The Six Traits of Writing
Learning to Write
The six traits of writing were identified in the 1980s as a way to help young writers look at their own writing. They are:
- Word Choice
- Sentence Fluency
I like to teach with the six traits because this is how I write! I start with ideas, and then I organize them. Once I have a plan, I begin to write. I say things the way I want to say them, with my voice. I choose words and make the sentences flow. Then I clean it up by focusing on the conventions (grammar, punctuation and spelling). I work in this order, so that ideas come first and conventions are last.
I use this order when I revise and when I teach writing to children and adults. Why focus on the punctuation and spelling if the ideas don't work or the organization is flawed? First things first.