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Intermediate Writing (Higher Intermediate / Intermediate Writing / Composition 2)

  • Pukyong National University (Daeyeon Campus)
  • Course # 109820, §104, M10.00-10.50 (2), W 10.00-11.50 (2/3)
  • Room: C25 #531
  • Instructional medium: This course will be a live in-person course.
  • Course syllabus

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. Business, professional, and academic writing
  3. Prewriting techniques
  4. Using basic sentence types effectively; this includes common second-language issues such as essay structure, style, wording, and grammar issues.
  5. Developing main ideas, topic sentences, and body paragraphs

1.1 Grading

Here is the general grading scheme. You can refer to the syllabus and the textbook for more information.

Attendance 10%
Homework & minor assignments         20%
Midterm paper 20%
Self-reflective essays 20%
Final paper 30%

2 Assignments

There are minor homework assignments, including Google Forms, which are generally worth 10-20 points; and major multi-paragraph assignments, worth 100 points.

2.1 Minor homework assignments

Self-intro / survey GF

This is worth 10 points, and you will receive the 10 points simply for filling this out honestly and on time. You will provide some basic info about yourself, and some contact info; then you will answer some survey questions, which are for research purposes, and eventually, to help me improve my courses.

Email assignment

In this assignment, you will email me and answer a few questions. See the section in the book on writing emails. 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). Your subject line should include your name, ID#, and maybe a brief subject. For the contents of your email, about 1-2 paragraphs will suffice. This will be worth 20 points. 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). You do not (and should not) try to cover all of these questions; I would suggest that you pick 2-3 of these questions to address in your email.

  1. Briefly tell me about yourself: where you are from, why you chose your major, and your future plans.
  2. Why are you taking this course? What do you hope to get out of it? What do you expect from this course? Or, what would you like to learn, or what would you like to improve in this course?
  3. Tell me about your English learning experiences. What things have you found 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?
  4. Tell me about your experiences learning another language (and various aspects like those mentioned in the previous item).
  5. Any questions or comments you have for me.

Prewriting methods GF

This form is worth 10 points, and will be graded based on your effort in answering the questions. There are no right or wrong answers; I just want to know about your writing habits. Please fill out the text box below with a few sentences. The terms below are outlined in sections 2.1-2.2 of the book, which may not be available yet. 

Business letter practice

Write your own business letter, based on the examples in the book. You can write this as if you are a customer writing a complaint, a customer service representative answering a complaint, a staff member at one company writing to a vendor or business client, a salesperson writing to a client, or whatever. The topic and contents are up to you, as long as they are reasonable. This should be no more than one page, single-spaced. Value: 20 points.

Pre-midterm GF

For this form, you will look at the midterm options on the course website, and tell me which option you want to do. Then you will tell me your rough ideas for how you plan to develop your proposal and your ideas, as best you can. Of course, after submitting this form and while working on the proposal, your ideas might change, and that's okay. This is simply designed to help you get started. 

Other possible assignments
  • Summarizing exercise (ch. 5)
  • Citation exercise (ch. 8)

2.2 Multi-paragraph writing assignments

Click on the 'Expand' applet on the right to see or collapse past and future assignments and materials. For these assignments, please see the grading criteria for shorter assignments in the book (most or all those criteria will be relevant).

2.2.1 ¶#1

For this assignment, you will respond to questions as if you were answering application questions for a job application. 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 governmental agency (e.g., in Korea or another country), or an international / inter-governmental organization (e.g., the UN or similar entity)

You will answer four of the following questions. (That is: #1; choose between 2a & 2b; #3; and choose between 4a,b,c, or d.) Each question should be answered with at least a complete paragraph.

(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.

2.2.2 ¶#2

For this assignment, you will write a sample résumé and cover letter, as if you were applying for a job in the future. You can project yourself into the future - pretend that this is in the future, after you have graduated and have some accomplishments to mention - as long as they are reasonable. Each document is worth 50 points, for a total of 100 points.

