GRE Issue写作范文详细解析(7)

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Issue

The following is from an editorial in the Midvale Observer, a local newspaper.

"Ever since the 1950's, when television sets began to appear in the average home, the rate of crimes committed by teenagers in the country of Alta has steadily increased. This increase in teenage crime parallels the increase in violence shown on television. According to several national studies, even very young children who watch a great number of television shows featuring violent scenes display more violent behavior within their home environment than do children who do not watch violent shows. Furthermore, in a survey conducted by the Observer, over 90 percent of the respondents were parents who indicated that prime-time television——programs that are shown between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.——should show less violence. Therefore, in order to lower the rate of teenage crime in Alta, television viewers should demand that television programmers reduce the amount of violence shown during prime time."

The author of this editorial states that the rate of teenage crime in the country of Alta has increased along with the increase in violence shown on television, beginning with the 1950's when television was introduced in the average home. In addition, the author states that several national surveys have shown that young children watching violent television programs are more prone to violence than children who do not. The write also says that a survey indicated that ninety percent of parents responding said that prime-time programs should show less violence. Finally, the author comes to the conclusion that to lower the rate of teenage crime in Alta, television watchers should demand a reduction in violence shown during prime time. This argument suffers from several critical fallacies.

Firstly, the writer equates the rate of increase in teenage crime in Alta to the increase in violence shown on television but gives no causal linkage other than the similar time periods. The author makes no distinction between types of crimes - whether they are violent or nonviolent crimes by teenagers. Furthermore, there are several possible alternative causes for the increase in teen crimes. For example, perhaps all types of crimes have increased for all ages, or maybe the police are now doing a better job of catching teenage criminals than they were before. Perhaps the reason for the increase is simply an increase in the overall population and that as a percentage of the population, teen crime is even less than it was before. Without ruling out these and other causes, the argument fails to convince by showing no causal linkage between television violence and teenage crime.

Secondly, the author mentions national studies that show that young children that watch violent programs show more violent behavior at home than children who do not watch such programs. This argument fails on two levels - one by assuming that children and teenagers are equally affected by television programs; and two by again assuming that there is some type of cause and effect relationship between television violence and teenage crime. Young children and teenagers are not the same and it should not be assumed that more violent behavior within the home leads to crimes outside as these children grow into teenagers.

Thirdly, the author offers a survey showing that ninety percent of the respondents were parents who indicated that prime time television programs should show less violence. The survey methods are not discussed - it is possible that the sample was improperly chosen or somehow predisposed to include parents that are very much opposed to television violence. Additionally, it is possible that such parents are far more vocal in their opinions than those who care little or not at all about prime time television violence, again skewing the results of the survey. Even assuming the veracity of the sample population surveyed, it is not logical to associate television violence with teen crime solely on that basis.

Finally, the author makes the gratuitous assumption that simply having television viewers demand that television programmers reduce the amount of violence during prime time will lower the rate of teenage crime in Alta. Regardless of the flawed arguments previously discussed, simply demanding a change will have no effect whatsoever on teen crime. To strengthen his or her argument, the author needs to show some direct causal linkage between television violence and teen crime rather than making vague and unsupported comparisons purporting to show a link. There is no proof given either that television violence of any kind causes teenage crime or that a reduction in prime time violence will keep teenagers from breaking the law.

(602 words)

[题目]

下述文字摘自一份地方性报纸《Midvale观察家》所发表的社论。

"自二十世纪五十年代以来,当电视机开始出现于寻常百姓家庭时,Alta国内青少年犯罪率已呈现出持续上升的势头。这一青少年犯罪行为的上升与电视上所播放的暴力画面的增加成正比。按照几份全国性调查报告,在那些大量观看了涉及到暴力场面的电视节目的青少年中,即使是极为年幼的孩童在其家庭环境中也要比那些不看暴力节目的孩童表现出更多的暴力行为。此外,在一项由《Midvale观察家》所进行的调查中,有90%的受访者为父母亲,他(她)们表示黄金时段的电视内容——即晚上7点到9点所播放的节目——应该减少播放暴力内容。据此,为了降低Alta国内青少年犯罪率,电视观众应该要求电视节目编播者减少黄金时段所播放的暴力画面数量。"

