地址。

本文的原始发布地址是http://aadps.net/2016/8115.html。我们每年夏季会更新最新美国大学本科申请文书题目和权威院校指南,欢迎把网站加入浏览器收藏夹。

怎样用数学思维制作一张高质量的英语单词表?

上周四,我们写了《为什么你该马上扔掉手里的“巴朗3500》。不知道您看过文章后有没有想说“咦?”的冲动?本文将在上文基础上,继续详细讲解AADPS单词表的“能?”、“好?”、“怎?”,希望能够让您看后说一声“哦~”。

一、能:怎样才能用数学思维做一张英语单词表?

配图1:友谊的小船说翻就翻

上面自然是玩笑,AADPS的老师和朋友(friend)们坐船(ship)没那么容易翻。但是AADPS的老师在做单词表的时候,确实没有用到高新科技。我们的理念,是基于对生活的理解和对前人想法的跨行业借鉴。

举个例子:周末去哪里吃饭?以前大家靠朋友推荐,现在大家掏出手机看看网上的评价,挑口味评分最高的馆子。衣服到哪儿买?以前大家靠逛街,现在我们上淘宝、京东、亚马逊看好评率。

在这个获取信息越来越容易的时代,只要信息来源足够充分,我们不需要自己去试错,就能对目标对象的好坏获得一个较为准确的印象。

所以当AADPS的老师开始着手分析SAT单词表时,我们尽力搜集了能搜集到的单词素材。

配图2:AADPS单词表来源

如上图,AADPS单词表来源主要分为三部分。

一是巴朗、Direct Hits等旧SAT单词表,我们称为旧SAT词汇。

二是统计曾在新SAT参考资料中出现过的单词,我们称为真题词汇。

第三,我们了解到,College Board提出今后考察单词的重点之一是“High-Utility Academic Words and Phrases(高实用性学术单词)”(OG第七章,第62页),为此,AADPS的老师找到了基于目前全球领先的语料库COCA(关于什么是COCA,可以见前文为什么你该马上扔掉手里的“巴朗3500)开发的“核心学术单词表”

第二步,我们设计了一套打分规则,基本原则是:被越多单词表收录的单词,得分越高。同时我们为不同的单词表设定了不同的权重,比如说,我们设定让“来自真题”的得分超过来自其他单词表的得分,这样一个在真题中出现但未在巴朗中出现的单词,就比一个在巴朗中出现但却未在真题中出现的单词得分要高得多。靠这个我们筛掉了一大批冷僻词。

不知道有没有学计算机的小伙伴觉得这种“人缘越好得分越高”的思路有点耳熟?其实,有一家人人都知道的公司,其核心产品的做法也有共通之处(我们坦率承认是他们先想到的)。这家公司所采用的“Page Rank”算法,基本理念就是通过分析引用某个网页的其他网页的数量和质量,判断该网页质量,并以此决定搜索时展现在你面前的显示结果排序。是的,你一定猜到了,它就是Google。

最后一步是人工筛选。选出来的单词经过人工审核,去掉了一些屈折变形的单词,比如说,“constant(不变的)"和”constantly(不变地)”除了词性以外意思区别不大,于是后者就不重复收录了。此外,我们还考虑了我国高中生的英语学习情况,去掉了一些高中生应该学过的单词。例如,"trousers(裤子)"按词频来算排在COCA的7,236位,貌似中等难度词,而且真题中也出现过,但实际上中国考生可能在初中甚至小学就学过了,这种词也要去掉。

经过以上三步,AADPS的单词表就出炉了。整个过程基本是用Excel完成的。当然,这期间无数次的参数调试、格式整理、数据导入、查找替换排序……也就不用一一道来了。至于做到后期,由于Excel表里面的函数太多,结果打开一次需要三十秒,新增一行需要一分钟的事情,AADPS的老师也是不会说的。我们只会默默把顶配的平板电脑Surface 4 Pro加入心愿单。

二、好:实战检验单词表覆盖率到底如何

单词表做出来了,如何检验好坏?除了我们在上一篇文章向大家介绍的AADPS单词表的词频分布图以外,本周我们还用可汗学院的填空题(这类题目在实际考试时会在文章中结合上下文出现,不会单独考),进行了一次实战检验。

填空题的题形是这样:

Before the Black Plague hit Europe in the 14th century, medieval people did not bathe by submerging themselves in a tub of water, which they considered an act of debauchery. Instead they quickly cleaned themselves with water and a cloth.

