MrPedantic, Mister Micawber or anyone else willing to help:

I wrote another essay. This one is for the the supplemental application for Chapman University's film school. The topic is: the most influential film.

Could you please read it, and tell me how I can improve it, and if there's any spelling or grammatical mistake.

Here it goes:

Most Influential Film

The Matrix:
What is the film that has influenced me the most? That’s not an easy question, since I usually learn something new from every movie I watch. However, The Matrix is the film that influenced me to want to become a film director. Therefore, that’s the one that should receive the biggest credit. It wasn’t actually the story that influenced me, but the making of the film.

When I came to the United States, I didn’t know any English. To be sincere, I wouldn’t even go to the Seven Eleven near my home to buy milk because I was afraid that someone would talk to me, and I wouldn’t know what to say. As a result, my mom suggested that I should watch lots of movies in order to get familiar with the language. By the time, I started watching TV with subtitles, in order to read and understand better what I was watching. I stayed at home for six months just watching TV as I waited for the next high school year to begin. Then, my mom decided to buy DVDs because she was told that they had better resolution than videos.

One of the first DVDs that we bought was The Matrix, which I liked very much. Then, I noticed that the DVD had special features, which included the making of the film. After having watched the movie numerous times, I thought that it would be very interesting to see how it was made. After I finished, I was amazed at how much work was put into making the film, and I realized that most people don’t know that. Also, I realized that there’s more to a film than having a good time watching the life of fictitious characters, and seeing how they go through changes and struggle to solve a problem or accomplish a goal. In fact, the one and a half to two hours that it takes a viewer to watch a movie are equivalent to numerous hours of work from its makers. Later on, I learned that with every movie it is the same. Some of them don’t need a great number of special effects, but they require a lot of work too. Thanks to that, now I appreciate movies much more than before. I didn’t know that a blue or green screen is used to make special effects or to change the background and make viewers believe that the actors are in a certain place when they are actually in a studio. Before, I used to wonder why would the makers of a film even bothered adding those long credits at the end if most people don’t care to watch them. Now, I understand that every person listed on the credits is indispensable for the film because every one of them did something to make the it unique.

I used to think that I wanted become a biochemist before I watched The Matrix. Then, I realized that there is nothing I like more than watching movies, and to see how they are made. Now, every time my family buys or rents a DVD, I watch the special features that come on it, thinking that one day I will become a great film director, and be able to participate and to play an important role in the making of films. Even though, it wasn’t the movie itself the one that actually influenced me, the fact that I liked the story and the special effects drove me to want to watch the making of the film, and decide that I wish to become a film director.

Thanks partly to The Matrix and mostly to its DVD, which enabled me to see what was behind the film, I learned to appreciate the work of everyone who was involved to bring life to its story. The film not only helped me realize all the work that it is put into the making of a film, but it also helped me to decide what I want to do with my life, which is to some day become a great film director.
1 2
Can anyone please check my essay. It's urgent; I have to send it as soon as possible.

PLEEEEAAAASSSEEE!!!! Emotion: crying .
Just the glaring errors.

What is the film that has influenced me the most? That’s not
an easy question, since I usually learn something new from every
movie I watch. However, The Matrix is the film that made
me (shorter)
want to become a film director. Therefore,
that’s the one that should receive the biggest credit. It
wasn’t actually the story that influenced me; it was
(maintain the parallel)
the making of the film.

When I came to the United States, I didn’t know any English.
To be sincere, I wouldn’t even go to the Seven Eleven (7-Eleven)
near my home to buy milk because I was afraid that
someone would talk to me, and I wouldn’t know what to say.
As a result, my mom suggested that I should watch lots of movies
in order to get familiar with the language. So I
started watching TV with subtitles (comma deleted) in
order to read and understand better what I was watching. I stayed
at home for six months just watching TV as I waited for the next
high school year to begin. Then, my mom decided to buy DVDs
because she was told that they had better resolution than videos.

