Writing Conventions: What Are They and How to Make Use of Them
While the process of writing itself is transparent – we all know it and can do practically – it can be different from the official terms. The phrase “writing conventions” may puzzle anyone. We mention conventions talking about international agreements or more banal agreements on how to do this or that thing. So, writing conventions should have a similar meaning.
It is true. Writing conventions are all those agreements that turn our writing into a bright and meaningful text. These are all those rules that define the correct writing and usage of language means for informational and aesthetic purposes. That is why students have to learn these conventions.
However, most of them are not very fond of this academic job. There are all those annoying rules that everyone has to learn. But the whole subject of writing rests on those rules. Often, editing that is the most crucial stage of the process is, in fact, the process of applying writing conventions to the text and matching their regulations to the sentences.
The essential writing conventions to learn
Like it has already mentioned, these conventions are a set of rules that determine different aspects of writing. Learning rules themselves is often tiresome for students, but it is necessary. It gives an understanding of how such a large and sophisticated system as language turns into the written text. Besides, only when you know them all correctly, you can experiment in creative writing.
Let’s refer to the primary writing conventions and examine their essence.
The spelling is the method of transfer the sound of speech to the graphemes of words. It turns the words expressed orally to the words written on paper.
Learning spelling starts at a very young age. When children learn letters and understand how they make words, and what the right word form is – they get the basics of spelling. Later, they get more in-depth knowledge through school education. They learn the spelling rules and exclusions from them.
The spelling patterns change with language development. With the new words and approaches coming from Internet communication, new spelling patterns arise. Still, the “traditional” accurate spelling remains one of the fundamental qualities of personal evaluation. Like it or not, but any employer won’t even bother to get a grasp of a resume full of spelling errors.
Punctuation is the system of graphic markers that regulate the meaning of phrases. Without punctuation, any text would turn into a senseless mess of words. This system defines pauses, intonation, and expression. It lets us know when the phrase is completed, and the next one begins. All those means we use in oral speech to express the meaning have their written equivalents.
The standard method of capitalizing the first letter of a word has several goals. It marks the beginning of a new sentence, the title, or someone’s proper name. It signifies that the word is significant. Besides, it is the means to shorten phrases to abbreviations. However, unlike the spelling and punctuation rules, the rules of capitalization are specific and strict. Thus, it is enough to learn them once.
Grammar is the language structure. It defines the ways we use words and connect them in sentences. It is the most complicated of all systems, with plenty of rules and even more exclusions. But learning grammar is learning the language. When you know the structure, you can compose any sentences and texts in all styles.
As grammar is the hugest of all systems, it has many subdivisions. For doing writing tasks, students need to know the following ones:
- Parts of speech and their usage;
- The structure of sentences and paragraphs;
- Building phrases and clauses;
- Word choice.
How to learn writing conventions efficiently
To learn these conventions, you need to understand theoretical statements and have a lot of practice. Dedicated courses are explaining the rules and their applications. In any case, the essential thing is to read and write a lot, and then get the texts checked and correct mistakes. It is the most effective way to develop your own knowledge and writing skills.