Writing Tips

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Six Traits of Writing

For most of our writings in class we will be using the following:

SixTrait Friendly Rubric

Having a Conference With Yourself

Literary Analysis

What tense to write in:  Verb Tense? Present Tense? or Verb Tense in Literature Essays

Here are things to keep in mind as you revise your work:

IDEAS

* uses sensory details (can the reader see it, hear it, touch it, smell and taste it (if applicable?)

*SHOWING v. telling

*details that hold the reader’s attention

*includes what is important and left out trivial, unrelated details

*use dialogue (in a narrative)  (see pp. 106, 126, and 588 of WriteSource or this page)

a.  to add information

b.  to show a speaker’s personality

c.  to keep the action moving

*small and focused

Questions About Enough Information

Have I told when, where and with whom this is happening?

Have I clearly explained what I mean? Is there any part that might confuse the reader?

Have I described the scene and people so well that my reader can see and hear the story?

Do people talk? Have I put quotation marks around the words people say out loud?

Have I used examples to show what I mean, instead of just telling?

What the most exciting or interesting part of the piece? How can I build on it?

WORD CHOICE

*there are few or no dead (DW) words

*use strong/vivid ACTIVE  VERBS used, descriptive adjectives, specific nouns, descriptive adverbs

*everyday are words used well

*words and phrases linger in the reader’s mind

*words are not repeated

VOICE

*use active voice

*avoid “to be” verbs

*reader feels what the main character feels

*has your personality stamp on the piece

*the tone (humorous, serious, businesslike, friendly) and style (casual and chatty or formal and professional) are just right for my topic and for my audience

CONVENTIONS

-capitalization correct

-spelling accurate

-paragraphing correct

-punctuation correct (periods, commas, semicolons, speech marks used correctly)

-grammar and usage correct

-dialogue punctuated properly: http://www.be-a-better-writer.com/punctuate-dialogue.html

Suggested websites:

1.  The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/

2.  How Parents Can Help Children Improve Writing in School

http://www.livestrong.com/article/80382-parents-can-children-improve-writing/

http://www.ehow.com/how_6523447_parents-can-children-improve-writing.html

Grammar Sites

Looking for some extra practices with grammar, try these sites:

1. Daily Grammar: http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html has numerous grammar lessons along with answer keys.

2. Grammar Gorillas Games: http://www.funbrain.com/grammar/

3. Go Grammar: http://classroom.jc-schools.net/basic/la-grammar.html

Learn to Type!

Use this website to learn how to type: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/

Typing screen shot

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