Writing Conventions Versus

Go Your Own Way: Writing Conventions Versus Self-Expression

The writing process if often intensely personal because, at its heart, writing is an act of self-expression. Whether you're working on poems in your diary or a research paper for your chemistry class, the words you put down on the page are an expression of who you are and what you are thinking.
Because writing is an extension of the writer's personality and style of thinking, writers can run into trouble when their personal vision bumps up against the strict rules of formal writing. When you feel strongly about the content and style of your work, it can be hard to fit that excitement into the standard format of a literature review or essay. But, while many students try to get away with being daring and new, breaking from the guidelines in as assignment will likely hurt your grade more than it helps. So how can you decide when you need to follow conventions and when you should feel free to just be you?

Know Your Audience

It's common for students to want to fight against standard writing conventions, which can often seem boring and constraining. Sometimes this can be a good decision that will make your paper feel fresh and original, but sometimes these choices will just make your paper look unprofessional. Which category your paper ends up in will usually depend not only on what you're writing, but who you're writing for.
Ultimately, it will be your teacher or professor who decides the fate of your paper, which means you need to tailor your work to fit their expectations. You can write a fresh, daring essay that subverts normal writing conventions by using a question-and-answer format, but it won't matter if your teacher specifically asked you to write PEAL paragraphs. In other words, it won't matter how good your work is if you aren't following the guidelines for the assignment, which means before you make any daring decisions you should always ask your teacher or professor first.

Common Problems

There are a number of common academic writing conventions that students frequently want to change, work around, or just ignore.

Organizational structure

Once they get comfortable with standard paper formats like IMRAD and introduction-body-conclusion, students often want to break away and try something new. Maybe you want to experiment with something simple like building to the thesis slowly instead of putting it in the introduction, or maybe you want to do something more complex like write your paper from the viewpoint of a character in a novel.
Often these sorts of organizational choices can lead to interesting papers, but you want to make sure that you're still making a sound argument. Remember, the whole point of writing a research paper is to put forth an idea and provide evidence for it. As long as your accomplishing that goal you can feel free to try all sorts of new ideas (usually with your teacher's permission). However, if you get so wrapped up in doing subverting the format that your argument gets lost, then you probably want to stick with the conventional structure.
Another important point to keep in mind about structure is that you can get away with more in classes like English or history. In these classes it's more common to be assigned a free-form essay, while in the sciences you might be asked to write something specific like an IMRAD paper or a literature review. For these specific assignments, there isn't any wiggle room: if you're assigned an IMRAD paper, you need to write an IMRAD paper.


There are a lot of elements that go into a writing style. Elements like punctuation, length of sentences, literary devices (e.g., alliteration or metaphors), person (e.g., first, second, or third), and even capitalization all come together to create the individual style of a writer. In academic writing, there are conventions that govern all of these issues. For example, most essays are written in the third person, and variable sentence lengths are considered a sign of good writing.
All of these issues, however, present an option for personalization. You can choose to write an essay in second person or include lots of short sentences for emphasis-while not conventional, these choices won't necessarily sink your paper. Again, what you need to focus on is whether they improve your argument or whether they're just a gimmick.

Sentence structure

The rules of sentence structure are pretty rigid, so it's not unexpected that as a writer you might want to push back against those rules. Maybe you think starting lots of sentences with conjunctions or using fragments is a great way to create a unique style and make your paper interesting. After all, those techniques are commonly used (very successfully) in fiction, poetry, and opinion essays, right?
Unfortunately for those of you wanting to try out something new, academic assignments aren't the place to experiment with sentence structure. While run-ons and fragments are great for other arenas, when it comes to formal writing it's important to stick with those formal grammar rules. So, if you're writing an essay on Shakespeare you need to make sure you follow proper writing conventions and save those experimental 70-word sentences for your next story or poem.

Word choice

Much like the strict rules for sentence structure, the guidelines for word choice in formal writing can seem constricting. Often we can easily think of how we'd communicate something in everyday language, but when it comes time to translate that thought into academic speak it gets muddled. But, as much as you might dislike academic diction, when it comes to formal writing assignments you don't really have much choice. You might think that tossing in idioms or slang will make your paper seem edgy or conversational, but it will really just make you look unprofessional.

The Bottom Line

The writing you do for classes and academic assignments is an expression of you and your unique ideas, which means it's up to you to decide whether you want to follow the rules or forge your own path. If the result of a creative decision creates a piece of writing that you think is interesting and original that's great, but just be sure to always keep your teacher (and your grades) in mind. In the end, how you choose to walk the line between self-expression and academic conventions is up to you.

