The Six Traits of Writing – IDEAS

Today in class we talked about Ideas by looking at pages 35-37 of our WriteSource textbook. Your homework tonight has two parts:

PART ONE In class we used the six traits rubric to assess “Sample 1 – Checkmate!” below. Tonight, your job is to use the rubric to assess “Sample 2 – Afternoon” and “Sample 3 – The Mystery of the Diamonds.” In the comments, post your Ideas score for each sample. If you want to receive a group point, be sure to include your reasoning for assigning the score.

Sample 1 – Checkmate!

Checkmate! Darn I lost again. I made the fatal mistake of altering my queen’s position and therefore leaving my king susceptible to his relentless attack.

I have never beaten my grandfather in chess and I probably never will. Despite my losing record, I have a burning love for the game.

It was probably four or five summers ago that my obsession began. I played my grandfather nearly every day. It started out as him just teaching me the rules with friendly games. After a few weeks it was more than that, at least to me. I wanted to dethrone him more than any other thing my young mind could think to want. I challenged him every chance I got.

He always seemed to see my strategy coming, and he was relentless. I think he took pride in beating up on me. He knew both the rook four and knight two strategies that I had because he had taught them to me. He never let up on me.

I needed to come up with a game plan. I needed to do some research. I left for the library as soon as the idea popped in my head. I hit the doors running after my mother parked the car. I cannot recall how many hours I spent at the library. It did not matter. I was looking for the perfect strategy. I thought I had found the perfect plan, so I headed home for my final showdown in chess.

Sample 2 – Afternoon

On Tuesday, December 22, I went about my business going to my classes as usual. After school my friend came and picked me up to go to his house. After we got to his house we grabbed his fishing stuff and started to go to my house. It was on the way to my house, coming down the street, that we saw a hinder binder. After we got to my house we packed up my fishing stuff and we were on our way to the afterbay of the Bighorn River.

It was about 8:00 when we got there. We started fishing. We had a kind of cycle where one casts out and lets it float away before the other. Then when you retrieve it, you go behind the other person.

Sample 3 – The Mystery of the Diamonds

It was the first day of spring vacation. Jan Hansen and her friend Sam Johnson were sitting on a bench in the middle of a busy shopping mall in Denver, Colorado. While Sam’s mother was shopping, Jan and Sam were watching Sam’s baby brother Andrew. Jan and Sam were playing a memory game. Sam’s eyes were closed.

“What color of coat am I wearing?” Jan asked.


“Nope, I’m not wearing a coat. Ha, ha!”

Sam opened his eyes. “It’s just not fair. I’ll never have as good a memory as you!”

“You just have to keep practicing. You know, practice makes perfect. That’s what my mother used to tell me when I thought I couldn’t win at something,” Jan said. “Now, you try me.”
Sam looked around very hard for something he was sure Jan hadn’t noticed. Then he asked, “What does the sign in the card store window say?”

“That’s easy. ‘Mother’s Day Sunday May 11. Remember your mother and she’ll remember you.”

“Fine, you win,” Sam said with disgust.

Jan still had her eyes closed. “Come on, try again. Go ahead, ask me something else.”

“All right,” Sam said. “What color socks am I wearing?”

Jan thought a moment. “That’s not really fair,” she said. “I never saw your socks.”

But Jan didn’t open her eyes. “You’re wearing green pants, a green belt, and green shoes, so I’ll bet your socks are green, too.”

“You’re just too much, Jan!”

“No, you’re just too neat!”

PART TWORemember the journal entry you wrote yesterday about your summer vacation? Revise that for Ideas. Be sure to include sensory, reflective, and memory details.

31 thoughts on “The Six Traits of Writing – IDEAS

  1. I gave number 2 a three for ideas because there were too many unimportant details. I gave number three an 5 for ideas because it was clear on ideas. Although, it’s conventions are bad.

  2. Example two:
    I am scoring this a three because some of the ideas are vague, and are not explained (example of this is the “hinder binder.”)

    Example three:
    I am giving this a four because the five w’s are all stated, but the story has no issue to resolve.

