How are student submissions evaluated for professional communication and writing concerns?

Professional Communication (Articulation)


The ability to credibly communicate information is an expectation all colleges have for their graduates. To ensure WGU graduates possess this ability, most scoring rubrics contain an aspect labeled “Professional Communication” or “Articulation of Response.” This aspect is used to measure the skill with which a student presents the information required in each performance assessment.


There are five core characteristics of credible communication that are examined by the Professional Communication or Articulation of Response aspect:


  1. Organization: Organization refers to the internal structure of a piece of writing, the thread of central meaning, the pattern and sequence, so long as it fits the central idea. Organizational structure can be based on comparison-contrast, deductive logic, point-by-point analysis, development of a central theme, chronological history of an event, or any of a dozen other identifiable patterns, based on the intent of the desired product. The organization should reflect the purpose of the requirements of the assessment.
  2. Word Choice: Word choice refers to the vocabulary a writer chooses to convey meaning. Proper word choice is the use of precise language to communicate ideas in an understandable way. It is not the wielding of an impressive vocabulary that is important, but rather the ability to skillfully use everyday words in conjunction with relevant content terminology to clearly convey
  3. Sentence Fluency: Sentence fluency refers to the rhythm and flow of the language. Meaning, the writing is free of awkward word patterns that slow the reader's progress. Sentences vary in length, beginnings, structure, and style. A reader can move through the piece with ease and readily detect evidence of the response in the assessment.
  4. Conventions: Conventions refers to “the mechanical correctness of the piece and includes five elements: spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar/usage. Writing that is strong in conventions has been proofread and edited with care.” (Education Northwestern, 2009)
  5. Parts of Speech:  Parts of speech refers to a category where a word is assigned in accordance with its syntactic functions. In English, the main parts of speech are noun, pronoun, adjective, determiner, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.


How Are Student Submissions Evaluated for Professional Communication (Articulation) or Writing Concerns?


  1. When a student is struggling with Professional Communication (Articulation), the content evaluator sends a referral to a separate team of evaluators, known as the Articulation of Response team (Articulation team).  
  2. An Articulation team evaluator reviews the submission and determines, based on the five characteristics of writing (Organization, Sentence Fluency, Word Choice, Conventions and Parts of Speech) whether the Professional Communication (Articulation) aspect of a submission should pass or fail.
  3. Whether the Professional Communication (Articulation) aspect passes or fails, the articulation evaluator will return the submission to the student in Taskstream under the account name “Articulation Evaluation.” If the Professional Communication (Articulation) aspect passes, no Professional Communication (Articulation) revisions are necessary.

    Note: Sometimes the Professional Communication (Articulation) aspect passes and the content requirements fail, so the Articulation team returns the task to the student for content revisions.

  4. If Professional Communication (Articulation) fails, the student is encouraged, within the evaluation, to contact the WGU Writing Center to receive writing assistance. If a student fails the Professional Communication (Articulation) requirement for a second time or more, the program mentor will receive an email from the Articulation team, notifying them of the failure and suggesting the program mentor refer the student to the WGU Writing Center.
  5. The Articulation team strives to evaluate and return submissions to the student within 24 hours (including weekends).
  6. There are numerous factors within the evaluating process, which may delay a submission for a longer period. However, the Articulation team will not hold a task any longer than is necessary to complete a proper evaluation. 


Marked-up Copies Identify Writing Concerns

Articulation evaluators provide specific, constructive comments directly within student submissions. The intent of this feedback model is to assist students and program mentors in identifying the pattern of errors presented within a submission and make the revision process more straightforward.
A marked-up version of the student’s submission, uploaded within the evaluation, will be provided to the student. This document will be a copy of the student’s submission, with Professional Communication (Articulation) comments and links to the Guide to Academic Writing, to help guide students through the revision process. Students and program mentors will access the marked-up document in Taskstream as an attached file located in the Evaluation Summary Section of the completed evaluation. Provided below is an example of a marked-up student submission, a screenshot of the location of the student’s submission file to be downloaded, as well as the overall comments left by the articulation evaluator. 


Example of the mark-up document file attachment and overall comments:






 Example of the mark-up comments and the Guide to Academic Writing links provided by the Articulation team:









The Professional Communication (Articulation) review is not meant to be a comprehensive review of every error within the submission, but it is intended to point out specific recurring challenges the student is facing. The feedback provided in the Professional Communication (Articulation) aspect will summarize the comments/mark-ups made in the submission, and advise the student to review the marked-up document for further detail.  


WGU recommends, and highly encourages, students to schedule an appointment with a Writing Center instructor within the WGU Writing Center to improve their writing skills before resubmitting their work. Students are encouraged to schedule live appointments (rather than video appointments) with the WGU Writing Center to ensure they understand the writing concepts that are being presented. In addition, live appointments give students the ability to ask questions throughout the session. Several appointments with the WGU Writing Center may be needed to meet competency in the Professional Communication (Articulation) aspect.


Below is information on the WGU Writing Center and the Guide to Academic Writing: 


Writing Center Website: The Writing Center can be found in the student portal on the Student Success tab.

The Guide to Academic Writing: The Guide to Academic Writing is our new Learning Resource where you can find information on any part of the writing process, including APA and (Professional Communication (Articulation). 







Article Number: 32827

100% helpful (1/1)