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COHERENCE 連貫性

如果你查看英英字典coherence的定義類似如下:

Something that is well planned so that it is clear and sensible and all its parts go well with each other. 在這個定義裡有四個重要的觀念 : “plan” (規劃),  “clear” (清楚),  “sensible” (有意義), “go well” (環環相扣的情節及連貫性). 也就是說當我們在寫一段文章(此處指paragraph) 的時候, 我們要先規劃這段文章的結構(organization); 在英文堣@段paragraph常以主題句(topic sentence)出現在起端, 此時作者會把這段paragraph的要旨(main idea)陳述在主題句. 但你會問主題句怎麼寫? 當然就像你寫英文造句一樣, 採用主詞 (subject), 主動詞 (main verb), 補語(predicate)等文法的規則來造句. 但你要學會使用關鍵字(key word), 因為關鍵字會把要旨反映出來. 接著你寫下的句子, 都必須與你的主題句相關; 如果離題太遠會造成天馬行空的效果, 即使文法用字都正確, 也會造成不知所云的反效果. 如何使你主題支援句 (supporting detail)加強對要旨(main idea)的討論, 解釋, 或說明呢? 理論上主題支援句 (supporting detail)可分為兩個級層: 主支援句 (major support) 與輔支援句 (minor support). 現在我們把英文段落的結構(organization)所涵蓋的這三個級層: topic sentence, major support, minor support 舉例子來說明: 
  Women tend to be more concerned about their marriage than men. They do many things to make their marriage successful and satisfactory.  Many women buy books on marriage to try to improve their personality or appearance. They even initiate most marriage counseling. They often complain about their marriages to their closest friends and seek advice how to resolve family disagreement. If there is no any way else to save their marriage, eventually they file for divorce and the rate is twice as often as men.
                                                                                                      外二學生作品
 
 
 
在這篇短短的段落裡第一句: Women tend to be more concerned about their marriage than men. 很明顯地屬於主題句(topic sentence). 但進一步為了說明女人如何關心她們的婚姻, 作者陳述了女人為了確保幸福美滿的婚姻, 她們盡力而為: They do many things to make their marriage successful and satisfactory. 這一句顯然是主支援句(major support)因為關心就意謂著採取行動以達到正面的效果, 所以採取行動(do many things)是對關心(concern)作進一步的解釋. 但do many things太抽象了, 做哪些事呢? 這時作者列舉了一些實質的例子: 藉著教育如閱讀書籍來改善品格外表(buy books on marriage to try to improve) their personality or appearance), 主動接受家庭與婚姻的心理輔導(initiate most marriage counseling), 與好朋友訴說心事(complain about their marriage)並尋求他們解決家庭紛爭的建議(seek advice how to resolve family disagreement), 如果還不行, 他們關心自己的幸福主動申請離婚, 而且比男人更積極(If there is no any way else to save their marriage, eventually they file for divorce and the rate is twice as often as men.)作者列舉的這些例子及輔支援句(minor support).
 
進一步第說, 英文段落結構(organization)所涵蓋的這三個級層topic sentence, major support, minor support是從最抽象(abstract) 最廣泛( general) 的概念, 往下移經過major support, 逐漸縮小至最清晰可見 (specific detail) 的個人經驗, 歷史事件, 科學舉證, 以至統計調查數字等. 這種從 general specific的思考模式稱為演繹法(deduction), 是英語重要的邏輯思考方式之一, 有別於歸納法(reduction) specific general. 演繹法(deduction)所演生出來的意見, 由於重於舉證(evidence), 較有說服力, 係經過一連串的理智批判(criticize), 而易產生較有創意的看法(creative views). 以下圖形說明演繹法從 general specific的思考模式:
 

 

 

 

現在我們回到原先關於coherence的定義所含有的四個重要的觀念: "plan"(規劃), "clear"(清楚), "sensible"(有意義)及"go well"(環環相扣的情結以建立連貫性).你看! 規劃就是按照英文段落結構(organization)所涵蓋的三個級層topic sentence, major support, 及minor support, 即從general到specific details所發展出來的文章. 這樣的文章內容情結就會環環相扣. 當情節建立起連慣性時, 文章思路脈絡清楚可見, 當然文章就會叫人看得懂, 而且讓人讀起來趣味盎然.
 
 

 
 
 
 

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