Content / Ideas This is the heart of the paper--what the writer has to say. It should be a topic that is important to the writer and should be small enough to handle in the paper. It should express the ideas clearly so every reader can understand and it should provide the reader with interesting insights. A solid, well-defined theme holds the paper together, giving a meaningful, focused, and detailed exploration of the topic.
Voice Voice is the personality of the writer coming through on the page. It is what gives the writing a sense of flavor, a uniqueness, and give the reader the feeling that the writer is talking directly to her. A strong sense of voice demands that the writer make a commitment to the writing and write honestly with conviction. In a paper with strong voice, the reader will get a sense that someone real is there on the page, whether the reader knows the writer or not.
Voice You’re the Author of your Own Life Story. Use first person…I feel, I believe, I think, My opinion… Make it Real. True vs. Authentic Make the reader laugh or cry.There has to be emotion!
Word Choice Good word choice involves being able to look critically at verbs and select ones that are active, powerful and energetic. It means being able to choose just the right words to make the writing sound natural and precise. Word choice is what gives an exactness to details and helps the writer paint memorable pictures in the reader¹s mind. Avoid HIT LIST! SHOW, do not Tell!
Organization This is the road map which directs the reader through the paper. It begins with a strong lead or hook and catches the reader¹s interest right from the beginning. The details along the way should add to that lead and should help build toward the conclusion, pulling the reader along right to the very end. It should use good transitions to move smoothly from one idea to the next, helping things fit together easily for the reader. Organization gives writing a sense of purpose and structure
Content / Ideas & Organization Tell Your Story! B = Before (Exciting Introduction) D = During (Body) A = After (Conclusion) Did you stick to the topic? Is your story clear? Does it answer the prompt?
Content / Ideas & Organization WOW your audience in the beginning! Great Intro. = Great paper Boring Intro. = Boring paper
Content / Ideas & Organization Suggestions for CREATIVE OPENERS or LEAD IN: ACTION DIALOGE EMOTION SETTING CHARACTER DETAILS QUOTATION
Content / Ideas & Organization NO! DON’T DO IT! Don’t even think about starting the paper the following ways: Question Opener...BLAH! When I was… Once Upon a Time… I’ll Never Forget…
Content / Ideas & Organization Don’t even think about starting the paper the following ways: Restating the Prompt I’m going to tell you about… My paper is about…
Content / Ideas & Organization Don’t even think about starting the paper the following ways: I’m going to explain to you… Using “well” as an introductory statement Introducing yourself. Ex. Hello, my name is John.
Sentence Fluency In any piece of writing, there are many possible ways to write any sentence correctly, but usually, of those correct versions, one or two will sound better than others. A writer who can pick out those versions and can use them frequently will have a strong sense of sentence fluency. This does not mean creating longer sentences, but means using long sentences when they would be best and short sentences when they would suit better. It means creating a sense of rhythm with the sentences and a flow that the reader finds enjoyable to follow along. Good sentence fluency stands out when a piece of writing is read aloud (Vary types: S, CP, CX, ING, TO)
Conventions Conventions are the rules of a language. They are the common patterns of grammar, spelling, punctuation, paragraphing and capitalization that readers come to expect in good writing. They make writing easy to read and understand. A reader may not even notice when conventions are well done, but might be distracted from the good ideas that were so carefully planned if the conventions are poorly handled. This is the most mechanical of the six traits and requires writers to learn editing and proofreading skills.
Helpful Reminders Know and apply the six traits: Ideas Sentence Fluency Word Choice Conventions Voice Organization The purpose of your story is to entertain and make the reader feel an Emotion.
Helpful Reminders Don’t use HIT LIST or first, second, third for transitions in your paper. Create a visual or mental picture for the reader. SHOW them!
Helpful Reminders Please focus on ONE event, person, memory, or example. Magnify the focus with details. The essay counts 60%. If you make a “1”, you will automatically fail!