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Intermediate Writing (Higher Intermediate / Intermediate 2)

  • Pukyong National University (Daeyeon Campus)
  • Room: (allotted room, but not likely used)
  • Instructional medium: This course will be conducted by means of uploaded, pre-recorded videos in the LMS. It is unlikely that we will hold live classes in our classroom this semester.

Prof. Kent Lee

  • Office: C25-1103
  • Office hours: By appointment

1 Course description

This course is designed mainly for sophomores, juniors and seniors in social science and humanities fields. The goals of the course consist of improving your academic English writing skills, and expressing yourselves better in English. This includes specific skills like:

  1. Writing different types of paragraphs (definition, classification, narrative, etc.)
  2. Prewriting techniques
  3. Using basic sentence types effectively; this includes common second-language issues such as essay structure, style, wording, and grammar issues.
  4. Developing main ideas, topic sentences, and body paragraphs

2 Assignments

Click on the 'Expand' applet on the right to see or collapse past assignments and materials.

2.1 ¶#1

For the first paragraph / multi-paragraph writing assignment, you will write a self-introduction email of at least a couple of paragraph. You can refer to the email guide in the book (§2.5) for the basic format of an English email. The general format and structure can be more formal, but the contents of the body paragraph can be more semi-formal (including first and second person pronouns). In your email, you can choose any one or more of the following topics and explain them in your email.

  1. Why you chose your major, and your future plans.
  1. Tell me about your English learning. What things have you find to be actually helpful and useful in learning English (habits, practices, experiences, reading materials, media materials, etc.)? What things have been unhelpful or adverse? How do you feel toward English? Do you personally like it or find it useful, or do you feel negative about it? What experiences have made you feel that way? How important is English for your future?
  2. Tell me about your experiences learning another language (and various aspects like those mentioned in the previous item).
  3. To help me learn the Korean language and culture, perhaps you could recommend some basic reading materials, websites, or any written or print materials that might help. Be sure to provide background information on such sources. (My Korean is at a lower-intermediate level).
  4. Any other questions that you might have.

Be sure to indicate your name and section in the subject line. Be sure to send your email to at least two of my email accounts simultaneously, to avoid emails getting lost (and that helps my email filters to put it in the right folder).

Due date: 18 Sept. For grading, you can refer to the grading criteria in the appendix, particularly those on p. 74. However, this is a semi-formal assignment, so I will not grade too strictly, and will not expect this to be in the very formal style of a college essay. Thus, I will also consider your effort as well, and so for this, the criteria on p. 74 are a rough guideline.

2.2 ¶#2

For this assignment, you will fill out application questions for a job application. Each question should be answered with at least a complete paragraph. You can write this as if you were applying to a job such as the following. For this application, you are applying for an entry-level position, starting position, or junior position at a company, organization, or other entity.

  • An entry-level position at a major company
  • A teaching job of any kind (primary, secondary, tertiary, or private)
  • An NGO (non-governmental organization or charity organization)
  • A government agency (e.g., in Korea or another country), or a governmental organization (e.g., the UN or similar entity)

You will answer four of the following questions.

(1) Please explain your relevant training, education, skills and qualifications for working at this company, and in this specific position.
(2a) How have you developed intellectually and personally while in college? or

(2b) How did you develop or express your leadership, both in and out of school?

(3) What are your long-term goals at this company, and in your career?
(4a) What book has changed you the most? or

(4b) Explain how a past experience in your life changed you. or

(4c) If you were given the chance to change the curriculum of your school, what changes would you make? or

(4d) Explain the relevance of your major—for society, and for this job.

2.3 Midterm: Proposal

A proposal is a formal document to apply for funds for a project, or to propose a business agreement. It can be a letter or short essay, and can be used to apply for a number of different things. In this assignment, you can choose a more business oriented topic or a more academic topic. See examples created for this course at this page: Proposals (writing).

2.3.1 Project types

The KentLee7 Foundation is accepting applications for various research, community service, and business development projects.[1] The Foundation offers the following three options that you can apply for.

1. Academic Research Project

This is for those who wish to undertake a special research project in their senior year of college, or in a Master’s program. The senior research project involves an original research project in a special studies course under the direction of a professor, and this will lead to a full-length bachelor’s thesis for the course. The Master’s project will be directed by the student’s academic advisor / professor, and this will of course lead to the standard Master’s thesis [석사논문] that is a typical requirement for an M.A. degree (in a humanities or social science field) or an M.S. degree (in science and engineering fields).

Amount: ₩1,000,000—₩10,000,000

2. Community Service Project

For this, you will propose a project that will benefit a community in some manner. This can be an area of Busan, a rural community or area of Korea, or a community or small area in another country. This can be any kind of community project. You will need to explain a specific need, a specific plan for a project to address the need, and your ability to direct a project to help with that need. (There should be a suitable professor or business leader in the community who can help as an advisor for your project, and as a contact person for the Foundation.)

Amount: ₩1,000,000—₩10,000,000

3. Business Project Proposal

This is for those who need funding for a particular business project. This can be starting a new business, and/or researching, developing, and marketing a new invention, product or service. For this, you will need to identify and explain a specific need or market for your company or idea, a specific plan for developing it, and your ability to direct the project and successfully complete it. (There should be a suitable professor or business leader in the community who can help as an advisor for your project, and as a contact person for the Foundation.)

