For writing teachers, setting goals and writing objectives are
essential because even the term writing itself can have
many different meanings.
In that sentence, for example, writing might be a verb meaning
the act of inscribing symbols or it might be an adjective indicating
the activity for which the objectives are prepared. In other settings,
writing might mean handwriting, or composing imaginative
fiction, or drafting legislation.
You should begin process of setting goals and objectives by defining
essential learning rather than by choosing things students
If you and I do not have written statements of our long-term
goals and objectives for the short-term, we risk confusing students
about what we're doing.
We also risk getting distracted by materials, activities, and
assessments that are not related to the writing we want our students
Writing objectives that enable us to measure how well we're helping
students progress toward our goals is an essential first step
toward reaching those goals.
What are writing goals?
Academic writing goals describe in general terms what all students
should achieve by the end of a particular course of study. If
you teach in a school that uses the Common Core State Standards,
the standards set goals for students to achieve by the end of
If you don't work in a Common Core environment, you probably
have a set of goals some other body established. You and your
fellow teachers are supposed to prepare students to meet those
goals by the end of their academic program.
Such goal statements:
- describe terminal (ultimate/end point) knowledge
- cannot be evaluated or measured directly.
- may include attitudes
- may describe post-school behaviors (e.g.,
Goal statements will help you set a direction for your teaching.
What are writing objectives?
Writing objectives are statements
that describe in specific terms the writing standards all your
students must meet to prove you accomplished your annual goals
or made substantial progress toward longer-term goals. To use
and discuss objectives, you may find some additional
Since Common Core State Standards
give discipline-specific standards for each year, ELA teachers
in Common Core schools may think they don't need to prepare
their own writing objectives.
However the objectives in the Standards don't include some information
teachers need to determine in order to be efficient and effective.
Read about additional requirements of writing
If your school setting gives you goal statements but no objectives,
you can turn those goals into
Don't confuse objectives with a grading scale. Objectives are
the standards students must meet to get on the scale.
Writing teachers must craft each objective so that outside observers
can determine easily whether the student did or did not meet it.
If an objective says the goal is a score of 65 on a final test,
anyone with a basic knowledge of arithmetic can tell whether a
student who scored 68 met the objective or did not meet the objective.
Objectives for writing skills need to phrased in ways that are
See examples of how to phrase grammar
objectives and how to phrase punctuation
objectives. Learn how to simplify development of objectives
related to the writing process by thinking of writing
as a performance.
Educational objectives taxonomies
Taxonomies are devices that organize data in a particular field
or subject so users can communicate clearly. Perhaps the most
influential taxonomy in the field of education is the Taxonomy
of Educational Objectives edited by Benjamin Bloom and usually
called Bloom's taxonomy.
By using Bloom's
taxonomy, savvy teachers make sure students can handle the cognitive tasks
A 2001 update, usually referred to as the revised
Bloom's taxonomy, was prepared with an eye to helping classroom
teachers align objectives, learning activities, and assessment.
It assumes most teachers will work in a standards-based environment,
such as the Common Core.
Although the Common Core State Standards were predicated on the
"new Blooms," the standards don't supply everything
classroom teachers need to know to work within the taxonomy's
guidelines. To fill in the gaps, see: