skillful writing

On Writing Well – Teaching Skillful Writing

Writing Inkwell with feather and vintage paper on table

“The Elements of Style,”is considered the bible for writing, as is William Zinsser’s “On Writing Well”. Skillful Writing is based on building blocks that create a solid foundation. It is something all teachers must practice and teach.

Assessing the Traits of Writing

Assessing the Traits of Writing is of paramount importance in today’s standards-based educational environment, with much emphasis on preparing for annual testing. Teachers must carefully choose their focus and helping students to hone one writing trait at a time. This gives developing writers time to review and assess their work in more depth, with the meaningful intention of improving their writing.

Skillful writing requires teaching a systematic approach to the teaching of writing, one aspect at a time, through the use of the following writing traits:

  • Ideas
  • Organization
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Sentence Fluency
  • Conventions & Presentation

It is about laying the foundation for a systematic approach to the teaching of writing, one aspect at a time, through the use of the following writing traits: Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Conventions & Presentation. By learning and using these traits, both instructor and student will have a common understanding of how to assess and improve writing, which helps make the teaching of writing more manageable.

Skillful writing for professional development

A teacher, even if already a strong writer, would be wise to take a course on teaching writing given the new standards. And continuing to hone writing skills has never hurt anyone.

A professional development course aligns with Common Core College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing. It especially supports CCR #4, Producing Clear and Coherent Writing, and CCR #5, Developing and Strengthening Writing. Using the traits of writing promotes higher-order thinking, analysis and discussion.

These courses also go to professional development credit.

Creating skillful writers

One such online series offered by Dominican University is focused on the implementation of the Common Core Anchor Standards for Writing. This series of courses will lay the foundation for creating skillful writers.

By learning and using these trait vocabulary codes, both instructor and student will have a common understanding of how to assess and improve writing.

This approach helps make the teaching of writing more manageable. Using the traits of writing helps make the most of the opportunities to practice writing. In today’s standards-based educational environment, with much emphasis on preparing for annual testing, teachers must carefully choose their focus.

Helping students to hone one trait at a time gives developing writers time to review and assess their work in more depth with the meaningful intention of improving their writing.

This course aligns with Common Core College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards.