Wednesday, July 18, 2012

HWP page formatting

HWP (Arae Hangeul) provides a number of benefits to users, including
  • It presents exactly the same page, perfect formatting, on every computer that has a reasonably current version of the program (HWP 2005, 2007, 2011, etc).  This is NOT true for MSWord - the same document can look very very different on different computers.
  • Most Korean users know lots of functions in HWP, which means they can more quickly create tables, etc.
  • Newer versions of HWP usually include a quick PDF creator, and you can save HWP files as MSWord or RTF (but then you lose the benefits of the first item, above).
However, almost no computers outside of Korea have this program. And the HWP PDF creator includes some Korean data that can be strange on non-Korean computers. The spell-check is less effective (in English) than MSWord, and it doesn't have a grammar check. (see  The default settings for HWP are peculiar for English writing, also.

One choice is to not use HWP.  Another choice is to use HWP, but be careful about the page settings, and save as a PDF file.  If you choose to use, here are two points to consider:
  1. Use a different PDF creator.  Of course, if you have Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Distiller or Ghostscript or something like that, you can use that.  If you have the choice, tell it to embed the fonts.  One option here is PDF995 (from -  a free download (two files are needed) that you can save on your USB and use anywhere, since you need not reboot the computer after installation. It will produce clean PDF files and not add any "malware" to the computer. With the free version you will get one popup advertisement with each file created, or, pay US$9.95 and have no popups.
  2. Reformat the page and type settings so it looks like an "English" page.  These are:
    • Page margins - sides at 2.5 centimeters for A4 page.  Top and bottom margins at 2.5 or 3 centimeters, and no "header" or "footer" for a letter.  (F7 opens the page setup menu)
    • Type size can be 10, 11, or 12 point. Definitely not smaller, and larger is a bit peculiar (but you do want to fill the page)
    • Linespacing between 100 and 115 - the default in HWP is 160, which looks good for Hangul characters or a draft (so you can mark changes easily) but looks like 1.5 linespacing in English -- too much gap between lines for a final version. Of course you will need to highlight text to change the linespacing if you have already started typing.

Page Setup Menu

Line Spacing Menu and Example Page

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brainstorming Sample for Letter of Introduction

For this sample, I'm imagining it's June 1982.  I'm starting my final semester - a summer semester - prior to graduating from UCLA with a degree in Political Science (concentration in International Relations).  I know that I want to work in NGOs for my career.  I'm thinking about a job with Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, where I did an internship and a one-year full-time job while I took a year off from school, and then a part-time job for six months while I was back in school (and doing right now).  But much of what I think about might be relevant to other employers in the same field.  While these people know me, and I know them, I'll pretend that we didn't know each other.

The job is Program Supervisor (Administration Supervisor) for a Refugee Employment Project. The other Supervisor is supervising the Job team, he supervises most of the staff out at 4 centers, my job is the paperwork side of things, most at headquarters.  (I got this job.)

5 minutes brainstorming about what I might talk about in a cover letter to apply for this job.

  • speak some Spanish, French, and Filipino
  • grew up with Asians
  • worked with Asian and Haitian refugees as Intern/job
  • some experience in coordination (low level management) at Catholic Charities
  • Eagle Scout
  • career aim in charities work
  • worked at McDonalds and Thrifty Drug Store (a chain, three stores)
  • Ast Manager at two small drug stores
  • pay not a big deal, just enough
  • considering MPA, but not quite ready to start
  • I know people at Catholic Charities, and the partner agencies across LA/Ventura/Santa Barbara Counties
  • I write well, do grant-writing and ghostwriting
  • comfortable in a tie
  • long hours no problem (but don't love mornings)
  • have a car and driver's license
  • trained secretaries and tutor English
  • comfortable in places where I don't understand the language
  • I'm Catholic
  • I like problems (finding solutions, include library and practical research)
  • I like working with young student part-timers
  • I can type pretty well
  • I can fix some equipment sometimes
  • I know the organizational environment (key people, policies, and neighborhood)
  • worked in flower shop, mostly as driver, in San Diego (different city)
  • quick thinker
  • good public speaker
The next challenge is deciding which of these might be useful for a particular job application, which are less useful, and which might be dangerous!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Peer Editing: Tough Love

Peer editors need to practice "tough love."

