7 Effective Strategies to Build Writing Fluency

Published on August 12, 2020 | Updated on June 19, 2024

Fluency is an essential component in writing ability and development.

Writing Fluency refers to a student’s ability to write with a natural flow and rhythm. Fluent writers use grade-appropriate word patterns, vocabulary and content.

Teachers can help students in improving their overall fluency by engaging them in a variety of writing improvement activities.

Key Elements in Writing Fluency

Writing fluency is often characterized by several key elements:

  • Speed: Fluent writers can produce text at a reasonable pace without getting stuck or experiencing frequent pauses. They can maintain a steady progression of ideas.
  • Clarity: Fluent writing is clear and easily understood by the reader. Ideas are organized logically, and sentences are structured in a way that conveys meaning effectively.
  • Coherence: Fluent writers create coherent and cohesive texts. They use transitions, connect ideas logically, and ensure that their writing flows smoothly from one point to the next.
  • Vocabulary: Fluent writers have a good grasp of vocabulary, enabling them to choose the right words to express their thoughts precisely. They avoid excessive repetition and use varied and appropriate terminology.
  • Grammar and Syntax: Writing fluency also involves a command of grammar and syntax. Fluent writers use correct sentence structure and grammatical rules, which contributes to the clarity of their writing.
  • Voice: Fluent writers develop a unique voice or style that distinguishes their writing. This voice can be formal, informal, academic, or creative, depending on the context, but it is consistently maintained throughout the text.

Why Should we Promote Writing Fluency

Using activities to promote writing fluency in the classroom offers several important benefits for students:

  • Improved Writing Skills: Engaging in regular writing activities helps students develop and refine their writing skills. It allows them to practice different writing styles, genres, and techniques, leading to overall improvement in their ability to express themselves effectively in writing.
  • Enhanced Creativity: Many writing activities encourage creativity and imaginative thinking. Students are prompted to think outside the box, generate unique ideas, and experiment with language and storytelling, fostering creativity in their writing
  • Increased Confidence: As students practice writing regularly and see their skills improve over time, they gain confidence in their writing abilities.
  • Language Proficiency: Writing activities contribute to language development. Students expand their vocabulary, strengthen their grasp of grammar and syntax, and learn how to use language more effectively to convey their thoughts and ideas.
  • Critical Thinking: Writing prompts and activities often require students to think critically and analyze information. They must organize their thoughts logically, make connections between ideas, and evaluate the relevance of information, which enhances their critical thinking skills.
  • Communication Skills: Writing fluency is closely tied to effective communication. By becoming fluent writers, students improve their ability to convey complex ideas, opinions, and information clearly and persuasively, which is a valuable skill in various aspects of life.
  • Preparation for Academic and Professional Success: Strong writing skills are essential in academia and many professions. Engaging in writing activities equips students with the communication skills necessary for success in college, the workplace, and beyond.
  • Personal Expression: Writing provides a platform for personal expression and self-reflection. It allows students to explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, promoting self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

7 Activities to Promote Writing Fluency

Using activities to promote writing fluency in the classroom is an effective way to nurture well-rounded individuals who can communicate effectively, think critically, and excel academically and professionally.

These are seven activities to promote writing fluency:

Free Writing

Students see a picture and in three minutes write as many words, phrases or sentences as they can to describe the picture.

Repeated once every two weeks, students can see an improvement over time.

Daily Question

The teacher prepares a bag with questions written on slips of paper. Every day a student selects one question, reads it out loud and students in pairs think individually about it for 30 seconds, share their ideas orally and finally write an answer. (This interaction pattern is called ‘Think, Pair, Share’.)

Musical Descriptions

The teacher plays a piece of music and asks students to write a description of what the music depicts.

For example, play the music from Space Odyssey and tell students they are astronauts. They should write about what they see and what they are doing.

Diary Writing

 The teacher gives each student five pieces of paper stapled together as a diary. Each student creates an attractive front cover and writes an introductory text; e.g. a CV or a letter to a pen friend.

The teacher keeps these diaries and brings them to class every day. Students spend 10 minutes to add a new entry on a choice of topics given.


Give students a pattern for writing a simple poem, such as an alphabet poem. Students see a word written vertically. For example

Mother and write one line for each letter of the word, starting with that letter.


The teacher asks students to exchange opinions in writing about the topic they are reading about or listening to.

This can be done on small slips of paper which are passed to the partner or through an e-mail chain.

Making Connections

the teacher creates a collage on the board of pictures, words and phrases related to a topic.

Students write sentences using the language on the board and any ideas they get from the visuals.

Sentence Expansion

Provide students with a short, basic sentence, and challenge them to expand it into a more detailed and complex one.

For example, start with “The cat sat on the mat,” and ask students to transform it into a longer, descriptive sentence.

This exercise encourages creativity and the use of various sentence structures.

Story Starters

Provide students with a sentence or a few words to start a story. They must then continue the story in their own words.

This activity fosters narrative writing skills and encourages students to think creatively.

Rewriting Endings

Provide students with a short story or an excerpt from a book and ask them to rewrite the ending.

This exercise encourages critical thinking and creativity as students explore alternative resolutions.

Writing Challenges

Organize writing challenges or competitions within the class. For instance, set a word limit and a theme, and have students write short stories or essays within a specified time-frame.

Recognize and reward their efforts.

How to Assess Writing Fluency 

How to use a 3-minute writing CBA to assess student writing fluency and complexity through readability analysis of vocabulary and sentence complexity

Manuel Campos

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English