Seven Elements

There are multiple factors that come to shape ones writing.  Who are you writing for?  What is the level of understanding of my audience?  What does my audience want to know?  The Seven Elements in writing allows students to overcome these obstacles when attempting to take on a specific role and write to a specific audience.  The Seven Elements are as follows:


  1. Summary – give a brief description of the purpose and back ground of the writing assignment.
  2. Role – A specific character, job, or position the student will occupy when writing.
  3. Audience – an imaginary group with their own roles that will be reading the assignment.
  4. Form – the format of the writing assignment, whether it be an essay, a letter to the editor, etc.
  5. Purpose – what is this assignment intending to accomplish
  6. Focus points – what you want them to focus on as a teacher
  7. Procedure – A play-by-play description of what the student will be doing to tackle his assignment.


This Seven Elements can be used for any writing assignment.  In addition, in my personal experience, does not have to contain all seven distinct elements, nor be laid out so formally.  The intention is to give the students guidance, not to overwhelm them with requirements formality.  The following is an example of an assignment I gave to an 8th grade history class.  It includes many, but not all, of the elements, and is set up in a way easier for students to digest.


Name ______________

U.S. History



What is Propaganda?

This assignment is due at the end of the week on Friday after we have fully analyzed the components and purposes of propaganda.  However, please start considering your own imaginative and creative pieces of propaganda now.


Option 1


–          Create a piece of propaganda of a medium of your choice.  It can take the form of: A picture; A song; A poem; A Video


–          You are a propagandist by trade.  This job is what puts food on your table, so be sure to do the best job for your client!


–          Your propaganda will be viewed by the average citizen of you’re the United States.

Situation and Purpose

–          The issue your propaganda must address will be decided by you.  However, all issues must be grounded in a realistic and historical setting.

Standards and Criteria

–          Your work must take into account of all components we have discussed in class.

  • Target
  • Audience
  • Message
  • Symbol / Technique
  • Historical / Social condition

–          The historical context of your propaganda must be stated clearly including the time period as well as event.

  • Ex. “1776, Revolutionary War” or “1920s, Prohibition”
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