From site: In the early 1980’s, creative teachers in school districts across the country decided there must be a better way to gather useful information about student writing performance rather than with single scores or standardized tests. Teachers wanted an instrument that would provide accurate, reliable feedback to students and teachers, a tool that would help guide instruction. When an exhaustive search didn’t produce such a tool, they rolled up their sleeves and began the difficult process of creating an analytic scoring system that would be valid, honest, and practical.
After evaluating thousands of papers at all grade levels, the teachers identified common characteristics of good writing. These qualities became the framework for the 6-trait analytical model, which has now grown to include a seventh, +1 trait. The model uses common language to identify the traits year to year as we refine our idea of what ‘good’ writing looks like by using the scoring guides.
Not everyone uses the 6+1 Trait model : ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation. Some use four; some use more. These same six or seven characteristics show up on everyone’s list in one form or another. The 6+1 Trait components are the foundation for the NWREL’s writing assessment model and the basis for the descriptive criteria we use to define the qualities of good writing at different levels of achievement.