  • Résumé: an application for an entry-level job (one page)
  • A formal cover letter to go along with your résumé

2.2.3 ¶#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 or a qualitative study. The focus of this project is independent information / data gathering and analysis. You will provide some background information on your subject, why you are interested in the subject, and a potential research question about the subject that you would like to explore.

A potential subject could be something like the following.

  • A particular business or company (in any country); or one company's particular product, service, strategy, or such
  • A particular government agency or program
  • A particular NGO, governmental / intergovernmental organization, or one of its programs
  • A particular community service organization, or community service program
  • A particular educational institution (primary, secondary, or tertiary, private); e.g., a particular university or university program
  • A particular educational program or policy, or a university major program / department; e.g., an EMI program, a study-abroad program, or a particular major, at one university
  • A particular teaching method or approach in a particular context (e.g., a particular EFL/ESL teaching method; how a particular type of literature is taught)
  • The learning experiences of a particular group of students / learners (in a progam, major, department, or such a context)
  • The experiences of a particular teacher / group of teachers at a particular educational institution
  • The opinions or experiences of a particular group of consumers / users of a product, service, or company
  1. 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 the section the book on citing foreign sources.
  2. This can overlap with or relate to your midterm project, or a paper that you are currently doing in another course.
  3. If this overlaps with a paper from another course, the LMS plagiarism detection may flag one of your submissions as plagiarism or self-plagiarism. In that case, you can email the assignment to me, and in the LMS, simply indicate that you emailed it.

2.2.4 ¶#4 (Fall 2021 only)

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.

2.3 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 (or an entrepreneur or independent business person), 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 750 words / 2 pages (about 2 pages, if 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 Project Proposal or 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 Guidelines

For this, you can project yourself into the future, and imagine that you have some kind of experience or qualifications that are relevant to your project (as long as it is reasonable - for example, you cannot claim to have a Nobel Prize or Olympic gold medal). 

For some more academic sources, you can try entering terms in a search engine (e.g., "community service programs Korean"), and focus on search results that look like official, professional, business, or governmental sources. You can also try academic search engines for academic sources:

The grading criteria are in the book, section 1.3.3. 

2.3.5 Examples

  1. See examples created for this course at this page: Proposals (writing), and more examples of the research propsoal format at Research project proposal (college).
  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.

2.3.6 Citations

You can use the Chicago Manual long footnote style (as discussed in the lecture videos), Chicago endnote style, Chicago short footnotes + works cited, Chicago parenthetical in-text citations, APA, MLA, or any other standard citation & referencing format. See here for Chicago style: 

2.4 Final paper: Case study

For this assignment, you will write a case study of a particular company, entity, or program. You may want to look at the guide on doing case studies.

  • 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, institute, or institution 
  • a non-governmental organization (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 particular organization or agency)
  • a community service program
  • an individual subject, e.g., a teacher or learner (educational study), an employee or manager (business study) or a patient (health study) - Note: This requires sufficient academic training and expertise, such as advanced research-oriented students who are familiar with qualitative research
  • A particular teaching method or approach in a particular context (e.g., a particular EFL/ESL teaching method; how a particular type of literature is taught)
  • The learning experiences of a particular group of students / learners (in a progam, major, department, or such a context)
  • The experiences of a particular teacher / group of teachers at a particular educational institution
  • The opinions or experiences of a particular group of consumers / users of a product, service, or company

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

  • an evaluation (e.g., the effectiveness of a company, program, or activity)
  • a problem / solution or 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
  • an analysis, evaluation, or problem-solution paper based on a model (like the STAR model), theory, or framework in your field
  • 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 or entity should do (e.g., for a specific challenge, or for its future)
  • an interview, survey or questionnaire study of a particular group of persons (e.g., students, teachers, stakeholders)

Some suggestions:

  • Evaluating a company's performance and/or future prospects; evaluating one of its product lines, its marketing strategies, its management practices, or any particualr aspect of the company. You will probably need to use trade journals, business magazines, official company websites, official reports, government data, etc. as sources.
  • Evaluating an NGO, community service program, government service, government agency, intergovernmental program (e.g., WHO, UNESCO...), educational program, etc. * Evaluating a specific university, college, public school, educational program, degree program, department, or such; or how a particular subject is taught, say, at universities in a particular country.
  • A specific government policy, educational policy, or such.
  • For such topics, as sources you will need to use some of the following: official websites (company or instituional sites), official publications (from relevant entities), official reports, white papers, official documents, government data, business news articles, official data / statistics, data from government agencies / websites, articles from professional publications, and maybe relevant academic studies, among others.
  • Qualitative research, such as interview, survey or questionnaire studies, require some knowledge of a relevant model, theory, or research methods, and/or enough knowledge of a particular field that you know what you are doing.

