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CONVENTIONS IN WRITING
Conventions followed is work half done.
What is the first thing that comes in our mind when we write?
Offcourse, it is how to represent your great ideas and knowledge on a piece of paper.
Think of a case where a scientist wrote a piece on the topic, he was researching. Breakthrough innovations had been put in the paper. Now the paper reaches the editorial and the readers.
Half of the research students cannot understand, what he has written. By that time, another scientist had made the same breakthrough and presented his paper, giving a clear idea of the process and the concept dealt. He is awarded patent rights over his work.
For the simple reason, that previous researcher did not follow the writing conventions and, hence people could not understand his breakthrough. So it is not only important to do a great research of resources and generate updated information, but also represent them in standard language, with all the conventions followed.
Don’t glue introduction, title and miss prepositions or do spelling errors, for your personal statement,the next time. Your admission may get rejected.
Conventions of writing includes rules and formats which a particular write-up must follow to qualify as an essay, statement or assignment work.
In a very famous journal Cell, Nature and Science, only three out of 100 submissions make it through the editor’s review and successive peer review. The rejection rate is astounding 97%. You must be wondering why?. It is just because they do not follow the conventions of writing, required by the journal.
Some of the basic conventions of writing are:
Not doing spelling errors: In a well formatted masterpiece, a single spelling error will render the whole piece worthless, to an editor or reviewer.
Ensure that you put the right words, prepositions, articles and other grammar components to qualify as a successful presenter.
Comma, Colon and Semicolon; Eternally misunderstood marks
It is necessary to know in details about them, as they provide justification for division of sentences, phrases and words etc.
Take example of these two sentences.
Lets consider a line from a write-up, to understand better.
“The defendant, who looked apologetic, was found guilty.
The defendant who looked apologetic was found guilty.
Now it seems like there were two defendants, and it was the one who looked apologetic who was found guilty while the other walked away free.”
Now take another example
“Let’s eat Grandpa
Let’s eat, Grandpa”
Here the group is suggesting to eat Grandpa as food while in the second sentence, they are asking Grandpa to eat with them.
He arrived by 5’o clock.
He arrived at 5’o clock
One statement denotes that the boy arrived by 5 , it may be 4.30, 3.30 or any time before 5.
The other statement means that the boy arrived at 5 o clock, not at 4 ‘o clock or 3.
Avoid using Jargons
Avoid using jargons. No teacher or admission committee would accept jargons in work. They would want the concepts, ideas and requirements to be delivered in simple, crisp language, with enough insights and examples for explanation.
Improper word usage- A complete no, no
Go through the below example to understand this.
This is a famous poem by Robert Frost
“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
Now the words have been changed .
To whom does these woods belong.
I guess , I know
He cannot see me stop here
My little horse may find it strange
Not to stop near a farmhouse
Does it deliver the same meaning?
Off course no!.
Leaving the punch and language style aside, even the meanings are not same.With rigorous practice, you can follow all the conventions in writing and be your teacher’s favourite
Avoid abbreviations in your college essays
It is better not to use abbreviations in college essays. There are certain exceptions to this. You can use abbreviation in titles like “Dr.” Or “Mrs”. You can also use abbreviations of very famous organisations like “UN”. Conventions noting time can be abbreviated as a.m or p.m , BC or AD. However, you cannot use abbreviations fo months or days (ex: a certain college essay was rejected because it carried “Jan” instead of January or “Mon” instead of Monday)
If the numbers are of two digits or more, it is required to spell them. So next time, in your paper, you need to write “thirty eight” instead of 38. Only if technical specifications are given number can be written in digits. For example: Flight 25.
When you reproduce lines from another source or text, it is essential to put quotes around them. Putting quote signified that the lines or words are from other author or writer.
If you are using a page source for getting a lot of information or arguments, you can include citation at the end part of the paragraph.
Italicize the titles of manuals, books, magazines, journals, newspapers, television programs etc. Generally, the following needs to be included in the citations.
Year of Publication
Title of Work
Publisher or Sponsor
Journal or Newspaper Title
There are various forms of citation. The way the above information is put differs with these forms. Some of the citation forms are:
- MLA: Modern Language Association of America
- ASA: American Sociological Association
- APA: American Psychological Association
- AAA: American Anthropological Association
- CSE: Council of Science Editors
- CBE: Council of Biology Editors
Always provide supporting facts or statements
Consider a paper on economic prospects in Africa
“ the business scenario in past Africa and the present Africa has undergone radical change. This has paved the way for larger investment in infrastructure.”
Now a reader is completely ignorant which business scenario is the writer speaking about , that has paved the way for larger investment in infrastructure.
So, giving an info-graphic detail of increasing manufacturing goods market or logistic market, will suffice the reader’s quest.
Create a logical flow of order
If you are writing an essay about “ How to make tea?”, can you expect your reader’s to understand, if you start with the types of spice tea in the market.
First, you need to state the components involved in making tea. Then how they are mixed and boiled. After that how spices are added. And finally the types of spice tea.
So a logical flow of concept, language and ideas is mandatory for a good written piece.
How do we know whether we are putting emphasis on certain words or starting a new sentence, if we make all the alphabets small or capital?.It’s near to impossible. So for your selection committee to understand, where are the breaks, you have include proper capitalization in sentences.
At the end of the “ its not the bones that make us human but the flesh and blood”
So a rigorous practice of conventions in writing would let your write-ups have life.
Conventions and academic writing: Everything you need to know
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