How to Create a Good First Impression Through Email Writing

In the professional field, whether it is school or work, it is important to be able to write a concise and purposeful formal email. In this world of networking, the ability to communicate well through writing can be really helpful in creating a good first impression with someone — a potential mentor, business partner or employer — since a well-written email may indicate professionalism and dedication.

The second round of literacy was all about effective communication, and email etiquette was part of the course. An important takeaway for me about writing an email was to keep the email concise and professional. We should consider that the recipient is probably really busy and we are asking them to spend time on us, and by keeping the email to the point, we’re doing us and them a great favor.

There are many components to constructing a well-written formal, including the subject line, salutations, introductions, purpose, and conclusion. To put what we learned about email etiquette to action, we were required to write a formal email to a made-up fashion company to request for an internship. So below is the written email, broken down into different components

Subject: Request Information About Internship


Dear Mrs. Ellie Holte,


I hope this email finds you well. My name is Thathiny Tep, from the Liger Leadership Academy in Phnom Penh. I am writing this email regarding the internship opportunity offered by your fashion design company, Blossom. I heard briefly about this opportunity from my learning facilitator here at Liger.

[Content and purpose]

I am interested in the position assistant market researcher and believe that position is suitable for me. I know that Blossom is known as one of the most successful business in Cambodia and it would be a great pleasure if I get to experience working there. However, I’m still unclear about the requirements for the applicants since you haven’t had much information about this opportunity on your website, so I’m writing to request for further information and how to apply.


I am looking forward to your response regarding my inquiries and applying for the position.

[Final salutation]

Best regards,


Why FDR’s First Inaugural Address Still Remains Powerful Today

In literacy essential, we examined the topic of American history as our first unit. Using the platform CommonLit and other resources, we dissected the speech “Give Me Liberty, Give Me Death,” understood the causes of American Civil War, analyzed the Great Depression and etc, while also expanded our vocabulary usage and studied grammatical concepts. At the end of the term, we were able to choose our final assessment project. I chose to write a rhetorical analysis essay on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt first inaugural address “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself.” Below is the essay I’ve written about how and why FDR used the rhetorical appeals in his speech.  

Rhetorical Analysis on FDR’s First Inaugural Address

“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”

Starting in 1929, one of the most tragic economic crisis, the Great Depression, occurred. This catastrophe caused many citizens to be unemployed and bank loans were halted. However, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was elected in 1932, he promised to bring America out of the depression by providing jobs to citizens and strengthening America’s policy. In his inaugural address — delivered on March 4th, 1933 — President FDR explained the economic issues that America was facing and presented his solutions to the audience. Throughout his rousing speech, FDR offered logical solutions about the problems arisen in the United States from 1929 to 1939. He projected his speech in a unifying language that built his credibility to “fix” America and reassure Americans to believe through government involvement and collaboration, America could recover.

Throughout his speech, President FDR used the logos appeal to describe the problem America faced and the reason behind his proposed solutions to reform the US Constitution. FDR explained the dire condition of the economy concerning America to reinforce the importance of his speech. He elaborated on the problem by stating, “values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income…” He also proved his solutions would work by asserting, “we are stricken by no plague of locusts,” and “our Constitution is so simple and practical that it is possible always to meet extraordinary needs by changes in emphasis and arrangement without loss of essential form.” These logical reasons persuaded the audience that his resolutions were necessary and had the ability to pull America out of the Great Depression.  

In addition to the appeal to logic, President Roosevelt used ethos by communicating in phrases that built his reliability with his audience and guaranteed he had the ability to heal his country. He assured the audience that he will solve the economic issue of his country by claiming, “I shall spare no effort to restore world trade by international economic readjustment, but the emergency at home cannot wait on that accomplishment.” Later in his speech, he went on to say, “for the trust reposed in me, I will return the courage and the devotion that benefit the time. I can do no less,” which further ensure his audience. With these promises, President Franklin Roosevelt had made his citizens believed that he would support them.