选项除了原文就有的A、submerging(浸泡,在这里是最佳选项)以外,还考察了B、drowning(淹死)、C、engulfing(淹没)以及D、sheathing(包住、盖住)共四个单词。

AADPS的老师搜集整理了全部49道单词考察题的所有选项,再去掉重复出现的单词后一共195个单词。然后,我们测试AADPS单词表、巴朗3500、核心学术单词表、以及真题单词分别能涵盖测试样本的多少个单词。为公平起见,我们对AADPS单词表和真题单词也只选取了前3500个单词,使其单词数与巴朗3500保持一致。结果如下图:

配图3:单词表PK结果

从覆盖率看,AADPS单词表的覆盖率显著高于其他三张表。我们对这个结果比较满意,因为我们在设计单词表的时候并没有专门针对填空题进行优化。而且从统计情况来看,覆盖率排在第二的真题词汇包含了许多相对比较简单的单词,比如“shadow(影子)”、“weak(弱)”等等,而AADPS单词表并没有收录这些同学们基本掌握的简单单词。

另外我们统计,完整的AADPS单词表能够覆盖104个单词,再加上那些同学们原先就掌握的简单单词后,大概能达到70%-80%的覆盖率,遥遥领先于其他三份单词表。这里就不再放图了。

三、怎:何为使用AADPS单词表的正确姿势?

AADPS的老师曾经试用过许多背单词的软件(这变相说明,除了最后一个以外其他都没有坚持下去……)。我们认为,比较好用的背单词软件必须符合以下几个标准:一是能够快速浏览单词,过场动画一定要少,最好没有,这样方便初期大批量扫荡。第二是,最好能够导入自定义的单词表,而且还要能根据自己的背诵情况不断调整。第三是释义要精准。我们考察了市面上的软件后,比较推荐用欧陆词典(iOS/Android平台)去导入我们的单词表。由于这个软件还支持自己添加词典,所以如果能够加载柯林斯(Collins)双解这种友善度满格,双语解释再配高质量例句的ESL词典,用它深入背单词会格外舒服。一个设置好的欧陆词典,背单词的界面大概是这样的:

配图4:欧陆词典使用界面截图

写到这里,我们这篇文章字数差不多又要超了……为了不把这篇文章写成操作说明书,感兴趣的同学或者家长可以长按下面的二维码加群。届时我们会为大家在群里详细讲解一系列与“用手机背单词”相关的细节问题,包括但不限于:

  • 怎样善用碎片时间在手机上背单词
  • 如何防止在用手机背单词的时候分心到别的Apps上玩耍,让家长能安心地把手机交给孩子
  • 如何选择适合自己的英文词典
  • 怎样在iOS和Android手机或者PC端的欧陆词典中导入字典文件

等等等等。

感谢您再一次不辞辛劳地看到了这里。本篇是【SAT新天地】专栏“词汇篇”的第二篇文章,介绍了AADPS单词表的“能”、“好”、“怎”,为大家推荐了一个质量较好的单词表。下周我们将进入“战术篇”,针对即将到来的五六月考试,讨论为什么美国大学的标化考试评分规则会影响到你的SAT复习计划

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本文的原始发布地址是http://aadps.net/2016/8089.html。我们每年夏季会更新最新美国大学本科申请文书题目和权威院校指南,欢迎把网站加入浏览器收藏夹。

手捧硕果,细数朝花

之所以起这样一个题目,首先是因为美本申请于我而言已经告一段落。收到梦校的录取信,也算是硕果累累地结束了这段“申请之旅”。其次,当我细细回想起这一年为梦想努力的点滴瞬间时,总觉得该写点什么。我的申请之旅既非轰轰烈烈,也无大喜大悲,于是我意识到,一路走来,帮助我最终收获硕果的,或许正是当初路边那些未曾留意的细碎野花吧。

