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: