General Understanding Questions

1. Main Idea

(1) GREGMAT考试

对于GRE、GMAT考试中的短文章,我们主要是学会从文章找到观点,然后根据观点的关系确定谁是最重要的观点从而确定main idea。这里我们非常重视因果关系和由demonstrative pronouns or adjectives承上启下的关系。我们来看下面这个例子(例子参看上期文章《阅读方法论七Question Patterns (1)》)

    而对于GRE、GMAT的长文章,我们主要是重视文章首段和二段的阅读。GRE、GMAT的长文章一般在结构可以分为两个大类:评论型文章(Evaluative)和说明型文章(Expository)。根据文章的写作目的,我们又可以细分为四个大类,六个小类,参看下表:

Viewpoints Conflicting Patterns

Different Viewpoints

Opposing Arguments

Persuasive Patterns

Establishment

Disagreement

Expository Patterns

Expository

Descriptive + Evaluative Patterns

Descriptive plus Evaluative

Example 1: Different Viewpoints

Example 2: Opposing Arguments

Example 3: Establishment

Example 4: Disagreement

Present-day philosophers usually envision their discipline as an endeavor that has been, since antiquity, distinct from and superior to any particular intellectual discipline, such as theology or science. Such philosophical concerns as the mind-body problem or, more generally, the nature of human knowledge they believe, are basic human questions whose tentative philosophical solutions have served as the necessary foundations on   which all other intellectual speculation has rested.

The basis for this view, however, lies in a serious misinterpretation of the past, a projection of modern concerns onto past events. The idea of an autonomous discipline called “philosophy,” distinct from and sitting in judgment on such pursuits as theology and science turns out, on close examination, to be of quite recent origin.

通过上面文章首段和二段当中,我们已经标记好的重点内容(usually envision和believe引出了Present-day philosophers的观点看法,接着however和serious misinterpretation的出现,表明了作者予以驳斥的态度,并且针锋相对地通过turns out, on close examination, to be提出作者完全相反的观点),所以我们判定这篇文章应该是驳论型的文章。基于上述的分析,我们在做下面的主旨题时,采用的方法是:首先确定哪个选项与老观点直接相关,接着看它是否对老观点做出了取非。

Which of the following best expresses the author’s main point?

(A) Philosophy’s overriding interest in basic human questions is a legacy primarily of the work of Kant.

(B) Philosophy was deeply involved in the seventeenth-century warfare between science and religion.

(C) The set of problems of primary importance to philosophers has remained relatively constant since antiquity.

(D) The status of philosophy as an independent intellectual pursuit is a relatively recent development.

(E) The role of philosophy in guiding intellectual speculation has gradually been usurped by science.

由于老观点是:哲学作为一种学科,它自古以来就是独立于并且高于任何其它学科的。所以选项A、B、C、E的内容都与老观点没有直接关联性,直接就被删除掉了。而选项D中的status与老观点中的superior相关,independent与老观点中的distinct from相关,intellectual pursuit与老观点中的endeavor相关,relatively recent development是对老观点的自古以来进行了直接的反击与二段作者的观点turns out, on close examination, to be of quite recent origin一致。所以正确答案选D。

对于驳论型文章,其驳斥的观点在GRE和GMAT考试中存在一定的规律,虽然不能称之为可靠的方法,但是也仍然可以以技巧的形式帮助考生。

*     Viewpoint of the past, 伴随着过去时间点提出的观点容易被驳斥;

*     Traditional viewpoint, 伴随着traditionally等表示传统认为的观点容易被驳斥;

*     Appeal to authority, 权威人士所提出的观点容易被驳斥;

*     Appeal to bandwagon; 伴随着most people, most scientists等提出的观点容易被驳斥;

*     用likely等possibility signals提出的观点容易被驳斥;

*     反对今人的角度看古人,反对用政治标准评价文学作品;

*     Set prejudice: 对马克思、恩格斯的观点,对进化论的看法,对弗洛伊德的观点容易驳斥;相反对弱势群体(妇女、少数民族、黑人、小孩)的观点和作品一般都比较认同。

    另外需要说明的是,因为Expository的文章在结构上就是在前两大类文章的基础上,增加了关于现象或问题说明的内容,所以我们不用单独再做主题的分析了。而Descriptive & Evaluative的文章一般没有非常统一的观点,其特点就是针对一个focus,不断地对其某个方面做出描述和提出针对这一个方面的观点或者评价,所以此类文章一般不会设置主旨题。