Friday, April 04, 2008

Comparing 2 essays for improvement in your writing

Let's take a look at 2 essays and how to make the most of the guidelines -

The prompt: * Why does Santino say, "If I were a bird I would fly back to Africa to the place where refugees going to the US are having orientation and say - 'Lies; it's all lies.'"


These boys landed in a US that they thought would be warm and welcoming. There were happy moments, yes, as they became accustomed to their new environment. But there were so many conflicts - many of them minor, to be sure - that they grew frustrated. Even though they knew where they were on a map, in their minds they were largely and often lost.

A view of the documentary “Lost Boys of Sudan”

When Sudanese refugees Peter and Santino arrived in Houston, Tx, to begin a new phase of their life, they were optimistic. Yet in the documentary "Lost Boys of Sudan" we watch them grow frustrated with language (though they know some English before they arrived), work ($7 an hour does not equal a decent life) and socialization (“I’m so black; I’m odd,” says Santino) issues.

Finally, Santino says, “If I could go back to orientation in Sudan - like a bird - I would tell the refugees ‘They’re telling you lies.’” But he is tough enough to overcome his disappointments and take up a class in electrical work as he toils at a basic factory job in his new land.

The first one sounds OK for a moment - then you realize it's full of generalities. The second essay is full of detail and examples.

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