Ideas in writing are like the
engine that drives the train.
Concept of Ideas
Ideas contain the point of any piece of
writing. They are all about information.
In a good creative piece, ideas paint pictures
in a reader’s mind.
In expository writing, ideas teach.
Two things make ideas work well: clarity and
The teachable elements of ideas
□ The topic is narrow and manageable
□ The details go beyond the obvious
□ There are reasonably accurate details
□ The ideas are fresh and original; shown from a unique perspective
□ The author is writing from knowledge or experience
□ The readers’ questions are anticipated and answered
WHAT DO STRONG IDEAS LOOK LIKE?
Worth writing about – not a rehash of old
Enough ideas to entertain, not so many as
Facts mixed with interesting, but short,
Authentic; speaking from knowledge
To successfully communicate the
message, the ideas must:
Support the controlling idea
Be focused are narrowed
Include sufficient information
Provide interesting details
You are going to write about yourself. Anything
you can think of. Don’t think about organization,
don’t think about grammar, don’t think about
spelling. Just write. The only parameter is to
write about your life (as if you’re working on your
autobiography). It may be easy to start with the
day you were born? Or writing about your family?
Or your favorite things? And just go from there!
Just remember, don’t stop writing until you hear
Reread your rambling autobiography.
What ideas are prevalent and most
commonly found in your writing? Do
What ideas are interesting to your reader?
Are there any weak ideas you would cut
A narrow, manageable topic that is unique
Striking detail, strong imagery
No unnecessary information (eliminate “filler”)
Pose and then answer beyond the obvious questions
Information that makes the reader say “wow--
Important Aspects of the
Trait of Ideas
To Emphasize the Trait of Ideas:
Create an idea bank with your students;
keep track of interesting and unique
Work to improve your students’ ability to
craft interesting and vivid details.
Read good literature to your students
often and point out the elements that
make the author’s ideas strong.
The clearer the target,
the better the results.