Focus Correction Areas

With the Collins Writing Program, students write so often that teachers couldn’t possibly mark every error on every paper. Focus Correction Areas (FCAs), cited in the meta-study Writing Next as a best practice in writing instruction, provide the solution. With FCAs students focus on three areas in need of  improvement per assignment. Grades are based on these three areas only, saving teachers significant correcting time.

What Is a Focus Correction Area?

Focus Correction Areas (FCAs) are a powerful tool to help students target areas of improvement and allow teachers to plan effective instruction as well as grade papers quickly and efficiently. Focus correcting is a selective approach to grading student writing that allows students to concentrate on a few growth areas at a time out of hundreds of possibilities.


Four Categories of FCAs

  • Content
  • Organization
  • Style
  • Conventions

FCAs are used in Type Three, Type Four and Type Five writing. Three FCAs are assigned to each writing activity. The FCAs are very clearly outlined for students so that there are no surprises.

Examples of Focus Correction Areas

  • Content
    • Clear statement of purpose
    • Sufficient, relevant details
    • Similarities and differences explained
  • Organization
    • Ideas in logical order
    • Transitions
    • Conclusion that reinforces, summarizes
  • Style
    • Vivid, powerful verbs
    • A beginning that draws the reader in
    • Figurative language used
  • Conventions
    • Correct end marks
    • Proper use of quotations
    • Complete sentences