You are viewing our website as a(n)

PLANS Goal-setting

  1. Home
  2. Writing
  3. Planning
  4. PLANS Goal-setting


From Writing Better (Graham and Harris, 2005), PLANS is a goal-setting strategy to teach students how to set objectives and gather supporting details for writing tasks.


PLANS is a mnemonic for remembering a 4-step goal-setting process. The steps in the process are:

P–pick goals

L–list ways to meet goals

A–and make (notes)


S–sequence notes

To implement this strategy, then, the teacher gives students a graphic organizer for the process. For the Pick Goals step, provide students with a list of goals for a number of possible categories (purpose, part, and length goals). Within those categories, students might select from 2 or 3 options.

After picking goals, students list on the graphic organizer the ways they will meet those goals, both in terms of in their writing and what resources they may need to use to help. The next step is to begin a kind of outlining process by first making notes about what they will write and in what order (sequencing the notes).

The end result is that the students have a clear understanding of what is needed as well as a defined outline of the content they will write.


Read more about Steve Graham’s research on the effects of goal-setting for struggling writers.

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping