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HIR Academic Writing Contest

官方权威:纽约时报夏季读写竞赛获奖秘籍

《纽约时报》今年的夏季读写竞赛即将开始啦!如下可见,今年的夏季读写竞赛将从6月9日开始,到8月18日结束! 各位小作家们,你们准备好了吗?

nyt summer reading 2023 screenshot
《纽约时报》官网截图

自2010年以来,《纽约时报》每年夏天都为世界各地的初高中学生举办夏季读写比赛,邀请学生选择《纽约时报》中引发他们兴趣的内容,完成一篇回应性文章。

对于很多同学们来说,回应性写作与在课堂上可能需要用到的学术写作有所不同,挑战难度是不小的。今天,我们为同学们带来了《纽约时报》回应性写作官方指南该指南提出了4大回应性写作要点,希望可以帮助同学们了解和学习这一类型的写作,在竞赛中脱颖而出!

写作前:选择令你感兴趣的作品

写作开始前,你需要做的是尽可能多地浏览《纽约时报》的官网。

无论是从主页开始,还是搜索你感兴趣的关键词,又或是查看《纽约时报》推荐的青少年浏览指南。在这一阶段,你需要做的就是阅读和寻找,选择至少 1-2 件作品来作为你想要回应的话题备选。

我们建议同学们不要给自己太多的限制。实际上,打动比赛评委的一大要点就是你选择话题的广泛程度!并且,只要你感兴趣,不管是什么样的话题,你都会很有动力去打磨出一篇好的回应性写作。

写作要点1:建立个人联系

我们需要明确,夏季读写竞赛是希望同学们来讲述你与你选择的作品之间的联系,你需要意识到,“你”是如何影响你选择阅读的内容和阅读方式的。

同学们可以思考以下问题,来寻找和建立你和选择回应的作品之间的个人联系:

  • 你为什么选择这篇作品?它是如何引起你的注意的?

  • 它与你的生活和你的个人经历有什么联系?

  • 在阅读这篇文章前,你对这个主题有什么了解或想法?

  • 当你阅读时,你意识到了哪些背景知识或联想?

大赛评委表示,优等的回应写作就是那能够与选择作品建立个人联系的文章,这些文章中,作者往往讨论了选择的主题是如何与自己的生活相交,文字感染力极强,写作风格流畅自然。

对于如何在回应文章中建立和展现个人联系,《纽约时报》给予的建议是,从文章结构上,首先,你可以在文章中展开你的故事或者提供一些关于你的生活经历和个人背景,来解释为什么你会选择某件作品。然后,在这个背景下讨论这个作品对你的影响。

以下是《纽约时报》优秀作品案例,供大家参考:

2018年冠军文章选择了“Everyone Has an Accent”这篇作品,进行回应

“My mother came to the U.S. not only with the desire to give me a better future but also with a heavy Indian accent. It’s the accent that made me who I am today, the accent that helped me with my math homework and comforted me when I cried. For me, it’s perfect.

As I grew up, though, I noticed smirks and giggles following my mother’s speech. I remember seeing an online ad that offered courses to ‘Get rid of your Indian accent today! Feel like a better American!’ Knowing that there were courses designed to help people ‘get rid of’ their accents suddenly made my mom’s pronunciation seem embarrassing.

The hierarchy for accents became apparent at school too. Dull English sentences were transformed into something hilarious when said in a nonnative accent. As students burst out laughing, I’d wear my unaccented English like a shield and say, ‘Oh I don’t talk like that, so I’m not offended!’ I lie, though; even if I don’t talk like that, my family does.

This article not only put into words what has been a daily struggle for me but also gave me the strength to fight it. As the author puts it, ‘no one speaks without an accent,’ so I shouldn’t be embarrassed of the one that raised me. The Indian accent will always be a part of my family identity, and I wouldn’t change that for anything, not even if it would make me feel like a better American.”

