Six Traits Revision Guide

Checklists for Students to Use

Criteria for each of the Traits

Ideas and Content

  • My main idea is easy to pick out.

  • I have details to expand my main idea and add interest.

  • I have an interesting "Hook" at the beginning to keep reader's guessing.

  • I showed the action didn't tell it.

  • I included details that will inform my readers.

  • I made sure to research my ideas.


  • I stuck to my main idea and did not stray.

  • I have my ideas organized in paragraphs with topic sentences and fill in details.

  • I have laid out a pattern in my writing so that one idea leads to a new paragraph about my main topic.

  • I have included good transition words that add interest for my reader.

  • My conclusion ties it all together.


  • I have worked on my style. It is my own voice.

  • When read aloud it sounds like me and is distinctive.

  • I want to read my writing aloud.

  • You can tell I was interested in this topic.

  • I am enthusiastic in my writing.

  • I have matched my voice for my audience and purpose.

Word Choice

  • Every word I chose suits my purpose.

  • My choice of words makes my meaning clear.

  • I used strong verbs to make the reader see the action or hear my intent.

  • I used lots of sensory images so my readers can feel, taste, smell and hear my writing.

  • I did not ramble on. I chose appropriate words so my writing is not cluttered.

Sentence Fluency

  • My writing is smooth and natural.

  • It is easy to read my writing.

  • I have some short snappy sentences and some long and graceful ones.

  • My sentences are not tied together and run into each other without punctuation.

  • I made sure to use quotation marks around the speaker's words.

  • My sentence beginnings don't start with the same word.


  • I have checked my spellings in the dictionary.
  • I have made sure to punctuate every sentence.
  • I used the thesaurus to replace repeated words.
  • I read this paper aloud and did not stumble over phrasing.
  • You will have to hunt to find a mistake.
  • I checked this over top to bottom- it is ready to publish.


  • I have reread my writing aloud.

  • I kept my audience in mind as I wrote.

  • My font size and style are appropriate and support my writing.

  • I used formatting (title, bullets, heading, font type) that allows the reader to understand my main idea quickly and easily.

  • I checked to make sure my writing had unity.

  • I aligned the text and visuals clearly.

  • My presentation is creative and original in design.

  • I checked my organization of ideas and content.

  • I asked a peer if my information was clear.