Writer's Workshop

Writing Conventions




Conventions are the grammatical correctness in the piece of writing. The writer must follow rules of grammar to ensure easy readability. Your spelling and grammar usage must follow rules. Using capitals and punctuation correctly in all paragraphs is key to good Convention Use!

Conventions are the rules of the road to good writing. They are the common patterns of grammar, spelling, punctuation, paragraphing and capitalization that readers expect when they read. Think of the last novel you read that you noticed a mistake. Wasn't it easy to pick out? A reader may not even notice when you are following the rules because they are caught up in your story, but if your story has mistakes the reader quickly looses interest, as the number of mistakes increases. They become distracted from your good planning and ideas because of the misuse of the conventions. It is very important that writers learn editing and proofreading skills!

Ideas for Training Students to Use Conventions

  1. What are adjectives? Noun Quiz.
  2. All about verbs. Irregular Verbs more irregular verbs.
  3. What are pronouns? Pronoun agreement. Quiz
  4. What are prepositions? Time and place prepositions.
5. What are conjunctions? Quiz. Paired Conjunctions. Quiz-- Types of conjunctions

6. Literacy Skill lessons.

7. Types of sentences. Quiz. Lesson plan. Kinds of.

8. Punctuation

1. Rehearse the Process of Revision : Can I read it out loud without having to stop when the word is unfamiliar? Can someone else read my story without stopping and starting? Have I looked up words I know look like they are misspelled? Have I indented paragraphs? Have I put quotes around words people say? Have I given people who say something a new paragraph ?

2. Teach students The writing process:

  •  Prewrite > Draft > Revise > Proofread > Rewrite >  Publish
  • Authorís circle - 3 people - pass papers - each person reads once and lists three things well done and 3 things to work on. Revise, then go on to next person in triad.

3. Use the 5 Ws and How rule to revise their writing.


4. Teach students to show the action, not tell it.

5. Have checklists in the beginning of portfolios and displayed (see # 7) in classroom.

6. When marking student papers use three colors. Usually the color of stop signs. Green, yellow, red.

  1. green= awesome- keep going.
  2. yellow= okay- yield- think about revising.
  3. red= stop- definitely needs change.

7. Assign student proofreaders. Students who are very good at picking out mistakes. Make a rule that these students must be consulted if the teacher is busy with another student.

8. In small groups:

  1. select paper to revise
  2. brainstorm the kinds of things the author could do to strengthen the piece in one or more traits
  3. write new pieces from the original

9. Use Grammar conventions

                                                        My Editing Checklist

Name ________________________________________

Date ______

Title of My Writing ________________________________________

1. I read my writing myself to see if it made sense. __________
2. My writing is focused on one important idea or topic. __________
3. My introduction attracts a reader's attention. __________
4. The title fits the piece and gets a reader interested. __________
5. I replaced weak words (went, nice) with specific words. __________
6. I deleted unnecessary words by combining short sentences. __________
7. I deleted over used words (then, and, so). __________
8. I checked for correct punctuation. (. ? ! , " " ') __________
9. I checked for correct capitalization. __________
10. I indented or used a paragraph symbol ( ) to begin a new paragraph. __________

Writing this piece was: hard work______not so hard______easy ______
Editing this piece was: hard work______not so hard______easy ______
Next time I would change ___________________________________________________________________________________________________