Any current or future student faces essay writing. This is not a difficult process, but students often struggle with it. The problem is that not everyone can even determine conventions in writing. However, it is not very hard to write all your ideas down on a piece of paper. Of course, you won’t be able to succeed with your paper without mastering writing conventions.
This scarifying word combination means only that a text should be understandable and easy to read. When you read a piece of literature or just a textbook, you can read it smoothly thanks to dashes, commas, periods, hyphens, etc. They all should be in the proper places to give proper sense to the overall text.
Without mastering how to use writing conventions, you will hardly get a high grade for any of your essays. It is also impossible to become a good professional without knowing these simple rules. To find out how you can master writing conventions and get the best grades for your essays in the guide below.
Writing conventions definition
Writing conventions are a sort of agreement between essay writers about the usage of language. It means that the information should be written easily and understandable for any reader. It all makes the process of communication much easier.
Writing conventions include:
They can also be split into:
- Formation of sentences.
The meaning of mechanics
As you know, spoken language doesn’t have spelling, punctuation, paragraphs, and capitalization. However, when it comes to written language, sticking to them is a must. So mechanics includes the language conventions existing only in the written form.
When we speak, we do not think how words are pronounced and how we should spell them. However, when we write a text, we should know that they might be spelled differently than pronounced.
Written language is quite complicated, especially by different homophones – brake/break, hour/our, etc. – they sound the same but have different spelling. Sometimes, they are spelled and sound the same but have different meanings.
Also, when we speak, we do not pay attention to punctuation. We make pauses and intonation naturally. But in a written language, you should think about where to put a comma or a period.
The meaning of the usage
Here we are talking about the conventions of both spoken and written language. Usage includes the verb tense, the order of words, subject-verb agreements. By the way, it is easier to teach usage than mechanics while when entering school, we have a basic understanding of the sentence formation and meaning conveying.
However, the difficulty is that the language people use in everyday life is less formal than that used in schools. Moreover, some children speak two languages at home and may know different rules of grammar, conjugations, and word order. It is all quite confusing for their production.
The meaning of sentence formation
Everything is quite easy here; sentence formation is about how sentences are structured and how simple and complex sentences are built. Once you have vocalized your sentence in spoken language, you cannot change its structure.
But you are free to structure your words in the written form. You can combine, rearrange, and different compact parts of sentences.
How to use main writing conventions
As it was mentioned above, the main writing conventions are grammar, punctuation, and spelling. If you want to write a perfect essay, you should master all three at once and not partially but fully. We bet at least once, in your life, you have read a text you couldn’t understand. Yes, there are complicated topics and not for everyone’s understanding, but most likely, such texts are poorly written.
When you know grammar, you know how to change the word forms and combine words into coherent sentences. Keep in mind that speaking and writing are very different things. You may put your words into coherent sentences when speaking, but you may fail to do it when writing. The verb tense and sequence of tenses are crucial for written language. Otherwise, you may simply confuse your reader about the time-frame or sequence of actions.
Spelling is not less important than grammar. Due to a large number of homophones, you will hardly understand the true meaning of the text if it is poorly written. You will just have a bad impression of such a text. And your reader will have the same impression about your essay if you do not know spelling to the fullest.
And last but not least, punctuation is the third core writing convention. It is crucial to know where to put commas and semi-colons. Your reader understands your message and intonation, but how you use punctuation.
Of course, there is a personal style in literature, and every writer can have his style of punctuation. But there are general rules, and no one canceled them yet. A personal style can only be applied in fiction, but your professor will hardly appreciate it while there are academic standards. So before going creative, you should master the rules of punctuation properly.
Expert tips on writing conventions
Even though there are strict and old rules, they might still vary depending on genre and content. Writing conventions of text messaging and formal essays differ, of course. If you are perfect in sending SMS or chatting online, you will hardly impress your teacher with the same writing manner. When writing poems, you can also not obey all the language rules by the way.
However, when writing your college essay, stick to these rules and tips on writing conventions:
- Make your sentences complete;
- Avoid using fragments and abbreviations;
- When you mention someone’s name for the first time, write his/her entire name;
- Don’t use run-on sentences;
- Use proper citation;
- Consider punctuation marks.
How to succeed with writing conventions in essay writing
Our first and main tip is not to procrastinate. If you want to be proficient in essay writing, always start as early as possible. Here is a final checklist for you:
- Proofread your text a couple of times;
- Ask someone you trust to proofread it;
- Make a checklist to identify the mistakes;
- Check the time consistency;
- Make sure all sentences start with a capital letter;
- Make sure all sentences to end with a question mark/period;
- Check to spell;
- Use online tools (such as Grammarly) to check spelling and punctuation. It is very helpful if you are not sure about your skills yet;
- Check conventions after you finish the editing process. Only when you think you are ready to submit your essay, read it again, and check conventions.
Writing conventions are an essential part of our life, language, and essay writing. You cannot neglect them if you want to become a proficient essay writer, good student, and an excellent professional in your career.
Once you finished your essay, start checking whether you used all writing conventions properly. Use online tools to help you find out where you made a mistake. Yes, at first, it can be a challenge to compose a great essay following all the rules. But once you master them, you will do it automatically.
But if you still feel like you have no time, skills, or knowledge to submit your essay on time, you can apply to professional writers. They will help you not only to proofread and edit your essay but also to create a totally new one from scratch.