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The Six Traits of Writing

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  1. The Six Traits of Writing English 9 Mrs. Klooz

  2. “I always did well on essay tests. Just put everything you know on there, maybe you’ll hit it. And then you get the paper back from the teacher and she’s written just one word across the entire page, ‘vague.’ I thought vague was kind of vague. I’d write underneath it ‘unclear’ and send it back. She’d return it to me, ‘ambiguous’. I’d send it back to her, ‘cloudy’. We’re still corresponding to this day…. hazy…. muddy…” Jerry Seinfeld (SeinLanguage)

  3. “Students have been conditioned to believe that great papers just happen. That they are a guessing game and that one finds out what to do after it is too late.” Margie Krest “Adapting the Portfolio to Meet Student Needs” English Journal February 1990

  4. The Six Traits • Ideas • Organization • Voice • Word Choice • Sentence Fluency • Conventions

  5. Ideas • The ideas are the heart of the message, the content of the piece, the main theme, together with the details that enrich and develop that theme.

  6. Sound Ideas.. • It all makes sense • I know this topic well • I have included the most interesting details • My paper has a purpose • Once you start reading, you will not want to stop.

  7. Organization • Organization is the internal structure of a piece of writing, the tread of central meaning, the logical and sometimes intriguing pattern of the ideas.

  8. Good Organization.. • My beginning will interest the reader! • Everything ties together. • It builds to the good parts. • You can follow it easily. • At the end it feels finished and makes you think.

  9. Voice • The voice is the heart and soul , the magic, the wit, along with the feeling and conviction of the individual writing coming out through the words.

  10. Individual Voice.. • This really sounds like me! • I’ve been honest and written what I think and feel. • Can you feel my commitment to this topic? • I want you to experience my writing with me. • I know why I’m writing and who my audience is. • I bet you’ll want to read this to someone.

  11. Word Choice • Word Choice enriches our writing and makes it almost come alive. Precise words add energy and clarity. Words convey the intended message in a clear, interesting and natural way.

  12. Powerful Words… • This is the best way to say this. • My words create mind pictures! • I’ve tried new ways to say everyday things. • Listen to the power in my verbs. • Some of the words and phrases linger in my mind.

  13. “Powerful writers and powerful speakers have two wells they can draw on for that power: one is the well of rhythm,; the other is the well of vocabulary. But vocabulary and a sense of rhythm are almost impossible to “teach” in the narrow sense of the word. So how are children expected to develop a sense of rhythm or a wide vocabulary? By being read to, alive, a lot!” Mem Fox (Radical Reflections, 1993)

  14. Sentence Fluency • Sentence fluency in the rhythm and flow of the language, the sound of word patterns, the way in which the writing plays to the ear—not just to the eye.

  15. Sentence Fluency.. • My sentences begin in different ways. • Some sentences are short and some are long. • It just sounds good as I read it aloud-it flows. • My sentences have power and punch. • I have “sentence sense.”

  16. Conventions • Conventions are the mechanical correctness of the piece—spelling, grammar and usage, paragraphing, use of capitals and punctuation.

  17. Correct Conventions.. • I don’t have many mistakes in my paper. • I have used capitals correctly. • Periods, commas, exclamation marks and quotation marks are in the right places. • Almost every word is spelled correctly. • I remembered to indent each paragraph.

  18. Presentation (the + 1) • Presentation zeros in on the form and layout of the text and its readability; the piece should be pleasing to the eye.

  19. Good Presentation… • 12 point Times New Roman • Double-spaced • Top right corner • Your name • English 9 • Assignment • My paper looks neat and is legible. • Someone could easily read my paper. “Editing is easy all you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” Mark Twain

  20. The Six Traits • Ideas • Organization • Voice • Word Choice • Sentence Fluency • Conventions

  21. “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.” George Orwell