Presentation on theme: "What Makes Good Writing? (Good question…). Good Writing… Often is in the eye of the beholder (or teacher) Depends upon the intended audience –Letter to."— Presentation transcript:
Good Writing… Often is in the eye of the beholder (or teacher) Depends upon the intended audience –Letter to Mom vs. letter to the President –Mr. King vs. a friend Varies with the mode of writing in question –Short story vs. epic poetry –Persuasive essay vs. research report
In short: There are as many definitions of “good” writing as there are forms of writing Frustrating, huh?
Fortunately, there are some common general characteristics that all good writing shares. At LCHS, our method of articulating these characteristics draws from Ruth Culham’s 6+1 Writing Traits. Good writing almost always will be excellent in most – if not all – of these areas.
Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One The traits (in order of relevance): –Ideas –Organization –Voice –Sentence Fluency –Word Choice –Conventions –Presentation Conventions-mandated second bullet point (English humor)
Ideas The focal point of writing – why read if the work has nothing to say? Not necessarily something earth-shatteringly original (though originality is good) Consistency of ideas also important – everything said should contribute to the overarching idea or theme of the work
Organization Content should “flow” in a logical manner Structured conversation, not rambling Manner of organization should contribute to the overall aim of the work
What the Heck is “Flow,” Anyway? English types like metaphors, and writing terms are no exception In basic terms, flow is a logical, sequential progression of ideas (i.e. getting from point A to point B smoothly) Writing that flows well doesn’t have to sound pretty, but it can.
Voice Writing style Distinguishes YOUR writing from everyone else’s Bland, third-person detached writing lacks a solid voice
Example: –“When one must write an essay for College English, one must always take care to use appropriate punctuation and spelling.” –“Essays should give you an idea of what’s important to you, and that importance should be reflected in the attention given to mechanics.”
Sentence Fluency Sentences are complex and demonstrate high aptitude for the English language Easy to read, sound natural That dreaded “flow” again
Word Choice A variety of words are used Words are appropriate to the context of the work Challenging words based on writer’s level of ability Words “move” the reader based on the authorial purpose (i.e. forceful words in a persuasive essay, etc.)
Conventions Writing follows proper conventions of language Spelling Grammar Punctuation Appropriateness of conventions depends on audience and authorial purpose
Presentation Make it look GOOD! Follow formatting guidelines of publication or instructor Looks aren’t everything, but they are important