General Writing and Grammar Help/Coming of Age


QUESTION: What ages are included within the term Coming of Age?

Thank you,

ANSWER: Hi, Nancy,

This is a culturally-specific topic, so there is not one answer. What culture are you referring to?

Generally, "coming of age" rituals and other references are for adolescents, but some include pre-adolescences, some only include one gender, some include young adults.

You would have to research that culture to find the specific age range and genders included.

I hope that helps. Please rate my response.  Best to you.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'm sorry for not being specific.  My question is meant to encompass the U.S.A.

I am writing a poem for publication and I'd like to know the starting age, so the poem can progress throughout a timely span of life.

Thank you,

Hi, Nancy,

The USA is a culturally diverse country, as you know, and coming-of-age rituals vary from religions to cultures to families. My answer doesn't change unless you get more specific.

Probably you should decide what subgroup you're writing about, or just write about pre-teens and teens and young adults through age 21, since there are customs/rituals for almost every year from girls as young as 9 or 10 (if menstruation date is the catalyst) to both sexes at 21 (the legal alcohol consumption age and now, in some states, marijuana use age), with Bat/Bat Mitzvahs for Jewish youth at ages 12 - 13 for girls and 13 for boys to the quinceañera at 15 for Mexican girls (nothing comparable for boys) to "Sweet Sixteen" or whatever age driver's licenses are issued for girls or boys across the country to high school (or middle school) graduation, college graduation, etc. Various Native American tribes have their own rituals and these vary a lot for age and gender. On and on.

Best to you,


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Sally Ember, Ed.D.


I can answer any grammar, writing, reading, editing and proofreading questions for nonfiction, fiction, literary criticism. I can also help in most content areas except for hard science and narrow areas of history. Specialize in E.S.L. , those with learning disabilities and processing problems. Clarity, fun, and simple answers as well as assisting with improving to excellence.


Many years teaching K - 12 and college-level writing. Degrees in education through doctorate. Published nonfiction and fiction writer.

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B.A., Elementary Ed., social science/language arts concentrations Experience teaching high school and college Master's and doctorate in education Writing instructor at secondary and post-secondary levels, including GRE and SAT preparation high scores on PSAT, SAT, GRE and National Teaching Exams

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National Merit Scholar, 1971 Phi Beta Kappa Summa Cum Laude, B.A.

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