2 Trait 1: IdeasGood writing is about an idea or has a message or theme. As you write you should keep focused on the main idea and choose details that will help the reader understand the idea.
3 Narrowing & Focusing Your Idea Once you have a general idea, you need to limit it to a specific topic and decide on your purpose.Developing Your IdeaDetails are what bring any written composition to life.PurposeKinds of DetailsTo Inform or ExplainFacts, examples, reasons, statistics, comparisons, contrasts, steps in a processTo DescribeSights, sounds, smells, tastes, feelingsTo Tell a StoryEvents, actions, character and setting descriptionsTo PersuadeFacts, examples, reasons, statistics, appeals to feelingsStaying FocusedAvoid including things that don’t directly relate to your topic.Avoiding the Obvious* Avoid using “fillers” – words and sentences whose purpose is to take up space. Filler is often a problem at the beginnings and endings of compositions.
4 ORGANIZATIONAL PATTERNS Trait 2: OrganizationWell-organized writing typically has a clear beginning, middle, and ending. It presents details in a logical order by using the transitional words and phrases listed in the chart below.WRITING PURPOSEORGANIZATIONAL PATTERNSCOMMON TRANSITIONSExpository (to explain or inform)Order of importanceComparison/contrastCause/effectFirst, next, most importantSimilarly, in contrast, on the other handAs a result, for that reason, becauseNarrative (to tell a real or imaginary story)Chronological (time) orderFirst, yesterday, the next day, last year, next, untilDescriptiveSpatial (location) orderAt the top, near the middle, to the right, on the other side, next to, behindPersuasiveThe most important, equally important, in addition, also, in fact
5 WHAT THE WRITER’S VOICE SHOULD CONVEY Trait 3: VoiceVoice: is what gives your writing a unique personality and message and provides a personal way of expressing ideas. Your writing voice should meet the expectations for the situation.WRITING PURPOSEWHAT THE WRITER’S VOICE SHOULD CONVEYExpository and persuasive writingGenuine interest in the subject, often including personal insights about why the subject is important to the writer and what the reader might expect to gain from it; respect for differing viewpoints; confidence without swaggerDescriptive and narrative writingA genuine, not phony, personality; often some personal statements that show a willingness to trust readers with ideas you may find sensitive
6 Trait 4: Word ChoiceYou can capture your reader’s attention by using specific, lively, and natural sounding language appropriate to the situation.Use active-voice verbsUse precise nouns and modifiersUse colorful and figurative languageChoose words that enhance the sounds of language
7 Trait 5: Sentence Fluency Your sentences flow smoothly together when you employ transitions, repeated words, and pronouns that refer back to an earlier word.Internal Coherence: when sentences connect fluidly to one anotherExternal Coherence: the smooth logical flow from one paragraph to the ext.Varied Sentence Patterns – Another way good writing achieves sentence fluency is by using a variety of sentence types and lengths.Vary Sentence Beginnings – Strong writing also has a variety of sentence starters.Varying Sentence Type – Good writers also vary the types of sentences they use.SubjectThe raft floated slowly down the river.AdverbSlowly the raft floated down the river.A souvenir banner hung on the wall.Prepositional PhraseOn the wall hung a souvenir banner.
8 Trait 6: ConventionsWriting that communicates effectively is generally free of problems with spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and word choice.Paragraph breaks occur where you change topics, and sentences flow appropriate rules for grammar and usage.Writing that adheres to these principles can make a strong positive impression on readers. If you use inappropriate writing conventions, you may confuse your readers.