OK, I need everybody to jump into your "way back machines" now and try to remember having to write when writing simply didn't come naturally to you or when you were really getting your pre-adolescent wordsmith wheels underneath ya.
I'm trying to come up with a writing checklist of sorts for a couple of summer school students of mine (boys; about to enter 6th grade, very reluctant writers) and I'd dearly love to give them some guidance without 1) forgetting something important, or 2) trying to over do it by including way too much information (which, unfortunately, is my tendency).
So please, please, please, tap into your 70's era schooldays memory banks and help me slodge through these nerve-wracking checklist tweaks.
Content – how well did I write?
□ Did I remember to write only what I was told to write about?
□ Did I organize my ideas and information carefully … ?
• by listing the events from beginning to end [OR]
• by listing the facts from least important to most important [OR]
• by coming up with a set of questions then trying to answer those questions with good research [OR]
• by coming up with a main idea and then using good supporting details and descriptions to explain that idea
□ Did I select useful words that would help my readers understand what I’m trying to say, AND capture their interest AND hopefully create images in their minds?
□ Did I use plenty of well-researched information? [from other books, encyclopedias, magazines, the internet, etc.]
□ Did I check to make sure all my facts are correct?
Format – how does my writing look?
□ Did I choose a good title?
□ Did I include my name and the date?
□ Did I number each page?
Mechanics – how well did I follow the rules of writing?
□ Are all my paragraphs indented?
□ Did I capitalize words correctly?
□ Are all my words spelled correctly?
□ Did I make sure each sentence was complete and made sense?
□ Did I make sure every sentence had the same verb tense?
□ Did I use correct ending punctuation as well as all other punctuation?
□ Did I use quotation marks correctly when including someone else’s words?
□ Did I include a proper bibliography if I borrowed someone else’s work?
For any and all assistance, my appreciation knows no bounds!