Doctoral Writing Self-Reflection and Self-Assessment Throughout the Dissertation Process


Writing development scholarship consistently notes the value of accurate self-assessment and self-evaluation for effective writing development (Beaven, 1977; McCarthy et al., 1985; Schunk, 2003). Accurate self-evaluation allows a student to increase the efficiency of the writing process as they can identify writing needs without waiting on feedback from a teacher or a peer. It further allows them to take more ownership over their writing (Beaven, 1977). Unfortunately, research suggests that writers often overestimate their writing abilities in unfamiliar contexts, which can lead to frustration or apprehension in the writing process. Within the context of doctoral dissertation writing, these observations suggest that students’ self-assessment and self-evaluation would change as they become more familiar with the dissertation writing process and engage feedback from their advisors. For this reason, it is important to capture students’ perceptions of their writing abilities throughout the dissertation writing process (Mitchell et al., 2018), including before, during, and at the end of the dissertation. In fact, Inouye and McAlpine (2019) suggested that longitudinal studies are needed to reveal how thinking changes during the doctoral writing process as a function of feedback, time, and a growing scholarly identity. To explore this aspect of the doctoral writing experience, this study explores the relationship between the students’ self-evaluation scores and the advisors’ self-evaluation scores throughout the dissertation writing process and to understand students’ perceptions regarding similarities and dissimilarities of these evaluations. 

Research Team

Corina Kaul



 Nicholas R. Werse



Leanne Howell



Brenda Davis



Lacy Papadakis



Jess Smith



Laila Sanguras



Ryann Shelton



Jessica Meehan





Baylor University Teaching Exploration Grant