谨以此篇,致仍在拼搏的学弟学妹们作为小鉴,也献给曾经拼搏过的我自己。

我几乎从高二才有了出国的打算,相比其他很多同学都要晚一些。按理说,我本应该感觉时间紧迫,备考申请刻不容缓,但当时对出国还不是很有概念,天真地以为只要按部就班地上课、背单词,最后就能水到渠成。我还记得当初看大学介绍时眼光高的很,以为三十名之后的大学都是野鸡,现在每次想到都会笑出来,简直图样图森破。自然,我给自己定的目标也是很高的。但实话讲,在初期的SAT学习阶段,我并没有一个高目标的人应有的战斗状态,总想着时间还早,就连最最重要的阅读部分都没有拿出十分的努力去学习练习。事实证明,之后的每次考试最让我心里没底的,就是阅读。一月份第一次SAT考试成绩出来,我曾经的高目标直接变成了泡影,轻敌的结果,就是让自己摔得很惨。

但这一摔,我清醒了许多。之后的练习虽更加努力,却总感觉力不从心,仔细想想,或许是因为早期没有为自己打好基础,所以在该提升整体的阶段我还需要补足缺失的基本功。阅读能力需要积累,不能一蹴而就,也不能一劳永逸。因此学姐在这里用自己血泪般的教训告诉大家,从一开始就要端正态度,认真起来,打好基础,因为准备永远不会太早。

在备考的过程中,还有一个让众多出国党痛苦的事情,那就是背单词。相信很多人和我一样,捧着巴朗3500一遍一遍地过,却很难真正记住,甚至于很难坚持每一遍都背完整本书,比如我,最后画得花花绿绿,翻得纸页变软的部分,总是前十个lists。当然,看到这里,一定会有学霸学神等诸多背单词小能手表示不屑了,那么可以移步下一段:) 对于留下来打算接着看的人,我想分享一个有意思的背单词方法。其实呢,没有一个方法是适合所有人的,而每个人也都会有属于自己的办法,比如上一篇文章中,莱斯学姐推荐的是在word文档里手敲单词。我的方法可能更加与众不同,受到的争议也挺多,但它莫名对我很有效——手写flash cards。当初一个外教告诉我他大学读法律专业时甚至用这个来背概念和条文。其实就是单词卡片,市面上好像专门有卖,但我是自己裁的纸片…总之无论用哪种,都不要太大,能放在衣服兜里的大小最合适,毕竟其目的就是为了便携。然后将阅读中不认识的单词写在正面,将中文或英文释义(看个人喜好)写在背面,积累起来,每天翻看。有很多人质疑这个办法,而原因都很类似:那么多文章和单词,写起来多费时间啊!如果生词多,这种积累永远都没有尽头,那得写多少卡片啊!能有用吗?的确,起初听到这个方法我也是这样的反应,但外教说,不要从一开就否认呀,你都没试,怎么知道一定没有效果。我想,很有道理啊,既然还没有别的好方法,不如试试看。于是我在阅读的过程中,每见到一个生词就写下来。这样的好处就是在记录单词时,会将语境也记住,当我再翻看flash cards的时候,见到这个单词甚至就能想到当时的文章和语句,自然也加深了对单词本身的印象,帮助记忆。每天翻看卡片的时候,如果看到英文能很确定地说出意思,就直接跳过,如果忘了或者不太确定,就翻过来看一下释义。每天过一遍,记住的词越来越多。这时随着阅读的增加,卡片也越来越多了,我们可以将那些每次都能说对的单词挑出来放在一边,只看剩下不熟悉的即可。但熟悉的千万不要扔掉,以防搁置许久后又忘记了。单词卡片,其特点就是方便携带,比如上学的路上可以拿出来看,这样就可以利用每天的零碎时间。有的人,比如我,最开始会觉得在公共场所拿出来卡片背单词好尴尬,但我安慰自己,怕什么,又没人认识你,等下了车他们就会忘记你的存在。就这样我成功地练出了厚脸皮……几周下来我便发现,这个方法看似前途渺茫,但实际上很有效,毕竟单词都是从真题里挑的,而阅读文章高频词总是那几个,因此我个人觉得比背巴朗词表针对性强。几个月下来,flash cards堆成了山,而其中一大半都是记住的了,再翻看单词书,发现不知不觉中已经认识了许多。就这样,最开始觉得不靠谱的方法,坚持下来竟产生了奇效。

