[2016-2017] Improving STEM Students’ Writing

Primary Investigator


Dr. Mitchell Scharman
Department of Geology
Anna Rollins
Department of English
Dr. Kristen Lillvis
Department of English

Project Abstract:

Students in introductory STEM courses often struggle with the written communication of technical terms and concepts. Due to the lecture format of most STEM courses, students receive little opportunity for feedback on their writing. With the aim of improving students’ comprehension of STEM writing conventions, faculty in the English and Geology programs requests funds to work with STEM teaching assistants, faculty, and Writing Center tutors to employ pedagogical strategies for improving STEM students’ writing. During 2015-2016, the primary and co-investigators conducted research in Geology courses and discovered successful methods for helping students and faculty better understand field-specific writing conventions. With the support of the Hedrick Program Grant, we will use that research—along with data from anticipated studies in other STEM fields—to develop pedagogical support materials on writing in STEM fields for STEM teaching assistants, faculty, and Writing Center staff.



  1. Handbook for Improving STEM Students’ Writing