Some ideas:

  • Company X's rise and grown in a particualr market; Company X's current strategy or peformance in a particular market; the success (and future) of product line X from Company Y
  • Business, management or leadership practices at Company / Entity X; the leadership and management style of Company X / Organization X
  • A particular degree program at a particular university
  • Problems with a community project in City X
  • Needs or problems of a particular agency (governmental / intergovernmental) or NGO
  • English-medium instruction program(s) at a particular university, or at universities in a particular country
  • How literature is taught in language departments at Korean universities
  • The life of a famous author (poet, novelist, etc.) and how his/her life shaped his/her writings
  • How Busan can better promote itself, e.g., by attracting more tourism or businesses
  • How a particular university can improve its image, or attract more international students, or promote itself, or attract more research funds
  • How a particular university (or universities in one area or country) can better prepare students for the job market
  • A specific governmental policy or program
  • Focused interviews (e.g., consumers of a product, students in a school or program)
  • A group project of two or more people (in that case, the length requirement for the paper is per person)


  • At least 800 words (per person), not counting the cover page, references, tables, charts, quotations, appendices, etc.
  • Two or more people can do a project together and submit a single paper with multiple authors. In that case, the word count is 800+ words per person.
  • At least four sources that are cited and used meaningfully, including at least two sources in English.
  • Extra materials that you use, like interview or survey questions that you used, should be included as an appendix.
  • This can overlap with a paper that you are doing in another course (if you are doing this project alone) - in that case, you may want to be careful about submitting both version of a paper in the LMS, as it might be incorrectly flagged as plagiarism / self-plagiarism (in that case, you can email it to me).
  • This can overlap or be based on your midterm paper.
  • See the grading criteria in the book, and the format for major papers.

Format & citations: Please see the following pages for examples and guideliness for citing sources.

  1. https://www.enwiki.org/w/Case_study 
  2. https://www.enwiki.org/w/IW (where this assignment is also posted) 
  3. https://www.enwiki.org/w/Professional_sources 
  4. https://www.enwiki.org/w/Chicago_Manual_(parenthetical) 


2.5 Final reflective paper

In this final written assignment, to be uploaded in the LMS assignment space, you will evaluate your learning and improvement over the semester. Specifically, you can discuss the following – focusing on those that are relevant to you.

  1. What did you expect to learn from the course, or what improvements in your abilities did you expect? Were these expectations reasonable?
  2. What were your goals in learning, and how did you try to achieve them?
  3. What learning strategies and methods did you use? How effective were they?
  4. How much effort did you put into the course and your own learning? How well did you participate in class.
  5. For group activities or discussions in-class or outside of class, what role did you play in the groups? How actively did you participate?
  6. What did you learn? Specifically, what skills did you learn, or what improvements did you experience?
  7. What changes happened in your attitudes, or how you view yourself, your major, your learning, etc.?
  8. What difficulties did you experience?
  9. What kind of help did you seek when you faced difficulties or shortcomings?
  10. In what specific areas do you think you did not improve or learn, and why?
  11. In what ways do you still need to improve? How do you plan to continue improving yourself?
  12. What grade do you think you deserve in the course, and why?
  13. Do you have any suggestions for modifying or improving this course?

This can be about 1-2 pages long. This assignment will be evaluated on the simpler grading rubric for minor writing assignments above (though this is treated as a major assignment), and criteria like contents, clarity and effort will consider the following:

  • The quality and effort in your self-reflection
  • The depth and detail of your self-reflection
  • The sincerity of your self-reflection

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
Harvard Business Review Academic / professional journal 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.