Japanese Genkouyoushi and Essay Tips

It’s a type of paper used in all manuscripts of writing in Japanese. Vertical writing usually starts from right to left and top to bottom. Horizontal writing starts from left to right and top to bottom. Here are some tips for you.

Vertical Writing

  1. Title: write the title in the 1st line. The 1st word starts from the 4th square. If the title starts with numbers, write them in Kanji.
  2. Name: writer’s name is on the 2nd line. Last name comes before the first name. Leave 1 square between the last and first name. Leave 1 square below the first name as well.
  3. The First Sentence of the Essay or Paragraph: starts from the 3rd line in the 2nd square. Each new paragraph starts from the 2nd square.
  4. Punctuation Marks: usually occupy their own squares. Exception: when they will occur at the top of next line, we write them at the bottom right quarter next to the last word of the current line.
  5. Small Characters: each occupies 1 square and we place it on the top right quarter of the square.
  6. The Subheading (if applicable): has 1 empty line before and after. It starts from the 3rd square of a new line. If there are no subheadings, just start the next paragraph in a new line after the previous one.
  7. Elongation Mark: when writing from top to bottom, the elongation mark should also be written from top to bottom in the middle of the square.
  8. Writing Numbers: use kanji instead of Arabic number. One number occupies 1 square.

Horizontal Writing

  1. All the rules (1-8) in vertical writing would normally apply to horizontal writing.
  2. Small characters occupy in the bottom left quarter of 1 square.
  3. When writing conversation script, we use the Japanese quotation mark.

Essay Tips

  • Always aim to write about 90% of the words required. Between 90-100% is great. Below 80% will not give you good marks.
  • Always write Kanji if you can. Too many Hiragana will not help you get good marks.
  • Be consistent. Stick to whichever the form you choose to use for sentences throughout the essay. To include all what you wanted to write about without exceeding the word limits, we recommend to use the plain form. The plain form also gives the friendly feeling to readers.
  • Avoid using slang or colloquial words/ expression in the formal essay writing.
  • Avoid repeating the same words or the same content too often.
  • Avoid writing a sentence that is longer than 2 lines of the Genkouyoushi.
  • Ensure the logic of the sentence flows.
  • Ensure there are no typos or writing errors. e.g., You are thinking of 1 word but you wrote it differently.
  • If you need to write in pencil, please make sure you choose the proper one for clarity of reading and ease of writing.

‘H’ indicates the hardness. e.g., 3H is harder than H.

‘B’ indicates the blackness. e.g., 3B is softer than B.

‘F’ indicates that you sharpen the pencil to a fine point.

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