10 Tips to Better Complete Your Doctoral Writing Assessment

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 of study. 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 waive out of one or both graduate writing courses named above.

The writing assessment begins with a free, university required, 4-week course that you are automatically registered for, 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 in the DRWA classroom assignment dropbox 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 13,000 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 announcement, course information and assignment areas of your classroom
  2. Review the essay prompt, instructions and assessment rubric in the classroom prior to writing your essay
  3. Read the assigned text located in the assignment area of the DRWA classroom
  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. Be sure to paraphrase or cite the article in the classroom when writing your essay using APA format
  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 cannot 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 a Writing Assessment Specialist for the Doctoral Writing Assessment within the Academic Skills Center (ASC). She joined Walden in 2015 as a Student Success Advisor and moved to the ASC in 2017. Stephanie focuses on developing resources and providing the necessary tools to help students succeed in their educational goals.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s