Introduction to the Traits of Writing


The traits of writing are steeped in over 30 years of research and continue to gain popularity worldwide due to their effectiveness in improving student writing. Research has revealed that ‘quality’ writing all share six essential characteristics. They are – ideas, organisation, sentence fluency, word choice, voice and conventions.  


The strength of the model can be attributed to the emphasis it places on the writing process and that it integrates evidence-based practices that improve student writing, including analysing models of good writing, collaborating with peers, and explicit strategy instruction for developing specific writing skills. This approach helps students develop a critical writer’s eye and assess the main characteristics of writing independent from one another within their own and others writing. If students work like this and think about writing as a process, their writing flourishes. Research has proven this!


The traits of writing are a powerful tool for assessing writing and developing a shared language and understanding of the skills and qualities of good writing.  Incorporating the traits into writing assessment will facilitate writing instruction and provide teachers with clarity on what students need next in their learning.  


Using student examples, strategies and teacher activities, teachers will: 

  • Have a clear understanding of each trait of writing and the skills that support them
  • Recognise the qualities of good writing within mentor texts and student writing 
  • Identify students’ point of need to differentiate instruction and provide effective feedback 
  • Develop a common language for writing
  • Confidently introduce the traits to students using guided steps and a powerpoint
  • Do we need to attend both dates? No, we are simply offering you a choice of two dates for the same workshop. 
  • Can staff choose dates that work for them, or do we need to book one date as a whole school?  Individual teachers/teams can book different dates within the same school. 
  • Is it best to participate as a whole school?  We strongly recommend staff sit with their teams in their classrooms or in one common area with the whole school.
  • Will the workshop be recorded? No, we never record our workshops.  We have found that attendance, engagement, and implementation are higher with a live event. 
  • What if we are unable to attend?  I recommend extending your onboarding session by 30 minutes to incorporate an overview of the key points from the workshop.  If you choose this option, please send a request as soon as possible.