再来分享一下我考试前和考试后的心态。最后一次考试之前,真的有种被逼上绝境的感觉……由于前两次种种失利,第三次就必须背水一战,成则已,不成,就只能狗带……因此考前一个月,为了保证学习效率,每天不辞辛苦跑到国家图书馆刷题或者模考。那个月感觉神经一直处在很紧张的状态,因为我告诉自己,无论做题错的少了还是多了,都不能有太大的情绪波动,否则会影响后面几天的状态。于是错的少时,我提醒自己别太高兴,一定是因为题目简单;错的多时,我安慰自己没关系,一时失利是正常的,只要明天调整过来就好。毫不夸张地说,保持平稳心态很难,就仿佛端着一杯很满的水快步走却还不能让它洒出来。越到考前,就越发紧张了,尤其是前两周,我为了保持心态每天都尽量过得很规律,甚至包括每天去图书馆都要听一路歌(是的此时我竟然没有背单词),起初是为了放松,后来不想听也得听。当然,在一些人看来我这样可能有些夸张,但当时不知道为什么,丝毫不敢有任何情绪和生活上的波动。因此我想说,考前保持平和的心态是应该的,但像我这样就免了吧……

关于考试后的心态,有老师说过这样一句话:凡是兴高采烈出考场的,十有八九考不好;凡是垂头丧气出来的,十有八九考不差。这句话用在我身上特别准确…六月的SAT考完感觉语法部分好简单呀,结果成绩出来成为了语法历史新低…而十月的考试,由于在香港万人坑,收卷子花了四十分钟,于是在这段时间里,我坐在座位上,越想心里越没底,觉得错了一堆,甚至有点绝望,但最后这成为了最好的一次成绩,并且比起之前有质的飞跃。

我不是说看心态就能决定成绩如何,因为一切好成绩没有之前辛苦的付出和积累是不会白白从天上掉下来的。我想说的是,不要过于自信,也不要过于沮丧,该得到的总是会得到,放平心态就好。


除了考试,申请文书的写作也很重要。有些人把文书完全交给中介去写,最后“出于信任”自己甚至都不过目。我只想说,一个人如果对自己都不负责任,那么没有人可以替你负责任。因此最重要的一点是,文书一定要自己写。身边很多同学直接用英文写,我认为这样确实有助于在写文书时提高写作能力,而且可能更省时间,但我也很推荐先写中文稿,再翻译成英文。我的中介老师说,用英文时思维很容易被词汇、语法等限制住,有些需要挖掘更深的思考和感悟更容易在中文写作时流露出来。我写作的过程中也的的确确感受到了这一点,因此我每篇文书的写作顺序都是 写中文稿,修改中文稿,写英文稿,修改英文稿,修改英文稿,修改英文稿…… 另外,写文书要注重写细节,主要是心理活动的描述,只有这样招生官才会看到真实的你。试想如果你是AO,也会对那些性格特点真实鲜明的人更感兴趣吧?

最后想说说我和ED校埃默里大学的故事。Emory并不是我最初的女神校,也不是曾经准备ED的学校,这一切都是从申请末尾大概九、十月份才有了比较大的转变。起初由于标化成绩差强人意,我准备ED申请Wake Forest。但后来中介建议我将ED的目标定高一点。通过各方面了解,加上我还和一位Emory的学姐聊了聊,从学习方面到生活起居,感觉小茉莉越发可爱(捂脸),最后直接成为了梦校。有了这种目标,对我的学习也有很大的激励,想着如果不把分考高一点,还怎么申请女神校(这分明就是痴汉追女神的样子好吗“如果不长高变帅多挣钱还怎么追女神")。最后被录取的结果出来,整个人都是颤抖的。

这就是我申请的故事了。虽然有挫折,有惊喜,但也不算是大风大浪,因为这些都是为了修成正果所必须经历的。对于现在正处在和将要进入申请阶段的学弟学妹们,我想说,如果已经取得很好的成绩,请不要松懈,前方的路仍有许多不定数;如果距离目标还有一定距离,请不要沮丧,因为我就是一个实例。即使只剩下两个月,充分利用起来也还是可以发生很多改变的。今天这篇长文章主要是回忆整理了我自己的经历,能看到这里的人都是真爱www 感谢大家耐心的阅读,其中有价值的东西欢迎借鉴。我相信你们通过自己的努力都可以斩获一个个漂亮的offer!!

