Unit Four Techniques for Remembering What You Read
Lesson 10 Improving Your Concentration
One of the keys to successful or efficient reading at an advanced level is the ability to judge the writer’s position in relation to the information he is presenting. This involves distinguishing important points from supporting details. Taking this into account, readers should learn to use two independent yet frequently interdependent strategies: skimming and scanning. Skimming means to look very quickly at the passage for the general idea of the content of a reading passage rather than reading for details.
HOW TO SKIM The basic task of skimming is to identify those parts of any reading material that contain the main ideas. The type of material you are reading will, in part, determine how you should adapt your reading techniques.
As a general guide, then, read the following items:
The Title. The title often announces the subject of the material and provides clues about the author’s approach or attitude toward the subject. The Subtitle or Introductory Byline. Some types of material include a statement underneath the title that further explains the title or is written to catch the reader’s interest. The Introductory Paragraph. The introductory paragraph often provides important background information and introduces the subject. It may also provide a brief overview of the treatment of the subject.
The Headings. A heading announces the topic that will be discussed in the paragraphs that follow it. When read successively, the headings form an outline or list of topics covered in the material.
fc1 First Sentence of Each Paragraph. The most common position for the main idea is in the first sentence of the paragraph. If you read a first sentence that clearly is not the topic sentence, you might jump to the end of the paragraph and read the last sentence.
Key Words. Try to pick out key words that answer who, what, when, where, or how much about the main idea of the paragraph. Try to notice names, numbers, dates, and places and capitalized or italicized words and phrases. Also notice any numbered sequences.
The Last paragraph. The last paragraph often provides a conclusion or summary for the article. It might state concisely the main points of the article or suggest new directions for considering the topic.
Practice of Reading Techniques Skim the following paragraphs to find the general idea of each paragraph.
  1. Food which is kept too long decays because it is attacked by yeasts, moulds and bacteria. The canning process, however, seals the product in a container so that no infection can reach it, and then it is sterilized by heat. Heat sterilization destroys all infections present in food inside the can. No chemical preservatives are necessary, and properly canned food does not deteriorate during storage.
Which of the following best expresses the main idea of the paragraph? A. Food scientifically sealed in cans is safe from decay. B. Sterilization?the key to the safe-keeping of food. C. The use of chemicals in preventing the decay of food. D. Food decays as a result of yeasts, moulds and bacteria.

  2. By learning the life cycle of insects, scientists have found ways to control insect pests. The scientists who study insects are called entomologists. Entomologists discover what an insect is like in each stage of its development, where it lives, and what it eats. From these facts, a plan for controlling the insect can often be worked out. For example, the eggs of the stalk borer are laid on the stems of wild plants in late summer and stay there all winter. They hatch in May or June, and then the larvae bore into the stems of the wild plants. Later, the larvae move on to cultivated plants, where they again bore into stems. In August the larvae become pupae in the stems of the cultivated plants.
About three weeks later, they come out as adults and lay their eggs on wild plants. Burning the wild plants in late autumn or early spring greatly reduces the number of stalk borers that attack cultivated plants. The main topic of this passage is . A. the life cycles of insects B. ways to control insect pests C. the life cycle of the stalk borer D. the work of entomologists

  3. In an experiment described as flabbergasting, scientists shone a bright light on the backs of human knees and, in some mysterious way, reset the biological master clock in the human brain. Those treated with the light had their body clocks advanced or delayed by up to three hours, enough to overcome the fatigue associated with familiar forms of jet lag or insomnia. The finding, which is described in the most recent issue of the journal Science, is so surprising that many experts are withholding judgment until the experiment is duplicated later this year. But those who heard the study was carried out by Dr. Scott Campbell and Dr. Patricia Murphy, both at the Laboratory of Human Chronobiology at Cornell University.
These researchers are widely considered among the foremost authorities in the fields of chronobiology, the scientific analysis of time mechanisms in living creatures. The field has undergone rapid development since serious systematic work in circadian rhythms began in the late 1950s. Which of the following would best serve as the title of this passage? A. How the knees can sense light. B. Scientists prove that the knees affect our sense of time. C. The knees as an organ of sight. D. The possible role of the knees in setting man’s biological clock.
Lesson 10
Reading Selection A
American Values at the Crossroads
CATALOGUE About the Author Warm-up Activities Language Points Keys
text
About the Author
Edward N. Keareny is an instructor from the Western Kentucky University. He is one of the three co-authors of the book The American way: an Introduction to American Culture, from which our text is taken from. This is an excellent introduction to American culture, and easy enough to be used by foreign students.
About the Author
The American Way is an easy to read, well-organized, comprehensive book discussing how the US developed its value system. It builds from the history behind the values to how these values are exhibited in today’s political system, religion, ethnic assimilation, business, home and family life, education, sports, and leisure time. The reader can easily understand or recognize the value placed on activities in these various areas of American life, both in the past and present. This book is good in a sense that it gives you a general idea about the American culture. Also, it provides a list of references (books and movies) at the end of each chapter for people who want to learn more about the subject presented on that chapter.
Warm-up Activities