One of the first DVDs that we bought was The Matrix, which I
liked very much. Then, I noticed that the DVD had special
features, which included the making of the film. After having
watched the movie numerous times, I thought that it would be very
interesting to see how it was made. After I finished, I was
amazed at how much work was put into making the film, and I
realized that most people don’t know that. Also, I realized
that there’s more to watching a film than
having a good time following the life of
fictitious characters, and seeing how they go through changes and
struggles to solve a problem or accomplish a
goal. In fact, (semantic problem.) a 90 to 120-minute
movie requires
numerous hours of work from its makers.
Later on, I learned that with every movie it (what is the
same?)
is the same. Some of them (what are
them?)
don’t need a great number of special
effects, but they require a lot of work too. Thanks to that(what
is that?)
, now I appreciate movies much more than
before. I didn’t know that a blue or green screen is used to
make special effects or to change the background and make viewers
believe that the actors are in a certain place when they are
actually in a studio. Before, I used to wonder why the makers of
a film would (no longer a question form) even
bother adding those long credits at the end if most people don’t
care to watch them. Now, I understand that every person listed on
the credits is indispensable to the filmmaking
process because every one of them did something to make it
unique.

I used to think that I wanted to become a
biochemist before I watched The Matrix. Then, I realized that
there is nothing I like more than watching movies, and to see how
they are made. Now, every time my family buys or rents a DVD, I
watch the special features that come on it, thinking that one day
I will become a great film director, and be able to participate
and to play an important role in the making of films. Even though
(delete comma) it wasn’t the movie itself (words
deleted)
that actually influenced me, the fact that I
liked the story and the special effects drove me to want to watch
the making of the film, and decide that I wish to become a film
director.

Thanks partly to The Matrix and mostly to its DVD, which enabled
me to see what was behind the film, I learned to appreciate the
work of everyone who was involved to bring life to its story. The
film not only helped me realize all the work that (word
deleted)
is put into the making of a film, but it also
helped me to decide what I want to do with my life, which is to
some day become a great film director.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Thanks for your help julielai. [Y] .

I made some changes to my essay. Could you please check it and tell me if it's ok or if there's something else I should add. If you were from the admission's office at a university, would you take your time to read this essay? Please be sincere because I need to send a very good essay in order to be accepted.

Here goes my essay:
Most influential film

The Matrix:
What is the film that has influenced me the most? That’s not an easy question, since I usually learn something new from every movie I watch. However, The Matrix is the film that made helped me decide what to do with my life. Therefore, that’s the one that should receive the biggest credit. It wasn’t actually the story that influenced me; it was the making of the film.

When I came to the United States, I didn’t know any English. To be sincere, I wouldn’t even go to the 7-Eleven near my home to buy milk because I was afraid that someone would talk to me, and I wouldn’t know what to say in return. As a result, my mom suggested that I should watch lots of movies in order to get familiar with the language. So I started watching TV with subtitles in order to read and understand better what I was watching. I stayed at home for six months just watching TV as I waited for the next high school year to begin. Then, my mom decided to buy DVDs because she was told that they had better resolution than videos.

One of the first DVDs that we bought was The Matrix, which I liked very much. Then, I noticed that the DVD had special features, which included the making of the film. After having watched the movie numerous times, I thought that it would be very interesting to see how it was made. After I finished, I was amazed at how much work was put into making the film, and I realized that most people don’t know that. Also, I realized that there’s more to watching a film than having a good time following the life of fictitious characters, and seeing how they go through changes and struggles to solve a problem or accomplish a goal. In fact, a 90 to 120-minute movie requires numerous hours of work from its makers. Not all movies require as many special effects as the Matrix, but certainly all of them require hours and hours of work from the members of its cast and crew. Thanks to having watched the making of The Matrix, now I appreciate movies much more than I did before. Before, I used to wonder why the makers of a film even bother adding those long credits at the end if most people don’t care to watch them. Now, I understand that every person listed on the credits is indispensable to the film making process because every one of them did something to make the film unique. Also, I learned that a blue or green screen is used to make special effects or to change the background and make viewers believe that the actors are in a certain place when they are actually in a studio.

