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Six Traits of Writing

Ideas
by

Kendra Kunkel

on 25 October 2012

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Transcript of Six Traits of Writing

The Six Traits of Writing -
IDEAS are the heart of the writer’s message – which may take any of several forms – story, argument, informational summary, and so on. All other traits take their cue from this foundational trait and work in harmony to ensure that the message from writer to reader is clear and intriguing.

Write this in Journal. Ideas Ideas & Development of a Message 1. Find a topic
2. Develop a clear main message, point, thesis, or storyline (your focus.)
3. Narrow and design a manageable topic (develop the topic)
a. Central theme?
b. Key message?
4. Show your insight/personal perspective (use details.)
5. Show knowledge from experience and/or research (use details.)
6. It should be compelling, holds reader's attention “I’ve been teaching middle school writing a long time,” Mr. Sheppard told his students. “What I’ve noticed every year is that many kids present their ideas in a very general way. For example, you might write, “It was huge” “I was scared.”
“Times were bad.” And although I get the drift of what you are saying, I’ve read it a million times before. You expect me, the reader, to fill in the details. But that’s the writer’s job, not the reader’s. You need to include specific details that help me see, really see, the idea.”
He continued, “Think about it like this. When you snorkel, you put your mask on your face, you put the air hose in your mouth, and you swim along the water’s surface, looking down in fascination at what lies beneath. Maybe there’s a coral reef, a shipwreck, or plants with schools of colorful fish swimming around them. It’s fun to see what’s there. I enjoy snorkeling.” “But when you scuba dive, you swim right down into those schools of fish and feel them brush up against you. You touch the plants, examine the coral, and explore the shipwreck, taking note of the odd bits of this and that on the ocean floor. You swim out of the light and into the dark. Scuba diving is harder and requires more skill than snorkeling. And there are greater risks. But, ultimately, it’s a more satisfying experience, wouldn’t you agree?” “But when you scuba dive, you swim right down into those schools of fish and feel them brush up against you. You touch the plants, examine the coral, and explore the shipwreck, taking note of the odd bits of this and that on the ocean floor. You swim out of the light and into the dark. Scuba diving is harder and requires more skill than snorkeling. And there are greater risks. But, ultimately, it’s a more satisfying experience, wouldn’t you agree?” Using the short story you created earlier, read your draft aloud to a partner. Together, find three snorkel details - details that could go deeper. Circle them. Then rewrite each one in the margin or on another piece of paper to create a scuba piece.
You will have 10 minutes and we will share. Culham, Ruth. "Chapter 4." Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide for Middle School. New York: Scholastic, 2010. N. pag. Print.

Spandel, Vicki. "Chapter 4." CD-ROM to Accompany Creating Writers through 6-trait Writing Assessment and Instruction. Boston: Pearson, 2008. N. pag. Print. Works Cited Write a one page story for ONE of the following pictures. Include at least five details
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