Writing Sample Guidelines for Job Applications

Research publications or other similar writing samples are required for all research and analysis jobs. Excellent analytical skills and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively are necessary for all levels of employment in RAND research, and your writing sample is important in the evaluation of your application.

Electronic, Unclassified Samples Preferred

The writing sample should generally be in the range of 10-15 pages in published form, or 20-30 pages in manuscript form, and should be one of the following:

  • A journal article for which you are the sole author or first author, published in a refereed source
  • A chapter in a longer report
  • A chapter or other selection (20-30 pages) from a thesis or dissertation, accompanied by the table of contents
  • For Research Assistant applicants only, one upper division research paper or a chapter from a senior thesis

Newspaper articles are not appropriate writing samples.

One writing sample is sufficient if it is a published journal article from a refereed source. In other cases, two writing samples are required.

Writing samples must be in English and should be provided electronically, as an attachment to your online application.

Print or Classified Samples

If you do not have an electronic version of your writing samples, or if your writing samples are all classified, create a document in one of the following formats: pdf, doc, doc, txt, rtf, htm, html, or ppt. Include your name, date of application, and the position for which you are applying (posting title and reference code).

Indicate one of the following in the document:

I am forwarding my writing sample by U.S. mail.


I have only classified documents.

Save the document and attach it as a writing sample with your application.

Once you have attached the above statement to your application, send the print sample(s) by U.S. mail following these guidelines:

  • Mail to RAND Human Resources, 4570 Fifth Avenue, Suite #600, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
  • Indicate "Writing Sample" on outside of envelope
  • Specify your return address


Writing samples provided via U.S. mail will not be returned.

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