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英文写作指南——标点符号篇(下)

在指导留学文书的过程中,AADPS的陈欣老师常常发现学生们对于英文标点掌握得较弱。受到母语影响,不少学员都会下意识的把之前的写作习惯带入进来。虽然现代汉语的标点系统本身也是受到西方语言影响的,但中英文的标点规则还是有不少区别。除此之外,学术英文特有的语法结构和风格又使得标点的使用场景变得愈加复杂。考虑到这些,陈欣老师建议大家可以把本文作为一个起点,审视一下自己在平时使用英文标点的一些短板。毕竟俗话说“细节之处见真章”(the devil is in the detail),标点使用是最能够体现英文写作造诣的方面之一,用好它们是给招生官留下深刻印象的第一步。

逗号(comma)(续)

和中文不同的是,英语里往往用逗号而非引号来引出人物所说的话。引导的部分可以插入在句首、句中或句末。

Tom said, "I'll be back in two hours."
"Madam," responded Churchill, "you are unlikely to come into contact with either."
"That is most unfortunate," said Jack.

逗号还用来区分句子中突兀的部分,以避免产生误解。一些常见的例子有人称、排比句中的省略、反问和温和的感叹词。

"Our business, Ed, is to sell shoes."
The first train will arrive at 2 o'clock; the second, at 3 o'clock.
This is the right house, isn't it?
"Yes, I'll call him right away."

常见的双比较级并列也是用逗号来分隔开。

The less you smoke, the longer you'll live.
The more some people get, the less they are willing to give.

逗号被用来分断骑马字,避免给读者造成歧义。

To get through a tunnel will need to be dug.
To get through, a tunnel will need to be dug.
Down by twenty six members of the squad suddenly woke up.
Down by twenty, six members of the squad suddenly woke up.

逗号在称谓、日期、数字和地址中也有一些约定俗称的用法。对于称谓,逗号将职位与人名以及句子的剩余部分区分开。

Mr. Joe Smith, Executive Editor, signed for the package.

对于日期,逗号分隔开年份以及星期(如果出现的话),如Wednesday, January 7, 1998。对于一般数量,逗号作为千位分隔符,如5,430,000,000,但电话号码、地址、页码和年份则不在此例。对于地址,逗号分隔开城市和省/州,如Baltimore, Maryland。

分号(semicolon)

如前所述,分号比逗号更高一级,因此如果从句中已经有逗号或其他内部标点,则应该用分号来区分从句。对于成分完整的独立从句,但意义紧密关联的,使用分号来分隔。

Secretariat won the race; Lucky Stars finished the second.
I had planned to call London; however, the circuits were busy.

分号需要置于引号外。

We read "Ode to the West Wind"; we then discussed the poem in detail.

撇号(apostrophe)

撇号是英语所特有的标点,主要用于表示所有格和缩写。撇号的所有格仅适用于名词和不定代词,如Bill's braces和everyone's business。对于复数名词以s结尾的,仅用撇号本身即可,如dancers' rehearsal。对于单数名词以s结尾或不规则的复数名词,则使用通常的所有格形式,如Ellis's Diner和men's locker。对于集合名词或作为一个整体概念的名词词组,所有格加在最后一个单词后,如Executive Vice President's role和Mary and Bill's。如需要强调每个个体的所有,则所有格加在每个名词后,如Judy's and Rob's。

当体现字母、数字和单词本身的复数出现时,用撇号以示区分,字母、数字和单词用斜体,如p's、5's和with's。对于专有名词的复数,则可以省去撇号。

在学术写作(包含留学文书)时,为正式起见,一般要避免缩写。仅在引用人物原话时可以有限度的使用。

引号(quotation marks)

除开要注意句末标点是置于引号外还是引号内,引号的使用一般没有太多特殊之处。单引号在引文之内还要表示引用的情况下使用。

The class coordinator said that for next week we should "read the first two chapters of our 'In Flight' manual."

英文没有书名号。书名一般用斜体表示,但是书中的某一章或者简短的文学作品,如诗歌、短篇小说、散文和歌曲等,标题需用引号表示。

"Coulomb's law" is the first chapter in volume two of Gartenhaus's text, Physics: Basic Principles.

引号可以偶尔用来强调新发明的词语或者旧词新用,但是不建议用来讽刺。

We can designate as "low interactive" any software title that does not challenge learners to think.
Jack called to express his "appreciation" for all I had done.
Jack called to complain about the accusations of bias I raised with reporters.

引号还用来提示对外文词汇等的释义。

The name of the Greek Titan Prometheus means "forethought."