写作要点2:批判性阅读,展现你的思考

《纽约时报》希望参赛选手们能够在阅读过程中,密切关注个人想法,在回应文章中展现批判性思维。仅仅做一个浅显的、停留于表面的回应是不够的,你需要深入去挖掘和发展。

同学们可以通过思考以下问题来进行批判性阅读:

  • 这篇文章对你有什么影响?它是否教会了你什么?它是否挑战了你?它激起了你的什么情绪,为什么?

  • 在你阅读时发生了什么?你脑子里在想什么?哪些具体的句子、引语、词语或细节吸引了你的注意力?为什么?

  • 它引发你思考了什么问题?是否让你想了解更多的东西?

  • 你能在这个作品或主题与你自己的信息储备之间建立什么联系?为什么?例如,它是否让你想起你读过、看过或听过的其他东西,或者你在学校学习过的东西?

  • 你对这部作品的总体看法是什么?它的优势和劣势是什么?

对于这一点,《纽约时报》给予的建议是,在回应写作中,通过描述你注意到细节和思想灵感,带领读者进入你的思考过程。

然后,说明你选择的这篇作品是如何改变了你的想法或扩大了你对某一问题的理解,展开你的阅读思路和角度

以下是《纽约时报》优秀作品案例,供大家参考:

2017年冠军文章选择了“To Beyoncé or Not to Beyoncé: The Challenges of Confirming the Birth of Her Twins”这篇作品,进行回应

“As long as you’re not living under a rock, you know Beyoncé recently had twins. That’s not news. But what was news to me was that The New York Times took great precaution when publishing the story. I mean, it’s Beyoncé! We want all the news we can get regarding her pregnancy. We don’t care if it’s just rumors! Right? Wrong.

In ‘To Beyoncé or Not to Beyoncé: The Challenges of Confirming the Birth of Her Twins,’ Maya Salam explains her process of confirming details. When the rumors first leaked, all the gossip mags and many news sources jumped to publish something about the twins. Facts couldn’t be confirmed since neither Beyoncé or Jay-Z were talking, but that didn’t stop publications. Salam contacted many sources she had deemed reliable but she came back empty-handed from most. Nevertheless, she persisted and eventually found solid information.

This made me realize that The New York Times actually cares about all its facts, even in the most trivial aspects of life. Beyoncé is famous, so gossip mags and fans don’t really pay attention to the fact that even though Queen B is sometimes seen as a goddess, she is, in fact, human. So it’s important to keep the facts about her twins straight. In this era of fake news, it’s important to stay vigilant about what we hear and read, especially on the news. And if news sources have to work hard to get the facts straight on something as lighthearted as Beyoncé, then they must work even harder to maintain the veracity of harder topics.”

写作要点3:重视作品中的细节或引文

《纽约时报》认为,如果一篇回应性文章能够以选择作品的具体内容为基础,就会立刻变得更加有力。一篇回应性文章如果只是一闪而过地提到了原作,在文中评审们无法找到证据证明学生真的读了这篇文章并从中获得了什么,这就不是一个有效的读者回应。

因此,当同学们开始写作时,可以问问自己以下问题

  • 这篇作品中哪些句子、词语、细节、图像、引语或段落是突出的?

  • 它提供了哪些对你来说是新的信息、想法或观点?

  • 你最想记住的是什么?

  • 哪些细节或引文最能支持你想说的这篇作品?

对于这一点,《纽约时报》给予的建议是,首先,由于文章篇幅长度限制,你需要专注于所选作品中令你印象最深刻的细节或见解,并不断从该方向发展、挖掘。

其次,将文章中的一些小而突出的细节散布在你的整篇文章中,这样就可以使评审看出你是如何仔细阅读的。

以下是《纽约时报》优秀作品案例,供大家参考:

2018年冠军文章选择了 “The Rich Are Planning to Leave This Wretched Planet” 这篇作品,进行回应

“What could possibly motivate someone to wear a 180-pound suit with diapers and drink tubes, rotate senselessly in a centrifuge, induce claustrophobia and risk death, all while coughing up 55 million dollars in the process? The answer is right above us: space.

