Meaning Of Conventions And Mechanics In Writing, Exemplification, And Learning Recommendations
The academic writing conventions are a complex of rules and techniques to meet in the assignments and presentations. They are mandatory for published books and journals as well. Experienced students use them regularly. The beginners should get acquainted with writing conventions in detail.
Academic Writing Conventions and Purpose
Academic writing is precise, official, impartial, and argumentative. Careful attention to these stylistic elements is required:
- logically organized fragments of text and chapters;
- the accurate language structure;
- the appropriate manner of narrative;
- careful word choice;
- correct citing throughout the paper;
- punctuality maintaining
- references, footnotes, and endnotes acknowledge;
- reasonable arguing;
- thesis statement foundation;
- the multidimensional thinking (judgemental, logical, contemplative, etc.)
Many students experience a lack of writing skills. Expressing yourself is an art that students should practice. It will improve the grades, making a positive impact on the overall studying. These rules are not troublesome. Learning them once will augur well during your studying program. Moreover, employers highly appreciate excellent writing skills as well. If you are still unfamiliar with academic writing conventions, it is never late to learn.
Get the Mechanics Right
Errorless writing is more than the absence of grammatical mistakes. The correct mechanics matters too. While grammar relates to the forms of words and their connection within a sentence, mechanics include technical errors such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and abbreviations. For example, adding an apostrophe in a plural word («tell the difference’s) relates to mechanic issues, not grammar.
Many students complain about the severe judgment of assignments according to the mechanic and grammatical rules since the text meaning matters more than correctness. Yet this does not diminish the necessity of correct writing. The precise and correctly written text demonstrates awareness and attentiveness, making the text look more convincing. Poorly written work can not apply for a positive impression and speaks about student’s total incompetence.
Mastering a specific rule till the second-nature level is crucial for a good writer. Before you start creating your masterpiece, make sure that you are aware of the basic mechanics principles:
- correct usage of quotation marks;
- providing correct grammar and spelling;
- errorless punctuation performance;
- putting apostrophes right;
- expressing a complete thought in a sentence;
- creating a well-structured phrase;
- maintaining capitalization standards;
- pertinent vocabulary words usage;
- avoiding wordy fragments of text.
By and large, students have no other choice but to learn the mechanic rules and use them correctly to be adopted by academic society.
Conventions of academic writing include a set of rules. Generally, these are:
- formal communication style without emotive language and jargon;
- excluding shorten form of a word (write cannot instead of can’t, do not instead of don’t, etc.);
- rephrasing question sentences, for instance, «this question brings up…»;
- agreement of tenses;
- using impersonal language, eliminating personal pronouns such as I, we, you (except reflection papers);
- using a precise and concrete manner of conversation, removing generalizations;
- maintaining numeration standards: numbers to ten in words (seven), large numbers in figures (3,000);
- mentioning short quotations that relate to the expressed thought strictly, these should not replace the text of the essay;
- being objective in your judgment;
- correct abbreviation formatting: a complete phrase, indicating the acronym in brackets, then using acronym throughout the paperwork; longer works (like dissertations) require glossary list at the end of paperwork;
- Reference list formed according to the requirements of the program and studying establishment.
Before submitting your work, check out that the format is appropriate. Students are usually notified about them when they get an essay task. These include:
- readable font, e.g., Times New Roman 12;
- standard margins and spacing;
- printing each page of the essay on a separate paper;
- the order of chapters must be consistent;
- a spaceline between paragraphs is not required;
- essay title;
- Numeration of the pages.
Getting all these points together may be a challenge. Therefore, do not neglect the role of a draft in your working process. Efficient conveying your ideas on paper is confessedly troubleless when a writer and a reader reach a mutual and precise understanding.
Accomplishing all writing conventions for a student alone is barely possible due to the lack of knowledge applying opportunities. One of the most effective ways of learning them is their integration into the writing process.
The sooner a teacher pays attention to them, the faster they become natural for students. It is crucial to practice them until they become entirely automatic without thinking to achieve remarkable results.
However, there are ways of enhancing the writing abilities of students on their own. For instance, preparing for a seminar, pick up relevant books from the library, and study them from the writing convention side without focusing on the content. Absorbing the conventions, using visual memory is highly effective for developing writing skills. You have to read a lot, though.
Also, you can use a memory device (mnemonics). It can help to remember the word spelling. Making a list of words that you often misspell (your private dictionary) will give more attention to your problematic issues. And practice, practice, practice!