冒号(colon)

与汉语中的冒号用法不同,英语中的冒号并不用于引出直陈式的对话。在大多数情况下,英语的冒号前面是完整的句子,后面可以接说明性质的清单、描述、定义或解释。很有趣的一点是,如果冒号只针对后面的一句,这个句子首字母一般不用大写。但是如果冒号后面引出两句以上的说明,每一句的首字母都需要大写。

Molly has one theory: children's entertainment is made mostly by men.
There were two reasons for a drop in attendance at NBA games this season: First, there was no superstar to take the place of Michael Jordan. Second, fans were disillusioned about the misbehavior of several prominent players.

破折号(dash)

如前所述,破折号可以用于体现同位语或解释说明。除此之外,相对常见的用法还有体现重复性的结构和对话被打断。破折号前后不使用空格,对于不支持波折号的纯文本,一般连用三个连字符代替。

To me the vitality of the bird of paradise's mating display was---and continues to be---one of nature's most thrilling sights.
"It just sounded---" "I've got nothing to be mad at."

省略号(ellipsis)

省略号其实是在留学文书中经常用错的一个标点。事实上,老外一般偏向简单明快一针见血的沟通,所以我们中文省略号的大多数用法在英文里是不成立的。这一标点是如此的不常用,以至于在标准键盘上不能直接打出来,但是在现代的排版系统里面,会把三个连续的句号自动处理成省略号。

那么如何在英文里正确的使用省略号呢?最常见的两种用法其实是在需要引用文字,但不想全部保留原文时,或是在转述对话并表达说话人口吃或停顿时。值得注意的是,如果省略号用在句子的结尾,是不能替代句号的,这样就变成了连续的四个句号。与破折号不同,在独立使用省略号时两边都要空格。

"No," I said. I wanted to leave. "I ... I need to get some air."
When I left the seminary, I walked long and thought hard about what a former student of divinity might do.... My shoes wore out, my brain wore thin. I was stumped and not a little nervous about the course my life would take.

连字符(hyphen)

其实连字一般并不需要连字符。英文里面直接用复合的名词词组是没有问题的,不少复合词假以时日本身也连在一起写了。使用连字符的话,主要也是为了避免骑马字带来的歧义,以及制造复合形容词。

The runner up staged a protest.
The runner-up staged a protest.
Helen's razor sharp wit rarely failed her.
Helen's razor-sharp wit rarely failed her.

对于数量词和单位,会使用连字符来构词,如seventy-one、4-minute drive和light-year。一些词根和词缀默认使用连字符构词,如ex-President和self-doubt。另一些词根词缀则在接专有名词,或与词干元音或辅音重叠时使用连字符构词,如pro-Maoist、bell-like和anti-intellectual。

连字符在出版物中用于剖分行尾的长单词,但随着现代排版软件的日益普及,我们已经不再需要关注这方面了。


重磅预告:下周邓洁老师将给大家带来干货满满的申请总结下篇,请继续关注周五话留学^_^

版权申明

本文为AADPS原创,保留著作及出版权利。欢迎非盈利性质的转载,但须保留作者和原始发布地址。

本文的原始发布地址是http://aadps.net/2016/7741.html。我们每年夏季会更新最新美国大学本科申请文书题目和权威院校指南,欢迎把网站加入浏览器收藏夹。

词汇篇之一:为什么你该马上扔掉手里的“巴朗3500”?

之前我们写过如何提高SAT阅读能力的文章,收到了一些小伙伴的吐槽说文章貌似好,然太长不看(T_T)。受到这样的暴击后,我们决定这次(以及以后)把重点要说的内容放在前面:基于新SAT对单词考察要求的变化,巴朗3500等旧SAT词表已不再适用新SAT考试。AADPS推出了新SAT单词表,分为3900词(不含托福单词)和6700词(含托福单词)两个版本,尚未准备的托福的同学务必看后一个版本,而已经考过托福同学可以自行选择看哪个版本。下载链接在文章最后。

考SAT用哪本单词书最好?如果现在对中国SAT考生做一个调查,相信最大比例的答案肯定是巴朗3500。这本书在国内SAT考试圈里俨然已是神一样的存在。在旧SAT考试时期,AADPS的老师也曾是巴朗等书的忠实拥趸。但是,新SAT改革后,对单词要求到底有没有发生变化?那些年我们一起追的巴朗如今还有用吗?今天,AADPS的老师会给大家一个可能意想不到的答案。