Remember, your critical comments will help your friend get a better grade!  If you don't point out the less than beautiful issues, then the writer may not notice them, and they will get lots of "red notes" from the teacher (and a lower grade).

(Mom doesn't really want to push her baby out, but knows that the child must learn to live (and fly) independently.  So being "tough" is really the strongest kind of love.)

Cover Letters

We will talk about cover letters as a way to practice several elements of good writing
  • First impression (nice presentation on the page)
  • Paragraph contents (organizing the information)
  • Business Letter culture (Ref:, Dear, etc)
  • What I talk about in a "Letter of Introduction"

Attachments include both HWP and DOC (MSWord) originals, plus PDF versions.  There are two different letters here, which aim for two different types of jobs.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Communicating as a Writer

Writing is hard work, for a number of reasons.  Learning to write in a different language adds even more challenge.  In addition to words and grammar in the foreign language, we also have to consider cultural differences in communication, and how these affect the writer and the reader.

Two main points here:
  1. the duty or "role" of the writer and the reader
  2. the "logic" of communication


The responsibilities of the writer and reader are perfect opposites in English and Oriental languages. Westerners think that to communicate effectively, we must "put ourselves in the reader's shoes," or, try to figure out what they know and think, so we can present information to them in a way they can best understand.  We can call this "writer-responsible" language.  In many Asian languages, including the Oriental languages (including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), the reader is responsible for discovering and understanding the clues left by the writer.

This means, in English the writer is primarily responsible for ensuring the reader understands the message.  Your tasks to fulfill your responsibility?
  • To express yourself clearly and effectively so that your reader can quickly and easily understand everything you have written
  • To lead your reader on a clear path through your writing
  • To give your reader a clear idea of what you know or your point of view.


We often hear that western logic is "linear."  The images below may help explain the concept.  A key word here is "digression" -- moving away from the main point you wish to communicate.  The "linear" argument suggests that we move directly to the main point as quickly and directly as possible, then move on (to the next point).  For people in other cultures, this can seem rude. And in fact, there are many people in western societies (especially diplomats and salesmen?) who will often try to be less direct. On the other hand, when westerners are frustrated by this lack of directness, they say things like "don't beat around the bush, get to the point!"

We understand that the Oriental approach is -- if I hint and infer and spend enough time around the issue, you can figure it out! 

In the first set of images below, it's not clear that in Oriental approach, we don't finish AT the point, in fact we continue on to the next point without actually saying what we want to communicate (there is no final arrow on that line)

(the following from
Robert Kaplan, for example, suggests in an influential article called “Cultural Thought Patterns in Inter-Cultural Education” that the following symbols best describe paragraph development world-wide:
Whereas the English paragraph tends, for example, to follow a direct line of development, the Oriental paragraph tends to develop thought in a more circular pattern. Romance languages and Russian tend to prize digressions, while Semitic paragraphs often value parallel lines in development.
  • English - (includes Germanic languages such as German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish) Communication is direct, linear and doesn’t digress or go off topic.
  • Semitic – (for example, Arabic or Hebrew) Thoughts are express in a series of parallel ideas, both positive and negative.  Coordination is valued over subordination.
  • Oriental – (Languages of Asia) Communication is indirect. A topic is not addressed head on, but is viewed from various perspectives, working around and around the point.
  • Romance – (Latin-based languages such as French, Italian, Romanian and Spanish)  Communication often digresses. It is fine to introduce extraneous material, which adds to the richness of the communication.
  • Russian – Like Romance languages, Russian communication is often digressive. The digression may include a series of parallel ideas.
 You might also enjoy a slightly different presentation of the differences between North American and Asian (Chinese) progression, from 

(blue is North American linear communication, red in Chinese indirect communication)

Robert Kaplan, 1966
Cultural thought patterns in inter-cultural education
Language Learning (journal) Volume 16, Issue 1-2, pages 1–20.