  3. Rachel Yan
    Period 3, LARS

    Afternoon: I would give this passage a 2 for ideas, because…a) the information is limited and the length is inadequate for further development (on the 1 scale) b) The writer generally stays on the topic but does not develop a clear theme. (on the 3 scale) c) Ideas are reasonably clear, though they are not detailed, personalized, accurate, or expanded enough to show a strong sense of purpose. (on the 3 scale) d) The writer has not begun to define the topic in a meaningful, personal way. (on the 1 scale)

    The Mystery of the Diamonds: I would give this passage a 5 for ideas, because…a) The topic is narrow and details go beyond the obvious b) Readers are interested c) The ideas are original and the details are accurate

  4. Example Two : I give this piece a 2 because it was way too general. There weren’t any supportive details, and we don’t know the five W’s very well from this piece. The piece was also very mysterious, and it generates a lot of questions.

    Example Three : This should get a 4, because the ideas were good. There aren’t that many holes in the story, but the dialogue was a bit boring.

  5. Period 3 Personally I think sample 2 deserves a 2. The reason is that number two keeps on going off topic as if the writer had no idea what to write. The writer also does not explain what certain words meant. Sample 3 deserves a 4.There is a lot of dialogue and that is good. The only mistake I think the writer missed is that he did not mention anything else about Andrew.

  6. Lena Zhou
    Period 3, LARS

    Afternoon: I would give this passage a 2. That is because the topic was too broad, and it didn’t have a main idea and theme. There are also answers for some questions that I would like to know.

    Mystery of the Diamonds: I would give this passage a 5. The topic is very narrow, and you can easily tell what the main topic was. There are also very accurate details, and the quality is very good, enabling the reader to be able to envision the scene.

  7. Samantha
    Example two deserves a 3 because I didn’t understand what it was talking about at first it talked about going to an friends house and picking something up than going to your house to pick something up and out of nowhere it started to talk about a hinder binder

    example 3
    I would give example 3 a 4 because the ideas were good but I’m wondering what happened to Andrew did he ran off or he got in trouble. Also i didn’t get the ended it just ended with No, you’re just too neat!”.Beside that everything was good

  8. Id give sample 2 a 3 because the person who wrote, wrote it in a repetitive way he always kept on saying my house and his house. He did not describe the story well. He could have used more detail. This is a good piece of writing but i do see room for improvement.


  9. I would give da 2nd sample one a 2, because i linda got bored reading- i did this, then i went there, blah. its kinda like a day in a diary written before u go to sleep after a concert at midnight. The writer could have put more detail in the writing, like the main point what happened at school, etc. It looked like it was just a draft, if he looked over it, added things in, and took things out it would be a much improved.

    I really liked sample 3 because the story already hooks u up to keep reading it. The dialog is funny, and the setting is easy to recognize. I would give it a 5 . It was clear, easy to read. There is no hard and big words anywhere in the passage i found.

  10. I gave number 3 a 5 because it was very descriptive. It told the audience where they were and what they were doing. I found the memory game funny segment to read, but it was also a very descriptive segment. Sample 3 is a wonderful piece.


  11. Sample 2 deserves a 2.
    1. Too broad- what happened during fishing that made it memorable?
    2. Had no real ending which creates a lot of unanswered questions.
    3. Very boring topic that does not interest readers.

    Sample 3 deserves a 4.
    1. Perfect- not too narrow and not too broad.
    2. Good dialogue with a nice conversation.(might be too much)
    3. Kept me relatively interested.
    4. Small bit of humor at the end.

  12. I give sample 2 a 2(sadly) ’cause the idea was too broad. I did not focus on anything that much or have a “main topic”, it kept off wandering off. It also left the reader ( me) with too many questions unanswered.

    I give sample 3 a 5 because the idea wasn’t necessarily too narrow but it wasn’t broad either, there was also good dialogue.


  13. Period 4
    Sample 2: I gave sample 2 a two, because the topic is too broad. Also, there are a lot of gaps in between, which created a lot of questions in my head.

    Sample 3: I gave sample 3 a 4 because the topic is not too broad and not too narrow. The writing also kept me interested.

  14. Period 4 The Name
    Writing Sample 2:
    I would rate it a 3 because the ideas are not properly displayed, the word “hinder binder” is not explained and there was not a general problem. Also, the writing was unfocused and jumped from one topic to the next and then back.

    Writing Sample 3:
    I would give this one a 5 because even though there was a lot of dialogue and it was displayed clearly and there was a problem and its solution. All 5 W’s are included.

