Expository Journal

Expository Journals

My Journal
July 1, 2016

Dear Journal,     

      A 6 Traits Rubic and Writing Guide is based on the collaborative work of seventeen teachers from the Beaverton, Oregon school district in 1984.  These seventeen teachers were the Analytical Writing Assessment Committee which graded and reviewed 15,000 papers from Third Grade to Twelfth Grade students.  This committee was instrumental in identifying six qualities which evolved into the 6 Traits rubric and writing guide to become a better way of assessing and teaching writing in the Oregon district.

     The 6 Traits Rubric determined when teachers are responding to student writing, they should read aloud the piece to hear the voice and fluency of the work.  There are questions to be asked and answered: What is strong? What is weak? What traits come to your mind. Is this a male or female student? What prompted this piece? 

     After reading the first chapter of Creative Writers, these 9 tips are identified for scoring writing well.

  • Remember--there is no right score. Is it stronger than weak?
  • Refer to writing guide often.
  • Score 1 indicates beginning performance and not a failure.
  • Remember 5 or 6 represents strength.
  • Consider grade level expectation.
  • Watch for your bias.
    • having a high/low tendency
    • reacting to appearance of piece
    • assuming longer is better
    • loving or hating topic
    • preconceptions influencing you
    • skimming work of an author
    • self scoring
    • personal response to violence or vulgarity
  • Be aware of pet peeves
  • No writing guide tells all about a work
    Research findings about teaching from the 6 Traits. Specific writing strategies improve student skills in planning drafts and revising student writing.  Collaborative writing encourages students to design and complete writing tasks.  Specific reachable goals keep students knowing what they must achieve.  Analyze of other's writing allows students to look at and discuss aspects of other's writing to discover strong details, leads and conclusions.
Lastly, focusing on the process-based approaches are critical to purposeful revision.

Linda Jones

Memo: This journal is a example of the research or reading an assignment where the student must record the information they glean from the reading.  The writing is the most basic notes needed to understand the basic concepts of the 6 Traits Writing Guide and Rubric. This is a basic modeling of notes to help a reader summarize their understand.


Spandel, V. (2013). Creating writers: 6 Traits, Process, Workshop, and Literature.(pgs.1-27). Pearson Publications.

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