The Six Traits in Writing


    The Six Traits in Writing



    Definition: The heart of any writing.  Ideas are the information. In creative writing, the ideas paint a picture for the reader.  In expository writing, ideas give the reader topic specific information. 


    Key Features:

    • Clarity
    • Focus
    • Quality details
    • Strong support
    • Authenticity
    • No ”filler”
    • Balance- not too much information, but enough information



    Definition: The internal structure of the writing. The ideas are put together in a logical and/or sequential order so that the writing is easy to read and understand. The topic is easy to identify and the open and closing are strong.


    Key Features:

    • Strong topic sentence
    • Natural and effective transitions
    • Orderly arrangement of information
    • Good pacing
    • Satisfying conclusion



    Definition: The person behind the pen.  It is the individual, the writer’s perspective, enthusiasm, and the confidence that makes the writing enjoyable to read.


    Key Features:

    • Individuality
    • Enthusiasm
    • Confidence that comes from knowledge
    • Tone that fits the purpose of the writing
    • Tone that fits the audience



    Word Choice

    Definition: The use of words to effectively and efficiently communicate a message.  The writing is clean, clear and to the point.  It does not have vague words like: nice, fun, great, stuff or use big words just to impress.

    Key Features:

    • Accuracy
    • Precision
    • Words that fit the audience and purpose
    • Lively verbs
    • Words that “show” rather than “tell”
    • Words that paint pictures


    Sentence Fluency

    Definition: The rhythm and flow of the sentences and the variety of sentence structures that make the writing enjoyable to read and easy to understand.


    Key Features:

    • One sentence flows into another
    • Variety of length
    • Variety of structure
    • Easy to read and follow
    • Good rhythm and flow



    Definitions: The spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and usage in the writing.


    Key Features:

    • Easy to read and understand
    • Appropriate use of punctuation and capitalization
    • Conventions add to the writing rather than create distractions
    • Use of grammar is correct