Before I watched the Matrix, I used to wonder what I would do with my life once I graduated from high school. As a result, my family and friends suggested that I should study something related with one of my passions. Then, I realized that there is nothing I like more than watching movies, and to see how they are made. Now, every time my family buys or rents a DVD, I watch the special features that come on it, thinking that one day I will become a great film director, and be able to participate and to play an important role in the making of films. Although it wasn’t the movie itself that actually influenced me, the fact that I liked the story and the special effects drove me to want to watch the making of the film, and decide that I want to become a film director.

Thanks partly to The Matrix itself, and mostly to its DVD, which enabled me to see what was behind the film, I learned to appreciate the work of everyone who was involved to bring life to its story. The film not only helped me realize all the work that is put into the making of a film, but it also helped me to decide what I want to do with my life, which is to some day become a great film director.
I hope you and julielai don’t mind if I jump in.

[] means words or characters or punctuation deleted.

The Matrix:

What []film [] has influenced me the most? That’s not an easy question, since I usually learn something new from every movie I watch. However, The Matrix is the film that [] helped me decide what to do with my life. Therefore, that s the one that should receive the biggest credit. It wasn’t actually the story that influenced me; it was the making of the film.

When I came to the United States, I didn’t know any English. To be [honest or truthful], I wouldn’t even go to the 7-Eleven near my home to buy milk because I was afraid that someone would [try to] talk to me, and I wouldn’t know what to say in return. As a result, my mom suggested that I should watch lots of movies in order to get familiar with the language. So I started watching TV with subtitles in order to read and understand better what I was watching. I stayed at home for six months just watching TV as I waited for the next high school year to begin. Then, my mom decided to buy DVDs because she was told that they had better resolution than videos.

One of the first DVDs that we bought was The Matrix, which I liked very much. Then, I noticed that the DVD had special features, which included the making of the film. After having watched the movie numerous times, I thought that it would be very interesting to see how it was made. After I finished, I was amazed at how much work was put into making the film, and I realized that most people don’t know that. Also, I realized that there’s more to watching a film than having a good time following the life of fictitious characters [] and seeing how they go through changes and struggles to solve a problem or accomplish a goal. In fact, a 90 to 120-minute movie requires numerous hours of work []. Not all movies require as many special effects as the Matrix, but certainly all of them require hours and hours of work from the members of its cast and crew. Thanks to having watched the making of The Matrix, now I appreciate movies much more than I did [previously you use “before” again very soon]. Before, I used to wonder why the makers of a film even bother[ed] adding those long credits at the end if most people don’t care to watch them. Now, I understand that every person listed on the credits is indispensable to the film making process because every one of them did something to make the film unique. Also, I learned that a blue or green screen is used to make special effects or to change the background and make viewers believe that the actors are in a certain place when they are actually in a studio.

Before I watched the Matrix, I used to wonder what I would do with my life once I graduated from high school. As a result, my family and friends suggested that I should study something related with one of my passions. Then, I realized that there is nothing I like more than watching movies, and to see how they are made. Now, every time my family buys or rents a DVD, I [pay special attention to the] special features [], thinking that one day I will become a great film director [] and be able to participate and to play an important role in the making of films. Although it wasn’t the movie itself that actually influenced me, the fact that I liked the story and the special effects drove me to want to watch the making of the film [] and decide that I want to become a film director.

Thanks partly to The Matrix itself, and mostly to its DVD, which enabled me to see what was behind the film, I learned to appreciate the work of everyone who was involved to bring life to its story [unclear…which story…the Matrix Story, or the Story of how the film is made?]. The film not only helped me realize all the work that is put into the making of a film, but it also helped me to decide what I want to do with my life—become a great film director.

General Notes:

Overall, well done.

You have a little problem with commas that we can fix quickly.

I want to go outside and wash my car. Notice that after “and”, there is no subject. “I” is still from the first part of the sentence.

I want to outside. Okay.

wash my car. Not okay, unless it was a command, which it isn’t in this case.

