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Fourth-Grade Writing Checklist

by Christi O'Donnell, studioD

Fourth-grade students write independently for a variety of purposes. The third step in the writing process, after prewriting and drafting, is revising and editing. In order to edit their own work accurately, students often use a checklist before rewriting their work. This checklist helps students review their work for common mistakes. Fourth graders also use checklists when peer editing with classmates. The exact information on a writing checklist may vary according to school and state standards.


Capitalization refers to the proper use of capital and lowercase letters in sentences and when using proper and common nouns. ___ 1. I used uppercase letters for the first word in each sentence. ___ 2. I have capitalized the personal pronoun “I.” ___ 3. I have capitalized the first word in dialogue. ___ 4. I capitalized proper nouns. (Example: Jamison, Kansas, McDonald's)


By the time students are in fourth grade, they have learned many of the foundational rules necessary for conventional spelling. Basic sight words have become intuitive, and they are skilled at spelling short vowel words, long vowel words and words that follow familiar patterns and start or end with common blends and digraphs. ___ 1. I have circled the words I think I misspelled and tried writing them other ways. ___ 2. I have checked for commonly misspelled and misused words including its/it's, there/their/they're, where/we're/were, you/you're/your, here/hear, a/an, our/are, a lot and accept/except.


Fourth-grade students have moved beyond the use of simple end punctuation marks. They punctuate writing to express emotion, convey ideas and enhance the understanding and reading experience of their audience. ___ 1. I have included a period, a question mark or an exclamation point at the end of every sentence. ___ 2. I have used commas correctly in dates, when listing items in a series, to separate a city and a state, and after an introductory statement. ___ 3. I have used apostrophes in contractions and to show possession. ___ 4. I used a semi-colon to join two very short, related sentences. ___ 5. I used quotation marks correctly: He said, “I like cheese.” OR “I like cheese,” he said.


Writing conventions are the genearlly accepted rules for proper writing in English. ___ 1. I indented at the start of each paragraph. ___ 2. I used quotation marks when someone is speaking. ___ 3. I underlined titles of books and magazines. ___ 4. I used conjunctions (and, but) to combine sentences. ___ 5. I included a title and put my name on my work. ___ 6. All of my sentences have a subject and predicate.

About the Author

A lifetime resident of New York, Christi O'Donnell has been writing about education since 2003. O'Donnell is a dual-certified educator with experience writing curriculum and teaching grades preK through 12. She holds a Bachelors Degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a Masters Degree in education from Mercy College.

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