Organization and Ideas: The Most Important Traits
A pioneer of Six Traits writing was Paul B. Diederich. His traits were a little different than the current Six Traits of Writing; however, his traits did include both organization and ideas. In fact, for Diederich organization and ideas were the most important traits and they received greater weight.
Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay agrees with Paul B. Diederich. Did you know that Pattern Based Writing guarantees that students will be able to get ideas, organize their ideas, and then write a complete essay based around those ideas… quickly and easily? It does. Click Organization and Ideas in Writing to learn more.
It’s not that organization and ideas are the only traits; but once students have mastered these two traits, everything else in teaching writing become easier. The truth is, it is easy to layer the other traits on top of great ideas and effective organization. The reverse is not true! Here’s why…
Organization: The Hardest Trait
Organization is the hardest trait.
K-12 Student Writers Across America
Not only is organization one of the most important traits, but it is also one of the hardest traits for students to master. I have seen the above quote many times over the years. I’ll admit, I’m not sure exactly who “K-12 Student Writers Across America” is; however, my experience teaching writing has me agreeing with them.
Do Students Understand Organization in Writing?
Have you ever been surprised to discover what your students’ understanding of a concept was? Sometimes teachers believe they have done a great job teaching a concept, and then a student says something which lets them know that their students don’t understand the concept at all!
I have found this to be VERY true with students’ understanding of the organizational structure of good writing. It can be very eye-opening to ask students what a main idea is! Whatever you do, don’t ask your students what a topic sentence, a paragraph, an introduction, a conclusion, or paragraph form are. You may be shocked.
Actually, I’ll be quite frank here; it doesn’t really matter what your students’ answers are. Being able to explain what these concepts are is not important. When it comes to the skill of writing, that’s not how you show understanding. In fact, being able to explain all of these organizational concepts could be considered the booby prize. The reason this is so is because writing is a skill. Let’s face it, a homerun hitter doesn’t need to understand how to hit a homerun; they just need to be able to hit one.
The truth is we want our students to understand these concepts so that they will be able to apply these concepts to their writing. When students understand organization in writing, they will demonstrate their understanding by applying organizational concepts to their writing. In other words, their writing will be nicely organized.
There are aspects of Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay that are traditional; however, there are many parts of the program that simply rely on pattern. “Just do this. Follow the pattern. What do you think?”
Does this method work? Yes! When it comes to getting ideas and organizing ideas… you will have a classroom full of homerun hitters!
Click Essay Writing Success to find out how!