Writing Mini Lesson #13- Setting Writing Goals

Before moving on in the writing process, it is a great place to have students create a writing goal.  This post will explain writing goals, how to choose a writing goal, provide ideas for creating writing goals, and a free writing goal template! These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part of a series of mini lessons for writer’s workshop designed for scaffolding through the writing process.



What are writing goals?

Writing goals are something in students’ writing that they (or you) would like to see improvement.


How do you choose a writing goal?

Tell students to think of something that they frequently have to correct in their writing or something that they find difficult when writing in the past.  Explain that writing goals can change from one piece of writing to the next.  I find it best for students to focus on ONE goal in each writing piece.

If you (the teacher) are creating the writing goal:
1.  Anything that you have taught in a past writing lesson and are expected to use in future essays.
2.  One of the past lessons that they need more time to develop.
3.  Reward students who meet their writing goal.


What are some ideas to use as writing goals?

writing in complete sentences, using proper capitalization, using proper punctuation, organization, fixing run-ons, being more descriptive, writing more, writing less, adding million dollar words, sticking to the topic, writing topic sentences, etc.

  • Writing in complete sentences
  • Using proper capitalization
  • Using proper punctuation (You can even be more specific.  (commas, end of sentence, quotation marks)
  • Organization
  • Fixing run-ons
  • Being more descriptive
  • Writing more detail
  • Writing less and deleting irrelevant details
  • Adding more million dollar words
  • Sticking to the topic
  • Writing topic sentences
  • Writing a better introduction
  • Using indents in paragraphs
  • Writing a better conclusion
  • Including more meaningul dialogue
  • Using correct spelling
  • Using transition words
  • Neater handwriting


Here were some of my students’ goals.  I was proud of them for thinking about these goals.  I probably would have chosen the same ones for them!  I love the one who said he wants to write neater and has words scratched out and messy.  Ha!  GRAB THIS WRITING GOAL TEMPLATE FOR FREE.


I had a student say, “I can’t wait to write this story!”  I love hearing their anticipation.  I remind students that this first writing piece is step-by-step so they can completely understand the best strategy to take them through the writing process.  It will take many lessons to write each step to complete the story, but it will be so worth it!














All of these ideas are included in the STEP-BY-STEP Interactive Writing Notebooks with mini lessons for paragraph, narrative, opinion, and informative writing designed to scaffold through the writing process.  It includes anchor charts for teaching, interactive notebook pages for taking notes, modeled stories, mentor text, practice sheets, tracking forms, goal forms, prompts, and so much more!  Click on the pic below to find out how to motivate students and boost test scores with this STEP-BY-STEP year-long writing program!


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