Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Masters Plan B

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Science & Mathematics Teaching Center


Dr. Linda Hutchison

Second Advisor

Dr. Kenneth G. Gerow

Third Advisor

Dr. Allen W. Trent


Writing in mathematics has been recommended by professionals and researchers for almost 30 years. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Common Core State Standards, university professors, and employers have emphasized the need for individuals to write in mathematics. The purpose of this literature review is to explore and possibly make recommendations about using writing to help solve mathematics problems in middle school mathematics classes. This paper examines what the literature tells us about the use of writing in solving mathematics problems, what ways writing in mathematics can affect middle school comprehension, and how writing in mathematics can affect students’ metacognition. I also discuss how my findings in the literature apply to my classroom practice as a middle school mathematics teacher. Writing in mathematics has the potential to give the teacher valuable information, express students’ mathematical understandings, help students see mathematics as a process, and connect students’ mathematical ideas. In general, students tend to have greater mathematical ability in classrooms where mathematical writing is used. The effectiveness of writing in the middle school mathematics classroom depends on the classroom environment, scaffolding, frequency of student practice, and purpose of the writing assignment.