I want to go outside, and I want to wash my car. See, each side of the “and” is a complete independent sentence.

I want to outside. Okay.

I want to wash my car. Okay.

Two independent clauses require a comma.

Don’t use so many contractions in an essay. While contraction are “legal” they should not be used excessively. They have a slight laziness feel to them. You should sprinkle your text with contractions, as it adds a bit of artistic flair. But a heavy reliance on contractions detracts from your essay.

Please .

While your essay is well done, it doesn’t tell me much about you. I don’t know if you are hardworking, studious, tenacious, quick learner, favorite subjects, did well in school, general personality traits. All I know is that you did very in learning English from DVDs and you want to study film.

I don’t know what you are applying to. Is it a general arts program?

In any event, have a look at the post I referred to earlier. I don’t know what the university/school is asking you to provide, but make sure that you address their specific questions. Usually, they want to know what kind of person you are and that you can communicate well.

Hope this helps.

MountainHiker
Given that this essay is formal (admission to university or school), I would use contractions even less. In other words, I would not have any. Some people, rightly or wrongly, don't like contractions. They view contractions as lazy or sloppy or both. You don't know the person reading your essay and deciding your fate hates contractions. Why take the risk?

MountainHiker
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Thanks for your help MountainHiker.

I already wrote an autobiographical essay for the admission's office at Chapman University. This other essay is for the school of film that is part of the same university.
The instructions tell me to write an essay, which should be one page long, describing how a film has influenced me.

I have a question. What do you mean by "contractions"? If I have used too many contractions, can you please help me get rid of them to improve my essay?
MountainHiker:
If by contractions you mean "I'm," instead of "I am", I just corrected them.

Could you please check my essay one more time to see if the punctuation is correct?

Thanks in advance.

Here goes my essay:

Most influential film

The Matrix:
What film has influenced me the most? That’s not an easy question, since I usually learn something new from every movie I watch. However, The Matrix is the film that helped me decide what to do with my life. Therefore, that is the one that should receive the biggest credit. It was not actually the story that influenced me; it was the making of the film.

When I came to the United States, I did not know any English. To be honest, I would not even go to the 7-Eleven near my home to buy milk because I was afraid that someone would try to talk to me, and I would not know what to say in return. As a result, my mom suggested that I should watch lots of movies in order to get familiar with the language. So I started watching TV with subtitles in order to read and understand better what I was watching. I stayed at home for six months just watching TV as I waited for the next high school year to begin. Then, my mom decided to buy DVDs because she was told that they had better resolution than videos.

One of the first DVDs that we bought was The Matrix, which I liked very much. Then, I noticed that the DVD had special features, which included the making of the film. After having watched the movie numerous times, I thought that it would be very interesting to see how it was made. After I finished, I was amazed at how much work was put into making the film, and I realized that most people do not know that. Also, I realized that there is more to watching a film than having a good time following the life of fictitious characters and seeing how they go through changes and struggles to solve a problem or accomplish a goal. In fact, a 90 to 120-minute movie requires numerous hours of work. Not all movies require as many special effects as the Matrix, but certainly all of them require hours and hours of work from the members of its cast and crew. Thanks to having watched the making of The Matrix, now I appreciate movies much more than I did [If I cannot use "before," with what word can I replace it?]. Before, I used to wonder why the makers of a film even bothered adding those long credits at the end if most people do not care to watch them. Now, I understand that every person listed on the credits is indispensable to the film making process because every one of them did something to make the film unique. Also, I learned that a blue or green screen is used to make special effects or to change the background and make viewers believe that the actors are in a certain place when they are actually in a studio.

Before I watched the Matrix, I used to wonder what I would do with my life once I graduated from high school. As a result, my family and friends suggested that I should study something related with one of my passions. Then, I realized that there is nothing I like more than watching movies, and to see how they are made. Now, every time my family buys or rents a DVD, I pay special attention to the special features, thinking that one day I will become a great film director and be able to participate and to play an important role in the making of films. Although, it was not the movie itself that actually influenced me, the fact that I liked the story and the special effects drove me to want to watch the making of the film and decide that I want to become a film director.

