Assignment 1

Read the following text, and reasonably paragrah it (阅读以下短
文, 并将其合理地分段).
In academic writing, much importance is given to the logical presentation and flow of ideas
throughout the piece. However logic is not universal. It is closely related to culture and
therefore varies considerably from one country to another. Consequently the way, for
example, an Arabic writer presents ideas is very different from the way an English writer
would organise a text. It is not that one is better than the other. It is important to have some
grasp of where the variations are. English logic patterns are basically linear. This means that
many good English paragraphs begin with a general content statement (topic sentence) and
then continue with a linear development of examples, details, etc. Sometimes the reverse
sequence may be used, but in both cases the progression of ideas occurs in a straight line from
the opening phrase to the final one. In addition, a well-written English paragraph does not
digress. This means it does not include any ideas that do not belong to the paragraph, and
nothing that does not support the topic sentence directly. However constructions used in much
Persian and Arabic writing are quite different. Unlike the English linear sequence, Persian and
Arabic writers often use parallel sequencing. Therefore they start many sentences with ‘and’
and ‘but’. This often appears very immature in style to the English reader and may mean that
students’ work presented in this way is judged negatively. Spanish writers again use a
different approach. Whereas in English writing it is important to keep to one topic in each
paragraph, Spanish writers quite readily include interesting digressions. Therefore although
the paragraph may begin and end with the same topic, it may include details of other related
topics in the middle. This may be confusing and annoying to the English reader. Some Asian
writers, by way of contrast, use an indirect approach when writing. Reference is made to the
topic from a number of angles but never mentioned and analysed directly. This approach can
appear rather vague and confusing to the English reader looking for a linearly developed idea.
In conclusion, it is clear that there is much more to academic writing than mastering rules of
grammar. Thus some understanding of the different logical patterns of writing and especially
those of English will be immensely useful. A student may gain poor marks in writing because
of an organisation of ideas that seems ‘illogical’ to the English mind.