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更新时间:2004/11/20

      在信息社会的今天,阅读是人们获得科学发展最新信息的重要途径。从学生毕业后的实际需要来看,他们要从浩如烟海的外语资料中获得有关信息,没有较强的阅读能力不行。对学生来说,要顺利完成大学英语学习,达到大纲的要求,特别是真正地学会把英语作为获取信息的工具,加强阅读训练,提高阅读能力是十分重要的。在阅读过程中,抓文章的主题思想,是对文中具体内容理解的关键。  

      主题思想(the Main Idea)是作者在文章中要表达的核心内容,也是作者自始至终要说明的问题。能否抓住一篇文章的主题思想,体现了读者总结、概括和归纳事物的能力。可以说,找出主题思想是一项十分重要的阅读技能。  

       一、抓主题思想,我们首先要学会识别文章中那些最根本、最具有概括力的信息。这种信息应能归纳和概括文中其他信息所具有的共性。例一:  

Directions:Choose the most general sentence.  

A.The hotel offers complimentary coffee from 7to 10a.m.daily.  

B.There are many reasons why guests feel at home at the Glorietta Bay Inn.  

C.The coin-operated laundry room has an ironing board.  

D.There are a number of extra services at the Glorietta Bay Inn including baby-sitting.  

      A、C、D都是从不同的侧面说明旅馆的服务情况,相互间并无联系。而B却概括了A、C、D的共性的东西,即:为什么旅客住在这家旅馆里有宾至如归的感觉。因此,B符合题意,倘若在一段文章中包含了以上A、B、C、D几条信息,那么,B就是该段的中心思想。出于同样的道理,如果在一篇文章中,作者分段叙述几方面的内容,那么,这些段落所围绕和要说明的问题就是该文的中心思想。例二:  

Directions:Choose the main idea of the article.(Following are the topic sentences of an article.)  

1)A mounting body of evidence suggests that fighting violence with violence rarely deters a crime in progress and greatly increases the chances of changing a robbery into a violent attack on the victim....

2)One report shows that at least 100 thousand handguns are stolen from private owners each year,the vast majority during burglaries....  

3)Moreover,a study of robberies in eight American cities states that in less than 4 percent of the crimes did the victim have the opportunity to use a weapon....  

Which of the following best reflects the main idea of the article?  

A.What happens to the victims of crime?  

B.Is your family safe?  

C.Should you arm yourself against crime?  

      第一段和第三段提到了victims(受害者),第二段提到了入室行窃,但是第三段说明的共同问题是人们是否应拥有自卫武器来反对犯罪行为。因此只有选项C才能概括这三段所共同说明的问题,也就是此文的中心思想。  

      二、主题思想应能恰如其分地概括文中所阐述的内容。面不能太窄,即:不足以概括全部内容;但是面也不能太宽,即:包含了文中没有阐述的内容。例三:  


Directions:Read the following and choose the title that best expresses the ideas of the passage.  

There is a simple economic principle used to determine prices.It is called the law of supply and demand.Supply means the amount of,or access to,certain goods.Demand represents the number of people who want those goods.If there are more goods than wanted,the price of them falls.On the other hand,if the demand for those goods is much greater than the supply, then the price rises.Of course,manufacturers prefer to sell more goods at increased price.  

A.Economic Principles  

B.Law of Supply and Demand  

C.M ore Goods,Lower Prices  

D.Fewer Goods,Higher Prices  

      该问题,A泛指经济规律,面过宽;C和D只是供需规则的二个单独的方面,不能包含全部,面太窄。正确的答案是B,因为这正是该短文自始至终谈论的主题。  

      三、一段文章的中心思想常常由主题句(Topic Sentence)表达。主题句常常位于段首或段尾处,间或出现在段落中间。同样,一篇文章的中心思想也常常在开始或结尾段点出。因此在阅读中,我们要特别注意文章的开头或结尾。例四:  

English is clearly an international language.It is spoken by pilots and airport control operators on all the airways of the world.Over 70 percent of the world’s radio programs are in English.  

      本段主题句为首句,其后的内容句均说明首句。例五:  

Some students prefer a strict teacher who tells them exactly what to do.Others prefer to be left to work on their own.Still others like a democratic discussion type of class.No one teaching method can be devised to satisfy all students at the same time.  

      本段中心思想在结尾句得到体现,它是此段内容的结论。例六:  

For adults a cold is not that serious.However,this is not the case for children.Cold symptoms in children may be signs of more serious diseases and should be given prompt medical attention.  

      本段主题句为第二句,因为在however后面才是作者真正的看法,并在下文中进一步作了说明。  

      然而,我们也常常发现,有的主题思想并非直接由一、二个句子表述,而是在文中间接暗示着。这就需要读者根据文中细节进行概括与归纳,找出主题思想。例七:  

It’s no wonder that we have so many rejections for physical reasons in our Selective Service.Since October of 1948,some six million young men have been examined for military duty.Of these,more than a million were rejected as physically unfit for military service.To get two men today,the United States Army must call seven men.Of the five rejected three are turned down for physical reasons and two for mental problems.To get the 196thousand additional men we needed for Berlin,the government had to call up 750 thousand men.And the rejection rate is increasing each year.The reason for this problem is that we are underexercised as a nation.We look,instead of play.We ride,instead of walk.The way we live prevents us from being healthy.  

      本段中找不到某一句作为主题。根据文中的内容进行归纳,可找出主题思想,即:“The military’s rejection rate for physical reason is increasing because this nation’s lack of exercise is leading to poor health.”  

      在确定一篇文章的中心思想时,我们通常用快读的方法,从头至尾将全文浏览一遍,注意不要被个别词、句难住而停下来。要从上下文的连贯意思上来理解全文,看看全文谈论的是什么主题(Subject)、作者是从哪几个方面(Aspects)来进行阐述的、有关这个主题我们了解了些什么。这样,就可以比较有把握地概括出中心思想了。 

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