Unit 3: Reflection

Unit 3 Reflective Blog


Several roadblocks I encountered when researching for the report had taught me to be flexible and open-minded. In the planning phases of the project, I intended to interview staff from the UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI) and ask them about the current programs for bridging student groups as well as their capacity to act on my recommendations. As I worried in my last reflection blog, however, scheduling an interview was much harder than I had imagined, especially towards the end of the semester when everyone’s workload tends to pile up. While I did not have a chance to interview staff from the USI, I was able to be creative and flexible with my research methodology, thanks to the transparency of USI’s initiative online. Unfortunately, most of my research questions could be answered by the information obtained from secondary sources. Understanding that the USI currently engages with student groups through the Student Sustainability Council and the Facebook group called Student Sustainability Network, I came up with recommendations relevant and reachable by the USI.


Drafting the report outline in advance had made organizing the report easier. Previous assignments such as the outline and progress report prompted me to think about the flow of the report ahead of time and helped me design survey questions accordingly. It was, therefore, relatively straightforward to put together research results coherently and smoothly. Due to changes in methodology (i.e. the absence of an interview), the organization was slightly tweaked to ensure my reasonings were presented in a logical manner. A solution was to instead of separating the secondary and primary data as outlined before, I corroborated them to form a more comprehensive view of the problem of a scheduling conflict.


Composing the first draft of the report was the most challenging task of this unit. Andree’s comment on my project proposal reminded me of the benefit of variety in writings; since then, I was more conscious about the repetition of certain phrases and sentence structures. In light of this writing weakness of mine, I took more time rephrasing and reviewing my writing, as well as researching how similar ideas were phrased professionally in publications and research papers. Some of the professional-sounding wordings I picked up from publications and applied in my draft were “leverage” and “e-collaboration.” This is an area I will improve continuously in finalizing the formal report.

The draft report was also a chance to apply you-attitude in practice. Different from a typical class essay, this report was addressed to a particular audience. The purpose of the report was, therefore, not merely to prove a point or make reasonable recommendations, but to tailor the writing such that it is convincing to the audience. Especially when drafting the recommendations, I was mindful not only to state what would work and why, but also explain how would the recommendations benefit the USI, why I thought the USI has the capacity to do so, and what steps can the USI takes to implement the recommendations.


The peer-review exercise for this unit continues to be beneficial and rewarding in ways beyond the previous exercises. In particular, it presents an opportunity to learn the different types of formal reports. My formal report is a feasibility analysis of the various options available to help enhance collaboration between sustainability groups. In contrast, my peer review partner, Diane’s report, is a causal analysis of the operational difficulties of the package-free system in Ettics. It was interesting to learn how the writing style, organization, and language use differ in these two types of analyses. One thing I noticed was that in causal analysis, the focus was primarily on the findings related to the problem, which ultimately inform the development of the causal relationship. In the feasibility report, on the other hand, attention is drawn to the solution of the analysis. This way, although our reports followed the same sets of guidelines, different purposes were served. Diane’s draft report also provided me with insights into framing the interpretation section of survey findings. She did a great job explaining the underlying factors behind the findings; this is an area I found my report lacking and will make improvements on.





Draft formal report: 301 Emily Leung Draft Formal Report


Unit 2: Reflection

Unit 2: Reflection

LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a powerful and easy-to-use tool to build professional connections. Although I created my LinkedIn account a couple of years ago, I have not been updating the profile page regularly or engaging in the LinkedIn community actively. Compiling the tips for effective use of LinkedIn was a great starting point to re-create my profile. I constantly referred back to the best practices and made sure my profile was specific, clear, and directed to the target audience – the geospatial professionals. I particularly benefited from the tip of adding media and work samples to increase my credibility. I discovered the web portfolios and maps are often included in the profiles of geospatial professionals; hence, I attached some of my projects as well to align with this common practice in the industry. While compiling my profile, I also applied the skill of writing accomplishment statements I learned in co-op training. Accomplishment statements describe the duties and tasks completed in a position while highlighting an accomplishment or a skill I developed. As a LinkedIn profile is different from a resume in that it is viewable by everyone instead of a particular employer, accomplishment statements are crucial to providing a full picture of my skills and differentiating me from other potential competitors.


