Dudley Do Write's Rules for Writing





Dudley Do Write says that applying the seat of your pants to the seat of the chair is Step 1.



Next, stock your writing space with the materials you will need:

A coffee can full of sharpened pencils

Yellow paper for rough drafts

White paper for final drafts

Blank paper for illustrations

Editing checklists

Colored pencils for editing

A word wall of frequently misspelled words

Dictionaries, thesaureses

Computer, stapler, and other materials for publishing books

Focus on ideas first, mechanics later

The 2nd draft is when you concentrate on errors. What can you do to make it better?



What Good Writers Do



Get Your Essay

Started with

a Bang!




Good writers begin putting their best thoughts forward with the very first word of the story. Regard your opening sentence as a headline designed to snare the readers’ interest. View it as a roadmap to show the reader where he/she is headed. Include the topic idea in this first sentnece!

Next, tell:

Where and When the story takes place.
Who the characters are.
What the problem is.
Why it is a problem.
How the problem is solved.

Color, sound, odor, touch, or taste also stimulate a reader’s interest. They jump start the hard wiring in the brain and get feelings, connections and memories running like a Swiss watch. From that moment on, you’re on cruise control. You’ve got the audience in the palm of your writing hand.

Show what the characters are doing. For example, instead of saying the runner is fast, write that the leaves of the trees rustled as she whizzed by.

Use interesting words to explain details. If your word sounds worn out, circle it, and later consult a thesaurus for a more interesting replacement.

Keep events in order.


Use a variety transition words such as that morning, later on, later in the day, next, soon afterwards, and finally.


The ending should "tie a knot" in your narrative by offering your readers a sense of loose ends being pulled together. Some writers choose to offer a summary, others like to take the reader beyond what was written by offering a challenge, expressing a feeling or posing a question. However you choose to end your essay, do close the door firmly, thereby offering your readers a satisfying sense of completion.


To Avoid Pitfalls






(Fourth, Fifth Grade)


Editing Checklist

Read the rough draft aloud to yourself. Ask the following questions and check them off as you go:



At the beginning of sentences

Proper Nouns

For the word "I"



Does it sound right? (Read it outloud to yourself)

Do the subject and verb agree?

Is it written in the same tense throughout?



For the ends of sentences

For questions

Dialogue (people talking) (quotation marks)

Dates (December 2, 2009)

City, state (Brooklyn, NY)

Greetings (Dear Santa)



Check in the dictionary

Ask a friend

Ask a teacher, parent or neighbor



Revising Checklist

Read your rough draft aloud to yourself. Ask the following questions and check them off as you go:



Catchy and interesting

Sticks to the topic

Includes lots of interesting ideas

Shows instead of tells



Introduction grabs attention

Events are sequenced (in order)

Good use of transitional words

Closing paragraph sums up the main idea



Has a clear purpose and point of view

Clearly expresses thoughts and feelings

Has a uniques personal touch


Word Choice

Uses spicey or juicy words and phrases

Avoids repeating words

Uses words to help create a picture in the readerr's mind

Uses strong adjectives and verbs


Sentence Fluency

Sentences vary in length and type

Sentences begin in different ways

Easy to read aloud


Writing Hint



Awesome is a worn-out word


Instead of using the tired word "awesome," students can use:




Writing Topics

(Grades 1 - 5)

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grades 4 & 5

Reference: Houghton Mifflin.





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