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The Six Traits

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  1. Writing Trait Introduction: Organization The Six Traits The Six Traits of Writing represent the things that we can observe, assess, revise, and edit in any piece of writing.

  2. Writing Trait Introduction: Organization Focus on Organization Organization is the logical structure of the writing that showcases thinking. Good organization includes an engaging introduction, thoughtful conclusion, and helpful transitions.

  3. Writing Trait Introduction: Organization There are many ways to effectively organize writing. • Position and Supporting Evidence • Compare and/or Contrast • Chronological Order • Instructional Steps • Narrative Story • Problem/Solution • Physical Description • Two Different Perspectives • Cause and Effect • Flashback/Flash Forward • Point and Counterpoint These organizational patterns can be used for writing in many different modes. Which of these patterns could you use to tell your family history? Which of these patterns could you use to write a report about an experiment?

  4. Writing Trait Introduction: Organization Effective writers use a variety of engaging introduction techniques. • Begin with dialogue: “Are you sure this is safe?” I asked my dad as I struggled into my water skis. • Begin with figurative language: The surface of the lake was as smooth and clear as glass. • Ask an interesting question: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever tried? • Begin with trivia: Each year in our state, there are nearly 100 serious waterskiing injuries. • Begin by painting a descriptive picture of a key object or scene: I reclined gently in the cool water of the alpine lake, the tips of my skis sticking out of the water in front of me. All was silent except for the thrum of the powerful motor of the silver ski boat at the other end of the tow rope.

  5. Writing Trait Introduction: Organization Good writers use transitions to organize and connect ideas, sentences, and paragraphs. • against • above • around • behind • between • below • by • inside • into • near • outside • over • through • under • as • also • likewise • similarly • unlike • in fact • but • however • yet • otherwise • although • nevertheless • on the other hand • for this reason • especially • with respect to • again • in summary • lastly • in conclusion • therefore • as you can see • additionally • for instance • in other words • first • then • next • last • after • during • until • meanwhile • soon • later • before • among • along

  6. Writing Trait Introduction: Organization Good writers use transitions. Read the following portion of a rough draft. Note the absence of transitions. My grandpa and I went camping. I gathered firewood. He pitched the tent. We fished and caught two small trout. We cleaned our catch and cooked it. We cleaned up and put the rest of our food in a bear-proof rig. We sat and talked. We drifted off to sleep under the stars. Now read the revised version of the same passage. Notice how good transitions connect the ideas of the story. Last weekend, my grandpa and I went camping. In the woods behind our campsite, I gathered firewood. Meanwhile, he pitched the tent. In hopes of catching a feast, we fished until dusk. Unfortunately, we caught only two small trout. When we returned to camp, we cleaned our catch and cooked it. Later, we cleaned up and strung the rest of our food in a bear-proof rig twenty feet off the ground between two tall pines. For hours, we just sat and talked. Sometime later, we drifted off to sleep under the stars.

  7. Writing Trait Introduction: Organization Good writers use a variety of thoughtful conclusion techniques. • Summarize (without being boring or redundant): Through decades of service as America’s primary space vehicle, the space shuttle has certainly earned its place in history. • Explain something that you (or a character) learned: Considering all of these facts, it is easy to conclude that the space shuttle fleet is the most advanced and complex collection of machines ever built. • End with a relevant, well-known quote: Looking back, the space shuttle era was truly one giant leap for humankind. • Make a bold statement: With the retirement of the space shuttle fleet, America willingly concedes its place as the world leader in space travel...for now. • End with appropriate action: On July 8, 2011, space shuttle Atlantis roared off the launch pad and into history.

  8. Writing Trait Introduction: Organization Remember! • Good writing begins with an engaging introduction and ends with a thoughtful conclusion. • Effective transitions help organize writing by connecting ideas, sentences, and paragraphs. • The organization of your writing should support the message you want to share with the reader.