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6 Trait Of The Writinf Process;Which One Works

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Six Traits of the Writing Process: Which one works?


Conn McQuinn from Puget Sound ESD in Burien, Washington guides teachers and students alike through a writing process with the analogy of creating a “Magnifique” pizza and Six Trait Writing Links. Pamela Arlov wrote a book titled Wordsmith: A guide to college writing, which explains the writing process. We are going to compare the six traits of writing by Conn McQuinn and the writing process by Pamela Arlov and determine which seems to work best.


The first trait is “Ideas”. Ideas are the main focus of the paper (McQuinn, 2007). By putting these images, documents and stories together you develop a theme to hold the readers attention. Conn McQuinn uses a chart with each trait, within this chart he ask the reader to focus on the following with each trait: preparing, emerging, engaging, flourishing, refining, transitioning, maturing, extending and continuing. The question would be “how do writers develop in the trait of ideas?” This would happen by preparing a drawing with illustrated thoughts to communicate ideas. As the idea develops you may add anecdotes and clear details to get the main idea across to the reader. The trait “Ideas” can be compared to the “Prewriting phase” by Arlov. Prewriting is the “I think first” phase (Arlov, 2007, p4). Prewriting is considered the most crucial of the stages in the writing process, although it sometimes is the most neglected. Just as athletes need to warm up before a game, writers also need to warm up. In preparing for writing, you have to decide on a topic, identify an audience and purpose for writing, and gather ideas and data.

The second trait is the “Voice”. The voice is considered the writer’s unique and personal expression (McQuinn, 2007). At this point the writer will start to convey personal feelings on the topic. The voice will emphasis personal feeling but will modify the voice for diverse audiences. The third trait is “Organization”. Organization is the internal structure of the paper. The writer must link all details together with a strong transition so that the idea does not get lost (McQuinn, 2007). When you are organizing your thoughts think chronologic order or from top to bottom. At this point the writer can incorporate multiple strategies for leads and conclusion. The writer can also use transitional sentences to connect groups of related ideas. The traits “Voice” and “Organization” are similar to the “Planning phase” of the writing process. Planning is “I get the ideas down in rough form вЂ" I wouldn’t call it an outline” (Arlov, 2007, p5). Planning your paper can make it easier for you as the writer. If your mind keeps going blank try brainstorming, look in journal and write down ideas that pop in your mind. This is when you should start thinking of a thesis statement which might change several times before you are satisfied. Good or poor planning will show in your final draft.

The fourth trait is “Word Choice”. Word choice is away to use rich, colorful, precise language that moves and enlightens the reader (McQuinn, 2007). When using word choice the writer should start with favorite or primarily oral vocabulary word. When refining the paper manipulate the words for stylistic effects by using synonyms of selected words. “Word Choice” could be compared to the “Draft phase” of the writing process. Drafting is “I write it out from beginning to end” (Arlov, 2007, p5). Drafting a paper may be difficult or you may just plunge right in. It is important that during this stage you are not bothered with the mechanics of writing. The idea is to get your ideas down from beginning to end without letting concern about correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar get in the way.

The fifth trait is “Sentence Fluency”. Sentence fluency is the rhythm and the flow of the language, the sound of word patterns, the way in which the writing plays to the ear not to the eyes. Writers achieve good sentence fluency through logic, creative phrasing, parallel construction, alliteration, rhyme, absence of redundancy, variety in sentence length and structure (McQuinn, 2007). The writer should start with a short repetitive sentence pattern and work up to using connecting words and then refine the use of word connecting word by substituting punctuation where appropriate. The fifth trait “Sentence Fluency” is compared to “Revising phase” of the writing process. Revising is a method of “seeing again” (Arlov, 2007, p6). Revising is rarely a one-step process. Global matters вЂ" focus, purpose, organization, content, and overall strategy вЂ" generally receive attention first. Improvements in sentence structure, word choice, grammar, punctuation and mechanics



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