[范文正文]

本社论作者陈述道,Alta国内青少年犯罪率伴随着电视所播放的暴力场面的增加而上升。这一情形始于二十世纪五十年代,因为电视在当时被引入到普通百姓的家庭。此外,该作者陈述道,几项全国性调查显示,观看暴力电视节目的孩子比那些不看同类节目的孩子更易于形成暴力倾向。社论作者还指出,一份调查表明,受访的90%的父母亲认为,黄金时段的电视节目不应含有那么多的暴力场面。最后,作者得出结论,认为要想降低Alta国内的青少年犯罪率,电视观众应要求减少黄金时段所播放的暴力画面。这一论述犯有若干关键性的逻辑谬误。

首先,社论作者将Alta国内青少年犯罪率的上升与电视所播放的暴力场面的增加相提并论,但除了二者在时间上吻合以外,没能给出任何因果关系。该作者没有对不同的犯罪种类作出区分——青少年所犯的罪行是属于暴力型的还是非暴力型的。此外,对于青少年犯罪数量的增加,还存在着其他一些有可能的原因。例如,或许所有年龄段的所有类型的犯罪行为都呈上升态势,或者也有可能,警察现在要比过去更擅长于抓捕青少年犯罪者了。更有可能的是,犯罪上升的原因仅仅只是人口总量的上升所致,并且,作为人口总量中的一个比例,青少年犯罪现在甚至低于以前的程度。如不排除掉这些以及其他的原因,社论中的论点便无法令人信服,因为作者没有在电视暴力和青少年犯罪之间建立起任何因果关系。

其次,社论作者提到,有几份全国性研究表明,观看暴力节目的孩童在家里比不看此类节目的孩童表现出了更多的暴力行为。这一论点在二个层面上显得站不住脚——首先是假设孩童和青少年受到电视节目同等程度的影响;第二是又一次假定在电视暴力与青少年犯罪之间存在着某种因果关系。孩童与青少年毕竟并不相同,我们不能做这样的假定,即家庭中较为暴力的那些行为必然会随着这些孩子长大成为青少年而发展成为犯罪行为。

第三,社论作者给出一项调查,以期证明90%的回答问卷的受访者均为父母亲一类的人,他(她)们提出黄金时段的电视节目不应该播放如此多的暴力镜头。但社论中没有讨论该调查所使用的调查方法是什么。情况有可能是,该调查的样本选择得并不恰当,或在某种程度上侧重于只将那些对电视暴力甚感厌恶的父母亲囊括于样本之中。再则,情况也可能是,这些父母亲在表达其意见时要比那些对黄金时段电视暴力漠不关心或满不在乎的人来得语气强烈得多,这样便再度使调查结果失之偏颇。即使我们假定所调查的人口样本是真实的,仅仅以此为依据将电视暴力和青少年犯罪联系起来也是不合逻辑的。 最后,社论作者作出一不必要的假设,即只要有电视观众要求电视节目编播者减少黄金时段暴力内容的播放量便可降低Alta国内的青少年犯罪率。即使不考虑此前已讨论过的那些含有缺陷的论点,只是去要求作出某种改变并不会对青少年犯罪产生任何影响。若要增强其论点的逻辑性,社论作者必须在电视暴力与青少年犯罪之间表明某种直接的因果关系,而不是作出某些含糊其辞的和缺乏依据的比较,声称存在着某种联系。该作者既没有拿出证据证明任何种类的电视暴力导致了青少年的犯罪,也没能证明黄金时段电视暴力的减少将会防范青少年的违法乱纪行为。

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