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 semesters 5 - 7, students are encouraged to work on their 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 and completing a senior seminar in the 7th semester (APMA 1930 or 1940);
  • Enrolling in and completing a "WRIT" course from any department in semesters 5 - 7; 
  • Students in the class of 2019 and earlier only**: 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 (such as APMA 1360) or a reflection about the courses you have taken in your concentration.

New concentrators must outline in their concentration declaration how they intend to work on their writing in semesters 5 - 7.  If you have questions about the writing requirement, please contact one of the applied mathematics concentration advisors.

Starting from fall 2016 and ending with the class of 2019, 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.

Rubric for writing samples to fulfill the second writing requirement, ending with students in the class of  2019: 


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.