Six Trait Writing

Six Traits

The Six Traits Qualities Teachers Look For In Writing Across the Curriculum


•Clarity •Focus–a small, easy-to-manage topic •Good information–from experience, imagination or research

•A snappy lead that gets the reader’s attention •Order and logic •Clear connections to a main idea •A graceful ending–doesn’t just STOP

•Sounds human–not like technospeak •Has the mark of this particular writer •Brings the topic to life •Is appropriate for the audience, topic, purpose

Word Choice

•Moments that stick with you •Relies on strong verbs and precise nouns–not on modifiers •Creates word pictures

Sentence Fluency

•Rhythmic •Easy to read aloud–inviting •Varied sentence length–some long, some short


•Spelling correct on simple words, correct or close on difficult words •Terminal punctuation correct, internal punctuation not misleading •Paragraphs for new topics, new speakers •Quotation marks to set off dialogue •Capitals on all proper nouns and to begin all sentences •Noun-verb agreement •No arbitrary  shifts in tense •Layout has eye appeal