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120 TOPIK #26 – TOPIK Wongoji Writing Rules Revisited


A while ago I wrote a few posts about Wongoji essay papers:

  1. Take a Look at Some Sample TOPIK Answer Papers (Blank) and download Wongoji essay papers
  2. Learn how to write TOPIK essays well using Wongoji writing guidelines

Today, let’s revisit the Wongoji writing rules as described in the 토픽 쓰기 100점 받자! book:

원고지 사용법 (Wongoji Writing Rules)

Writing in the Wongoji paper can be difficult for many students, so it’s important to understand the proper ways to structure and form sentences and paragraphs on the papers. You can find explanations of the Wongoji rules below:

  1. 한 칸에 한 자씩 쓰기 (One character per blank)
    1. 원고지의 한 칸에는 한 자씩 씁니다. = Write only ONE Hangul character per blank.
  2. 한 칸에 두 자씩 쓰기 (Two characters per blank)
    1. 아라비아 숫자는 한칸에 두 자씩 씁니다. = Write TWO Arabic numerals per blank.
    2. 영어 알파벳 대문자는 한 칸에 한 자씩, 소문자는 한 칸에 두 자씩 씁니 다. = Write ONE uppercase English alphabet letter or TWO lowercase English alphabet letters per blank.
  3. 띄어쓰기 (Spacing)
    1. 띄어쓰기를 할 때에는 한 칸을 비우고 이어서 씁니다. = Leave ONE empty blank for spacing (띄어쓰기).
    2. 띄어쓰기를 해야 하는 칸이 왼쪽 처음 칸이 될 때는 띄어쓰기를 하지 않습니다. = If there should be a space between two characters, but the space would land in the first blank on a new line, DON’T leave a space. (i.e. the ONLY time you leave a space as the first blank on a line is when you start a NEW paragraph – see the last rule).
  4. 줄글 쓰기 (Prose)
    1. 줄글은 처음 한 칸을 비우고 씁니다. = Leave a blank space before any new sentence.
    2. 문단이 바뀌면 처음 한 칸을 비우고 씁니다. = When you change the paragraph, leave the first blank empty on the first line.
  5. 문장부호 사용하기 (Using sentence symbols)
    1. 느낌표( ! )나 물음표( ? )는 글자와 마찬가지로 한 칸에 쓰고 이어지는 글은 띄어씁니다. = Exclamation marks and question marks each get a single square and are followed by a single space.
    2. 마침표( . )나 쉼표( , )는 한 칸에 쓰는데, 이어지는 글은 한 칸을 띄지 않고 다음 칸에 바로 씁니다. = Periods and commas also get a single square but are NOT followed by a single space. Rather, begin the next phrase immediately in the following square (and periods and commas should be written to the left side of their blanks, near the phrases they punctuate).
    3. 문장부호는 한 칸에 한 자씩 씁니다. = Write ONE punctuation mark per blank.
    4. 말줄임표( …… )는 두 칸을 사용합니다. = Ellipses require TWO blanks (one three-dot ellipsis per blank).
    5. 큰 따옴표( ” ” ), 작은 따옴표( ‘ ‘ )는 칸의 구석에 치우치도록 씁니다. = Big double quotation marks and single quotation marks should be written in the corners of the blanks as if leaning into the sentences they punctuate.

You can see examples of all of these rules and further explanations in the following printable PDF (click to download):


Be sure to familiarize yourself with the proper Wongoji writing rules. You’ll lose points on the TOPIK if you don’t write according to the rules. Start practicing with these rules now.

And if you want to practice with actual Wongoji paper, here is a printable PDF for you to download and print to practice on (click to download):

Screen shot 2013-05-11 at 8.02.03 AM

Over to you:

Were you already familiar with these Wongoji TOPIK Essay writing rules? Anything you didn’t realize before? You know you’ll lose points even if your writing syntax (these rules) are incorrect. Let me know what you think and how your practice is going by using #120TOPIK on social media or leaving me a Comment below.

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5 thoughts

  1. is it necessary to leave the first line blank and just starting writing from the second line?
    Should the essays always have a title, and if so, should they always come with the marks “” (beginning and end of the title)?
    also, about the V mark, I was reading that marks outside the boxes are not considerated…how to proceed then?

    1. To answer all your questions:
      1. No, do not leave the first line blank. Only the first box. Wongoji starts counting characters from the first line (usually 20 boxes per line), so don’t leave the line blank. This is just an example where I did so to try to show things more clearly.
      2. Essays do not have titles (at least not on the TOPIK). IF you are going to use quotation marks somewhere, put them in their own boxes as the guidelines state. But they are not required anywhere.
      3. The “V” mark you’re referring to there is only an example to show that there SHOULD be a space after that, but since the sentence continues to the next line, you DON’T need to put a space in the first box on the next line. It’d be like writing in English. We wouldn’t leave an extra space before a new word on the next line down, so don’t do it in Korean either.

  2. What if you need to write the model of a handphone in your essay, like say Samsung Galaxy S6… then does the S go into one box, since it’s a capital letter, and the 6 goes in the next box? Or can I just write S6 together in one box? What is accepted?

    1. I would probably write them together in one box. Most dates (like years, etc) are written with 2 numbers per box so that you don’t fill up too much space with non-Korean fillers. So, I’d recommend putting both in the same box.

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