What does “Mechanics” refer to?

The word mechanics is so often paired with the word grammar that it may not be immediately clear that mechanics refers to a different aspect of writing. Mechanics refers to rules for capitalization, spelling, formatting, and other technical elements intended to make your writing clearer for your reader.

Some mechanical elements, such as whether or not you should spell out a number over ten, will change based on the style guide (e.g. MLA, APA, or Chicago) your professor asks you to use, while other elements, such as capitalization or spelling, remain consistent. In short, mechanics refers to many of the conventions your readers, both in general and in different disciplines, expect to see as they read your work. Using the correct mechanics increases your credibility as a writer and show you’ve carefully edited your work.



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Mechanics” by Leandra Binder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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