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The 6 Traits of Writing. *Ideas *Organization *Word Choice *Sentence Fluency *Voice *Conventions. Created by: Jennifer Heidl-Knobloch & Jody Drake. Ideas & Content.

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The 6 Traits of Writing

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The 6 traits of writing

The 6 Traits of Writing



*Word Choice

*Sentence Fluency



Created by: Jennifer Heidl-Knobloch & Jody Drake

Ideas content

Ideas & Content

“The ideas are the heart of the message, the content of the piece…all the details that enrich and develop the theme.”

--Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory

If you don t care about what you write about your reader will be bored

If you don’t care about what you write about, your reader will be bored!

Ideas content1

Ideas & Content

A writer should:

~ Narrow the topic to something specific

~ Use a fresh, original perspective

~ When possible, write from experience

~ Use important, interesting details

(not just common knowledge)



“Organization is the internal structure of a piece of writing, the thread of central meaning, the pattern.”

--Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory



A writer should:

~ use an inviting lead that hooks the reader

~ use logical and effective order, structure, & sequence

~ use smooth transitions to emphasize main idea

~ place supporting details where they are most appropriate

~ use a conclusion that gives the reader a sense of resolution (clincher)

Word choice

Word Choice

“Strong word choice clarifies and expands ideas…moves and enlightens the reader.”

--Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

--Anton Chekhov

Word choice1

Word Choice

A writer should:

~ Use words that create a mental picture for the reader

~ Use powerful action verbs (vivid verbs)

~ Use specific nouns and adjectives

~ Use language that is natural and not overdone

~ Be concise (tighten sentences)

~ Use words correctly

~ Avoid repetition, slang, and clichés

Sentence fluency

Sentence Fluency

“Sentence fluency is the rhythm and flow of the language.”

--Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory

“To me the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.”

--Truman Capote

Sentence fluency1

Sentence Fluency

A writer should:

~Vary sentence beginning, structure, and length

~ Use complete sentences

~ Use transitions (internal & external) to promote cadence



“It is the heart and soul of the writing, the magic, the wit, the feeling, the life and breath.”

--Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory



A writer should:

~ Write honestly and from the heart

~ Interact with the reader

* without using YOU

~ Use language that brings the topic to life

~ Care about topic

~ Use expression to voice personality

And lastly

And lastly…




Some of you may not enjoy the editing process, but without this step, the other 5 traits could be overshadowed by errors that distract the reader. This trait is essential to a polished composition.



A writer should:

~ Turn in a clean, edited, and polished final draft

~ Reinforce the organization with good paragraphing

~ Use correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar

The 6 traits of writing

Quotations to Inspire

“ What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.”

- Samuel Johnson

“ We write to taste life twice.”

~ Anais Nin

Works cited

Works Cited

“Assessment.” Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. 11 Jan. 2005. 6 July 2005. <>.

“Grammar Cartoons.” Google Images. 6 July 2005. <>.

Roberts, Bethany. "Writing for Children Workshop: Writing Quotes."16 June

2005. <>.

Spandel, Vicki. Creating Writers Through 6-Trait Writing Assessment and Instruction. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, 2001.

Steele, Kimberly. “Ideas for Teaching Writing.” 23 June 2004. 6 July 2005. <>

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