Our TOP writers

TOP 10
Writer 135360
ID 135360

Master's in Project Management, PMP, Six Sigma

Rating 97.4%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 135360

1382 written pages

154 orders

139 a+ papers

My Master’s degree and comprehensive writing experience allow me to complete any order fast and hit the nail on the head every time.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 99423
ID 99423


Rating 98.5%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (7) about writer 99423

5814 written pages

1163 orders

1023 a+ papers

I am experienced writer with an MBA, PMP, ITIL, that consistently delivers unique, quality papers. I take pride in my experience and quickness.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 67752
ID 67752

MS in Human Resource Management

Rating 99.4%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (9) about writer 67752

7011 written pages

702 orders

639 a+ papers

I hold a MS degree in Human Resource and my goal is to help students with flawless, unique papers, delivered on time.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 152971
ID 152971


Rating 98.3%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (6) about writer 152971

856 written pages

123 orders

121 a+ papers

As Registered Nurse (RN, PCN), I can quickly deal with any medical paper. My expertise and writing skills are perfect for this job.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 145557
ID 145557


Rating 99.3%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 145557

898 written pages

302 orders

281 a+ papers

I have MPA, MHA degrees but, most importantly, experience and skills to provide unique, well-written papers on time.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 129721
ID 129721


Rating 98.8%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (9) about writer 129721

1886 written pages

210 orders

206 a+ papers

I can write about multiple areas and countless topics, as I have a DNP and BA degrees. High-quality writing is my second name.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 128947
ID 128947

PhD in American History

Rating 99.8%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 128947

616 written pages

124 orders

118 a+ papers

A PhD in American history comes handy. Unique papers, any topics, swift delivery — helping with academic writing is my passion.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 150950
ID 150950


Rating 97.9%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (7) about writer 150950

409 written pages

104 orders

95 a+ papers

Incredibly fast PsyD writer. Efficient paper writing for college. Hundreds of different tasks finished. Satisfaction guaranteed.

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 35119
ID 35119


Rating 97.7%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (9) about writer 35119

22533 written pages

4508 orders

4418 a+ papers

Top-ranked writer with tons of experience. Ready to take on any task, and make it unique, as well as objectively good. Always ready!

hire writer
TOP 10
Writer 127980
ID 127980


Rating 99.2%
CUSTOMER REVIEWS (8) about writer 127980

879 written pages

294 orders

285 a+ papers

Experienced Social Work expert focused on good writing, total uniqueness, and customer satisfaction. My goal — to help YOU.

hire writer

Buy your papers from the best writing service

Have your tasks done by our professionals to get the best possible results.

total: $8.51

NO Billing information is kept with us. You pay through secure and verified payment systems.


All papers we provide are of the highest quality with a well-researched material, proper format and citation style.


Our 24/7 Support team is available to assist you at any time. You also can communicate with your writer during the whole process.


You are the single owner of the completed order. We DO NOT resell any papers written by our expert


All orders are done from scratch following your instructions. Also, papers are reviewed for plagiarism and grammar mistakes.


You can check the quality of our work by looking at various paper examples in the Samples section on our website.

Special price $8.51/page
Place an order
more than 63,000 times students trusted us to write their papers
9 out of 10 customers recommend us*
92% of our customers have placed more than 7 orders
*data is based on 6,568 customers' feedback received from Jan 1, 2017 till Jan 1, 2018.
Special price $8.51/page
Place an order
Customer #5079

I love history - that's why I'm majoring in it, but I don't have time to put together a whole thesis about it. I mean, at first I tried doing it myself, but why sweat over it when I can just pay and have it done in a few days? I had to ask for a minor revision for the references page, but otherwise, everything's ok. My writer did everything quickly, I liked it.

Customer #3050

Very happy with the lab report your writer provided. I am always so stressed when I get such tasks. I will definitely ask you to help me again.

Estimated Deadline: Monday, Oct 04 5:27 AM in Your timezone
Total price: $8.51
Price starts from $8.51
Regular discounts and offers
Excellent results guaranteed
Professional 24/7 support

Free samples of our work

There are different types of essays: narrative, persuasive, compare\contrast, definition and many many others. They are written using a required citation style, where the most common are APA and MLA. We want to share some of the essays samples written on various topics using different citation styles.

Hey, you...Yes, you! Don’t you want to get your Discount?
Your discount will be
sent to the email!

I have read and agree to the Terms of Use, Money Back Guarantee, Privacy and Cookie Policy of BestCustomWriting.com

  • dmca_logo
  • safecharge
  • trustpilot

Use your opportunity to get a discount!

To get your special discount, write your email below

  • dmca_logo
  • safecharge
  • trustpilot

Best papers and best prices!

Want to get quality paper done on time cheaper?

  • dmca_logo
  • safecharge
  • trustpilot