Preparation for the Formal Report

The most challenging portion of proposal writing was to decide on a research topic. I initially wrote a proposal related to workplace inefficiency and information management. Unfortunately, I ran into the problem of confidentiality, which led me to seek out another topic that was equally intriguing and relevant to my experience.

Thanks to a series of step-by-step tasks leading up to the completion of a Formal Report, I am on track of my anticipated report-writing timeline and I feel prepared to commence the investigation. I appreciate how the Formal Report assignment is broken down into smaller and more manageable pieces; it is less overwhelming to tackle these small tasks than the report as a whole. I was also able to gain experience writing a formal proposal, outline and progress report through this process. My main concern regarding the Formal Report is the potential of having a small sample size for primary data collection, which yields the question of, what should I do if I do not have enough responses? Despite my continuous effort to reach out to groups, not all of them are willing and able to participate in the survey and interview. However, I believe the process of reaching out is also a part of my investigation, and should be captured and documented in the report.

Peer Review
I reviewed Andree’s project proposal on recycling utensils at the UBC International Village food court. Her proposal was professional-looking and concise – something I hoped to achieve in my own writing. Through the peer reviewing process, I got a chance to compare my writing with others, recognize my weaknesses and make changes accordingly. In particular, I learned to use a mix of sentence structures and vocabulary in my revised proposal to add variety and keep readers interested. Furthermore, I learn to read carefully with attention to the details as I review other’s work.

Overall speaking, peer reviewing helps me to put myself in the readers’ shoes when I write. Instead of writing in ways that I could understand, I learn to strengthen my writing by anticipating the responses of actual and prospective readers. I also learn to formulate and communicate constructive feedback on my peer’s work.



Revised project proposal: 301 Emily Leung Project Proposal _ Revised

Link to peer review: https://blogs.ubc.ca/engl301-99a-2019wa/2019/10/16/peer-review-formal-report-proposal-emily-leung/


Unit 1: Reflection

Unit 1: Reflection

Links to my edited definition: Blog / Word doc

Link to Diane’s review of my definition: Review

Original Writing Process

Writing an apt definition is a vital yet underrated component of technical writing. It is something I overlook as I write research papers; I tend to dive right into the actual analysis, without establishing a solid foundation upon which an in-depth analysis can be built on. This week’s assignment forced me to take a step back and put myself in someone else’s shoes – someone who is unfamiliar with my discipline or area of study – by focusing on the basics of defining key terms. A good definition sets the tone of the rest of the writing and develops a common understanding across all readers. To write a definition that satisfies these two criteria, I made a series of choices during the defining process.

I began by choosing a term that was little-known but relevant to most people; this way, even if the reader was unfamiliar with the term, he or she would still be motivated to continue reading. The next challenge was to decide on the expansion strategies that were most applicable and useful in explaining the term just transition. In making that decision, I asked myself, if I were a reader, what would I want to know about a just transition? How did just transition relate to something I already know? Would I be interested to know more or fewer details? Thinking from the perspective of the readers allowed me to predict their expectations and choose the strategies accordingly. I also learned to be being mindful of the language I used to explain the term. Since the readers were supposedly non-experts, I had to constantly remind myself to refrain from using jargons and overly technical explanations.


Peer-review Process

Reviewing someone else’s writing was both a rewarding experience. It is because I could observe how my peers approached the same assignment different and learned from their writing styles, elaboration techniques, and language usage. Diane’s writing was particularly on point and effective, which contrasted with my wordy definitions. The way she explained her term, transformative learning, was clear and easy to follow, especially with her use of lists to demonstrate the operating principles. These are some of the things I have noted down to apply in my next assignments.


Editing Process

Diane paid great attention to detail when she reviewed my definition. She pointed out a range of grammatic, punctuation, and formatting mistakes I missed and suggested ways to avoid them. Her comments serve as a great reminder that these details are as important as the content itself. I also appreciated her suggestions to shorten some of the sentences, which is something I struggled with the most. I would certainly utilize Diane’s editing skills to review my writings in the future, and I hope to be a more careful writer as encouraged by Diane throughout the semester.


