10 Tips to Better Complete Your Doctoral Writing Assessment

*Updated February 2023*

Walden University provides students with the opportunity to strengthen their graduate-level writing skills through the support courses, Graduate Writing I and Graduate Writing II, listed on your program progress guide. New doctoral students are not expected to demonstrate the same writing skills of Walden students who have completed their doctoral coursework and are ready to begin their dissertation or doctoral study.

The Doctoral Writing Assessment is a requirement for all doctoral students who start at Walden University for the academic year 2017 or later. It is also a requirement for doctoral students who change programs or readmit to programs prior to the proposal stage. Completing the DRWA course provides you with the opportunity to potentially waive out of one or both graduate writing courses named above.

The writing assessment begins with a free, university required course in which you are automatically registered alongside program courses at the beginning of your program. In this short, free course, doctoral students submit an essay responding to an academic prompt in the DRWA Doctoral Writing Assessment classroom. Students have the first two weeks to draft, revise, and submit their essay. Essays are due to the assignment module area of the DRWA classroom by Day 7 of Week 2.

Once your essay is submitted according to the due date in the classroom, the DRWA course expectations are fulfilled; there are no discussions or other assignments to complete. Writing Assessors will review and score essays during weeks 3 and 4 of the course. One week after the DRWA course ends you will receive your assessment essay score, along with guidance on next steps, to your @waldenu.edu email from the Doctoral Writing Assessment team.

Over 25,000 students have completed the DRWA assessment course since late 2016.

Over that time, we have put together a list of tips to help you complete your Doctoral Writing Assessment:

  1. Explore the Announcements, Syllabus, and Content by Modules sections of the DRWA classroom.
  2. Review the essay prompt, instructions, and assessment rubric located under the Assignment Module prior to writing your essay.
  3. Read the Doctoral Writing Assessment: Reading Excerpt.
  4. Assessors will review your essay to identify needs for lower-order (summary, organization, grammar) and higher-order (critical thinking, paraphrasing, analysis) writing support.
  5. You must paraphrase / cite the reading excerpt in the classroom when writing your essay.
  6. You should consider using Grammarly to help edit your grammar and mechanics prior to submitting your essay.
  7. Submit your essay on time according to the deadline, adjusting for your time zone.
  8. Double check that you uploaded the correct essay successfully because late submissions will not be accepted.
  9. You can upload multiple drafts, but only your final draft will be scored
  10. Know your score: Watch your Walden email for a message from Walden Writing Assessment with your essay score.

You can also visit the Doctoral Writing Assessment website for tips on writing your assessment essay. On that site, students may also read answers to questions students frequently ask about this requirement.

The Doctoral Writing Assessment team is happy to answer any additional questions you may have about the writing assessment. You can reach the Doctoral Writing Assessment team at WritingAssessment@mail.waldenu.edu.

Stephanie Kramer is the Senior Coordinator for the Doctoral Writing Assessment within the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS). She joined Walden in 2015 as a Student Success Advisor and moved to OASIS in 2017. Stephanie focuses on developing resources and providing the necessary tools to help students succeed in their educational goals.


14 thoughts on “10 Tips to Better Complete Your Doctoral Writing Assessment

  1. The writing tips are very intriguing and I will incorporate tips into my writing assessment.
    Appreciate the tips!


  2. I am really grateful for your information, This will help me with this assessment and with
    the future thesis, I need to write. Thank you.


  3. I thoroughly appreciate these 10 tips. Very instructive and I intend to pay careful attention to them as I prepare to do my assessment shortly.


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