Amount: ₩5,000,000—₩20,000,000

The following example is not a KentLee7 Foundation application, as it is not an application to a foundation, but is a propsal made by one company to another.

4. Business Agreement Proposal

Imagine you are an executive or manager of a company, and would like to make a proposal to another company. This could be a proposal for both companies to enter into some type of business arrangement, or for one company to offer its services or products to another company. One company might need a particular service (e.g., managing a company website) or product (e.g., computer hardware) in order to function. You can imagine you are a manager or executive with the authority to make such a proposal to another company, where your company would like to offer its products or services to another.

Amount: Not applicable, as you are not asking for money in this assignment option. In this case, you may offer a quote to another company for services that you might provide—as long as the amount is reasonable.

2.3.2 Proposal components

Your written proposal should include most or all of the following elements in some form.

General requirements for all papers
  1. At least 2 pages (single-spaced, not counting cover page); no more than 4 pages
  2. At least two sources should be cited and used meaningfully (such as academic or business / professional quality sources)
  3. Submitted in the LMS by the end of the midterm period

Academic Research Project
  1. Research question or problem
  2. Research plan and methods, details, and rationale for your choices
  3. Specific goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes
  4. Potential obstacles (and how you will handle them)
  5. Your ability and qualifications to direct the project, manage the funds, and successfully complete the project
  6. General timeline and budget
  7. Why your project deserves funding (including unique or distinctive aspects)
  8. Likely outcomes or potential results of the research
  9. Benefits or implications of your results

Community Service & Business Projects
  1. Situation or problem
  2. Your plan, including the proposed solution or approach, specific details, and rationale for your choices
  3. Specific goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes
  4. Potential obstacles (and how you will handle them)
  5. Your ability and qualifications to direct the project, manage the funds, and successfully complete the project
  6. General timeline and budget
  7. Why your project deserves funding (including unique or distinctive aspects)
  8. Likely benefits, outcomes, or implications of the project

Business Agreement
  1. Explain with an executive summary. [1-2 ¶s]
  2. Explain the situation, problem or need.
  3. Propose a solution; explain feasibility
  4. Timeline & budget
  5. Explain your qualifications
  6. Explain rationale, objectives, outcomes, importance, implications
  7. Clarify pricing options, your terms and conditions.

2.3.3 General template

Here is a general template to help you get started. Each of these items might constitute a paragraph or a section of two or more paragraphs in your essay.

  1. Brief self-introduction; general purpose of the project
  2. Statement of the problem or question
  3. Specific description of your proposal / solution
  4. Specific goals, objectives, or outcomes
  5. Uniqueness or distinctiveness of your project or idea
  6. Your qualifications
  7. Timeline, budget, and how you will allocate the funds

2.3.4 Examples

  1. See examples created for this course at this page: Proposals (writing).
  2. See pages like this one at https://www.instructionalsolutions.com/blog/proposal-examples for commercial and business examples. Note: These tend to be in slide / PPT or informal formats, so look at the contents for ideas, but not the design or layout of these documents. This site explains the good points and bad points of each example, and each example is in a separate link.

2.4 ¶#3

For this assignment, you will pick a potential subject for your final project - a company, entity, or program - for which you would write a case study. You will provide some background information on your subject, why you are interested in the subject, and a potential question about the subject that you would like to explore. A potential subject could be a specific business or company (in any country), organization, institution, NGO, governmental / intergovernmental organization, government agency, government program, educational instutution, educational program, community service organization, or community service program. This should be at least one page (if single spaced), or about 400 words. You should cite at least one source (at least a website for the entity or program); for citing non-English sources, see §8.5 in the book.

2.5 ¶#4

For this assignment, you will describe the subject of your final paper in more detail. You will need to describe more about your research question - for the subject you've chosen, what kind of question or problem do you want to examine? What kinds of information and sources do you have? What kind of analysis will you do, or what do you want to discuss in your analysis of the subject? This should be at least 400 words.

2.6 Final paper: Case study

For this assignment, you will write a case study of a particular company, entity, or program.

  • a company or business (of any country), or one of its activities (e.g., a merger, acquisition, expansion into a new market, marketing strategy)
  • an organization, intutute, or institution 
  • a non-governmental organiation (NGO), charity, non-profit organization, or community service organization  
  • a governmental / intergovernmental organization (such as UNESCO, the UN, World Bank)
  • a government agency
  • a government program
  • a school, university, or educational institution 
  • a department or major of a particular university
  • an educational program (at a particular school or educational institution, or from a particulary organization or agency)
  • a community service program

Your analysis can focus on one or more of the following types.

  • an evaluation (e.g., the effectivenss of a company, program, or activity)
  • a problem / solution analysis of a problem or challenge that the entity has faced, is facing, or will likely face
  • a challenge (past, present, or likely future challenge) for this entity / program
  • reasons for an entity's success or failure (past or present)
  • the likely prospects of an entity or program, e.g., its potential for failure or success
  • suggestions for what a company should do (e.g., for a specific challenge, or for its future)


  • At least 1200 words
  • At least four sources that are cited and used meaningfully, including at least two sources in English

See the grading criteria in the book (§10.3.C) and the format for major papers (§10.1).

