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Pages and Files
The Phantom Tollbooth
Junior Great Books
The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
Traits of Writing
Key Qualities & Think Abouts
News Story Writing
School News Ideas
Instructional Video Ideas
Video Production Forms
Meet the Idioms Series
History's Treasures Series
Primary Source Analysis
Digital Citizenship PSA
Combinations & Permutations
ISL Math Resources
Holt Digital Resources
Foundations of Democracy
We the People
Project Citizen General
Project Citizen Graphic Organizers
Project Citizen 2012
2012 PC Portfolio Ideas
Project Citizen 2011
2011 PC Portfolio 1 IDEAS
Project Citizen 2011
Project Citizen 2010
Project Citizen 2010
Key Qualities and Think Abouts
Finding a Topic
Have I chosen a topic that I really like?
Do I have something new to say about this topic?
Am I writing about what I know and care about?
Have I gathered enough information about it so that I’m ready to write?
Focusing the Topic
Have I zeroed in on one small part of a bigger idea?
Can I sum up my idea in a simple sentence?
Have I chosen the information that captures my idea best?
Have I thought deeply about what the reader will need to know?
Developing the Topic
Am I sure my information is right?
Are my details chock-full of interesting information?
Have I used details that show new thinking about this idea?
Will my reader believe what I say about this topic?
Did I create a picture in the reader’s mind?
Did I use details that draw upon the five senses? (sight, touch, taste, smell, hearing)
Do my details stay on the main topic?
Did I stretch for details beyond the obvious?
Creating the Lead
Did I give the reader something interesting to think about right from the start?
Will the reader want to keep reading?
Have I tried to get the reader’s attention?
Did I let the reader know what is coming?
Using Sequence Words and Transition Words
Have I used sequence words such as
Did I use a variety of transition words such as
Have I shown how the ideas connect from sentence to sentence?
Does my organization make sense from paragraph to paragraph?
Structuring the Body
Have I shown the reader where to slow down and where to speed up?
Do all the details fit where they are placed?
Will the reader find it easy to follow my ideas?
Does the organization help the main idea stand out?
Ending With a Sense of Resolution
Have I wrapped up all the loose ends?
Have I ended at the best place?
Do I have an ending that makes my writing feel finished?
Did I leave the reader with something to think about?
Establishing a Tone
Can I name the primary tone of my writing? (For example: happy, frustrated, knowledgeable, scared, convincing)
Have I varied the tone from the beginning to the end?
Have I been expressive?
Did I show that I care about this topic?
Conveying the Purpose
Is the purpose of the writing clear?
Does my point of view come through?
Is this the right tone for this kind of writing?
Have I used strong voice throughout this piece?
Creating a Connection to the Audience
Have I though about the reader?
Is this the right voice for the audience?
Have I shown what matters most to me in this piece?
Will the reader know how I think and feel about this topic?
Taking Risks to Create Voice
Have I used words that are not ordinary?
Is my writing interesting, fresh, and original?
Have I tried to make my writing sound like me?
Have I tried something different from what I’ve done before?
Applying Strong Verbs
Have I used action verbs?
Did I stretch to get a better word—
Do my verbs give my writing punch and pizzazz?
Did I avoid
whenever I could?
Selecting Striking Words and Phrases
Did I try to use words that sound
Did I try hyphenating several shorter words to make an interesting-sounding new word?
Did I try putting words with the same sound together? (alliteration, assonance)
Did I read my piece aloud to find at least one or two moments I love?
Using Specific and Accurate Words
Have I used nouns and modifiers that help the reader see a picture?
Did I avoid using words that might confuse the reader?
Did I try a new word, and if so, did I check to make sure I used it correctly?
Are these the best words that can be used?
Choosing Words That Deepen Meaning
Did I choose words that show I really thought about them?
Have I tried to use words without repeating myself?
Do my words capture the reader’s imagination?
Have I found the best way to express myself?
Crafting Well-Built Sentences
Do my sentences begin in different ways?
Are my sentences of different lengths?
Are my sentences grammatically correct unless constructed creatively for impact?
Have I used conjunctions such as
to connect parts of sentences?
Varying Sentence Length
Do I include different kinds of sentences?
Are some of my sentences complex?
Are some of my sentences simple?
Did I intermingle sentence types, one to the next?
Capturing Smooth and Rhythmic Flow
Is reading the entire piece aloud easy?
Do my sentences flow, one to the next?
Do individual passages sound smooth when I read them aloud?
Did I thoughtfully place different sentence types to enhance the main idea?
Breaking the “Rules” to Create Fluency
Did I use fragments with style and purpose?
Do I begin a sentence informally to create a conversational tone?
Does my dialogue sound authentic?
Did I try weaving in exclamations and single words to add emphasis?
Have I used standard English spelling unless I chose not to for a good reason?
Have I checked words with
When adding suffixes to words, have
, doubled the final consonant, or dropped the silent
Have I checked my work for words I have trouble spelling?
Punctuating Effectively and Paragraphing Accurately
Did I place quotation marks around dialogue and direct quotes?
Did I punctuate complex sentences correctly?
Did I use apostrophes to show possessives and contractions?
Did I begin new paragraphs in the appropriate places?
Did I capitalize proper nouns for people, places, and things?
Did I capitalize dialogue correctly?
Did I capitalize abbreviations, acronyms, and people’s titles correctly?
Did I capitalize the title and/or other headings?
Applying Grammar and Usage
Did I use special words such as homophones, synonyms, and antonyms correctly?
Did I check my sentences for subject-verb agreement?
Did I use verb tense (past, present, future) consistently throughout my piece?
Did I make sure pronouns and their antecedents (the words they stand for) agree?
Applying Handwriting Skills
Is my handwriting neat and legible?
Did I take time to form each letter clearly?
Do my letters slant in the same direction throughout?
Does my spacing between words enhance readability?
Using Word Processing Effectively
Is my choice of font and style easy to read and appropriate for the audience?
Is the font size appropriate?
Did I use formatting such as boldfacing, underlining, and italicizing effectively?
Does color enhance the look and feel of my piece—or does it weaken them?
Making Good Use of White Space
Do my margins frame the text evenly on all four sides?
Did I leave enough white space between letters, words, and lines to make the piece easy to read?
Did I avoid cross-outs, smudges, tears, and wrinkles?
Did I create a nice balance of text, text features, illustrations, photographs, and white space?
Refining Text Features
Do my illustrations and photographs help make the piece easy to understand?
Did I include my name, date, title, page numbers, headers, and footers?
Are text features such as bulleted lists, sidebars, and timelines clear, well positioned, and effective in guiding the reader and enhancing meaning?
Are charts, graphs, and tables east to read and understand?
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