Qualities of Good Writing Doodles0002
Originally uploaded by teachergal
Pingback: Pre-Publishing Checklist for Memoirs « TWO WRITING TEACHERS
I agree that good writing can be described in a variety of ways. Maybe I should share that I am coming from a primary teacher’s point of view. My intent wasn’t so much as to describe “good writing” as a final product, but rather design a visual representing the process of writing… those things good writers do and consider in order to produce a good piece of writing. The descriptors I suggested are simply based on current research that could serve as an umbrella for all writing strategies. For example, every good piece of writing has a voice…one way to get that voice is through the craft and word choices of the writer.
Interesting choices. I suppose we could describe good writing a hundred 5-point ways. I did one and wrote an article about it a few months back. My five points were that good writing is clear, concise, complete, correct, and useful, and it should be written for its readership. Yes, that’s 6. I can write, not count. 🙂
My feedback is in regards to the Quality of Good Writing descriptors. What do you think about these descriptors (all necessary for bring meaning to any piece of writing). While keeping “Meaning” at the hub of the wheel, surrounding it with: Purpose, Audience, Organization, Elaboration/Development, Word Choice, Craft, Conventions. I might suggest structuring the doodle as a sequence circle, labeling the outside of the circle with the stages of the writing process. i.e. Determining Purpose and Audience could be labeled Pre-Writing, Organization and Elaboration could be labeled Drafting, Word Choice and Craft could be labeled Revision, and Conventions could be labeled Editing.
I looked at the wheels from exterior to interior: you can’t get to the meaning if the conventions aren’t in place. Similarly, you can’t get to the meaning unless you follow the spokes.
When I read something that’s been published that has basic convention errors (especially spelling), it distracts from the meaning. As a teacher, I think sometimes you have to function as editor, particularly in the younger grades, so that published pieces are accessible to the audience. In first grade, I didn’t edit everything, but I did make sure our published pieces that went home in class books and up on our walls had proper punctuation and correct spelling written above “independent” or “sound” spelling.
I like the spokes. Meaning anchors the spokes, but if a spoke breaks down…meaning breaks down. Conventions keep meaning (with voice) running smoothly and rolling a long. I never “met a phor” I didn’t like. 😉
BTW, I loved your memoir this week, Stacey. After reading it, it is no surprise that you explore language artistically. The light and passion make sense, too.
They both indicate to me that meaning is the most important aspect of writing. However in the right picture it reminds of wheel spokes and they all must coordinate together to form meaning. In the left picture it indicates that each of those areas equally contribute to the meaning of the piece. Conventions seems to be the outside that is the last piece of the writing puzzle.
Yeah, what Cathy and Isaac said. 🙂 I like the circular nature of the visual because it shows that each part is equally important. Also, I have truly integrated IEP kids in my writing class. Many of their teachers have been really hung up on the fact that they don’t spell well, or remember to punctuate properly. The good ideas these kids have never make it to paper because they are afraid of having to do so much editing; they get stuck in the mud asking how to spell everything. When conventions are seen as something that ties it up at the end rather than the key focus, I think teachers will be more likely to accept that the child needs to use a computer with spell check, or a scribe to help get the words on paper.
In response to the picture on the right, I would say that meaning comes from those five areas and all are beneficial and supportive. A writer needs to utilize all five to bring meaning to their piece. Conventions wrap it up and tie it all together.
In response to the picture on the right, I would say that meaning comes from those five areas and all are beneficial and supportive. A writer needs to utilize all five to bring meaning to their piece. Conventions wraps it up and ties it all together.
The images seem to say that meaning is the most important and all the other factors feed into that. While I agree with that, I have issue with the circular nature of the image. I don’t think structure, word choice, focus, etc. have equal parts in the meaning play. Depending on audience, purpose, situation, constraints, etc., some of those “outside” items would have more or less impact on the meaning of a piece. I do like that conventions are on the outside. They aren’t an afterthought, but aren’t as important as the other things. Still, they are necessary to convey meaning.
Comments are closed.
Follow TWT on Facebook
Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Join 81,364 other followers
Two Writing Teachers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.