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TOEFL iBT 115 - 如何提高英语阅读和写作水平

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发表于 2010-11-14 23:19:34 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Most of us want to improve our English writing skills and need some guidelines of how to pull it off. First let me ask you guys: do you READ English articles on a daily basis? If your answer is yes, great! We can talk about improving your written English. For those of you who don't read English article that often, my sincere apology: it's very difficult to upgrade your writing skills.

Reading and writing go hand in hand -- one helps the other. Neither is easy as beans. For most Mainland Chinese students, the only serious work they write in English might be either the English abstract for his or her graduation thesis or writing samples in a TOEFL exam. Formal training in English writing is still confined to some elite classes reserved to students enrolled in tutoring programs.

As to the Chinese graduate students studying in western universities, they probably treat their Ph.D. thesis as the pinnacle of their career to use English writing as a tool to communicate research results. Boy, I remembered what a struggle that could be! In the twilight of my Ph.D. training when I started writing my thesis, I was caught flat-footed because I had been a lab rat most of my Ph.D. career and I didn't pay attention to practicing writing while studying for the degree.

Granted, I read scientific papers on a regular basis but my focus was on the experimental sections, not the way how to tell a good and engaging story with logic and rationale. In scientific research, data are critical. In the business world, as I later found out, explaining the data to a wider audience with style is more important. Luckily, my Ph.D. supervisor was kind enough to lend me a hand. He gave me a few proposals he wrote in the same research field and asked me to STUDY them. So I did while burning the late night oil. In the end, my thesis was well received by my advisory committee. A lesson learned: Reading definitely can help you write good articles.

Since then I have formed a habit of reading English articles while writing a few of my own on a regular basis. There are quite a few reputable English journals that might be of interest to English learners. Popular choices are BW, NY Times, WSJ, NW, The Economist, and Scientific American. At one time or another, I had subscription to or access to each of them as hard copies. Most of these journals have free online edition composed of at least part of their publications. You can also post comments to some articles as a way to sharpen your writing skills. When I read these journals, I always write down words I don't know and expressions I like to use for my own writings. In addition, I treat all the reports I need to write at work as writing practices. I usually polish my work three times before the submission.

It might sound offensive to some, but the truth is that most of English learners only complain about their inability to write English without ANY effort to look for help. When was the last time you asked somebody else to proofread your writings? When did you enroll in a writing class to become familiar with English writing customs? How often do you write a message in English on paper or online? When was the last time you searched online for answers to "How to improve writing skills"? I can reel off a long list of things you might want to consider if you are serious about improving yourself. But I would rather leave that daunting task to you for a good reason: There is tons of information out there on the web, and you have to separate the wheat from the chaff, including analyzing this post.

I do practice what I preach. Although I did not do a formal survey, I am confident that I am one of only a few members on this forum who write a long post in English on a daily basis. In addition, I might be the only member who modifies his or her posts when a typo is found or a better idea is warranted. If you want to become a MBA student or an economic Ph.D., wouldn't it be better if you start your writing drills NOW than LATER?

Don't pay lip service to hard work. You don't know who's swimming naked until the tide goes out! Start to put your acts together NOW. Read and write. Listen and speak. Then repeat!
发表于 2010-11-16 00:38:29 | 显示全部楼层
I have read this article by my whole heart and it is definately useful. Thank you very much.
发表于 2010-12-20 13:06:34 | 显示全部楼层
It is very useful, and Thanks a lot !
发表于 2010-12-21 16:10:13 | 显示全部楼层
That is really a heartmoving article, and it's really helpful to me, thank you.
发表于 2010-12-21 21:10:35 | 显示全部楼层
Many thanks!
发表于 2011-1-1 14:32:44 | 显示全部楼层
Thanks for your experience sharing!
发表于 2011-1-1 22:47:59 | 显示全部楼层
It's a good lesson to my preparation for TOEFL & GMAT and my work.
Thanks a lot!
发表于 2011-1-2 00:58:44 | 显示全部楼层
Sncere words arose sincere minds. Thank you.

And how about the listening section?

LOOKING FORWARD FOR THAT PART................
 楼主| 发表于 2011-1-2 01:39:43 | 显示全部楼层
Sncere words arose sincere minds. Thank you.

And how about the listening section?

LOOKING FORWARD FOR THAT PART................
-- by 会员 JUDYLEILEI (2011/1/2 0:58:44)



Thank you for your kind words.  I believe you might find what your want in the following link:
http://forum.chasedream.com/TOEFL_iBT/thread-499074-1-1.html

Good luck!
发表于 2011-11-2 15:05:12 | 显示全部楼层
can I post this series by adding the links on the xiaoma.com to help more test-takers?
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