Skip navigation.
Home

An Educational Framework for Today’s Writers

Four-Trait Writing© is Time4Learning's update of a traditional approach to the learning of the craft. Under pressure to correctly create an essay to fit the rigid standardized testing guidelines, students are not usually given the opportunity to broaden their writing horizons for today's electronically connected world.

Four-Trait Writing provides students a framework both to write successfully for today's high stakes test and to discover writing beyond the formal essay. Students have the chance to find their voice when writing for the internet, editorials, and even dialogue.

So, what are the Four Traits of successful writing? They are:

1. Content - Story and Logic

2. Style (Sentence Variety and Structure)

3. Mechanics (Spelling, Punctuation, Capitalization Rules)

4. Media & Voice (Persuasion; Objective Journalism; Internet Writing; Dialogue: Plays and Scripts)

  • Content - Story and Logic covers the flow of a narrative and the organization of an expository essay.
  • Style discusses sentence structure, variety, and fluency and the usage of colorful, descriptive words.
  • Mechanics are the writing basics of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Learning to use all of these properly and becoming adept at proofreading for errors in these areas, are an essential skill for the middle school writer.
  • The Media and Voice in the modern world are different from that of the past. Today's writer needs to have a separate voice for the different media available to them. In the same day, a single writer might have to shift between writing a blog article with paragraphs with bolded key works, to a formal structured essay for a school assignment, or to a chatty commentary article for a printed magazine with a headline.
  1. Voice for Media (Persuasion) – Students are introduced to and practice writing to persuade to buy, to vote, to think in a similar fashion.
  2. Voice for Objective Journalism – Students discover the five W's and the H (who, what, when, where, why, and how) of objective article writing for an online or hard copy publication.
  3. Voice for Internet Writing – In today's world, students can create web pages and blog on the internet. This is quite different from any other writing they may have learned in the past as much of it is created in a more conversational tone with subheads and bullet points.
  4. Voice for Plays and Scripts – Many students enjoy using their imaginations and creative voice. Here, they have that chance as they write dialogue and stage directions.

 

The first first course on Four Traiting Writing is available from Time4Writing.com, an online educational service.