Why Writing Matters

Communication is important, especially in STEM disciplines!

  • Writing helps consolidate learning of discipline and subject matter (O'Loughlin and Griffith, 2020)
  • Integrating writing into STEM disciplines not only improves writing skills, but also improves literacy, reasoning, conceptual understanding, and argumentation.
  • Writing involves turning ideas into words. This is hard work, and it takes practice. But, being able to explain ideas in clear and concise ways means that you’ll be able to share your ideas with people in your field and beyond.
  • Often, ideas are generated and/or clarified through writing. Writing and revising provide opportunities for reflection and clarity ("Using Writing as a Learning Tool," 2019).

For more on why writing is important in the STEM disciplines, check out these fantastic videos produced by Stanford University’s Program of Writing and Rhetoric. These feature experts in STEM disciplines talking about why writing matters in their specific discipline:


O’Loughlin, Valerie Dean and Lauren Miller Griffith. “Developing Student Metacognition through Reflective Writing in an Upper Level Undergraduate Anatomy Course.” Anatomical Sciences Education 13, no. 6 (January 2020): 680-693. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1945

University of Waterloo’s Centre for Teaching Excellence. “Using Writing as a Learning Tool.” Accessed July 21, 2021. https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/developing-assignments/cross-discipline-skills/using-writing-learning-tool