Tag Writing (Ultimate Guide for Beginners)

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If you’re a student of English composition or literature, then you’ve likely heard of the acronym, TAG.

In this article, we will discuss what TAG writing is, the different types of TAGs in writing, and how to use TAGs in your own writing. We’ll also provide plenty of examples so that you can see exactly how it works in practice.

Let’s get started.

What Is a TAG in Writing?

Man in glasses thinking next to a stack of books—Tag Writing
Image by the author via Canva—TAG Writing

In writing, a TAG is an abbreviation for Title, Author, Genre. It is a tool used to help students remember key information about a text. It is also used as a writing technique for crafting a thesis or paragraph statement in school papers, reports, and essays.

TAG writing is an important skill for students to learn as it can help them better understand and analyze the texts they read.

TAG writing can be used for any type of text, including fiction and nonfiction books, articles, and even websites.

When learning TAG writing, it is important to understand each component:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Genre

After you get a chance to practice, you will be able to use TAG writing on your own to remember key information about what you read.

You will also be able to write TAG thesis statements.

On that note, let’s look at the various parts of a TAG statement.

Title

The title of a text is the first piece of information that you will need to remember when using TAG writing. The title of a text can be found on the cover or the first page of the text.

A text’s title can give you important information about what the text will be about.

For instance, if you are looking for information about dogs, a text with the title, Dogs: Man’s Best Friend, is likely to be more helpful than a text with the title, The History of Pets in America.

In addition, the title of a work can give you clues about its author’s purpose or point of view.

For example, a book with the title, Reverse Racism in America, is likely to have a different perspective than a book with the title, The Struggle for Civil Rights.

Therefore, it is important to know the title of a text before you begin reading it, in order to get an idea of the topic and purpose.

It is also important to know the title of any work you reference in a report or essay to avoid plagiarism and to give your readers accurate information about your sources.

Author

The author of the text is the second piece of information you will need to remember or reference. The author’s name can also usually be found on the cover or the first page of the text.

When we read a text, it is essential to know the author of that text in order to fully understand the message being conveyed.

A key part of critical thinking and analysis is considering the source or context behind a piece of writing.

What is the author’s perspective or opinion? How might personal biases or experiences shape their writing? By taking account of these factors, we can get a clearer picture of what the author intended to communicate and why.

This also applies to academic writing, including essays and reports.

Whether we are citing a book or journal article, it is important to be aware of who authored that work. Knowing the author’s qualifications and experience allows us to determine the trustworthiness and reliability of their information.

We can also gain valuable insight into any potential biases or conflicts of interest that may have influenced the content.

Taken together, these considerations help us to better evaluate claims made in our own written documents, making our arguments more grounded and convincing for readers.

Genre

The TAG writing approach allows you to identify the genre of a text.

This is important because it helps you understand what kind of text you are reading, and how to approach it. The TAG approach is also helpful for anyone struggling with reading comprehension.

As any voracious reader knows, there are a ton of different genres, from suspenseful thrillers to heartwarming romances.

There are also:

  • Autobiographies
  • Memoirs
  • Published research articles
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Eduction
  • Psychology
  • Personal Development
  • And more!

Just as each genre has its own unique conventions and rules, so too does each genre require a different reading strategy.

For instance, a reader approaching a mystery novel will need to pay close attention to clues and red herrings in order to solve the puzzle, while a reader of historical fiction will need to pay close attention to setting and detail in order to picture the time period.

Thus, it is important for a reader to know the genre of a book before they start reading to ensure that they are using the right strategy.

Similarly, when writing an essay or report, it is important to know the genre of the sources you reference.

After all, a source that presents itself as an objective news article will likely contain different information than a blog post written by an individual with strong opinions on the topic.

A research paper will contain different information than a work of fiction.

Therefore, by understanding the genre of the sources you are referencing, you can be sure that you are using them correctly and accurately in your own writing.

Here is a short video with more details about how to implement TAG writing:

YouTube video by BestCustomWriting—TAG Writing

What Does TAG Stand for in English?

In English, a TAG is usually:

  • An abbreviation for Title, Author, and Genre.
  • A tool for writing fiction
  • A technique for writing a thesis statement
  • A method for writing topic sentences in a paragraph

These different meanings are directly related to the different types of TAGs used in English, creative writing, and university assignments.

Types of TAGS in Writing

Other than the acronym for title, author, and genre, there are five main types of writing tags that are used in English.

Some of the most common writing tags include:

  • Dialogue tags
  • Action tags
  • Setting tags
  • Character tags
  • Plot tags

1) Dialogue Tags

A dialogue tag is used to determine the speaker in a piece of dialogue.

Example:

“I’m so tired,” said John.

“I know, me too,” said Sarah.

In the example above, the dialogue tags help identify who is speaking (John or Sarah). This is important so that the reader can follow along and understand the fictional conversation.

2) Action Tag

Action tags identify the character that is performing an action.

Example: John ran to the store.

