Although students often struggle at first to achieve focus in their own writing, they are generally able to identify focus problems as readers. When classroom discussion is accompanied by concrete examples of effective and ineffective attempts at focused writing, students are better equipped to achieve focus in their own writing.
On an overhead screen, display examples of focused and unfocused sentences and paragraphs. Ask students to comment on the writing samples as a class, identifying what works and what doesn't work and how any of the samples might be improved. As a class, create a list of principles and considerations for achieving focused writing. Encourage students to apply these principles to their own writing.