For me, space is so alluring because it turns fears into works of art. Despite my thalassophobia, I still find myself attracted to the vast nothingness, the impossible emptiness of the skies. When I’m playing football at sunset on a cloudless night and look up at the infinite sky, I don’t feel distress or panic, even though I realize that I’m just a trivial speck of dust in the galaxy.

Philippe Starck, designer of a project aimed to launch millionaires into space, describes it as “a first approach to infinity.” Spending a split nanosecond in the blackness will result in instant death, and yet there’s just something so cozy about drifting in a spaceship with dangers all around but not within, the same coziness one feels snuggling under a blanket while a thunderstorm wages war on the world.

All of this is why the article ‘The Rich Are Planning to Leave This Wretched Planet’ attracted me so much. Reading about how my seemingly impossible fantasies could come true was surprisingly relaxing and satisfying. I just have a small problem with the title; space travel shouldn’t be about escaping a miserable world, it should be about discovering and rejoicing in a new one.”

写作要点4:展现你的写作风格

虽然读者回应文章与论文写作有一些共同的特点,例如,你可能会提出一个主张并支持它,但你要写的内容却更加非正式一些。《纽约时报》希望可以看到参赛选手们的真实声音和独特个性

对于写作新手来说,展现你的写作风格并不是一件容易的事情,但也没有你想象的那么难,你可以问问自己:

  • 你会如何向朋友介绍这篇作品?你真正的声音有哪些元素可以在你的写作中体现出来?

  • 你怎样才能放松下来?这部作品中是否有一些方面可以启发你自己的写作和风格?如何启发?

  • 这个主题把你的想象力带到哪里?这些想法可以成为你回应的一部分吗?

对于这一点,《纽约时报》给予的建议是,放轻松心态,以轻松尝试的思维去跟你选择的作品产生思维火花。不要担心打破你认为的正式写作的 “规则”,允许你的想象力带领你进行创作。

以下是《纽约时报》优秀作品案例,供大家参考:

2019年冠军文章选择了 “The Em Dash Divides”这篇作品,进行回应

“The glorious em dash — the king of all punctuation marks! The em dash is bold, daring, and versatile. What other punctuation mark can be a semicolon, colon, comma, and parentheses?

Semicolons are by the book foot soldiers; they do a good job linking two would-be sentences. The em dash, on the other hand, is a colorful punctuation mark — it can be used to make a strong point! The comma is great for describing, listing, and linking clauses, but it is easy for commas to flood a sentence. The em dash comes to the rescue when the commas take over a sentence — saving it from sinking in a sea of commas. Parentheses describe details about a sentence (usually making the details seem less important). An em dash makes the details seem like part of the sentence — an important part of the sentence. Em dashes can still be overused — they can distract the reader from the point of the sentence — in many cases ruining the point — and in others just making the sentence hard to read — also ruining the point. A good sentence should have lots of kinds of punctuation marks — not just one — and keep the punctuation as subtle as possible; the punctuation should allow the sentence to be helped by the punctuation, not dominated by it, as the article suggests.

For all the good an em dash can do, it’s not on your keyboard. Just like other good things, you have to know where to find it. The em dash — the Swiss Army knife of punctuation — can greatly improve your writing — just don’t overdo it!”

以上就是纽约时报给出的回应性写作官方指南,希望能够为同学们带来思想上的启发!上述信息和图片来源于《纽约时报》官网,如有出入请以官网为准。

参考资料链接如下,供大家参考:

The New York Times: Our 14th Annual Summer Reading Contest

The New York Times: Writing Rich Reading Responses: Participating in Our Summer Contest

特此声明:以上内容为 Aralia Education Technology原创。 欢迎链接此文章至您的网站或其他平台。 请不要直接复制内容并发布至您的网站或其他平台,转发或引用文章内容需经授权,请联系邮箱 info@aralia.com。

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