3 Evaluating sources

3.1 News sites

There are the top news outlets, sites and publications for general world news, political news, original reporting, investigative journalism, commentary and analysis. Many of these predate the Internet, so here, format includes its original format before going online.

3.1.1 General news

Name / site Format & scope Location
ABC News (US) Traditional nightly TV news US
ABC News (Australia) Traditional TV news Australia
Al Jazeera TV news Qatar
The Associated Press Wire service US
The Atlantic Magazine; commentary & analysis of news, culture and society US
BBC News Traditional TV news UK
CBS News Traditional TV news US
CNN TV news; general news US
Deutsche Welle Radio & TV news / TV news Germany
Foreign Affairs Magazine; in-depth analysis of global affairs US (published by a famous thinktank, the Council on Foreign Relations)
The Globe and Mail Newspaper Canada
The Guardian Newspaper UK
The Hill US political news & commentary US
Huffingtonpost Magazine format; commentary and analysis of US & international news, politics, society, and culture US
NBC News Traditional TV news US
The New Yorker Magazine; commentary & analysis of news, culture and society US
National Public Radio Radio news US
New York Times Newspaper US
Reuters Wire service Germany
Politico US political news & commentary US
South China Morning Post Newspaper Hong Kong
Time magazine Magazine US
The Times of India Newspaper India
The Wall Street Journal Newspaper; US & international financial & general news US
The Washington Post Newspaper US

The following are foreign language news sources from around the world.

  1. Le Monde (France]
  2. Sverige Tillskott (Sweden)
  3. El País (Spain)
  4. Frankfurter Allgemeine (Germany)
  5. CNTV (China)
  6. Deutsche Welle (Germany)
  7. Der Spiegel (Germany)
  8. Yomiuri (Japan)
  9. RT (Russia)
  10. France24 (France)
  11. Niews (Netherlands)
  12. De Telegraaf (Netherlands)

The following are news aggregators, which do not do original reporting, but merely aggregate or collect trending stories from many news outlets.

  1. Google News
  2. Yahoo News

The following provide commentary and analysis from a specific political perspective. They are not intended as general news sources, but as sources of (generally) intelligent political commentary.

  1. The New Republic (US; liberal)
  2. The Nation (US; liberal)
  3. National Review (US; conservative)
  4. The Weekly Standard (US; conservative)

3.1.2 Business & financial news

Name / site Format & scope Location
Bloomberg TV news US
Business Insider Magazine US
Business Standard Newspaper India
The Economist Magazine US
The Financial Times Newspaper UK
Forbes Magazine US
Fortune Magazine US
Market Watch Magazine US
New York Times (business section) Newspaper US
The Wall Street Journal Newspaper US

3.1.3 Technology & IT news

3.1.4 Science news

3.1.5 Suggested journals & professional publications

Here are some professional trade journals, and some easier academic journals, that you might like to look at to find articles for the genre analysis assignment. Professional trade journals
  1. The Chronicle of Higher Education https://www.chronicle.com
  2. Inside Higher Ed http://www.insidehighered.com
  3. Times Higher Education https://www.timeshighereducation.com/
  4. Observer https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer (psychology)
  5. Food Technology http://www.ift.org/food-technology.aspx
  6. World Landscape Architecture https://worldlandscapearchitect.com/
  7. Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com
  8. Harvard Business Review http://www.hbr.org
Other trade magazines
  1. Wikipedia list of trade magazines in different fields: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_trade_magazines Academic journals
International journals
  1. English Today https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/english-today (applied linguistics, language education)

Domestic journals from Korea
  1. English Teaching
  2. Journal of Asia TEFL
  3. Korean Journal of Applied Linguistics
  4. Modern English Education
  5. Korea TESOL Journal

4 Paraphrasing and summarizing

Sample revision essays from an assignment may appear here.

5 Reference materials

5.1 Citation systems

The following are some commonly used citation systems; you can use any one of these for your papers in this course.

Style Typical field
* Chicago Manual, short & long footnote styles humanities (This is a more semi-formal citation style; end references are still required with footnotes)
* Chicago Manual (parenthetical) humanities (This is a more formal style with Author+Year in parenthetical in-text citations) humanities
* Chicago Manual (all versions) complete guide to all versions

If you have a lot of media sources, you might find Chicago or MLA easier to use.

6 Discourse & style issues

Read the relevant course packet chapters on coherence / transitionals, cohesion, reporting verbs, and word choice. We may go through some of this quickly in class, as this is rather dry. Please look at the examples and bring your questions, as you may or may not understand why some examples are given, or are flagged as problematic.

To revise and improve your midterm paper, first look at these more general guides to style and wording. Then look at these more specific topics.
  1. Doznees of scholarships have been awarded by this foundation to students at Hogwarts, Gotham City University, Metropolis University, Monsters University, Mars University, Wossamotta University, and Starfleet Academy.