Strong writing skills are important for student success in high school and college, and, increasingly, for success in the workplace. To add to the evidence base on effective strategies for teaching writing in the elementary grades, REL Northwest conducted a rigorous study to test the impact of the 6+1 Trait® Writing model on grade 5 writing achievement. The Trait® Writing model emphasizes analysis of writing using a set of characteristics, or “traits,” of written work, including ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.
The study, An investigation of the impact of the 6+1 Trait® Writing model on grade 5 student writing achievement, found that students who experienced the model had higher scores on essay writing in comparison to students whose schools used their “business as usual” writing instruction.
The study’s exploratory analyses found statistically significant differences between Trait® Writing students and comparison students in performance on organization, voice, and word choice traits. There were no differences in the effects of the intervention by gender or ethnicity and for the ideas, sentence fluency, and conventions traits.