Fundamental to all types of writing are organization and ideas. Included in Teach the Traits of Effective Writing is a new version of power writing, called Power Writing Plus. 6+1 author, Ruth Culham called graphic organizers a non-negotiable in organization. Power writing adds another dimension to organization that is especially helpful to at risk students. Power Writing uses a numerical structure to teach students the very basics of these two traits. While most students quickly learn this effective organizational tool and move on in their writing, power writing becomes an anchor for our students who struggle with ideas and organization. Clear understanding of the numerical approach allows these students to develop ideas and maintain organization while making the structure more subtle. In Power Writing Plus, once the initial organizational structure is taught, the mechanical nature of the organization can be eliminated. Armed with the knowledge of basic structure, all students understand how to present expository writing in a variety of ways. This enables them to evaluate why a piece of writing does or does not work. When Power Writing Plus strategies are used in context with the other traits of effective writing, students loosen the numerical structure, bend it, shake it out, and make it their own.
We ask our students to write a paragraph when they cant write a sentence. And, we ask them to write a multi-paragraph essay when they cannot write a paragraph. Power Writing organizes writing and thinking with a unique, sequential plan for words, sentences and paragraphs:
Power 1 = focus / main idea
Power 2 = supporting ideas
Power 3 = details and elaboration
Power 0 = voice and extra information
Use Power Writing Plus to:
"Writing is the disciplined form of thinking."
- Donald Murray