Example: Sarah parkoured her way across the top of the buildings, flipping impressively over steep drops, tumbling into open windows, and quickly scaling walls.

In the examples above, the action tags help the reader comprehend the plot.

3) Setting Tags

Setting tags identify the time and place of the story.

This is vital to allow the reader to visualize the context of the narrative. Setting tags set the scene and mood of the story.

Example: The storm raged that night.

Example: John walked the edge of the moonlit property, keeping his eyes peeled on the pockets of shadows.

In the examples above, the setting tags root the story in time and space. They also reveal the tone of the story by using descriptive words.

4) Character Tags

Character tags pinpoint the characters in a story. You want to do this so that the reader understands the various people in the narrative.

Example: John and Sarah were the main characters in the story.

In the example above, the character tag helps identify who the story is about. The character tag can also be used to identify supporting characters.

These are the minor characters that help move the story along.

5) Plot Tags

Plot tags summarize the main events in a story. The main events usually include the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

Example: The story began with John and Sarah meeting during college. They date, fall madly in love, and get married. The end of the story showed them living happily ever after.

In the example above, the plot tags help identify the major sections of the narrative.

What Is a TAG Statement?

A tag statement is basically a topical sentence.

The topic sentence states the major idea of the paragraph and informs the reader what it’s about. Every subsequent sentence should support, clarify, or elaborate on the main idea.

The best way to ensure that your topic sentence is clear and effective is to plan your paragraph before you start writing.

First, decide the main point you want to convey your topic. Then, brainstorm a few ideas related to that point. Next, narrow your ideas down to a single main point.

Once you understand your central message, you can develop your topic sentence.

Make sure that your topic or tag sentence clearly states your main idea and sets up the rest of your paragraph.

Here are a few examples:

Paragraph 1
Topic sentence: There are many benefits to owning a pet.
All pets require some amount of care, but the rewards of owning a pet exceed the effort required.
Pets provide companionship, love, and security, and they can have a positive effect on our mental and physical health.

Paragraph 2
Topic sentence: Taking care of a garden can be very rewarding.
Caring for a garden requires hard work that can pay off with yummy vegetables, family meals, and beautiful flowers. Ultimately, this means a healthier diet, a closer family, and a more aesthetic yard.

How To Write a TAG in an Essay (Examples)

You can use TAGs with any kind of text, including fiction, non-fiction, and even poetry.

When you are writing a TAG, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. I’ve included the most important of these things in this section, along with some helpful examples.

How To Write a TAG (Title, Author, Genre)

First, you need a book, article, or text with a title, author, and genre.

Next, make sure that the TAG information is grammatically correct. This means using proper verb tenses and pronoun usage. Also, double-check for proper punctuation, quotation marks, spelling, and capitalization.

Read: Do You Italicize Article Titles? (11 Quick Answers for Beginners)

For clarity, it’s usually best to keep the information in the standard TAG order:

  • Mention the title first
  • State the author second
  • Note the genre third

Then, be sure that the TAG flows smoothly with the rest of the sentence. I do this by reading it aloud or using free online software to read it to me.

How To Write a TAG Sentence in an Essay or Thesis

Writing a TAG sentence in an essay or thesis is actually quite simple once you break it down into its three components—title, author, and genre.

We’ll use a book I wrote about query letters as an example.

The first step is to identify the title of the work at hand. For example, The Query Letter Swipe File.

Next, you need to identify the author of your chosen piece—in this case, that’s me, Christopher Kokoski. Finally, you need to determine the genre of your work—a nonfiction how-to book with hundreds of words, phrases, and templates taken from successful query letters that landed literary agents and publishing deals.

By understanding these three elements, you can easily craft a TAG sentence that effectively summarizes your chosen essay or thesis.

In one statement, the book is the Query Letter Swipe File [title], by Christopher Kokoski [author], a nonfiction book [genre] about writing query letters.

Here is how it might look all put together:

The Query Letter Swipe File by Christopher Kokoski is a non-fiction how-to book about writing query letters. In the book, readers learn how to write effective query letters that land literary agents and publishing deals. Packed with hundreds of words, phrases, and templates from top-performing query letters in various genres spanning both fiction and nonfiction works, this essential resource provides all the tools necessary for crafting winning submissions.

Ok, now let’s go over two more quick examples (without brackets).

Another example of a TAG sentence in an essay might be, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. This novel is a classic work of American literature that explores themes of race, morality, and freedom.

The last example will be, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This novel is a quintessential piece of 1920s American fiction, full of lavish parties and intricate social dynamics.

Both examples demonstrate how TAG sentences can help to clearly convey the title, author, and genre of a particular text.

By giving readers a brief glimpse at the source material behind your writing, you can help give context to your ideas. Thus, TAG sentences are essential tools for writers looking to engage their readers and create compelling content.

Final Thoughts: TAG Writing

Now that you know everything about TAG writing, you can start using this tool in your own personal, school, and work projects.

To learn more about better writing, read these articles next:

Sources

Purdue University: Online Writing Lab
UNSW Sydney University