Choose the link below for your handout:
Strategies To Use As You Prepare To Write
Decide on a Topic
- What am I writing about?
- What do I know about this topic?
- What message do I want to communicate?
- What questions need to be answered?
- What is my point of view?
- As a writer, what do I need to do to write a good paper?
What is My Purpose and Who is My Audience
- For whom am I writing?
- What do I know about my audience (e.g., age, interests, needs, gender, background)?
- Why am I writing?
- What is my purpose (e.g., inform, convince, persuade, defend)?
- What am I trying to do in this communication?
- Should I use a formal or informal stance?
What Form Will I Use?
- What form will appeal to my selected audience and best serve my purpose?
- What form will engage my audience?
- What shape will that form take?
- How could my ideas and information be organized?
- Text Features-title, captions, illustrations, verses, dialogue, table of contents, glossary, headings, diagrams, sidebar, text box, quotes, works cited, in-text citations
What Do I Need to Consider When Collecting My Ideas and Information?
- What do I need to find out and discover?
- Where can I find reference materials?
- With whom do I talk?
- Is my topic sufficiently focused?
- What is the key message?
- Where is the best information found for this message?
Planning and Organizing My Ideas for Drafting
- What plan do I have?
- How will I begin?
- How will I make this interesting?
- How will I end?
- How will I arrange my ideas to make sense?
What Language Will I use to Effectively Communicate My Ideas?
- What are the key ideas for my message?
- What is the best way to organize my message?
- What is the best and most appropriate language to use?
- What register and tone are appropriate?
- What is the best way to present my message?
Strategies To Use While I Am Writing
Creating and Experimenting With My Drafts
- What ways can I start?
- What do I need to add, expand, modify, change, condense, delete, or rearrange in my next draft?
- Is this the best approach for the chosen topic?
My Word Choice
- For whom am I communicating this and for what purpose?
What tone is appropriate?
- What form should this take?
How should I arrange my ideas and sequence and connect them?
Are all new paragraphs clearly identified?
- Are my sentences clear? Complete? Interesting? Varied? Correct?
- Did I choose the right words? Did I use the words correctly?
- Did I spell each word correctly?
Did I use punctuation to clarify meaning?
- How can I make this more interesting? More effective? More vivid?
Are my accompanying visuals or multimedia choices appropriate? Did I use legible handwriting or appropriate fonts, formatting, or props?
Conferencing With My Peers, Teacher, Others
- How do my peers and others respond to my drafts?
- What suggestions for improvement do others have?
- What do I need to add or change to create a good, quality text?
- Do others have suggested ideas and sources of information that I can include?
I Need To “Fix-up” My Draft (Reflect, Clarify, Self-monitor, Self-correct)
- Does this mean what I want it to mean?
- How clear is the meaning?
- What are the strengths and what areas need improvement in this piece?
- What should I now add, change, delete, or rearrange?
Communicating My Ideas
- How can I use different features to communicate my ideas more clearly and more effectively?
Strategies To Use After I Have Completed Writing
Revise My Content and Meaning (adding, deleting, substituting, and rethinking)
- Have I included everything I want to say?
- Do I need to add other information?
- Are there enough details?
- Do I need to remove anything? Is the writing interesting?
- Does the writing achieve the purpose?
- Are there unrelated ideas that distract the viewer, listener, or reader?
Revise My Organization (reordering)
- Do I have an introduction?
- Is the main idea clearly developed and supported?
- Is the order clear?
- Are the ideas and details arranged in an effective order?
- Are the connections between ideas and sentences clear?
- Do I have a good ending?
Revise My Sentence Structure and Flow
- Are my sentences clear and complete?
- Do my sentences read smoothly?
- Is my sentence structure varied?
- Do the subjects and verbs agree?
Revise My Word Choice, Spelling, and Usage
- Does the language I used fit the audience and purpose?
- Have I used the best words?
- Have I used any words too many times?
- Have I left out any words?
- Are the words I used spelled correctly?
I Need To Proofread and Review for Mechanics and Appearance (Punctuation and Capitalization)
- Did I proofread for capitalization and punctuation?
- Is it audible?
- Is my polished draft legible?
- Is my layout clear?
I Need To Confer With My Peers, Teacher, or Others
- What is the part that I like best?
- Does it say what I wanted it to say?
- Does it have a clear form?
- Does it make sense? Is it interesting?
- Does it give the intended reaction?
- Is it clear and easy to understand? Is it appropriate for my purpose and audience?
- How can it be improved?
- What could I do next?
I Need To Polish, Practise, and Decide How My Work will be Shared and/or Published
- What do quality speaking, writing, and other forms of representing look and sound like?
- Is the presentation ready?
- In what context (situation) will the viewers, listeners, or readers engage with the text?
- How will this context affect its presentation?
Share My Final Product, Reflect and Consider Feedback, and Celebrate Learning
- What is the listeners’, readers’, or viewers’ response?
- What worked well?
- What would I try next time?
- What lessons have I learned from this experience?
- How do I find opportunities to celebrate my achievements?
Below is a sample paragraph with varied sentences, proper punctuation, spelling etc.:
“I did not enter the field of English teaching only because of my passion for words but also because of my deep belief in the power of an education to transform a life. Mine. Theirs. I worked with all levels of students but always sought those who struggled, those potential first-generation-to-go-to-college students I saw almost reaching for what felt beyond them. I loved the challenge and the joy of leading them. And those kids needed a bridge. Many had read in elementary school, and a few continued into middle school, but almost none were reading now….” Penny Kittle, Book Love
The organization of your information and the links between your sentences help your readers move easily from one sentence to the next.
Transitions Between ideas
Transitional expressions connect your ideas and help move your reader from one thought to another with ease. As a writer you must never assume that your readers know what you know.
Choose the link below for a list of transitional expressions you may use when writing:
ELA A30 C.C. A 30.4-Real or Invented Narrative:
ELA A30 C.C. 30.4- Inquiry Paper
In – Text Citations:
Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild: