The Traits of Writing: Voice

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12162

Can you tell what kind of mood someone is in by the sound of his voice? Does an angry voice sound different from a soothing voice? Words reflect moods, so learn to write with words that show emotion!



English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


A writer’s voice is like a snowflake — no two are exactly alike. Find your writing voice!

The six traits of writing are:

  • ideas
  • organization
  • voice
  • word choice
  • sentence fluency
  • conventions

The previous Related Lessons in our The Traits of Writing series can be found in the right-hand sidebar.

Your idea is your specific topic, along with all the details used to support that topic.

Organization is the structure of your writing — it needs to include a clear beginning, middle, and ending.

Voice is that special way you, and only you, can express your ideas and feelings. You will be learning about voice in this lesson. Take out a piece of paper or your Writer's notebook, and a pencil. Write down the five points that are made in the SWITCH video, T68 – Writing – 6 Traits – Voice:


Were you able to write down the five key points stated in the video? If you missed any of them, you can write them as we go over each:

  1. Write for a purpose What is the purpose of the piece you are writing? Is it to entertain, to inform, to persuade, or to teach others?
  2. Think about your audience Who will read this piece of writing?
  3. Focus on the right details Don’t get caught up with one idea and go on a bunny trail; you will lose the focus that you created.
  4. Be honest It is so important to be yourself in your writing! Share your feelings and emotions; let your writing come from the heart.
  5. Focus on mood If you are writing a scary story, you need to use words that make your reader feel afraid. If you are writing a humorous story, you need to use words and phrases that will make them laugh.

Most of you are familiar with the story, The Three Little Pigs. Watch this video, 3 Pigs, from nosferatu6669, and notice how voice makes a difference in telling this story:


When you read stories aloud, do you use different voices for the different characters? Your writing voice should be like your speaking voice when you are showing your personality and expressing who you are.

Writers need to have a large vocabulary so they are not using the same words over and over again. The best way to add to your vocabulary is to read, read, and read some more. Read lots of books! This will also give you the experience of hearing the unique voices of other writers and seeing how a carefully-selected vocabulary is used to make their writing come to life.

The best way to find your own voice is to write as often and as much as possible. A good way to get into this habit is to keep a journal that you write in nightly before bed, or every morning to record dreams, or even to keep track of a growing pet or favorite sports team. Make your daily writing about something that is interesting to you, so it's not a chore to write.

Move on to the Got It? section and you will practice writing to find your voice.

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.