Writing Self-Assessment

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Writing self-assessment[PDF - 814 KB]

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Please note this self-assessment tool aligns with the original Essential Skills Framework. In the future, a new or modified assessment tool may replace this one to align with the new Skills for Success model. Please visit this page in the coming months and beyond, to learn more about what is new!

Writing is the ability to get an idea across by arranging words, numbers and symbols, whether on paper or a computer screen. Strong writing skills are essential to communicating effectively at work (for example writing memos, emails, or phone messages) and in everyday life (for example writing letters, greeting cards, or notes). Complete this self-assessment to help you understand your writing strengths and areas for improvement.


  1. Read each statement in Section 1 and place a check mark in the column that best describes how well you can complete that task. Tip: Think about your work and life experiences as you consider each task.
  2. Review your responses for each task. If you have checked five or more in the “Somewhat” and/or “No” columns, you may want to consider upgrading your writing skills.
  3. Complete Section 2 to identify your training needs.

Section 1: Self-assessment

Table with statements for reading self-assesment
I can... Yes Somewhat No
Write short reminder notes to myself or others.      
Write simple lists (for example grocery list, list of work tasks).      
Write notes in point form.      
Write entries in appointment calendars.      
Write brief notes or emails to co-workers.      
Write brief entries into forms (for example bank deposit slip).      
Write down telephone messages.      
Write short memos or faxes to request or clarify information.      
Write text that is a paragraph or longer such as memos or letters.      
Prepare written materials using templates.      
Use correct grammar and spelling.      
Include details and examples to support my writing.      
Tailor my writing to a specific audience.      
Write formal emails or letters to clients or supervisors.      
Write a brief summary of a larger piece of text.      
Write short reports about a meeting or presentation.      
Write long pieces of text such as letters or reports.      
Thoroughly express my opinions in writing.      
Prepare comprehensive written materials to provide direction, training, or support (for example a training manual).      
Write detailed emails or letters requesting information.      
Write long pieces of text using formatting features such as headings, table of contents, footnotes, etc.      
Prepare complex written materials (for example contracts, financial reports) using a standard format.      
Rewrite text to improve clarity and flow.      
Edit written materials to confirm proper grammar, spelling, and formatting.      

Section 2: Personal development

Completing this section will help you make informed training decisions.

Writing strengths

I am confident that I can…

For example write down telephone messages.

1. ______________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________

Tip: Consider using your strengths to help a colleague, friend or family member improve their writing skills.

Areas for improvement

I would like to improve my ability to…

For example tailor my writing to a specific audience.

1. ______________________________________________________

2. ______________________________________________________

3. ______________________________________________________

Tip: When developing your training plan, focus on improving one or two abilities at a time.

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