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Trait Introduction: Ideas. The Six Traits. The Six Traits of Writing represent the things that we can observe, assess, revise, and edit in any piece of writing. Trait Introduction: Ideas. Focus on Ideas. Good ideas are clear, unique, and

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the six traits

Trait Introduction: Ideas

The Six Traits

The Six Traits of Writing represent the things

that we can observe, assess, revise, and

edit in any piece of writing.

focus on ideas

Trait Introduction: Ideas

Focus on Ideas

Good ideas are clear, unique, and

interesting thoughts carefully chosen to meet the needs of the reader.

ideas tell

Trait Introduction: Ideas

Ideas tell

Ideas can be thoughts, facts, opinions, or details.

Who?

My dog

What?

My dog escaped.

When?

My dog escaped this morning.

Where?

My dog escaped from the backyard this morning.

Why?

My dog escaped from the backyard this morning because I left the gate unlatched.

How?

My dog escaped from the backyard this morning because I left the gate unlatched. He just pushed it open with his nose, and away he went!

details

Trait Introduction: Ideas

Details

Details are additional ideas that tell more about the topic.

Good writers add details to help the reader understand the topic better.

details1

Trait Introduction: Ideas

Details

Read the following part of a rough draft.

Are there enough details?

The first time I flew in an airplane, I was a little scared. I looked out the window. I saw cars and buildings down below us. Later, we landed.

details2

Trait Introduction: Ideas

Details

Now read the revised version of the same story.

Can you identify some good details?

The first time I flew in an airplane, I was only four years old. As the plane took off, I dug my fingers into my mom’s arm. I stared out the window in wide-eyed terror, watching cars shrink down to the size of ants. The huge buildings of the city looked like the tiny building blocks I kept in a box under my bed. After awhile, I relaxed. Mom seemed relieved when I let go of her arm. By the time the journey was over, I was having so much fun that I didn’t want to land!

sensory details

Trait Introduction: Ideas

Sensory Details

Sensory details help the reader fully experience the topic. Sensory details relate to the five senses:

Sight

My dad set the huge, golden brown turkey on the table.

Sound

Forks and knives clinked and clanked against plates.

Smell

The rich aroma of cornbread dressing filled the air.

Touch

I unfolded the stiff linen napkin and placed it on my lap.

Taste

My lips puckered at the first mouthful of tangy cranberry sauce.

ideas and audience

Trait Introduction: Ideas

Ideas and Audience

Good writers choose ideas based upon the needs of the audience.

For example, if you were writing to tell a group of kindergarteners about tornadoes, you would include ideas they could understand.

Tornadoes are strong funnels of wind that drop down from the clouds. They don’t last very long, but they can be very powerful. Tornadoes can even destroy whole houses!

ideas and audience1

Trait Introduction: Ideas

Ideas and Audience

On the other hand, if you were writing a report about tornadoes for your teacher in science class (who already knows a lot about the topic), you would include more specific and interesting ideas.

Tornadoes form when a mass of cool air collides with a mass of warm air. A little-known fact about tornadoes is that they actually start spinning horizontally before they drop down vertically. They are also transparent until they begin to pick up dirt and debris. The winds inside a tornado can reach over two hundred and fifty miles per hour.

remember

Trait Introduction: Ideas

Remember!
  • Ideastell who, what, when, where, why, and how.
  • Details are additional ideas a writer uses to help a reader fully understand a topic.
  • Sensory details are ideas about sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.
  • Good writers think about their audience and choose ideas specifically to meet their needs.