Students begin the process of translating ideas into writing after brainstorming and organizing those ideas. Turning ideas into sentences requires a great deal of active working memory, as students must synchronize many different skills and neurodevelopmental functions, such as handwriting, spelling, remembering the main idea of the overall text, rules of mechanics and grammar, and retrieval of the words that convey the most meaning, all while self-monitoring the quality of their writing.

Essential to the effective and efficient translation of ideas into sentences is the almost effortless, or automatic, retrieval of many words, and rules of mechanics and grammar from long-term memory. This chart describes some important skills related to turning ideas into sentences.

Necessary SubSkills Common Obstacles Helpful Tips
Student is able to communicate his/her thoughts and ideas when writing. Student has difficulty communicating his/her thoughts and ideas effectively when writing. view
Student takes the appropriate amount of time to complete the writing task. Student rushes through work, not taking the time necessary for a thorough job. Student takes an excessive amount of time to complete the writing assignment. view
Student is able to sustain his/her level of effort throughout the writing task until the assignment is completed. Student gives up easily, or shuts down before the writing assignment is completed. view
Student is able to self-regulate when writing, e.g., sets goals, evaluates how he/she is doing, changes the approach or strategy as needed, etc. Student’s doesn’t plan ahead or set goals when doing written assignments.Student doesn’t monitor how his/her writing is going, e.g., doesn’t check to see if a strategy is working. view