  1. What values do you think we Chinese emphasized in the past?

  2. Do today’s young people still think these values are important? How do you know?

  3. Are there any new values?
Language Points
plural crossroads [countable]
  1. crossroads a) a time when someone has to make very important decisions which will affect their future 转折点;重大的 转折点; 抉择时刻 at a crossroads ① 目前生态学正面临抉择的时刻。 目前生态学正面临抉择的时刻。 Ecology stands at a crossroads at present. 在欧共体内,农业现在处于转折点。 ② 在欧共体内,农业现在处于转折点。 Now farming is at a crossroads in the European Community.
Language Points
b) a place where two roads meet and cross each other 十字路口 下一个十字路口左转。 ① 下一个十字路口左转。 Turn left at the next crossroads. 他们到达了一个设有路标的十字路口。 ② 他们到达了一个设有路标的十字路口。 They reached a crossroads marked by a signpost. c) an important or central place 活动中心;汇集地 活动中心; 我们整天受到四面八方炮弹和子弹的袭击。 我们整天受到四面八方炮弹和子弹的袭击。 All day we were a sort of crossroads for shells and bullets. * at the crossroads at a critical turning-point 处在抉择的紧要关头;处于转 处在抉择的紧要关头; 折点
Language Points

  2. go with: (line 1, para.
  1) a) to often exist with something else or be related to something else 和…一起存在;是…的结果 一起存在; 一起存在 的结果 有钱不一定幸福。 ① 有钱不一定幸福。 Money does not always go with happiness. 疾病常常是因不洁而起, ② 疾病常常是因不洁而起,但如果说罪恶永远因贫穷而 生则是不正确的。 生则是不正确的。 Disease often goes with squalor, but it is wrong to say that crime always goes with poverty. b) to be included as part of something 与…一起出售/ 一起出售/ 一起出售 出租; 出租;是…的一部分 的一部分 家具是和这房子一起出售/出租的 出租的。 ① 家具是和这房子一起出售 出租的。 The furniture goes with the house. 这所房子附带有5亩空地 亩空地。 ② 这所房子附带有 亩空地。 Five acres of land go with the house.
Language Points
c) to match; to be fitting and suitable with 与…相配; 相配; 相配 协调; 与…协调;与…和谐 协调 和谐 这双鞋子与这身衣服不相配。 ① 这双鞋子与这身衣服不相配。 These shoes don’t go with the dress. 这些新窗帘与你的地毯不太协调。 ② 这些新窗帘与你的地毯不太协调。 These new curtains don’t go well with your carpet. d) to accept someone's idea or plan 与…意见一致 意见一致 很抱歉,对于你的计划我的看法和你不一样。 ① 很抱歉,对于你的计划我的看法和你不一样。 I’m sorry I can’t go with you on your plan. 关于那一点我不同意你的看法。 ② 关于那一点我不同意你的看法。 I can’t go with you on that.
Language Points
* go without to not have something that you usually have 不享受, 不享受, 放弃;没有也行; 放弃;没有也行;没有而将就对付 看来我们今年只好不去度假了。 ① 看来我们今年只好不去度假了。 It looks as though we shall nave to go without a holiday. 他不抽烟不行。 ② 他不抽烟不行。 He can’t go without cigarettes. 你要是买不起新车,你就只好将就着点了。 ③ 你要是买不起新车,你就只好将就着点了。 If you can’t afford a new car, you’ll have to go without (one).
Language Points
* it goes without saying (that) used to say that something is so clearly true that it does not need to be said 不用说,不言而喻 不用说, 小孩不应当玩弄枪支。 ① 小孩不应当玩弄枪支。 It goes without saying that children should not play with guns. 她是个好厨子,自不待言。 ② 她是个好厨子,自不待言。 It goes without saying that she’s a good cook.
Language Points

  3. appeal: (line 3, para.
  1) ? n. a) [uncountable] a quality that makes people like something or someone 感染力;吸引力 感染力; 警察的生活对我没有吸引力。 ① 警察的生活对我没有吸引力。 The life of a policeman has /holds no appeal to me. ② 理论学科已提不起大多数学生的兴趣。 理论学科已提不起大多数学生的兴趣。 Theoretical subjects have lost their appeal for most students. 复活节的巴黎吸引了很多人。 ③ 复活节的巴黎吸引了很多人。 Paris at Easter makes an appeal to many people. 我不大喜欢这种音乐。 ④ 我不大喜欢这种音乐。 That sort of music has little/ not much appeal for me.
Language Points
b) [countable] an urgent request for something important 呼吁,吁请 呼吁, 她最后一次恳求父亲允准。 ① 她最后一次恳求父亲允准。 She made one last appeal to her father for permission. 这是鄙人对全体同胞发出的呼吁。 ② 这是鄙人对全体同胞发出的呼吁。 This is my humble appeal to the nation at large. ? v. a) [intransitive] if someone or something appeals to you, they seem attractive and interesting 有感染力; 有感染力; 有吸引力; 有吸引力;投合所好 她说了什么特别迎合你的话没有? ① 她说了什么特别迎合你的话没有? Does she say anything that appeals to you especially / particularly?
Language Points
她对我有不可抗拒的吸引力。 ② 她对我有不可抗拒的吸引力。 She appeals to me irresistibly. 这本书对小孩子有很大的吸引力。 ③ 这本书对小孩子有很大的吸引力。 This book appeals powerfully /strongly /profoundly to children. b) [intransitive] to make a serious public request for help, money, information etc 呼吁;恳求 呼吁; 各级政治家们呼吁保持平静。 ① 各级政治家们呼吁保持平静。 Politicians at all levels appealed for calm. 那妇女请求政府帮助她反对强迫婚姻。 ② 那妇女请求政府帮助她反对强迫婚姻。 The woman appealed to the government for assistance in resisting forced marriage. 我求孩子们别那么大声嚷嚷。 ③ 我求孩子们别那么大声嚷嚷。 I appealed to the children to make less noise.
Language Points

  4. go along with: (line 3, para.
  4) ) a) to be part of 同时发生,一起存在 同时发生, 健康衰退往往和年老形影相随。 健康衰退往往和年老形影相随。 Failing health too often goes along with old age. b) to
 

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