Six-Trait Self-Review Guide Sheet

            These are six important traits of good writing that students at Fairfield are expected to know and use in their own writing.  Use this guide sheet to check your own writing assignments.

Ideas and Content

U The writer seems to be writing from experience and shows good insight.

U Supporting details are relevant to the thesis and give the reader important information besides just general knowledge.

U The writer sticks to the main idea and leaves out details that do not matter.

UThe writer is in control and develops the topic in an enlightening or entertaining way.

U The writer “shows” (with details and description) rather than “tells.”


U Details fit where they are placed; information is delivered at the right moment.

U Sequencing is logical.

U The paper captures attention with the introduction.

U The paper contains a satisfactory conclusion

U The writer uses transitions to move from idea to idea, sentence to sentence, and paragraph to paragraph.

U The details in the paper lead up to a clearly stated main point (thesis).


U The writer has given thought to what the reader will think and feel.

U The paper is honest and written from the heart.

U The writer cares about the topic, has the courage to say what s/he thinks, and has put something of him/herself in the paper.

U The reader feels that the writer is talking directly to him/her.

 Word Choice

U Words are specific and accurate; the writer says exactly what s/he means.

U The writer uses powerful verbs and specific, concrete nouns.

U The writer uses striking phrases and constructions, but the language sounds natural.

U The language is colorful, vivid, snappy, and alive.

 Sentence Fluency

U The paper is easy to read aloud.

U The writing has a rhythm and flows.

U The sentences make sense; no words are left out; everything is crystal clear.

U Sentences have variety both in length and structure.


U There are no errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, or grammar.

U Paragraphing is correct.

U The paper is easy to read.


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