  15. Elisa Xu
    Period 3

    Sample 2: I am giving Sample 2 a 2 for ideas because the statements were vague, and the explanations for the subject’s actions were not explained, or even given much thought. The piece didn’t include little details to make the story more interesting, and it needs to hold a reader’s attention. However, to improve, all the writer needs to do is to make the subject’s intentions more clear and describe what is happening with more detail.

    Sample 3: I am giving Sample 3 a 4 in ideas because the writer showed description, and displayed the ideas fairly well, though, it does have room for improvement. This passage would be a good introduction to an interesting story.

  16. Sample 2
    I’d give this a two because it’s very basic and does not have any descriptive details. This piece of writing leaves many questions un-answered. For example what is a hinder binder? The writing is also not very interesting. It’s a lot of “his house my house” and not very much about the actual fishing.

    Sample 3
    It is a very descriptive piece of writing that keeps the reader engaged, so I would give it a five. Having a very balanced sense of how much to describe without just warbling out the surroundings and ending with ‘Jan and Sam were very bored.’ The writing has a certain quality to it that makes people really want to read it. A very important part of that piece was that it described the two characters very well.

  17. I would give number 2 a 1 because he/she didn’t do good word choice,it seemed very repetive, and it did not describe important things like “fish stuff.”

    I would give number 3 a 4 because it was mostly dialog which made it kinda boring personally but it had nice dialog and followed the 5 w’s

  18. for example two I would give it a three because they left many ideas that they brought up unfinished for example the hidden binder

    for example three i would give it a two because while the topic doesn’t stray like example two. But the writers idea is very boring and not interesting and is filled with non-important things like the baby brother and the fact that they were at a mall

  19. I think Sample 2- Afternoon, deserves a 2 because, the writer was missing details and the reader has a hard time figuring out what is important in this piece of writing. On the plus side, the writer seems to have knowledge on this topic. That is why I think this writing piece deserves a 2.

    I think sample 3- The Mystery of the Diamonds, deserves a 4 because, though the writer does not have quality details past the obvious, the knowledge is original and there are accurate details, supporting the main ideas.

  20. Sample 2: 2, because the ideas are VERY obvious and predictable and they did not focus on a main topic.

    Sample 3: 4, because although it had an interesting idea, many questions were raised and they did not focus on the main topic.

  21. Sample2:I’d give it a 3 cuz it was kinda short and the whole story was boring n lame

    Sample3: I’d givit a 4 cuz they had too much dialogue but them theme was better

  22. I think the second one should get 3 because the story doesn’t seem to have a point and it’s too broad.
    the third one, I would give 5 because it has all the 6 traits of writing and it is pretty interesting.

  23. Matt Period 4 Halo

    sample 2: I would give this example a 1 because the ideas don’t flow well and there are some things that don’t make sense, like the terms fishing stuff, hinder binder, and afterbay, those things don’t make sense to me. it kind of ends abruptly and the writer doesn’t really go into the fishing at all
    sample 3: I would give this sample a 3 because it is good and the ideas are presented well but there is too much dialogue and I think they should not have mentioned the mom and the baby if they weren’t elaborated on at all

  24. Sample 2: I would give this a 2 because although the writer explains what he or she did, the writer didn’t really put any specific detail. (ex: Fishing stuff: what fishing stuff?)

    Sample 3: it deserves a four because it has interesting ideas which makes a interesting story. But some places it didn’t focus on the main topic.

  25. Sample 2: I would rate it a 2, because though it had a very, very broad outline, the sentences had no focus and the ideas were all over the place. Some sentences don’t make sense and they story itself is SO short.

    Sample 3: I would rate it a 4, because the main idea and the supporting sentences is presented well but the dialoge could be less. Overall, the story had a good structure and the theme has well spoken.

    Albert Shyong (LARS)

  26. I am going to score Afternoon for 3, because some of the ideas were not described clearly, and at some parts I had to reread the sentence over and over again because I didn’t understand

    I am scoring 4 for the mystery of the diamonds because many of the parts were interesting, but at some parts the topic wasn’t focused.

    Mimi Lee (Golden Apples)

  27. Afternoon score1
    The description is not good. I have no idea what was happening or whats going on. The subject is too choppy. There is a big whole picture split into lots of different parts. Also, personal details

    The Mystery of the diamonds score 4
    It is effective but needs to have a better balance of dialogue and narration.

  28. i would give article one a two maybe a three because it’s ideas arn’t very clear and it seems very rushed. article two is cleanly written the ideas are organized and easy to read.

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