Thanks partly to The Matrix itself, and mostly to its DVD, which enabled me to see what was behind the film, I learned to appreciate the work of everyone who was involved bringing life to the film’s story. The film not only helped me realize all the work that is put into the making of a film, but it also helped me to decide what I want to do with my life—become a great film director.
Most influential film

The Matrix:

What film has influenced me the most? That’s not an easy question, since I usually learn something new from every movie I watch. However, The Matrix is the film that helped me decide what to do with my life. Therefore, that []one [] receives the biggest credit. It was not actually the story that influenced me; it was the making of the film. [It was not actually the story that influenced me, but rather it was the making of the film. Alternative?]

When I came to the United States, I did not know any English. To be honest, I would not even go to the 7-Eleven near my home to buy milk because I was afraid that someone would try to talk to me, and I would not know what to say in return. As a result, my mom suggested that I should watch lots of movies in order to get familiar with the language. So I started watching TV with subtitles in order to read and understand better what I was watching. I stayed at home for six months just watching TV as I waited for the next high school year to begin. Then, my mom decided to buy DVDs because she was told that they had better resolution than videos.

One of the first DVDs that we bought was The Matrix, which I liked very much. Then, I noticed that the DVD had special features, which included [information about] the making of the film. After having watched the movie numerous times, I thought that it would be very interesting to see how it was made. After I finished, I was amazed at how much work was put into making the film, and I realized that most people do not know that. Also, I realized that there is more to watching a film than having a good time following the life of fictitious characters and seeing how they go through changes and struggles to solve a problem or accomplish a goal. In fact, a 90 to 120-minute movie requires numerous hours of work. Not all movies require as many special effects as the Matrix, but certainly all of them require hours and hours of work from the members of its cast and crew. Thanks to having watched the making of The Matrix, now I appreciate movies much more than I did [previously]. Before, I used to wonder why the makers of a film even bothered adding those long credits at the end if most people do not care to watch them.[1] Now, I understand that every person listed on the credits is indispensable to the film making process because every one of them did something to make the film unique.[2] Also, I learned that a blue or green screen is used to make special effects or to change the background and make viewers believe that the actors are in a certain place when they are actually in a studio.

Before I watched the Matrix, I used to wonder what I would do with my life once I graduated from high school. As a result, my family and friends suggested that I should study something related with one of my passions. Then, I realized that there is nothing I like more than watching movies, and to see how they are made.[why is there a comma before “and”, do you see a subject after “and”?] Now, every time my family buys or rents a DVD, I pay special attention to the special features, thinking that one day I will become a great film director and be able to participate and to play an important role in the making of films. Although[comma definitely needs to be removed here, right] it was not the movie itself that actually influenced me, the fact that I liked the story and the special effects drove me to want to watch the making of the film and decide that I want to become a film director.

Thanks partly to The Matrix itself, and mostly to its DVD, which enabled me to see what was behind the film, I learned to appreciate the work of everyone who was involved bringing life to the film’s story. The film not only helped me realize all the work that is put into the making of a film, but it also helped me to decide what I want to do with my life—become a great film director.

Notes:

1) Before, I used to wonder why the makers of a film even bothered adding those long credits at the end if most people do not care to watch them

You could or should eliminate “before” because “I used to wonder” automatically means “before”. You cannot “used to wonder” in the future.

If you eliminate before here (I think you should), then you can replace (if you want) “previously” in the prior sentence with “before”.

2) Now, I understand that every person listed on the credits is indispensable to the film making process because every one of them did something to make the film unique.

If your introductory phrase is really short like this (now), you can eliminate the comma. If you were to say the sentence out loud, you wouldn’t pause after “now” would you?

The next sentence “Also,” I would tend to pause if I were saying the sentence out loud.

So it is always a judgment call. You can go through your sentences and make the judgment call yourself.

Your essay is good.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Show more