How to Write like a Mathematician

While TA’ing for an undergraduate methods course, I found that my students had a hard time writing their homework. This particular undergraduate course is designated as a Writing course by the university, and the students struggled to transition between what they knew to be writing and how to write up the solution to a mathematical problem. To help them, I wrote a quick guide:

How to Write Like a Mathematician.

The purpose of this guide is to introduce a basic “mathematical writing” format to help guide students who are required to write (or prepare long solutions) in a statistics course. I describe the type of information that should be included in problem solutions and lay out what constitutes a good written solution to a statistics problem. I try to emphasize throughout the guide that a good solution is less about how exactly it is written and more about demonstrating your thinking process (in other infamous words, “showing your work”). As such, I did not intend this guide as the end-all-be-all to how a solution should be formatted though I do include a model solution.

My students found this resource useful, and I plan to continue to use it as an instructional resource in the future. I welcome any comments or suggestions to improve it!

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