Applied Mathematics

Writing Requirement

Students must complete both writing requirements as described in The Writing Requirement. Students are encouraged to satisfy the 2nd writing requirement within the concentration by taking a WRIT-designated APMA course. Some APMA senior seminars are WRIT designated, as is the independent study course APMA 1971. 

Honors students

Honors students who wish to use their honors thesis to satisfy the 2nd writing requirement must take APMA 1971 (or an equivalent WRIT-designed independent study course in another department) during or before their penultimate (usually 7th) semester and produce a writing sample (usually a draft of their thesis) that adheres to the guidelines below. The writing sample should be submitted to the thesis adviser with enough time for meaningful feedback and revisions prior to the end of the semester.

APMA-Biology concentrators

APMA-Biology concentrators have the additional option of uploading a writing sample to satisfy the 2nd writing requirement in accordance with procedures established by the Division of Biology and Medicine.

Learn about the Division of Biology and Medicine 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.