In the grim dystopian world of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, reading is outlawed. Anyone who reads a book is severely punished. Fortunately, this does not apply to Dongguk University. However, the reading rate of South Korean university students has significantly decreased since the past years. According to a research done by KERIS (Korea Education and Research Information Service), university students in South Korea borrowed an average of 7.8 books from libraries in 2014. A low reading rate can cause poor academic achievement and decrease in creativity. Nevertheless, numerous students believe that reading is not as interesting as other activities, such as playing video games.
To motivate Donggukians to read more, the Dongguk University should hold an essay writing contest on the books written by the members of Dongguk University every week. A contest committee that consists of not only professors but also students could be formed to manage this weekly event. The committee will select and announce a piece of literature written by a professor, student or alumnus. Fortunately, Dongguk is filled with a lot of talented writers.
In the early 2015, nine students became established writers after winning prizes in the Spring Literary Contest sponsored by major newspapers. Professor Hwang Hoon-sung from the English Department won the 6th Wooho Humanities Award for his book, “Death in Western Literature.” These pieces can be used for the contest. After reading the proposed piece, all participants would submit a two-page essay on their personal appreciation of the work. The exceptional writers shall be awarded with a certificate of merit. However, even the students who are not the best writers will still be awarded if they show their enthusiasm through participating in the contest more than ten times. In this way, the contest may attract more students to participate. In addition, the book essay contest will bring several positive outcomes for both individual students and the university itself.
By participating in the contest, a student may not only become a better reader but also a better writer. The contest will serve as an excellent opportunity for students to practice their writing. It is widely agreed that more practice brings better results. Numerous students in Dongguk University are suffering from college writing courses. Two common excuses for poor writing are the lack of interest in reading and the lack of opportunity to practice writing. Therefore, if these students participate in the contest, they could kill two birds with one stone, improving both skills simultaneously.
Furthermore, the contest may help students to reach their career goals. It can honor the best writers and enthusiastic participants with certificates. The winners may utilize the award in numerous ways. One of them is to mention the award in their resumes. By doing so, students can portray themselves as both passionate readers and thoughtful writers, the kind of employees that many businesses want. For applying for part-time jobs, such as university library assistants and for more professional positions in major companies, the merits can assist these students in achieving a successful result.
Finally, the contest would grow the students’ pride in their alma mater. The plan is to introduce numerous poems, dramas, and novels that are written by the members of Dongguk University. Reading these works may also serve as an opportunity to honor the hard work of the authors. This could motivate potential writers in Dongguk to publish their works in the future and continually bring glory to the community. A university renowned for its talented writers will surely make the students feel proud.
The book essay contest’s primary purpose is to motivate students to read. Yet, it could mean more than that. As an opportunity for Donggukians to practice writing, the contest can improve the participants’ writing skills. By honoring winners and enthusiastic participants with certificates, the contest may help these students to reach their career goals. By honoring the accomplishments of the writers, the students’ pride in their university will grow. In conclusion, the book essay contest is a solution that is truly of Dongguk, by Dongguk, and for Dongguk University.
Moon Ji-hun firstname.lastname@example.org
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