Amongst the High School Students' essays, three essays were selected by the examination committee. The first prize went to Jang Jun-min whose essay is well- organized and has a warm and concerned tone. The ideas are well-developed and the essay has enough length to give substance to the writer's main argument that we need to establish a more harmonious relationship with nature on both personal and governmental levels. There is, however, aminor problem in the essay which is that the concept of "the commons" is not clear.
The second-prize essay, by Kim Na-rae, gives specific examples of a polluted city and its counterpart --an eco-city, as well as another place where an effort to fight pollution had positive results. The conclusion is especially good in that it makes an appeal to our becoming more conscious of the problem and to our will to do something about it. The recommendation prize went to an essay written by Choi Da-hye. This essay, although not as substantial in depth as the first two, offers some practical suggestions of what we personally can do to help nature in our daily lives. It offers the fundamental conclusion that above all a change of our habits is required.
Unfortunately the number of university students who participated was far less than the number of high school students. The committee decided to give only one award that of recommendation. One of the reasons for this is that few of the participants actually managed to come even close to the required number of words specified for the essays which meant lack of depth in development. There was also the problem of a lack of clear focus regarding the topics as well as problems of structure and organization.
The essay that won the recommendation prize, by Chung Jin-hee, was chosen because of its relevant and well-organized content concerning the pollution and congestion of cities as well as its general English language skills. A runner-up for the recommendation was an essay entitled "A Better Tomorrow" for its originality.
We hope that more university students will take the plunge next time to participate. Being a winner or not is not as important as what is learned from the very process of essay writing.
Thank you to all participants for showing up for the contest. May you pursue the challenge of writing English essays! Writing, be it in one's native language or in a foreign language, is our precious gift for communicating our humanity.
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