Writing Resources


An Example of a Proof with Guiding Text (PDF), An Example of a Proof with Guiding Text (TEX)
This example illustrates how to write a proof and how to use guiding text to help readers follow your argument. A LaTex version of this file is also provided for use as a model.

Annotated Journal Article (PDF)
This annotated journal article* illustrates structuring a longer paper and various other math writing conventions and strategies.
*Paterson, M., Y. Peres, et al. “ Maximum Overhang”. American Mathematical Monthly 116, no. 9 (2009): 763–87.

Acknowledging sources (PDF)
This one-page handout describes when and how to acknowledge/cite sources. It was written for term papers, but much of the advice applies to shorter writing as well.

Common comments on 18.310 writing (PDF)
This is a list of common comments compiled from when the course was taught during Spring 2012. It is organized into categories such as how to structure a paper, acknowledge contributors, incorporate equations, and make revisions. These guidelines may be helpful for writing well, but they are not sufficient. Remain focused on your goal: to write clearly and convincingly for the assigned context.

The Writing and Communication Center
The Writing and Communication Center (part of MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program) offers several services to MIT undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-docs. They can get free individual consultation about any writing difficulty, from questions about grammar to matters of style, including difficulties common to writers, such as overcoming writer’s block, organizing papers, taking essay exams, revising one’s work, or presenting scientific information. [Note: These services are not available to OCW users.]

Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) This is a website for non-mathematical writing questions (e.g., grammar) and is openly available. It offers over 200 free resources including:

  • Writing and Teaching Writing
  • Research
  • Grammar and Mechanics
  • Style Guides
  • ESL (English as a Second Language)
  • Job Search and Professional Writing

MIT’s Academic Integrity Handbook
This handbook outlines important information you will need to know about correctly acknowledging your sources when you write a report, research paper, critical essay, or position paper. It provides guidelines for collaboration on assignments and writing code.

Math supplement for Academic Integrity Handbook (PDF)
This document contains an example of how to rewrite a theorem and proof “in your own words” and acknowledge the source.

LaTeX Resources

LaTeX – A document preparation system
Information about LaTeX and a source to download the software for free.

How to get started with LaTeX

Introduction to LaTeX (PDF)

Introduction to LaTeX (TEX)

LaTeX templates

Simple LaTeX skeleton for journal article (TEX)

Complex LaTeX skeleton for journal article (ZIP)

Online LaTeX Equation Editor
You can make an equation online and then download an image of the equation to include in your document. If you don’t know LaTeX, click “examples” & then click on an example. If you use Microsoft® Word, save as .png 300dpi

LyX Document Processor
“LyX combines the power and flexibility of TeX/LaTeX with the ease of use of a graphical interface.” Please use document–>settings–>document class=“article(AMS)” and fonts base size = 12.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment Problem Sets
notes Lecture Notes
assignment Written Assignments
co_present Instructor Insights