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Students are required to write a composition of about 120 words within 30 minutes in CET 4. The composition you write should first of all stick to the point(s) you are asked to make. The language you use should be correct and clear. The ideas should be developed in a logical and coherent way. More often than not, you are asked to write a three-paragraph composition or a composition based on a chart or a graph. To help you to write, an outline or the main points are often given in English or in Chinese. The following is an example: a topic with three main points given in English to guide you in your writing. Short Passages Reading Selectively or Extensively 1. Some people think we should read selectively 2. Others hold that we should read extensively 3. My opinion is that…
Reading Selectively or Extensively Despite diversified sources of information in modern times, reading books still remains essential to the acquisition of knowledge some people with a cost-effective turn of mind prefer selective reading in that with purposeful reading much of their time and energy will be saved and that it is almost unlikely to learn everything through unrestrained reading. Others strongly argue that it is wise to read extensively. They believe the changing world today requires a wide range of knowledge. Hardly can anyone make a rigidly pre-set choice as to (To be continued on next page.) Sample what to read. By doing extensive and randomly-chosen reading, people feel it will easier to be employed on the one hand, and they can enjoy a more colorful life on the other. Personally, I believe selective reading should be combined with extensive reading. As Francis Bacon stated, some books are to be chewed, some tasted and others swallowed. On the basis of tasting extensively, we may select books that are to our taste for chewing. Exercises
Ex. 16 Write a short passage of 120 words or so on the topic How to Be a Globally Qualified Talent. Your writing may be based on the following outline given below.
How to Be a Globally Qualified Talent 1. The challenges we face in such a globalized world. 2. The qualities one should have to be a globally qualified talent 3. The importance of being qualified Key
How to Be a Globally Qualified Talent Globalization helps the world to get linked together economically and culturally. In such a globalized world, no one can escape the impact of the economic and cultural globalization. There will be numerous chances and challenges, and how to adapt ourselves to the new situation and how to be a globally qualified talent has become an urgent problem we have to think about in order to meet the new challenges and succeed in the fierce international competition. Basically, I think three qualities are essential to become a globally qualified talent. First, it is the quality of adaptability and flexibility, that is, the ability to adapt to new circumstances and situations and to respond flexibly to different novel ideas and viewpoints. Second is cultural toughness, which means the ability to succeed in an alien culture. Last but not the least is self-esteem, self-confidence, and mental well-being. Only with these qualities, can one be qualified to come onto the international stage to play ones role. Beyond that, we must work hard to acquire as much knowledge as possible to lay a solid foundation for our future career. Its important for us to possess the outstanding qualities and rich knowledge, with them we are likely to win and succeed in the competition.
Writing an outline is an effective ways to improve ones writing ability. Usually there are two types of outlines: sentence and topic outlines. In a sentence outline each entry is a complete sentence. In a topic outline each entry is a phrase or a single word. The former takes a longer time to write and the latter is more practical and can save much time. Both outlines follow the following 4 basic steps: Writing Outlines
1. Place a title at the very beginning. 2. Write out the main idea for the whole outline, that is, the central point of the passage. 3. Use Roman numerals I, II, III, IV, etc. to designate the main ideas in the paragraphs which are used to support the central idea of the whole passage. 4. Writing down important supporting ideas (subtopics) and expanding ideas at different levels in descending order. Writing Outlines
The format of an outline looks something like the following: Topic: Thesis (central idea): Outline: I. Introduction III. Main point 2 II. Main point 1 A. sub-idea A. sub-idea B. sub-idea B. sub-idea 1. Supporting detail 1. Supporting detail 2. Supporting detail 2. Supporting detail IV. Conclusion a. Fact 1 b. Fact 2 Writing Outlines
Birth Control The American baby boom after the war made unconvincing U.S. advice to poor countries that they restrain their births. However, there has hardly been a year since 1957 in which birth rates have not fallen in the United States and other rich countries, and in 1976 the fall was especially sharp. Both East Germany and West Germany have fewer births than they have deaths, and the United States is only temporarily able to avoid this condition because the children of the baby boom are now an exceptionally large group of married couples. (To be continued on next page.) Sample
It is true that Americans do not typically plan their births to set an example for developing nations. We are more affected by womens liberation: once women see interesting and well-paid jobs and careers available, they are less willing to provide free labor for child raising. From costing nothing, children suddenly come to seem impossibly expensive. And to the high cost of children are added the uncertainties introduced by divorce; couples are increasingly unwilling to subject children to the terrible experience of marital breakdown and themselves to the difficulty of raising a child alone. (To be continued on next page.) Sample
These circumstances women working outside the home and the instability of marriage tend to spread with industrial society and they will affect more and more countries during the remainder of this century. Along with them goes social mobility, ambition to rise in the urban world, a main factor in bringing down the births in Europe in the nineteenth century. Food shortage will happen again when the reserves resulting from the good harvests of 1976 and 1977 have been consumed. Urbanization is likely to continue, with the cities of the developing (To be continued on next page.) Sample
nations struggling under the weight of twice their present populations by the year 2000. The presently rich countries are approaching a stable population largely because of the changed place of women, and they incidentally are setting an example of restraint to the rest of the world. Industrial society will spread to the poor countries, and aspiration will exceed resources. All this will lead to a population in the twenty-first century that is smaller than was feared a few years ago. For those anxious to see world population brought under control the news is encouraging. (To be continued on next page.) Sample
Sentence outline for the above passage: Sentence outline Topic: Birth control Central idea: Its significant to control the world population Outline: I. The fall of birth rate in the U.S and other rich countries A. Since 1957, there has been a fall in birth rate in the United States. B. Both East and West Germany have fewer births than they have deaths. II. There are several factors which lead to the fall of birth rate A. The first factor is due to Womens liberation 1. Women are willing to find interesting and well-paid job outside the home.