Similarly, FDR established a relationship with his citizens by using pronouns such as “we” and “our,” and called his citizens to collaborate with the government in order to build up the trust for him. He emotionally conveyed, “we face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of the national unity.” With this he called the citizens to action by pleading, “if I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well.” By entreating this, he emphasized the importance of collaboration to both the citizens and the government, therefore, convinced Americans to rely on him while also cooperate.

On the whole, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt effectively delivered his first inaugural speech with rhetorical appeals such as logos, ethos, and pathos. His influential speech is still engraved in American citizens today. Besides, he did not just present his solutions in his speech but also execute them to action. Many of the policies that were established during his time in office still serve Americans today, and this is part of the reason why he remains one of the most respected American presidents.


Why I Want to be a Part of Liger Edge?

This year, Liger initiated its own online school newspaper — Liger Edge. The goal is to keep track of and share with the world the abundant activities we do at Liger. The articles come in dual language and will help communicate opinions and experiences we have to create discussion.

I was chosen to be the English editor in chief. Being in this role, I hope to learn more about my classmates writing style and help improve their writing skills as necessary. Additionally, the reason I want to be part of the school newspaper is that I want to spread my love of reading and writing. I believe that people would love reading if they can find something that would interest them. In a similar way, I also want to give a voice to and project the beauty of Cambodia through my articles.

My first article was about the International Vulture Awareness Day, which happened on the 1st of September. Below is an excerpt from my article:

Saturday, September 1st marked this year’s International Vulture Awareness Day. The intention of the day was to communicate information about vulture conservation to a greater audience and spotlight the important works done by vulture conservationists worldwide. Opportunely, two organizations in Cambodia participated in the celebration of this event by sharing their work as conservationists in Cambodia.

Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity took the opportunity of this day to inform Cambodians through the popular social media platform Facebook about the “destructive consequences of using poison for hunting in attempt to encourage local hunters to abandon this practice.” The post came along with a 3-minute video discussing the decline of vultures due to hunters’ practices and what this means for us, humans.

Photo from BirdLife International Cambodia Programme

Greece and Rome Influence our Modern World

In literacy class this term, we studied ancient civilization because in order to develop a society, we should look back at the societies in our history. One big thing we investigated is how there are many aspects of today’s world that derived from Greece and Rome. Below is an excerpt of my DBQ essay I wrote regarding the influence Greece and Rome have on the modern society.

Modern society is encompassed with entertainment and procedures that contribute to the convenience of everyday lives, but where did the ideas for the creation of modern society emerge from? In fact, the inspiration for modern society is rooted from Ancient Greek and Roman society. Many aspects that were practiced by ancient Greeks and Romans are something that’s practiced by modern citizens. The two main ancient societies had greatly influenced the development of current politics, entertainment, and medicine that are indispensable for a society.

Greece and Rome are well known for their government system and how they’re influential to that of today. Often, the politics of Western nations remind us of the democratic system, democracy, of ancient Greece and Rome. Based on Document 5, Greek society was the first to implement democracy into their government, and Rome took this political system to the next level. Athenian democracy allowed their citizens (only males) to shape their government, including voting. According to National Geographic News, election procedures and the justice system of America were influenced by ancient Greece. Additionally, Rome developed democracy to form a better government structure: they sparked the idea of “elected officials.” These people had the equivalent role a president or a king has in a country nowadays. They had control on defense and consider any dilemmas for the countries. Another fact is that Rome emphasized the value of citizen participation in the government and we can see that in Document 1: Pericles said, “we do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all.” This fact could remind us of many modern countries that mandate their citizens to serve in the military field. Here, one can see that the archaic Greek and Roman civilizations bring forth the legislation and authority that is still practiced in America and many other countries in present days.


What Does a REAL Man Mean to You?

In literacy class, we had a project to write an article about any topic ralating to gender equity. My article include different perspectives of female on what a real man should be like.

When we think of a man, we often think of masculinity. But are all men masculine? Or do they need to be masculine?

That’s the way many men think about how they should be. This is not necessarily what girls and women think.

