Mathematical Communication is a developing collection of resources for engaging students in writing and speaking about mathematics, whether for the purpose of learning mathematics or of learning to communicate as mathematicians.

Writing of future mathematics teachers

This list from the JMM 2013 Minicourse Teaching and Assessing Mathematical Communication characterizes effective writing of future teachers of mathematics.

Mathematical correctness

  • Is the math correct?


  • Is the writing clear and intuitive?
  • Is there a coherent flow of ideas with a logical progression?
  • Does it explain “why” and not just “how” (conceptual, not just procedural)?
  • Are tricky areas and potential confusions addressed?
  • Are examples used to clarify ideas?
  • Is the full generality of the concepts acknowledged?
  • Is the writing scaffolded? Is the writing grounded?
  • Is the writing precise, concise, but complete?

Mechanics of good writing

  • Is there proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, complete sentences?
  • Is the mathematics integrated with the writing?
    • Is the presentation of mathematics easily readable (e.g are equations offset and aligned)?
    • Are precise definitions of terms used? Is the terminology used correctly? Is the notation correct and proper?
    • Is vocabulary introduced as (or before) it is used?
    • Are any diagrams labeled clearly?
  • Appropriate targeting
    • Is the vocabulary appropriate to the target audience?
    • Is the level of detail appropriate to the the target audience?
    • Is the problem (or explanation) motivated and set in context for the target audience?


  • Is the work insightful?
  • Is it unique?
License: CC BY-NC-SA Page content licensed by Participants in JMM 2013 Minicourse 7 under the license:
CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike)