Good Writing Traits

This supposedly comes from a poster for elementary school classrooms. But it applies to writers of all ages and stages, fiction and nonfiction. If you are a writer, can you answer Yes to all these? If not, then your work is not ready for publication.



  • Is the writing focused on one main idea?
  • Is the main idea supported with interesting details?
  • Does the piece include interesting and original ideas?


  • Does the beginning of the piece grab the reader’s attention?
  • Are there transitions to connect ideas and details?
  • Does the writing follow a logical sequence?

Word Choices:

  • Does the writer use everyday words well?
  • Do the words create detailed pictures in the reader’s mind?
  • Does the writer avoid repeating words?
  • Are ideas expressed with strong and precise language?


  • Has the writing been proofread and edited?
  • Is each word spelled correctly?
  • Are capitalization, grammar, and punctuation used properly?

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