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主旨题

主旨题主要是考查考生对短文整体理解概括能力的。任何一篇文章都表达了一定的中心思想,为了测试考生是否能够正确理解整篇文章的大意和综合概括中心思想的能力,命题者往往会涉及一些主题归纳题来对考生进行考查。

主旨题常见的提问方式有:

This passage is mainly/ primarily concerned with ________ .

This passage is mainly about ________ .

This passage mainly discusses/ deals with ________ .

What is the main idea of the passage?

What does the passage mainly discuss?

What is the main topic of the passage?

Which of the following can best sum up the passage?

Which of the following can best express/ summarize/ convey the main idea of the passage?

In this passage the author/ writer mainly argues that ________ .

What does the author intend to convey?

The purpose/ aim of the passage is to ________ .

The purpose of the author in writing this passage is to ________ .

The passage is intended to ________ .

要正确地解答主旨题,考生必须通过仔细阅读来全面理解文章内容。而要了解文章的主旨大意,考生就必须掌握一定的解题技巧,即找出文章的主题句、捕捉文章的关键词、归纳主要细节。只有这样,考生才能够提高解题的准确率。

主题句是用来表达段落中心思想的句子,它包含一个明确的思想或主题,段落围绕这个思想或主题发展,其他句子在意思上都与这个主题句有关。在一个由主题句发展而成的段落中,其他句子用来说明、解释或补充该主题句。这些句子从某种程度上来说是该主题句的扩展句。一篇文章是由段落组成的,而段落是由主题句扩展而成的。可以说,抓住了主题句就等于抓住了文章的主旨思想。

在阅读理解考试中,主题句一般都出现在段首或段尾,但也有出现在段中的。一般来说,学术论文、科普文章、新闻报道、说明文以及议论文等类型的文章有着鲜明的英语文章的篇章结构特点,即主题句常常处于段首。

除了抓住文章的主题句之外,考生还应该注意重要的、出现频率相对较高的词汇以及它们的同义近义词,然后结合主题句或关键词,考生应该在脑海里形成一个整体印象。

同时,考生在解答主旨题时应该避免受到干扰项的干扰。一般来说,干扰项具备下列特征:

1. 干扰项的内容概括地过于宽泛,超出了原文内容,在文章中找不到答题的依据;

2. 干扰项的内容虽然与文章的内容有关,但是过于片面,它往往只是文章论述的其中一个要点或一个侧面。尽管从细节方面考虑,它是正确的,但是其覆盖面窄、概括性弱,因此不能真正反映和表达文章的中心思想。在多数情况下,命题者都会设计这样的选项,所以应该引起考生足够的注意。

3. 干扰项的内容与常识相吻合,但是其与文章中的相关论述不一致,脱离原文基础的选项当然不应该作为正确答案。

请看下面的实例分析:

【例1】

Water on the earth is being continuously recycled in a process known as the hydrologic cycle (水循环). The first step of the cycle is the evaporation of water in the oceans. Evaporation is the process of water turning into vapor, which then forms clouds in the sky. The second step is the water returning to the earth in the form of either rain, snow or ice. When the water reaches the earth’s surface, it runs off into the rivers, lakes and the ocean, where the cycle begins again.

Not all water, however, stays on the surface of the earth in the hydrologic cycle. Some of it flows slowly into the ground through infiltration(渗入)and collects under the earth’s surface as ground water. This ground water is extremely important to life on earth since 95% of the earth’s water is in the oceans, and is too salty for humans or plants. Of the 5% on land, only 0.05% is above ground in rivers or lakes. The rest is underground water. This ground water is plentiful and dependable, as it doesn’t depend on seasonal rain or snow. It is the major source of water for many cities. But as the population increases and the need for water also increases, the ground water in some areas is getting dangerously low. Added to this problem is an increasing amount of pollution that flows into the ground water. In the future, with an increasing population and more poisonous waste, the hydrologic cycle we depend on could become dangerously unbalanced.

Question:

This passage mainly discusses _________.