I asked a question to several females I know, ranging from Asians to Westerns, and from 15-year-old teenagers to a 30-year-old woman. The question is “What does a real man mean to you?”

Very little of the responses claimed a man needs to be strong! In fact, many think a real man is much more than just their appearance.

“If a person identifies himself as a man, he’s a real man,” Vornsar Ses, my close friend, mentioned. Similarly, Samantha Cody, a learning facilitator at Liger wrote to me, “I would say, my idea of a ‘real man’ is: a person who wants to be called a man. Pretty simple, but that’s about my only standard–you’re a “real man” if you identify as a man, nothing more required or expected of you.” The same idea is said by Cara Shelton, another learning facilitator, “… a real man must want to identify as a man.”

Some said to be a real man, you just need to exist!

“He should physically exist!” Sreynith Sam, another friend of mine, briefly said.

Despite those simple requirements, there are some characteristics an ideal man should have. Cara genuinely expressed, “there is not much more ‘real’ a man needs other than existing. However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have certain ideas of an ideal man or “real man” in the colloquial sense.” She continued, “he sees and treats women as equals and acknowledges that the expectations and roles we all participate in are socially created and not natural because of our sex. He applies the traditions or practices of being a “gentleman” to all people and all manners of his life.”

Alice Dimitroulis, a teenage girl from Australia, indicated, “for me, a real man doesn’t necessarily have to do with physical appearance. I understand the term itself is sometimes used to challenge a man’s confidence, for example ‘you’re not a real man if you can’t lift those heavy weights.’” She went on to say that a real man should be honest with himself, doesn’t fall into peer pressure, doesn’t worry about being the best and doesn’t take offense when others say he’s not a real man. Likewise, Cara remarked, “A real man is not threatened by successful, powerful women.”

A Korean teenager, Soyeon Lee, responded that there are a few aspects of an ideal man, “for me, ‘real man’ is [someone] who is good at his own area such as debate, sports or math(ability), a warm hearted man(personality), and can be looked nice at least to me(appearance).” Comparably, one of my friends feels that a real man is someone that “people can depend on, learns from his mistakes, does what is necessary, could make people around him smile [and] respectful”

Respect and appreciation are also essential ingredients for a real man. Many said they should admire others around them, especially women. Sreynith believes a real man is “a man who respects women and does not humiliate them.” Another friend of mine commented, “He’s grown up and respectful. He should be a feminist, not going against anyone. He should be a wise man to be a real man.” Cara made a few other points about different aspects of appreciation, “a real man is not homophobic. A real man tries to avoid language that is offensive and stereotyped. A real man can appreciate and admire female beauty while also controlling himself and remaining loyal (if this has been decided in a relationship).”

I’ve been communicating other women’s perspective of men, but I haven’t revealed anything about my idea of a real man. An ideal man to me is all of the above. I know that a man can’t be all those things, so to me, the most important characteristic is that a real man is able to show his emotion when necessary. Even though many people consider this expression as weak, it’s not in my opinion. I clearly remember a statement and fell in love with it ever since. The statement was made by Arn Chorn pond, the founder of Cambodian Living Arts, and he said, “it takes a real man to cry.”

I’m clearly aware that different people have different views of what a real man is like. Our opinions on a real man might be different from those of our best friends, or parents and grandparents. There is no one definition of a real man. Everyone of us needs to acknowledge this fact and encourage men to be whoever they want, regardless if they fit in your definition of a real man.

Nefarious Story Writing

In literacy class on Halloween, I picked a line that says “I got an eerie feeling when I heard…” and my classmate took turns to continue my story. The story ended being about a woman ghost singing a lullaby in my room. To add a twist to the story and make it less scary, I made that situation into a dream!

