第一种，因果类文章结构，也就是全文都是围绕着某个现象进行解释。典型文章desert formation，在文章开头的第一段就出现这样的内容：The deserts, which already occupy approximately a fourth of the Earth's land surface, have in recent decades been increasing at an alarming pace. The expansion of desert-like conditions into areas where they did not previously exist is called desertification. 首先对沙漠的现状进行了描述，紧接着就赶紧扣题下定义，告诉我们什么是沙漠化。现象交代完了之后，出题段的第三段就迅速展开了原因的描述，我们发现第三段和第五段开头分别是这样的：Even in the areas that retain a soil cover, the reduction of vegetation typically results in the loss of the soil's ability to absorb substantial quantities of water. 以及There is little doubt, however, that desertification in most areas results primarily from human activities rather than natural processes.这样就交代了两个原因，分别是loss of vegetation和soil’s ability to absorb water. 同学们读到这里就要开始有预判断了，预料下面是否开始说一些其他的原因呢?带着这样的疑问去看，发现第六段说的是：Four specific activities have been identified as major contributors to the desertification processes: overcultivation, overgrazing, firewood gathering, and overirrigation. 第九段针对overirrigation展开论述。果然是另外的沙漠化的原因，接着第十段就是对沙漠化的前景进行展望。至此整篇文章的结构就很清楚了。了解了文章的结构对于接下来的文章会有预判断，读起来就会前后连贯，会有效减少文章阅读的心理难度。
第二种文章结构是分类，最典型的例子就是aggression。开头第一段交代了When one animal attacks another, it engages in the most obvious example of aggressive behavior. Psychologists have adopted several approaches to understanding aggressive behavior in people. 于是我们大概知道文章是对aggression的研究方法进行阐述，果然文章非常清楚地用黑体字标注出了三种研究方法，分别是The Biological Approach和The Psychodynamic Approach以及The Cognitive Approach.至此文章结构一目了然，我们很清楚知道文章分成了三个部分，每一部分之间是并列关系。最为典型的是artisan and industrialization. 整篇文章也是分为了两个部分，前两段都在说手工作坊时代的生产方法，从第三段开始介绍机器大工业生产的情况以及带来的工人罢工。虽然整篇文章共有6段，但是我们如果可以判断出文章的结构就可以轻易地将文章分为两个部分，而且两部分之间还是比较对比的关系，就将一篇长文章读短了，降低阅读难度。
最后一种文章结构是问题解决方法型，典型文章是Depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer，前四段介绍了Ogallala含水层的发现以及使用过度带来的问题，后两段就开始介绍治理的方法。这种文章的结构不如因果类的明显，但是也可以通过这样的思路将文章前后串起来，降低阅读难度。
Although only 1 person in 20 in the Colonial period lived in a city, the cities had a disproportionate influence on the development of North America. They were at the cutting edge of social change. It was in the cities that the elements that can be associated with modern capitalism first appeared — the use of money and commercial paper in place of barter, open competition in place of social deference and hierarchy, with an attendant rise in social disorder, and the appearance of factories using coat or water power in place of independent craftspeople working with hand tools. The cities predicted the future, wrote historian Gary. B. Nash, even though they were but overgrown villages compared to the great urban centers of Europe, the Middle East and China.
Except for Boston, whose population stabilized at about 16,000 in 1760, cities grew by exponential leaps through the eighteenth century. In the fifteen years prior to the outbreak of the War for independence in 1775, more than 200,000 immigrants arrived on North American shores. This meant that a population the size of Boston was arriving every year, and most of it flowed into the port cities in the Northeast. Philadelphia's population nearly doubted in those years, reaching about 30,000 in 1774, New York grew at almost the same rate, reaching about 25,000 by 1775.
The quality of the hinterland dictated the pace of growth of the cities. The land surrounding Boston had always been poor farm country, and by the mid-eighteenth century it was virtually stripped of its timber. The available farmland was occupied, there was little in the region beyond the city to attract immigrants. New York and Philadelphia, by contrast, served a rich and fertile hinterland laced with navigable watercourses. Scots, Irish, and Germans landed in these cities and followed the rivers inland. The regions around the cities of New York and Philadelphia became the breadbaskets of North America, sending grain not only to other colonies but also to England and southern Europe, where crippling droughts in the late 1760's created a whole new market.
1. Which of the following aspects of North America in the eighteenth century does the passage
(A) The effects of war on the growth of cities
(B) The growth and influence of cities
(C) The decline of farming in areas surrounding cities
(D) The causes of immigration to cities
2. Why does the author say that the cities had a disproportionate influence on the development
of North America (lines 1-2)?
(A) The influence of the cities was mostly negative
(B) The populations of the cities were small, but their influence was great.
(C) The cities were growing at a great rate.
(D) Most people pretended to live in cities
3. The phrase in place of in lines 4-5 is closest in meaning to
(A) connected to
(B) in addition to
(C) because of
(D) instead of
4. The word attendant in line 6 is closest in meaning to
5. Which of the following is mentioned as an element of modern capitalism?
(A) Open competition
(B) Social deference
(C) Social hierarchy
(D) Independent craftspeople
6. It can be inferred that in comparison with North American cities, cities in Europe, the Middle
East, and China had
(A) large populations
(B) little independence
(C) frequent social disorder
(D) few power sources
7. The phrase exponential leaps in line 12 is closest in meaning to
(A) long wars
(B) new laws
(C) rapid increases
(D) exciting changes
8. The word it in line 15 refers to
9. How many immigrants arrived in North America between 1760 and 1775?
(A) About 16,000
(B) About 25,000
(C) About 30,000
(D) More than 200,000
10. The word dictated in line 18 is closest in meaning to
11. The word virtually in line 20 is closest in meaning to
(C) very quickly
(D) almost completely
12. The region surrounding New York and Philadelphia is contrasted with the region surrounding
Boston in terms of
(A) quality of farmland
(B) origin of immigrants
(C) opportunities for fishing
(D) type of grain grown
13. Why does the author describe the regions around the cities of New York and Philadelphia as
(A) They produced grain especially for making bread.
(B) They stored large quantities of grain during periods of drought
(C) They supplied grain to other parts of North America and other countries.
(D) They consumed more grain than all the other regions of North America.
答案：BBDBA ACADC DAC