The Six Traits of Writing Rap

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The six traits of writing is a system of common language for describing the make up of quality writing. The lyrics for this song were pulled from the scoring rubric describing advanced proficiency in each of the six traits of writing: word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, ideas and content, voice, and organization.


When you write you want to get it right.
So check the six traits of writing and make your piece bright!

You need ideas and content. Find what you want to say
Start with a topic you develop on your way,
Through your writing. And you never leave your focus
Get relevant amigo, then you add your hocus pocus!
But before there can be magic, you need to have a place
Where you're coming, where you're going. Don't tour through outer space!
So your details can be colorful but just what are you coloring?
There’s a purpose for your audience, or why else are you bothering?
And go in depth with your exploration!
Show some insight and connection in your clear communication

Ideas and content oh you gotta have ‘em
Ideas and content, seek find and grab ‘em
Word up! Word up! Word up!
I’ve got the power of words! I’ve got control!

Voice: Think of who is gonna read this
How shall I sound so the reader best can heed this?
It needs to sound committed, engaging, and sincere,
Expressing my own self like l've got something I want you to hear
You in particular, the audience in mind
A different audience would bring a voice of a different kind
And I communicate, and bring my topic to life,
With honesty, conviction, and humor for some spice
And it's original. This comes from me myself
Voice is not from someone else's book up on a shelf
Your voice gives your writing personality and spice
Does it sound like you? If so, you’ve got it right!
Word up! Word up! Word up!
I’ve got the power of words! I’ve got control!

Sentence Fluency: This is the rhythm and the flow
One idea to the next connecting naturally, you know
And it sounds effortless, like words are rolling off your tongue
And there's variety of style in the way your sentences are begun.
And the length of the sentences is varied, too
Your sentence structure draws attention to ideas you want it to
You can even use a sentence fragment once in a while,
Because you've got control of your rhythm and style.
So, you find the power, and you combine it with grace
And your dialogue sounds like amigos talking face to face.

Sentence fluency. Words flow like a river
Find the rhythm and the flow in the words that you deliver
Word up! Word up! Word up!
I’ve got the power of words! I’ve got control!

Organization: That's the way you make things fit
Direction and connection through ideas that you hit
You start with a beginning that pulls your reader in
And you build, and you build, and you close; and that's the end
It's that simple, but you got to be smooth!
Get your transitions in place between the elements you use
Each word, and each sentence, each paragraph has its place
They fit together. There's an order as you make your case
So smooth direction. Smooth order.
So smooth transition. Smooth closure.

Organization, clear and smooth
Organization, clear and smooth

Word up! Word up! Word up!
I’ve got the power of words! I’ve got control!

Conventions: These are the rules you must obey.
Or your frustrated readers will turn away.
Punctuation like commas, apostrophes and periods.
Capitalization. You got to take this seriously.
Usage, grammar, paragraph breaks.
And spell correctly for goodness sake!
Now conventions are difficult, but you've got to be keen.
Tune up your written work so it's fit to be seen.
By another reader and understood.
Without correct conventions the best writing is no good.

Conventions, you could call them the rules
Conventions, put ‘em to work and call ‘em tools
Word up. Word up. Word up. I got the power of words. I’ve got control.

Word choice: Think richly. Think specifically
Think broadly. Think precisely, “Which words are gonna tickle me?”
Your reader has got to be wooed
And a writer does this by the language he can choose
Because some words are worth a penny, and some are worth a dollar
It's like the difference between, "she yelled," and "boy, she hollered!"
One word may sound engaging and another one sounds trite
One word may be ordinary and another one's just right
You got to be striking and learn to use variety
Sound like your intelligent but not like you are tryin' to be Effectively paint a clear picture with your words
If you choose the right words you know that you'll be heard

Word choice, get the power of words!
Choose the right words! Choose the right words!

So these are the six traits! Put ‘em in your mind
And your message will be excellent
Yo, man it’s gonna shine!


from Word Up! Rockin' the Six Traits of Writing, released August 21, 2012
Bryan Reed: music, lyrics, and vocals
Love Tyler, vocals



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