Six Traits Writing

Six Traits Writing is a systematic approach for looking at writing one part at a time. Since writing is such a complicated activity, this approach helps many people break down the task and understand it better.  By focusing on and scoring only one trait at a time, a writer/reader can break down a complex activity like writing and make it more manageable. With practice, writers can then learn to be more critical of their own work and can make improvements in the quality of their writing.


CONTENT – is Clear, Interesting and Original 

  • Written from writer’s experience
  • Written with good insight (sense of the world, people, situation)
  • Writing is enlivened, spontaneous, from a fresh perspective
  • Writing is supported with details, research, concrete examples
  • Primary and secondary ideas are developed


ORGANIZATION – Helps to Clearly Convey the Message

  • Details fit where they belong
  • Clear sense of beginning and ending
  • Transitions work well (with paragraphs, as a whole)
  • Organization flows smoothly


VOICE – of the Writer Accomplishes the Purpose

  • Reader feels an interaction with the writer
  • Paper is honest, sincere
  • Writing is natural and compelling
  • Tone is appropriate and consistently controlled
  • Writer’s enthusiasm is evident


WORD CHOICE – is Consistent with the Purpose

  • Words are specific, accurate, and suited to the subject
  • Words are lively, powerful, give energy
  • Vocabulary is appropriate for the purpose and audience
  • Figurative language is used when appropriate


SENTENCE FLUENCY – Helps the Paper Read Smoothly

  • Sentence structure clearly conveys meaning
  • Writing sounds natural and fluent
  • Sentences are appropriately concise
  • Varied sentence structure and length. 


The Writer Displays Skillful Writing CONVENTIONS

  • Grammar is appropriate (noun-verb and noun-pronoun agreement)
  • Punctuation is appropriate
  • Spelling is generally correct
  • Usage is generally correct
  • Paragraphing is appropriate