Basic Writing Conventions

11 Apr 2018

If you are a student or are planning to become one in future, you’re definitely going to learn how to write essays. At the moment, you might be unable to even define conventions in writing, but putting ideas on paper and submitting them doesn’t seem overly complicated, right? Except it is, which is why mastering writing conventions is so important.

Writing conventions’ definition varies but in general, it concerns ability to make text understandable and easy to read. For that, it should flow smoothly: all commas, hyphens, dashes, periods must be in their proper places. The meaning of ideas must also be clear, without following rules, just won’t achieve good results. On the other hand, by sticking to them, you’ll ensure that professor gives great grades, which in turn will positively affect studies and even professional future.  

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What are Conventions in Writing?

Let’s define writing conventions first. They are language rules that enable readers to understand text. They serve as signposts for readers or provide familiar ground for understanding what message says. The conventions activate meaning, also show how to read the text. In middle school, teachers might be lenient, but later, it won’t be the case. If you are to become student of Harvard University, for example, having a good grasp on grammar, sentence structure, language in general is a must. It’s not possible without practice, meaning that students need lots of completed papers across their curriculum.

With their tough schedules, loads of home assignments, extracurricular work, it is not a surprise that they constantly complain about learning required subjects as they move through grades. When it comes to any task, they feel even more stressed to find the just-right words to carry their message. Being required to follow basic conventions of spelling, punctuation, grammar is additional trouble, which is why one should know when to ask for help.

Main Writing Conventions

The biggest groups of writing conventions include grammar, spelling, as well as punctuation. Each has its own relevance that should be mastered fully for essays to be of the best quality. You must have faced some texts that were not understandable at least once in life. Sure, they could be tough due to the complexity of the topic, but chances are, they were just badly written.

Grammar means knowing how to change the forms of words, as well as combine them into coherent sentences. You might scoff and think that understand when to add -ed or when to use gerund as it is, but the truth is, speaking and writing are two different things. You should be consistent in time usage, as well as a sense difference between Present Perfect and Past Simple extremely well. Otherwise, audience may be unsure about selected time-frame or about sequence of actions described.

Spelling is another crucial convention of writing. Imagine reading a story about a dark, cruel protagonist. His coldness is piercing and find immersed into text only to see ‘distain’ written instead of ‘disdain’. Just like that, impression crumbles. The character who seemed intimidating now seems illiterate. So, spelling is a vital part of proper writing conventions.   

Read also: Writing prompts generator for students: don't have ideas? Use it!

Punctuation in Writing Conventions

Punctuation is also important in conventions of writing. Commas mean pausing, and if you overuse them, you will confuse readers. Hyphens and dashes should be distinguished, especially if you want top grades for essays. Naturally, there is such thing as a personal style, and every writer can have his or her own peculiarities. The only problem here is, such explanations may be applied in some instances in fiction, but it won’t be accepted by teachers. Academic standards exist for a reason. If one argues that you’ve put ellipses after every other sentence because it’s your quirk, you are likely to fail assignment. There is a set of rules that you’ll should obey, be effective in going around them for creative purposes, first you must actually master them.

It’s great if you have someone teaching all this stuff, but if you don’t, you are going to need lots of practice. Theory is also important because it helps learn all do’s and don’ts.  

Writing Conventions Recommendations  

Language rules vary with the content and genre. Peer audience accepts conventions in text messaging or emailing differently from those of formal essays, for example. Informal and shortened words or incomprehensible symbols in emails cannot be accepted by teacher, so what you use on Facebook or language Hollywood characters speak will not fly with Yale professor. Similarly, the weave of rules used in essays significantly differs from poetry composing.

Here are basic tips on Standard English conventions for college essay:

  • Write in complete sentences.
  • Avoid run-on sentences.
  • Don’t use fragments.
  • Write person’s entire name first time you mention it.
  • Stay away from abbreviations.
  • Consider punctuation marks.
  • Put a citation correctly.

The Final Convention Checklist For Elementary Students

To become a proficient writer, it’s best to start early. Elementary students should be aware of some basic writing conventions tips, but regardless of age, make sure that your writing is of quality or has a chance to improve, it’s important to have a final convention checklist. What should be included there?

You can proofread text or ask someone you trust to do it. Prepare a checklist so it’d be much easier to catch mistakes. Is there time consistency in your composing or do you jump between past and present? Do all sentences start with a capital letter? Do all sentences end with a period or a question mark? Is spelling correct, do you use ‘they are’ and ‘their’ properly?      

Remember that conventions checking should be final step in your editing process. Only when essay is finished entirely and you think you’re ready to submit it should you check writing conventions. This will ensure that your paper is as polished as it can get.

Crafting Essays By Following All Writing Conventions

Now you know what writing conventions are, why they are important, how to use them properly in text. Check your writing when you finish essays, create a checklist to facilitate process, and keep improving. Still, even knowing all this doesn’t mean you’re going to write excellently. Being capable of composing in accordance with spelling, punctuation, and grammar conventions is a real challenge.  

If you’re stuck with essay, unsure whether is corresponds to writing conventions and if it meets the requirements, you might need some help. It’s completely natural and many students pick this option. You can ask entire essay written by professionals who are guaranteed to take all instructions and writing conventions into consideration. In addition, you may ask to have essay you’ve already written rated or edited so you could get the best mark. Whatever you need, we’ll help.  

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