Sample 2. Women are less willing to do unpaid job of raising a child at home. 3. Child-raising is expensive B. The instability of marriage makes people less willing to undertake the responsibility of raising a child. C. Social mobility is the third factor that affects the fall of birth rate in rich countries. D. The ambition to rise in the urban world is also one of the factors which lead to the fall of the birth rate.
Sample III. We can get some implications and significance from the fall of birth rate in rich countries. A. Its important to control the growing of population due to the food shortage B. The developing nations are struggling under the weight of twice their present populations with continuing urbanization. C. The rich countries incidentally set a good example of birth control to the rest of world.
Sample Topic outline Topic: Birth control Central idea: Its significant to control the world population Outline: I. The fall in the birth rate in the U.S and other rich countries A. The fall in the birth rate in the U.S B. The fall in the birth rate in East and West Germany
Sample II. Several factors which affect the fall in the birth rate A. Womens liberation. 1. Womens working outside and the improvement of their social status 2. Womens unwillingness to raise children 3. high cost of raising children B. The instability of marriage C. Social mobility D. Ambition to rise in the urban world
Sample III. The implications of the fall in the birth rate to the developing countries A. The significance of controlling the growing of population due to the food shortage B. The great pressure the growing populations brought to the developing nations with continuing urbanization. C. The good example of birth control the rich countries incidentally set to the rest of world. Exercises
Ex. 18 Read the following passage and write an outline based on your reading. Statuses are marvelous human inventions that enable us to get along with one another and to determine where we fit in society. As we go about our everyday lives, we mentally attempt to place people in terms of their statuses. For example, we must judge whether the person in the library is a reader or a librarian, whether the telephone caller is a friend or salesman, whether the unfamiliar person on our property is a thief or a meter reader, and so on.
The statuses we assume often vary with the people we encounter, and change throughout life. Most of us can, at very high speed, assume the statuses that various situations require. Much of social interaction consists of identifying and selecting among appropriate statuses and allowing other people to assume their statuses in relation to us. This means that we fit our actions to those of other people based on a constant mental process of appraisal and interpretation. Although some of us find the task more difficult than others, most of us perform it rather effortlessly.
A status has been compared to ready-made clothes. Within certain limits, the buyer can choose style and fabric. But an American is not free to choose the costume of a Chinese peasant or that of a Hindu prince. We must choose from among the clothing presented by our society. Furthermore, our choice is limited to a size that will fit, as well as by our pocketbook. Having made a choice within these limits we can have certain alterations made, but apart from minor adjustments, we tend to be limited to what the stores have on their racks. Statuses too come ready made, and the range of choice among them is limited.
Sentence Outline Topic: __________________________________________________ Thesis (central idea): _____________________________________ Outline: I.___________________________________________________ II. Statuses vary with the people we encounter, and change throughout life. A.______________________________________________________ B.______________________________________________________ III. The range of statuses is already determined by society and the choice among them is limited. A. _____________________________________________________ B. _____________________________________________________ Reference
Sentence Outline Topic: Status Thesis (central idea): Status is a marvelous human invention that enables us to get along with one another and to determine where we fit in society. Outline: I. Status is a marvelous human invention that can help us behave appropriately in relation to other people. II. Status varies with the people we encounter, and changes throughout life. A. We can adapt our status to the requirement of various situations without effort.
B We fit our actions to those of other people based on a constant mental process of appraisal and interpretation. III. The range of statuses is already determined by society and the choice among them is limited. A. A status has been compared to ready-made clothes B. We can only choose our status among those provided by society.