The Traits of Quality Writing


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The Traits Team







The traits of quality writing continue to gain recognition as the language of successful writers. Educators at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, now Education Northwest, searched for an accurate, reliable method of measuring student writing performance.


Six attributes of good writing were identified in Seeing With New Eyes (Spandel 2005). These characteristics are used to inform and guide writing instruction.


Ideas are the heart of the message, the content of the piece, and the main theme.


Sentence Fluency is the rhythm and flow of the language, the sound of word patterns, and the way in which the writing plays to the ear, not just to the eye.


Organization is the internal structure, the thread of central meaning, and the logical and sometimes intriguing pattern of ideas within a piece of writing.


Word Choice is the use of rich, colorful, precise language that moves and enlightens the reader.


Voice is the heart and soul, the magic, and the wit along with the feeling and conviction of the individual writer that emerge through the words.


Conventions are how the writer uses mechanical correctness in the piece–spelling, paragraphing, grammar and usage, punctuation, and capitalization


Learn more about the Traits of Quality Writing and the Traits Team below.



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Click on a Traits Team Member to find out their writing trait.

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