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If you are a student, you must have heard of the term "writing conventions." Now, have you ever wondered what they are or, more importantly, what role they play in written communication?
Well, this article explores all the different conventions in writing in-depth. It delves minutely into their features & nuances and delivers insights on standard English conventions & their practices.
So, without any further ado, let’s begin.
Simply put, writing conventions are the standard norms, rules, and regulations necessary to make any content readable & understandable. Abiding by the proper conventions of writing is essential in academics and professions. Writing conventions are vital for the logical and linear development of academic content; thereby helping writers get their ideas over better.
Now, what does convention mean in writing?
If you want your write-ups to be understandable, you MUST abide by certain primary conventions. The United States of America’s Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) College board defines three fundamental writing conventions.
PUNCTUATION, CAPITALIZATION & PARAGRAPHING
GRAMMAR (Diction, Structure, etc.)
Good scores in the above four are crucial requirements for developing an impeccable write-up. The above points define the standard practices of all forms of English writing. Conventions in writing define the parameters that need to be fulfilled to develop readable written content.
Content with correct spelling, flawless grammar, and good diction is loved by one & all. When coupled with
So, the better you fulfill those parameters, the better your write-up!
Let us take a closer look at the four standard English writing conventions.
Talk with your teacher or a writer from any academic or assignment writing service about writing conventions, and they will tell you how crucial they are. Standard English conventions relate to the essential elements of writing. They help your readers go through your written content without any hitches and communicate your message perfectly.
Changes made to the main writing conventions may seem subtle at first, but the details make all the difference. So do your best to achieve perfection in the following conventions to impress your readers.
To say that spelling is a vital writing convention is a gigantic understatement.
Nobody wants to read anything with wrong spellings. Even a single spelling mistake can mar the quality of a write-up, and proofreading or proofing is thus essential. Spelling mistakes disrupt the flow of the narrative and the writer’s focus & engagement. In worse cases, they may even hamper the ideas you want to communicate or spoil the tone & atmosphere.
Be it academics or the professional domain, readers always optimal quality and flawless spelling are central to that measure. If you want your write-ups to score excellent grades and fulfill their purpose, perfect spellings are crucial.
Punctuation, Capitalization, and Paragraphing
Commas, periods, semi-colons, colons, capitalization, paragraph breaks, etc.- these are basic and essential English conventions. We have become so acquainted with these writing conventions that we don't think twice before ending a sentence with a period or capitalizing the first letter of the first word in the next.
Punctuations and capitalization help us read and understand anything properly. In addition, they help in the narrative flow, telling us how to read something - when to pause, when to stop & start, when a new setting or scenario is introduced, when to read with more expression, etc.
Punctuations, capitalizations, and paragraphing serve the purpose of introducing intonation, rhythm, emphasis, pausing, etc., in the written word. These writing conventions are indispensable, and deviating from them would make a write-up unintelligible.!
This category is quite expansive, overarching, and intricate. Correct grammar, appropriate word usage, proper sentence & paragraph structure, parts of speech, clauses- all play a significant role in the syntax, semantics & pragmatics in a written text. Grammar is essential to content structuring, narrative development, and perfect presentation.
We need to follow plenty of grammatical rules and some rules that we can break while writing. However, pitch-perfect grammar is necessary to make your writings engaging and get your message across successfully.
Now, it would take an entire book to dig deep into all the various grammatical rules and regulations in English. However, the limited scope of this article allows us to investigate two central grammar conventions:
Sentence Structure à Incorrect & inappropriate sentence structures, wrong modifier placement, unnecessary shifts in mood, tense, voice, etc., transitions, subordination, coordination, parallelism, run-on sentences, dangling modifiers, excessive passive voice –
These are prominent flaws in sentence structuring and major problems in grammar.
Conventions of Usage à Standard English conventions regarding proper usage involve pronoun clarity, possessive determiners, subject-verb determiners, logical word comparison, conventional expression, etc.
Following the established conventions of grammar rules of sentence formation and syntax is vital for engagement and success. Furthermore, the more fluent you are with grammar, the more impressive your write-ups will become!
Sentence & paragraph construction and diction determine the cohesion of a narrative. Moreover, they are critical to the semantics and pragmatics of any written content. Accurate spelling, punctuation, capitalization & paragraphing, grammatical rules allow for seamless written communication.
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The rise of the Internet and social media dealt a heavy blow to standard English writing conventions. Visit Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any social networking platform to experience appalling English writing. And punctuation is often the biggest casualty of such writing.
Commas tell us when to pause, but if we overuse them, we will confuse readers.
Hyphens and dashes should also be employed moderately, and the same goes for the semi-colon.
Never forget to end a sentence with a period.
Exclamation marks should be used sparingly unless you intend to confuse your readers.
Also, use ellipses carefully as their applications are unique.
An excellent way to improve your punctuation usage is to read & write more. Practice makes perfect!
The rules of language and conventions in writing are quite malleable across contents & genres. Audiences who adhere strictly to standard English conventions & practices will not accept divergence from such rules. At the same time, breaking and bending conventions in casual social media comments is quite common and acceptable.
Nevertheless, here are specific tips & recommendations for academic writing.
Write concise sentences.
Avoid run-on sentences.
Avoid dangling modifiers.
Reduce passive voice usage.
Use punctuations properly.
Add effective transitions to improve flow.
Try to limit the number of sentences in a paragraph to 4.
Don't use fragments, and stay away from abbreviations.
Do not be verbose.
Use synonyms to increase engagement.
Avoid unnecessary words and phrases.
Use prepositions wisely.
And, that’s all the space we have for today.
Hope this write-up was informative enough for all readers alike. Use it as a reference while writing, and remember to proofread after finishing. And, the next time someone asks you what writing conventions are, use this article to deliver a perfect answer.
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29 Jan, 2022
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