How Do I Make It Better?

Apply the Five E's in any Content Area

Students sometimes wonder how they can make an early draft of their writing even better.

Teachers often wonder how they can teach their students to be reflective about their early writing to improve their message.

Writing is:


inquiry based

knowledge building


Use collaboration & cooperation to improve writing (21st C Skills)

From:Teaching Writing in the Middle School: Common Core and More (2013)


Develop what is written to make ideas clearer and more interesting without being repetitive.

Add more information to show rather than tell.

Use carefully chosen examples from mentor text, personal experiences, lessoned learned in content classes.

Do some research to find believable/reliable sources that will add relevance to their writing.


Clarify what is written by using various reasons based on experiences, observations, and readings from other contents or past lessons.

"This is important because..."


Look for new vocabulary that can be substituted that will make the writing clearer, more interesting, more precise.

Consider using the correct verb tense, concrete nouns, words that have more positive or negative connotations to create the mood.

Rearrange words, sentences, and paragraphs to make the ideas unfold smoothly, more interesting, less confusing.

Consider what the reader needs to know before making a decision. This is what makes informative writing important.


Get rid of weak words, phrases, sentences that prevent your ideas from informing, convincing, persuading, and even entertaining.


Use ACTIVE verbs.

Use CONCRETE nouns.

Include SENSORY IMAGES to help the reader experience the ideas/concepts/feelings in your writing.

Remind students to R.A.C.E.