A) water conservation                         B) the hydrologic cycle

C) underground water                        D) polluted ground water

这篇文章主要讨论了水循环。文章在第一段的句首就开门见山地提出了什么叫水循环。文章总共有两段,每段讨论一个要点,每个要点都是由一个主题句来体现的。第一段的主题句就是第一句话:Water on the earth is being continuously recycled in a process known as the hydrologic cycle (水循环),接下来文章就介绍了水循环的两大步骤。第二段主题句同样也是该段的第一句:Not all water, however, stays on the surface of the earth in the hydrologic cycle,它告诉我们:在水循环的过程中,并不是所有的水都存在于地球的表面。接下来,作者又提供了有关地表水和地下水的细节,最后,作者又提到人口的增长和更多的水污染将导致某些地区的地下水位的下降,这将最终破坏水循环的平衡。综上所述,我们不难看出文章的主题是the hydrologic cycle,因此其正确答案为B)。从这一题的解答来看,考生如果能够抓住文章的主题句,那么他们就可以抓住文章的中心思想。

【例2】

There are two factors which determine an individual’s intelligence. The first is the sort of brain he is born with. Human brains differ considerably, some being more capable than others. But no matter how good a brain he has to begin with, an individual will have a low order of intelligence unless he has opportunities to learn. So the second factor is what happens to the individual --- the sort of environment in which he is reared(培养). If an individual is handicapped(使不利)environmentally, it is likely that his brain will fail to develop and he will never attain the level of intelligence of which he is capable.

The importance of environment in determining an individual’s intelligence can be demonstrated by the case history of the identical twins(同卵双胞胎), Peter and Mark. Being identical, the twins had identical brains at birth, and their growth processes were the same. When the twins were three months old, their parents died, and they were placed in separate foster homes. Peter was reared by parents of low intelligence in an isolated community with poor educational opportunities. Mark was reared in the home of well-to-do parents who had been to college. He was read to as a child, sent to good schools, and given every opportunity to be stimulated intellectually. This environmental difference continued until the twins were in their late teens, when they were given tests to measure their intelligence. Mark’s I.Q.(智商)was 125, twenty-five points higher than the average and forty points higher than his identical brother. Given equal opportunities, the twins, having identical brains, would have tested at roughly the same level.

Question:

The main idea of this passage is that ________.

A) the brain a person is born with is important in determining his intelligence

B) environment is crucial in determining a person’s intelligence

C) a person who is handicapped environmentally will never attain the level of intelligence of which he is capable

D) persons having identical brains will have roughly the same intelligence

这篇文章首先告诉我们人的智力主要是由两方面来决定的:人的大脑和环境。这也是第一段的主题句。而文章的第二段的主题句是该段的第一句话:The importance of environment in determining an individual’s intelligence can be demonstrated by the case history of the identical twins(同卵双胞胎), Peter and Mark. Being identical, the twins had identical brains at birth, and their growth processes were the same. 从这一句话中,考生可以得知第二段主要围绕着环境在决定人的智力方面起到的重要作用进行的。考生如果能够抓住这两个主题句的话就等于把握了文章的中心思想,即决定人的智力有两个方面,而最重要的方面是环境。因此,考生就可以选出该题的正确答案:B)。而答案A)虽然是文章的一方面,但它不是最主要的内容,为干扰项;答案C)只是用来说明环境决定智力的一个扩展句;而答案D)其本身就不是一个正确的陈述。

【例3】

I don’t mean that the housewife has much free time! For a short while after our twins were born I was without help and had to do everything myself including three-hourly feeds day and night, so I know how exhausting children and housework can be! As well as being exhausted, however, I felt nothing more than a boring job.

I had little to talk about when my husband came home in the evening and all the time I was consciously looking forward to what I called “getting back to work” --- namely, to using some of the mental resources which I had been specially trained to use for years. I was indeed “on the go” for 24 hours a day but I wasn’t doing the kind of work than made full use of my own abilities.

When I returned to studies I was constantly asked, “How do you find the time?” The answer seems to be a lifelong mystery to the woman who doesn’t go out to work and quite simple to those of us who do.

There are 24 hours in very day: the people who ask this question seem to be amazed at how much can be packed into them; I am astonished at how little some people seem to do.

The answer is this --- you can achieve as much in a day as you set out to achieve if you think ahead and get everything well organized.

The days when I have only our home to think about are just as busy as when I have other things to deal with as well.