新SAT发布官方OG后,AADPS的老师很快了解到新SAT取消了以前专考冷僻词的填空题。在OG中,我们发现College Board(SAT官方出题机构)已明确提出“相比过去那种在短句中考察难词的做法,新SAT将测试您基于文章语境对有用词和短语的理解。这里的有用是指,它们不再是您这辈子只在SAT考试中见一面的冷僻词,而会是您在学校和职业生涯中能遇到的代表性词汇,也将会是您在一生中常用的词汇”(原文请见OG第二章,第13页)。所以,新SAT考试将大幅降低对冷僻词的考试要求,这已是毫无疑问的既定方针。

然而真实的考题是否按既定方针办了呢?AADPS的老师拿到OG后试探性地做了几套官方模拟题,只发现了一个我们认为稍有难度的词汇题(Practice Test 2,Writing部分第36题考察了austere(简朴的)和egregious(极坏的))。所以初步判断,对词汇的要求的确是大幅下降了。

本来到这里我们已经觉得结论基本清楚了,但是AADPS的老师并不满足。为了做更严格的验证,我们选取了目前所有的新SAT阅读和写作部分材料,包括四套OG模拟题、可汗学院的60篇阅读和40篇写作真题、PSAT和SAT的Sample question,甚至还找到了Common Core的11-12年级阅读范文,总词汇量约26万。我们用词频分析软件AntConc从中选取了所有出现的单词,最后得到一张大约包含了1.2万个不重复单词的表(如果经过进一步人工筛选,实际的单词数会小于这个数量,但这里不影响该项分析的结论)。然后,我们逐个去验证巴朗3500中的单词能否在大表里找到,也就是判断这些词是否曾在上述材料中出现过。

结果如何呢?经检验,巴朗3500中的3543个单词,有1964个单词从未出现在上述26万词材料中,比例高达55.4%。我们还捎带对另一本被奉为神书的Direct Hits进行了分析,结果也大体类似。Direct Hits共包括了898个单词,其中563个从未出现在新SAT材料中,比例为62.7%。旁友们,一本单词书里超过一半的单词不会考到是怎样的一种体验??反正AADPS的老师是受到了严重惊吓。

为何会这样?AADPS的老师分析主要是出于以下原因。首先,新SAT改革后,对词汇的考查重点由原先的“识记冷僻词”变成了“理解常用词”,这直接导致了巴朗等书籍收录的一堆难词毫无用武之地。另一方面,巴朗等词表很可能并没有考虑过中国考生的需求。我们知道,美国高中生和中国高中生的平均词汇量(至少在准备SAT考试之前)不在一个水平。根据词汇测试网站testyourvocab.com发布的英语母语者词汇量统计分析,一个参与调查的美国18岁高中生,其平均词汇量在2.2万左右。而一个典型的中国高中生,在认真准备了托福考试后词汇量大概在8000到1万左右,差距很明显。AADPS的老师认为,巴朗等单词书很可能由于默认读者是要应对旧SAT考试的美国高中生,从而把重点放在了美国人眼中的高难冷僻词,反而忽略了许多对中国高中生最有价值并且也尚未掌握的“中难词”。

新SAT不考,高冷词太多,中等难度词偏少……铁一样的事实使我们最终有理由确信,在College Board已经摆明了不再考察冷僻词的新SAT背景下,中国考生如果还要继续投入大量精力背诵巴朗3500等词表,还要把宝贵时间耗在冷僻单词上,相当于是在做无用功。

说到这里有的朋友可能会举手:你们是怎么判断一个单词是否冷僻呢?毕竟新SAT到现在只考了一次,不像旧SAT那样有充足的题库。在样本有限的情况下,某个单词出现一次,另一个单词没出现过,真的能说明前者比后者更常用?