Some main and scary words from my story

Sophie’s World Book Review

Sophie’s World is written by Jostein Gaarder. He is famous for writing books about children’s perspective for young readers. However, Sophie’s World is suitable for different ages. In this book, Sophie turned fifteen during a course taught by a complete stranger to her, who then known to her as Alberto Knox. The book is subtitled as “A Novel About the History of Philosophy,” which Gaarder put together 2000 years of western philosophical thoughts into this thrilling book. Gaarder taught high school philosophers for 11 years, so he knows how to turn this very complicated subject into an understandable language for teenagers, which makes the book even more fascinating. This Norwegian author often wrote each chapter of Sophie’s World focusing on one philosopher with their philosophical projects. Those old philosophers include some famous ones, such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Socrates was a philosopher from Athens and is famous for his quote, “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.” He is a very ambiguous philosopher because he never wrote a single line about his project, but he had a great influence on European thoughts. People know about his project through Plato’s writing. Plato wrote a lot of Dialogues and he made Socrates as his main character. We are not sure if the words were actually Socrates’s words. Socrates didn’t like to instruct people, instead, he discussed. He liked to listen and ask questions. He started conversations as if he knew nothing. Socrates believed that his conscience told him what’s right, “He who knows what good is will do good.” He was concerned with the universal definition of right and wrong. He conceived that the ability to think what’s right or wrong is in people’s reason and not in society. He also thought that doing the right things make us happy and when we do wrong things we don’t know that it’s wrong since no one would choose to be unhappy.

Plato was a student of Socrates. Plato concerned about the relationship between what is eternal and immutable in nature and society. He believed that everything tangible in nature can change. Those things are made of the materials that can be eroded over time, but they are made of the mold or form that is eternal and immutable. He called this idea. Plato believed that all tangible objects will eventually become a soap bubble because nothing that exists last forever. He has a point that we can’t have true knowledge of things that keep changing. We can only have opinions about. We can only have true knowledge with the things we can understand using our reasons. Everyone has the same reasons, but our senses vary between different people. For example, if we ask thirty people what color is the most beautiful, we’ll get many different answers. If we ask them what 8 times 5 is, they’ll give the same answer, hopefully, because that’s what the reason tells us. Plato found mathematics very interesting because it never changes. In short, Plato divided reality into two regions. One is the world of sense, which we only have incomplete knowledge with because it always changes. Two is the world of ideas, which we can have true knowledge by using our reasons and it is eternal and immutable.

Aristotle is a pupil at Plato’s Academy for almost twenty years. His father is a physician, and therefore he’s interested in nature study. Aristotle was obsessed with the change in nature, nowadays described as a natural process. This philosopher was very different from Plato. Plato used his reason and Aristotle used his senses. Plato wrote poetry and myths, and Aristotle wrote precise encyclopedia. Aristotle thought the opposite from Plato about the ideas. He thought that the idea or form came after the actual form. The idea came from people after seeing the actual thing. Aristotle decided that the reality is made of two things: substance and form. What things are made of is substance and form is the characteristic of each specific thing. He also thought that substance always has the potential to become form. For example, a chicken’s egg would potentially turn into a chicken, but it doesn’t mean that all chicken’s eggs will become chickens. Aristotle also concerned about nature’s scale, so he divided living things into two categories: plants and creatures. Creatures can then be divided into animals and humans. Those categories are distinguished by their characteristics. For instance, living creatures have the ability to perceive the world they’re living in.

Those are just three famous philosophers that were introduced in Sophie’s World. There are more philosophers with amazing projects that made people notice the reality of the world we’re living in.



Coming of Age – Personal Narrative

The first assignment for literacy class this year was to write a personal narrative about an experience that’s related to coming of age. I decided to write about how making decisions is a major part of our life. In this narrative essay, I described how my parents included me in a very important decision for our family. I think it is very important to be able to reflect how much I’ve grown up and this is an opportunity to do so. Please read some quotes from my essay and the literary device I used. 

“One evening when I was at school, my phone vibrated like a heartbeat.” _ Simile

“I will miss seeing those kids with smiling faces running around without a care. I will miss the dark hallway that led me to the door of my home. I will miss the loud noise of vehicles from the main road across from my window. I will miss the colorful fireworks I saw during festivals. I will miss being in the center of the chaotic city. I will miss everything about the White Building.” _ Anaphora

“My mind was blank; I didn’t know much about the plan and what the family really needed.” _ Semi-colon usage