This is not academic writing 學術文章不是這麼寫的
Not all articles written on academic topics are written in proper academic English. This column examines short excerpts from academic texts to illustrate common writing errors and to explain how to correct them.

Unacceptable 不被認可的文章

“The seasonal change startled and transformed the scene. A lazy and warm day that persuaded the upper-level students to go outdoors and lounge on the grass with their books and some friends was chased away when a north breeze suddenly whipped through the trees and showered the lounging students with pine needles and maple leaves. Sleeveless shirts and blouses that had bared arms were covered up by coats and light sweaters against the breeze. The impulses to lounge and to daydream also were chilled by the breeze. Sober minds quickly doffed such frivolous thoughts and resolved to finish their assignments by nightfall by a wood stove.”

This glimpse of campus life on a pivotal autumn day is marred by failure to create a continuous thread of imagery, and by word choices that frequently are weak and clichéd. The first sentence says a seasonal change “startled” the scene. The meaning of that is difficult to grasp. Some words are overused—“lounge,” for example, and “breeze.” A sentence that rather awkwardly describes clothing “that had bared arms were covered up.” A simpler, smoother description would be that the skimpier clothes “disappeared under” coats. The tenses of some words—such as “sober”—were not quite correct. All in all, the passage describes an engaging scene, but does so less artfully than it might have had the writer reflected upon it more.
本段文章描述時序即將入秋時的校園生活一景,可惜不連貫的意像以及無力的陳詞濫調卻破壞了這幅景象。第一句提到季節的變換「startled」(驚嚇)了整個場景,文意不清,且像是「lounge」及「breeze」等詞也用了太多次。描寫衣著「that had bared arms were covered up」一句顯得相當拙劣,改為過少的衣著「disappear under coats」(消失在大衣之下)會更簡潔順暢。另外「sober」等字的時態也不太正確。總而言之,如果作者能描寫得當,這段文章所描述的景象應當更加引人入勝。

Acceptable 認可的文章

The seasonal change was startling and transforming. A lazy, warm day that enticed the upper-level students outdoors to lounge on the grass with books and friends was chased away when a northern breeze suddenly cut through the trees and pelted them with needles and leaves. Sleeveless shirts and blouses disappeared under coats and light sweaters. Chilled also were the impulses to dally and daydream. Sobered minds quickly tamped down such frivolous thoughts and fired up resolve to finish their assignments by nightfall around a wood-burning stove.”

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