Writing Conventions: Checklist for College Students

Writing Conventions: Checklist for College Students

Published by on 2021-07-08 11:03:08

Student life goes hand in hand with writing essays and working on similar assignments, so if you plan to enroll in college, it is worth learning how to write a good college essay. It may seem that it is not a big deal to put ideas on paper, but if your writing conventions leave much to be desired, you will hardly get high grades. The latter is of great importance for every student since academic performance can affect their further professional development and career prospects. Thus, mastering conventions in writing should become one of the top priorities to make your essays deeper, more readable, and catchier. It is the only possible way to move your paper writing to a new level and make all your sentences flow smoothly, so a reader doesn't face a need to re-read phrases over and over again to get to the core. You shouldn't forget that the devil is in the details. 

What Are Writing Conventions?

It is worth starting with the writing conventions definition to get to the bottom of the question. Writing conventions represent certain language rules that make a paper easy to read and understand. These elements distinguish a high-quality text from a poor one. When you read the latter, you feel inner tension and maybe even irritation because it is not easy to get what a writer tried to tell you. On the contrary, a well-tailored text involves various pointers that lead you right to the essence, so your reading experience is pleasant and trouble-free. Thus, talking about the definition of conventions in writing, one can say that it is about various language rules that simplify understanding of the text created. School teachers who turn a blind eye to such issues do students an ill turn since the latter will have big troubles in college. Deep knowledge of the language is a must in most academic institutions. 

Importance of Writing Conventions for Students

Many young people complain that their curriculum is tougher than they would like it to be. Indeed, many professors provide their students with a tremendous number of assignments, believing that otherwise, they will not become professionals in the chosen field. A tough schedule with strict deadlines becomes a real challenge, so it is not surprising students feel overwhelmed all the time. When it comes to writing essays, the stress level goes up since it is not always easy to find the right words and create a simple but powerful text. Besides, young people should pay special attention to grammar rules since every mistake lowers the grade. They should be good at basic writing conventions to get only A-grades.

Basic Writing Conventions

When you are not aware of the key concepts of the issue, it can be hard to understand what areas you should improve to achieve the desired result. What can help you make the text easier to understand? Each area of conventions has a wide range of nuances that you should master for writing decent papers. Anyway, it is worth starting with the key writing conventions that involve spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Working on college papers, students should necessarily check all these moments. 


When it comes to the first impression created by the text written, spelling runs the table. It is one of the crucial writing conventions that help a reader understand you. Many students make spelling errors because they write words the way they hear them. However, it doesn't always work out. If you are not sure what combinations of letters to write down, it is better to grab a dictionary and check it out. Otherwise, you will spoil the first impression and kill the desire to keep up reading your paper.


Sometimes punctuation makes a difference and changes the whole meaning of a sentence. In other cases, it helps understand the core of the message provided. You can come across many examples of hard-to-read sentences that lack the required commas, for example. Punctuation provides you with a chance to get the meaning at once because you know where to stop while reading and how to separate sentences. When you neglect the rules and miss commas or overdo it with them, you confuse your reader. Thus, if you know that punctuation is your weak spot, it is worth practicing more and going deep down the issue. 


Even though many people believe that its meaning is overrated, it is far from the case. If you miss capitalization, a huge text will look like one long sentence. It will hardly help a reader enjoy reading your paper. Thus, capitalization shows that a new sentence (thought) begins, so it is necessary to separate it from other previously mentioned ideas. We are used to acronyms that represent shortened long words written in capital letters. They save space and simplify memorizing, but you should be careful with them and not forget to define it first. In fact, capitalization rules stand out with certain simplicity, so it will not be hard to remember them. 


It is one of the key moments of writing conventions young people should pay special attention to. They should bear in mind that speaking and writing are not the same when it involves grammar. It is crucial to use the right time and change all the verbs according to it to convey a message the way you want it. Otherwise, it will be hard to understand the timeline and chronology of events mentioned in the paper. 

Writing Conventions Checklist

If students want to get high grades, they should do their best to become sure-handed writers. In this case, they will hardly do without a well-tailored approach that involves planning and an early start. Rookies who know nothing about writing conventions should start with the basic tips and tricks, but they should master their skills and show sound knowledge if they plan to enroll in a university. If you are not sure whether your paper has poor or high quality and meets the main requirements, it is worth checking the following checklist:

  1. Do you have complete sentences?
  2. Have you checked punctuation throughout the paper?
  3. Do you know how to use pronouns correctly?
  4. Have you checked all the subject-verb agreements?
  5. Have you checked the timeline in all your sentences?
  6. Have you checked capitalization throughout the text?

Now you know the answer to the question, "What does convention mean in writing?". Bear in mind that you should proceed to the checklist at the final writing stage when you start editing your paper. When the revising stage seems to be over, so you are ready to put your essay aside and forget about it until the deadline, it is worth checking your paperwork for writing conventions or using an essay proofreading service. Better safe than sorry. Thus, you will know that you have done everything possible to make your paper excellent. At first, it may seem too hard to master all these things and avoid mistakes, but the more you practice, the better result you get. 

Writing Conventions Recommendations  

Any language is a living organism that changes with time and gets new features depending on the environment. It is not surprising that the perception of writing conventions will be different in college essays and text messages young people exchange with each other. Thus, professors will not accept shortened and informal words, even though they may understand their meaning. If you want to write a high-quality essay, no matter if it is a descriptive, informative or even autobiographical essay, and get a high grade for your paperwork, you should follow the main tips and tricks:

  1. Complete sentences are a must.
  2. Eliminate run-on sentences, especially if you are not sure about grammar.
  3. If you mention someone for the first time, write their full name.
  4. Avoid acronyms, especially if you haven't provided their definitions.
  5. Always double-check punctuation.
  6. Don't forget about citations. 

Few Tips on How to Become a Skillful Writer

If you don't plan to turn to professional writers who will help get your papers done on time and at the highest quality level possible, you should sharpen your writing skills. The earlier you start, the better results you will get in the future. Practice is the key to success in this case. Thus, rookies should learn the basic writing conventions and use them as often as they can. Turn to the checklist if you are not sure whether you have considered the crucial moments. It would be great to have a person who can proofread your texts and point out all the mistakes. For example, you may forget to follow the sequence of tenses, so it can be hard to understand what time frame you are talking about. It is worth checking your spelling, especially if you are not sure about something. Over time, you will gain enough experience under the belt not to turn to the writing conventions checklist every time you work on a paper.