I am running about most of the time cooking, shopping and doing the housework and seek to have no spare moments. But all of this is done equally well when I have things to do in addition, because I then make sure that everything is done with maximum efficiency in minimum time.

I see that the weekly order to the grocer really does include the needs for the week.

Shopping which can be done by telephone is done that way after having a word with the shopkeeper about the quality and service that I like. All cookery(烹饪)operations are carried out in the best order so that not a minute is wasted. I quickly found that it is possible to put in eight hours’ work a day as well as being a housewife.

Question:

What is the main idea of this passage?

A) A married woman should first be a good mother before she thinks about returning to work.

B) A woman can do both her job and her housework properly if she gets things well-organized.

C) A married woman should go out to work to help support the family.

D) A woman should hold a job all her life.

这篇文章篇幅较长,且其主题句并没有在文章一开篇就被提出,所以要决定其主旨有一定的难度。但在通读文章一遍之后,考生会发现文章层次十分清晰,意思层层递进。首先,作者以自己的亲身经历为证,指出作为一名家庭主妇的确没有什么空闲时间,但是也让“我”觉得这终日的忙碌并没有让我的全部能力得到充分发挥。经过这一铺垫,作者接着提出只要安排合理,虽然同样是忙忙碌碌,但“我”可以做到工作和家务兼顾,这同时也是本文的主题句。于是作者接下来又进一步说明要如何去做到这一点,对这一主题进行补充说明。所以不难看出,本文的主题不是如大多数文章那样,出现在文章开始或者结尾部分,而是出现文章的中间部分。这就要求读者循着作者的思路对文章进行仔细分析,以明确其主旨。因此此题正确答案应当为B)。

【例4】

Museums have changed. They are no longer places for the privileged(享有特权的)few or for bored holiday makers to visit on rainy days. Action and democracy are words used in descriptions for museums now.

At a science museum in Ontario, Canada, you can feel your hair stand on end as harmless electricity passes through your body. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, you can look at seventeenth century instruments while listening to their music. As these two examples show, museums are reaching out to new audiences, particularly the young, the poor, and the less educated members of the population. As a result, the number of visitors is increasing.

More and more museum directors are realizing that people learn best when they can somehow become part of what they are seeing. In many science museums, for example, there are no guided tours. The visitor is encouraged to touch, listen, operate, and experiment so as to discover scientific principles for himself. He can have the experience of operating a spaceship or a computer. The purpose is not only to provide fun but also to help people feel at home in the world of science.

Many museums now provide educational services and children’s departments. In addition to the usual displays, they also offer film showings and dance programs. Instead of being places that one should visit, they are places to enjoy.

One cause of all these changes is the increase in wealth and leisure time. Another cause is the rising percentage of young people in the population. Many of these young people are college students or college graduates. They are better educated than their parents. They see things in a new and different way. They are not satisfied with standing and looking at works of art; they want art they can take part in. the same is true of science and history.

There is disagreement among directors concerning the kinds of service that museums should provide. Some believe that museums are already changing too much. Others feel that many museums still have too little connection with the world outside their walls. The problem is how museums can continue to serve as storehouses for treasures while encouraging the general public to enjoy visiting them.

Question:

This article is mainly about________.

A) the advantages today’s museums have

B) the changes museums are undergoing

C) the services museums can provide

D) the role museums should play

这篇文章篇幅虽长,但要了解其主旨却并非难事。文章在开篇第一句就提到“Museums have changed”,作为文章的主题句。而随后的部分均是围绕这一主题而展开,对其进行说明解释:在第二、三、四段文章讲的是有博物馆发生了哪些变化,随后有讲了引起这些变化的原因,最后又提到了发生这些变化可能引起的弊端。所以本文总的说来是围绕“变化”二字展开的,此题所提供的四个选项中,只有B)能概括全文的内容,至于其他三个选项都只涉及到部分文章内容。因此本题正确答案应为B)。

总而言之,正确解答主旨题并不是一件很难的事情。只要考生在充分理解全文的基础上,把握文章脉络,明晰文章层次,就能轻松的在文中找出或者是概括出该文的主题句,排除其它干扰项,做出正确的解答。

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