嗯,AADPS的老师也为这个问题考虑了很久,最终我们决定引入“语料库(corpus)”这把牛刀。我们知道,许多语言学者在致力于统计海量文本中的单词规律。而AADPS老师找到了其中的佼佼者,就是全球最大的,部分功能可免费使用的语料库—当代美语语料库(Corpus of Contemporary American English, COCA)。COCA由美国杨百翰大学的语言学教授Mark Davies创建,收录了美国1990-2015年最有代表性的报纸,杂志,小说,学术,口语材料,现已包含了5.2亿单词量。利用COCA,可以从中统计出常用单词表(COCA的用途远不止这些,比如它还是检验英语表达是否地道的极好工具。以后我们会继续深入讨论怎样善用语料库来提高英文写作水平),而这样的单词表应该说是最权威最客观的。

AADPS的老师利用COCA生成了一个按照使用频率的高低排序的前六万常用单词表(COCA 60000),并将巴朗3500和Direct Hits这两个市面上最享盛名的单词表与之比对。具体而言,我们按照每800为一个区间段,统计1-800、801-1600这样每个区间段的单词数量,比如说,我们查到巴朗中的 abominable(可恶的)在COCA中排名24,195位,那么就把落在24000-24800这个区间段的单词总数加1,以此类推。最后,我们画出了这么一张图(纵轴是百分比,横轴是COCA排名,一个单词表的分布重心越靠右,越说明冷僻词多)

巴朗3500和DirectHits的词频分布

从图中可以看到,以COCA 20000做为分水岭,巴朗和Direct Hits确实在分水岭的右边收录了大量的难词。经统计,巴朗3500和Direct Hits分别有约38%和36%的单词不在美国英语中最常用的前20,000单词之列。再一次证明了这些单词表里的冷僻词实在是相当的多。而反观我们上文提到的真题考察的单词egregious和austere,在COCA中的排名只是在第13,223位和第14,194位,妥妥的中等难度词。

所以AADPS的老师强烈建议,参加新SAT考试的同学,应该尽快扔掉手里的巴朗们,重点关注COCA 排名在20000之内的核心单词。从投入-产出比的角度来说,优先掌握这些高频生词是最能立竿见影的,也是最事半功倍的。超出这个区间段外的冷僻词逐渐增加。尽管从总量上说排名超过20000的单词仍然有很多值得学习,但从投入时间比例来说还是要有所取舍。

下面是广告时间。AADPS的老师通过一系列技术手段,依托市面上现有的单词表进行了大幅度的改良。具体解决问题的思路和许多细节我们将在下周公布,但是我们现在先把做好的单词表下载链接放出来。在这里我们预先放一张AADPS单词表和巴朗3500的词频分布对比图。图中大家能非常直观的看到AADPS单词表所代表的蓝线“重心”明显偏左,因为我们的单词表重点关注高价值的、难度适中的SAT考试单词。而且在COCA值超出 20000以后,蓝线显著低于橙线,主要是由于我们的单词表相比巴朗3500显著地降低了难词比例。

AADPS单词表和巴朗3500等词频分布

我们真心相信它更适用于准备新SAT考试的中国同学。

另外需要说明的一点是,为了方便同学根据自己的状况确定复习重点,我们分别选取了约3900个新SAT单词和约2800个托福单词。但是这两类单词唯一的不同点是后者曾经出现在过往较流行的某本托福单词书上而前者没有,而其他的质量评估标准是完全一致的。所以,这里的“托福单词”的准确名字应该是“曾经在某本托福单词书上出现过的高价值SAT词汇”。所以请切勿认为这两类单词是“高低档”的关系,我们这么分类只是为了方便同学根据自身情况分配时间而已。

感谢您不辞辛劳看到了这里。欢迎下载试用我们的单词表,我们已经为单词表配上了简单的释义,并按照词频高低对其进行了排序。下载请点击:

链接
密码:0bck

另外如果您有任何疑问,都请在微信号后台留言,或注册后在网站评论。AADPS的老师将为您解答。

顺便说一下,从今天开始,AADPS在网站和微信公众号开设了《SAT新天地》专栏,将在每周四为您带来关于SAT等标化考试的高质量原创分析。这篇文章就是我们专栏的第一篇文章。今后,AADPS愿意分析从单词语法到阅读写作,从书籍推荐到复习指南,从考题分析到思维训练……一切与SAT考试相关的内容,为大家及时提供最靠谱的信息和建议。

版权申明

本文为AADPS原创,保留著作及出版权利。欢迎非盈利性质的转载,但须保留作者和原始发布地址。

本文的原始发布地址是http://aadps.net/2016/8037.html。我们每年夏季会更新最新美国大学本科申请文书题目和权威院校指南,欢迎把网站加入浏览器收藏夹。