It's called Four Traits Writing. Basically, it addresses one of the really outdated parts of Six Traits which is a real weakness. Six traits doesn't have a framework to address the type of writing. All writing is considered the same and measured against the same rubriques. But this makes no sense to the students.
The problem is that students today are writing far more than most previous generations. But they are doing it as chats and texts, not as formal long form essays. Four traits writing addresses this and provides a framework so that the audience and media are considered. Really, this comes to purpose of writing. Below is the original mateirals from 4 traits writing which could definitely and should be updated. In terms of usage, I imagine this could be integrated in writing in either:
The Types of Writing
Blending Writers Workshop
Student Writing Practice
Four-Trait Writing© is an update of a traditional approach to the learning of the craft. Under pressure to correctly create an essay to fit the rigid standardized testing guidelines, students are not usually given the opportunity to broaden their writing horizons for today’s electronically connected world.
Four-Trait Writing provides students a framework both to write successfully for today’s high stakes test and to discover writing beyond the formal essay. Students have the chance to find their voice when writing for the internet, editorials, and even dialogue.
So, what are the Four Traits of successful writing? They are:
1. Content – Story and Logic
2. Style (Sentence Variety and Structure)
3. Mechanics (Spelling, Punctuation, Capitalization Rules)
4. Media & Voice (Persuasion; Objective Journalism; Internet Writing; Dialogue: Plays and Scripts)
- Content – Story and Logic covers the flow of a narrative and the organization of an expository essay.
- Style discusses sentence structure, variety, and fluency and the usage of colorful, descriptive words.
- Mechanics are the writing basics of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Learning to use all of these properly and becoming adept at proofreading for errors in these areas, are an essential skill for the middle school writer.
- The Media and Voice in the modern world are different from that of the past. Today’s writer needs to have a separate voice for the different media available to them. In the same day, a single writer might have to shift between writing a blog article with paragraphs with bolded key works, to a formal structured essay for a school assignment, or to a chatty commentary article for a printed magazine with a headline.
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