The “Generation Gap”


「CET-6缩写和摘要写作」“Generation Gap”

Directions: Write a summary of the following passage in less than 150 words.

The “Generation Gap”

One of the most widely discussed and controversial problems of recent years has centered on what has come to be called the “generation gap”. Because of differences in dress, life styles, and attitudes, many young people have decided that adults represent an “establishment” that they are prepared to reject or perhaps even tear down, many adults have decided that young people are self-indulgent, mindlessly rebellious, and dangerous to the American society.

This is a problem that public opinion polls and psychological analysis of trends in American society can at least put into perspective. The surveys show that there are indeed a number of sharp differences of opinion between many young people and many older people, on all kinds of topics ranging from military policies to issues of race and poverty and the nature of the college curriculum. But the evidence seems to indicate that these differences represent more of an “education gap” than a “generation gap”. As a 1971 report of the Census Bureau made clear, there has been a tremendous boom in education in the United States. In a mere three decades beginning in 1940, the number of young Americans with college degrees almost tripled, going from 6 to 16 percent;the number with at least a year of college more than doubled, going from 13 to 31 percent;the number with high school diplomas rose from 38 to 75 percent.

These figures mean that today's young people, on the average, have had far more formal education than their parents. In fact nearly two--thirds of today's college students have fathers who never went to college. And many research studies have shown that people who have attended college tend to have different opinions from noncollege people on such questions as politics, sexual behavior, child-rearing practices, religion, and relations among ethnic and racial groups;they also tend to be more concerned about the general welfare of society than about their own personal advancement. In the opinion of some psychologists who have studied the so-called generation gap, today’s young people often seem threatening to their elders in part because they have more education and have developed the kinds of attitudes that increased education generally fosters.

Surveys have also shown that the “gap”, whatever its cause, is not nearly so large as some of the militant young people and more conservative adults often assume--or as even an objective observer might gather from some of the news events reported on television and in the newspapers. Careful psychological surveys made in 1965 and 1968 showed that only about 2 to l0 percent of all college students took active part in the various campus protests of those years, with the lower figure holding for such abstract issues as educational reform and the higher figure for more personal issues such as dormitory rules and standards of dress. A public opinion survey of Americans aged fifteen to twenty-one, made at the end of 1970, showed that 66 percent did not have trouble communicating with their parents, 73 percent agreed with their parents' values and ideals, and 84 percent were satisfied with the kind of education they had received up to that point. Quite clearly, the American youth movement, if thought of as a highly militant attack on the Establishment and its ideas, is not nearly so large as its own leaders and the adults who oppose it often believe. Moreover, a study of history and of current trends in other nations shows that differences between young people and their eiders have existed many times before and exist today in many other parts of the world, including Mexico, France, Japan, and Russia.


The “Generation Gap”

According to polls① and psychological surveys②, there are sharply different opinions between the old and the young, but the “generation gap” should be more properly termed③ the “education gap”.

Because of the development of education, today’s young people have far more formal education than their parents. People who have attended college tend to have different opinions from non-college people. As a result, they differ from their elders on questions of politics, religion④, sexual behavior, etc.

Surveys have also shown the gap is not so large as some people assumed. Only a small number of young people are anti-establishment while the majorities⑤ still share their parents' values. Moreover, the gap is not a unique contemporary⑥ American phenomenon; it has existed before and today in many other countries.


①polls: 民意测验

②psychological surveys: 心理调查

③termed: 称为

④religion: 宗教, 宗教信仰

⑤majorities: 大多数

⑥contemporary: 同时代的,当今的


这是一篇摘要作文。将一篇文章或一本书的要点摘录编写成的短文就是摘要 (summary)。

我们在写摘要时,应当注意以下几方面:①摘要写作要忠实于原文,不应加入缩写者个人的任何观点,而且要按原文的行文次序排列内容,客观地再现原文的主要论点和事实。②摘要是原文主要观点的提炼,因此,应该抓住下列几方面:文章主题句(thesis statement),段落主题句(topic sentence),重要观点和结论,重要事件和人物等。③一篇好的摘要应表达思想清楚完整、组织结构清晰严密。不能简单地罗列文章的要点, 而应该在它们之间加入连接词语,使得摘要全文紧凑连贯,成为一个统一的整体。④摘要的语言特点是简洁明了,准确流畅。考生可以借助于各式词组、从句、分词和不定式短语去浓缩文章。摘要的长短视原文的长度和题目要求而定。

此篇范文严格遵循摘要作文的要求和规范展开。文章首段开宗明义,指出老年人和年轻人的观念大不相同,但将“generation gap”称为“education gap”更为合适。第二段承接上文,用举例法加以说明。第三段提出代沟没有人们想象的那么大,而且代沟问题并非美国独有,它也存在于其它国家。本文中心突出,主题明确。连接词语的合理运用,使全文紧凑连贯,浑然一体。




  根据民意调查① 和心理调查②, 老年人和年轻人之间有着截然不同的观点,但“代沟”应该被更恰当地定义③ “教育差距”。

由于教育的发展,今天的年轻人接受的正规教育比他们的父母多得多。上过大学的人往往与非大学的人有不同的观点。因此,他们在政治、宗教等问题上与长辈不同④, 性行为等。

调查还显示,差距并不像一些人想象的那么大。只有少数年轻人反对建制,而大多数人反对建制⑤ 仍然与父母有共同的价值观。此外,这种差距并不是一种独特的当代现象⑥ 美国现象;它以前和现在在许多其他国家都存在。


「CET-6缩写和摘要写作」“Generation Gap”