Email To Perspective Writing Team Member (1)

Hi Andree,

I hope this email finds you well. Your application letter stood out to me because of your articulate writing style, your extensive experience in technical writing, and the common expectations we share for a team in ENGL 301. It is my pleasure to invite you to be a part of my professional writing team and sharpen our written communication skills together.

It is evident from your application letter that you are an experienced writer in both the academic and professional settings. I have been exposed to different professional writing genres during co-op terms, allowing me to develop effective communication skill. I can offer you support in that manner and provide comments on how you can write more effectively. Likewise, I am open to constructive criticism; I believe your editing ability would be instrumental to my learning in this class. I am also excited to see that your experience as a TA for PHYS 100/101 paralleled with my work at the Geography Department as a GIScience Project Worker in terms of facilitating tutorials. I value timely communications amongst team members as well, and I believe we can work well collaboratively and learn from each other in a team.

I have attached my application letter for your review. Alternatively, you can follow this link to view the letter on my blog: https://blogs.ubc.ca/engl301emilyfungleung/files/2019/09/301-Emily-Leung-Application-letter-.docx.

Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you soon and I would be thrilled to have you on my team

Best regards,


Email To Perspective Writing Team Member (3)

To:                      brian.wang@alumni.ubc.ca
From:                emilyleung1997@gmail.com
Date:                 Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 1:10 PM
Subject:            ENGL 301 – Professional Writing Team
Attachments:   301 Emily Leung Application letter


Hi Brian,


As a Geography student who is passionate about environment and sustainability, I am impressed by your writing experiences in that area. I believe our skill sets are complementary to each others’, and I would like to invite you to form a writing team together for ENGL 301.


My work at the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada involves producing documents that describe the environmental effects of developmental projects and our legislations to stakeholders in great detail. My work experiences, coupled with my competency to produce thorough reports as a fifth-year Geography student, will enable me to help you write in a descriptive and persuasive manner. Likewise, your ability to write with clarity and conciseness has been my learning priority for this semester. It would be great to have the opportunity to learn that from your experience as a Research Assistant.
I was also intrigued by your research in the UBC Ecohydrology Group and would love to learn more about it. Personally, I have taken a variety of geoscience courses at UBC on meteorology, and my specialization is in environment and sustainability. I believe our common academic and professional interests would allow us to form a collaborative learning environment as a writing team.


I have attached my application letter for your review. Alternatively, you can follow this link to view the letter on my blog: https://blogs.ubc.ca/engl301emilyfungleung/files/2019/09/301-Emily-Leung-Application-letter-.docx.


Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you soon and I would be thrilled to have you on my team



Best regards,



Email To Perspective Writing Team Member (2)

Hi Diane,

Thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of your writing team; it is my pleasure to form a writing team with you for ENGL 301.

I believe your clear and concise writing style as demonstrated in your application letter would be a valuable asset to our writing team. Your experiences in writing and editing efficiently and professionally as a medical office assistant akin to my work at the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. It would be great if we can share our lessons learned and apply them in our writings for this class. Furthermore, I am excited to see that our interests align in many ways, especially in terms of social and climate justice. I would love to explore those ideas with you further as we develop our final report throughout this term.

I have indeed worked closely with Kate Hodgson in the past two years to organize climate actions on campus. It is great to know that we have a mutual connection outside of this class as well!

I look forward to working with you this semester. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Best regards,


Application Letter

5959 Student Union Blvd

Vancouver BC  V6T 1K2


September 16, 2019


ENGL 301 Technical Writing Class

University of British Columbia

2329 West Mall

Vancouver BC  V6T 1Z4


Dear fellow classmates,

Please consider my application to be a member of your professional writing team for the ENGL 301 class. I was thrilled about this opportunity to hone my writing skill and navigate through the nuances of technical writing with your team. I believe my written communication and interpersonal skills developed through my coursework as a fifth-year Human Geography Student and my professional experiences will enable me to be a valuable addition to your writing team.


