Writing Requirement

Writing Requirement

As part of Brown’s writing requirement, all students must demonstrate that they have worked on their writing both in their general studies and their concentration. In their final two years, students are encouraged to explore writing in the concentration.The second writing requirement must be fulfilled by the end of the penultimate (usually the seventh) semester. There are a number of ways in which Applied Mathematics concentrators can work on their writing as part of their concentration, and we now list a few examples:

  • Enrolling in a senior seminars (APMA 1930 or 1940) by the seventh semester;
  • Enrolling in an independent studies (APMA 1970) by the seventh semester;
  • A “WRIT” course taken during your final two years;
  • Uploading an essay of 5-10 pages length on a topic in applied math to ASK: this could be a project report written as part of an applied math class or a reflection about the courses you have taken in your concentration.

New concentrators need to outline in their concentration declaration how they intend to work on their writing during their junior and senior years.

Starting from fall 2016, whether or not a student is an honor's candidate, they will still need to complete the writing requirement with either a sample of writing uploaded to ASK or a WRIT course by the end of the 7th semester.

To use a senior seminars or independent studies to fulfill the writing requirement, students need to complete at least two written assignments: a minimum 3 page assignment during the semester and a minimum 5 page final report.  They will receive substantive feedback on their writing from the instructors. 

Rubric for essays to fulfill the second writing requirement:  We use the following rubric to check whether an uploaded essay satisfies the writing requirement.


The writing has a clear purpose or argument that is readily apparent to the reader.


Balanced presentation of relevant and legitimate information that clearly supports a central purpose or argument and shows a thoughtful, in-depth analysis of a significant topic. Reader gains important insights.


The ideas are arranged logically to support the purpose or argument which are clearly linked to each other. The reader can follow the line of reasoning.

Sentence Structure

Tone is appropriate for an undergraduate research paper. Sentences are well-phrased and varied in length and structure. They flow smoothly from one to another. Word choice is consistently precise and accurate.

Grammar and Spelling

The writing is free, or almost free, of errors


5-10 pages.


Compelling evidence from professionally legitimate sources is given to support claims. Attribution is clear and fairly represented. The reader is confident that the information and ideas can be trusted.