am i on the right track?

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Ineedhelpplease
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:51 am

am i on the right track?

Postby Ineedhelpplease » Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:23 pm

First. My life has had many first’s, I am a first generation Ecuadorian-American, I am the first member of my family to learn English, I am the first member of my family to graduate high school, first college attendee and first college graduate. As I look back, I realize that all the difficulties that came with being the first so many times in my family have prepared me for another first which I hope will be law school.
I was raised by a single mother; I met my father a handful of times and its as though meeting a stranger every time. In Ecuador my family lives a poor, rural life; when my mother first came to the United States she came as an immigrant, she worked 2 jobs as a seamstress and on Mcdonalds kitchen staff and I was watched by whichever one of my mothers friends had time to watch me.
I was learning everything as I went; television taught me English and while my mother was working I cooked, I cleaned the house, at 7 or 8 I was in charge of the finances and I also went to school. At my junior high school graduation my mother in tears told me how at that age Id accomplished more than she ever has, those words always motivating me to always work hard because everything she did was for me to have a better life.

this is what i got so far... any suggestions?

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rinkrat19
Posts: 13917
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: am i on the right track?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:40 am

Your choice of where to use a comma and where to use a semicolon seems a bit random. In many (if not most) of the cases, I think it would've been better to just split it into two sentences.

If it were me (just editing commas/semicolons/periods, nothing else):
First. My life has had many first’s. (No, no, no, no!!!) I am a first generation Ecuadorian-American. I am the first member of my family to learn English. (Are you still the only English-speaker? If not, say 'was' instead of 'am'.) I am the first member of my family to graduate high school, the first college attendee and first college graduate. As I look back, I realize that all the difficulties that came with being the first so many times in my family have prepared me for another first: law school. (this thought is fine, I just think it might be better used in your conclusion to tie everything back to your main theme of 'firsts.'

I met my father a handful of times and its as though it was like meeting a stranger every time. I was raised by a single mother. In Ecuador, my family lives a poor, rural life. When my mother first left her family in a poor, rural area of Ecuador and came to the United States she came as an immigrant (what else would she have been, a tourist?), she worked 2 two jobs, as a seamstress and at McDonald's. I was watched by whichever one of my mothers friends had time to watch me. After I was born, my mother kept working, leaving me with whichever of her friends was available. (This was a tad confusing. You are 1st-gen, meaning you were born here, right? But when your mother first came to the US, you were watched by her friends while she worked? You weren't born yet. I tried to make the passage of time clearer.)

I was learning everything as I went; (cliche and not really illustrated by your examples) While my mother worked, I learned English from television and took care of the cleaning and cooking. television taught me English and while my mother was working I cooked, I cleaned the house, At 7 or 8 seven or eight years old, I was in charge of the household finances (really? A 7yo budgeting for groceries and paying the electric bill?)

Consider putting school in the next paragraph. It doesn't really fit with the list of responsibilities you took on at an early age in the previous paragraph, and the jump to junior high graduation is abrupt. Perhaps include a description or anecdote about how school was hard at first, but got better as you learned English, or something.
and I also went to school. At my junior high school graduation, my mother in tears told me, in tears, how at that age Id that I'd already accomplished more by the age of 14(?) than she ever has had in her life. those words always motivating me to always work hard because everything she did was for me to have a better life. Her obvious pride in me and her desire for me to have the opportunities and success she never did have inspired me ever since.
Perhaps here you can describe how your mother's words motivated you to not stop there at junior high, but kept going through HS and college, to set up the "next first: law school" thing.


Your theme of 'firsts' is good, with plenty of potential to be tied into a 'why I'd be good at law school' argument, and obviously you have plenty of material to draw from with a rich story like that. If every sentences has multiple clauses separated by commas and/or semicolons, you're probably trying too hard to make your writing sound sophisticated and complex. Variety in sentences structure is good, but you don't want to overuse any particular technique, and you have to make sure you're using it right.

Spell out numbers below 10. Make sure tenses match.

And for the love of everything holy, do not pluralize with an apostrophe. Every time I see that, my soul dies a little. First's??




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