My professional and volunteering experiences revolve mainly around climate justice and environmental protection. I have volunteered with grassroots organizations that tackle various aspects of climate change—from removing invasive species to promoting zero-carbon lifestyles. At UBC, I was an Outreach Coordinator for UBCC350, and I had canvassed to people from all walks of life about climate actions. I was also a Sustainability Ambassador who organized events, such as the Sustainability Career Night, to raised students’ awareness about sustainable practices. Further to student involvements, I am working at the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) to assist with environmental assessments that ensure adverse environmental effects are minimized.


I have been exposed to plenty of writing opportunities in my professional field. Working as a Project Assistant at the IAAC, I have drafted sections of an environmental assessment report, produced briefing documents for treaty negotiation tables, and written correspondence to different project stakeholders. I am comfortable with writing collaboratively with my colleagues and reviewing each other’s work. In my role as a GIScience Project Worker, I wrote an executive summary for an environmental scan report to the Curriculum Renewal Committee. These experiences demonstrate my ability to present high-quality documents and conduct peer review for the writing team. In terms of areas of improvement, I struggle with spending more time than necessary to polish my writing. Although I have never missed a deadline, it remains to be an effort to know when to move on. Writing concisely and precisely is another area I hope to improve in this class.


Learning is a transformative endeavour; by acquiring new knowledge and consolidating it through continuous reflection, my way thinking and behaving change accordingly. I enjoy the process of learning and unlearning through which I can understand myself and my surroundings better. There is always something more to discover so keeping an open mind is crucial.


My writing and interpersonal skills will make me a strong candidate for your writing group. Please contact me at emilyleung1997@gmail if you have any questions. I look forward to excelling in professional writing with your team in the next four months Thank you for your time and consideration.




Emily Leung



Word Document: 301 Emily Leung Application letter





To:          Dr. Erika Patterson, Instructor of ENGL 301

From:     Emily Leung, student of ENGL 301

Date:       September 16, 2019

Subject:  Application for a Professional Writing Team Member


In response to your posting on our class blog, I am writing to inform you of the submission of my application to be a professional writing team member.


The application letter has been attached to this email. It summarizes my previous professional experiences, writing strengths and weaknesses, as well as my learning philosophy. Highlights of the application include:

  • Keen interest in environmental protection and climate change as demonstrated in extensive volunteering and work experience in that field.
  • Experienced in writing, both individually and collaboratively, in the professional setting.
  • Open to learning from my fellow writing team members and from the various course materials.


I look forward to making the most of this semester in a writing team. Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Should you need any further information, please feel free to contact me at emilyleung1997@gmail.com.


Enclosure: 301 Emily Leung Application letter





ENGL 301 Technical Writing is a course taught by Professor Erika Paterson at the University of British Columbia. It aims to help people ranging from undergraduate students to young professionals communicate with cohesion, clarity, and confidence with their writings. The concept of ’practice makes perfect’ is endorsed in the course as lots of practices are designed to consolidate the writing techniques and practical frameworks introduced through readings. Students will have a chance to flex their writing muscle and produce technical, business, and professional writings in the form of abstracts, proposals, applications, reports, correspondence and Web Folio, to name a few.

Learning is always more effective and joyful with peers. In ENGL 301, students are encouraged to work independently as well as collaboratively through peer reviews and discussion blog. An interactive and collective online learning space enables students to learn and teach each other. 

This course comprises four units; each unit tackles a particular writing context and assists students to produce clean documents for expert and non-expert audiences alike. The first unit is an overview of the different technical writing genres. The second unit focuses on report proposal. The third unit prepares students for job applications, and the fourth unit wraps up the course with a formal report.

My expectations 

Communication skill – in both written and oral forms – is vital to advancing one’s social relationships and career prospect. As I am approaching graduation, equipping myself with this skillset before venture into the workplace become my priorities. I would love to get personalized feedback on my writing mistakes and advise on how to bring my writing to the next level. Most importantly, I hope the weekly assignments could counter my lack of self-disciple to write regularly and encourage me to write more. I hope by the end of the term, writing professionally would be less agonizing and more enjoyable!