1010-1020 Toolkit for Effective Writing

English 1020 Class Brainstorm, July 2011: "What is Important About Writing?"
  • not sounding like an idiot
  • self-expression
  • punctuation & grammar
  • organization
  • communication
  • opinion
  • topic

This page provides an ever-evolving toolkit of resources, teaching tools, flexible criteria, & concrete suggestions for improving your writers' craft. 

Standards for Effective Writing 

Why are you writing and for whom? What is the genre of the essay and what are its specific rhetorical goals? Does the student write with a strong sense of purpose and audience? Does the writer adhere to assignment guidelines? Does the writer use a thesis statement that adequately expresses the main argument of the essay?

Development/Use of Sources
Does the writer develop ideas and support claims with examples and evidence? Does the writer successfully incorporate ideas from readings and research into the body of the essays? Does the writer introduce and cite sources correctly using MLA style?

Does the writer present ideas in a lucid and logical fashion? Does the writer include a clear yet exciting introduction and solid conclusion? Does the writer effectively use “cues” such as topic sentences and transitions to guide the reader through the essay?

Voice and Style
Does the writer develop a unique and compelling voice and style? Does the writer incorporate stylistic strategies such as active verbs, sentence variety, simile/metaphor, and/or alliteration? Does the writer avoid cliché and trite generalization, over-use of “to be” verbs, and other stylistic problems that might weaken the essays?

Grammar and Mechanics
Does the writer avoid errors that distract the reader from the essay’s message? Does the writer avoid major errors in agreement (subject/verb, pronoun/antecedent) and sentence boundaries (fragment, run-on, comma splice)? Does the writer show college-level professionalism, respect for the reader, and evidence of editing/proofreading?

posted by Mr. Andy @ 3:36 PM