Mathematical Writing Errors in Expository Writings of College Mathematics Students

Ive K. Guce


Despite the efforts to confirm the effectiveness of writing in learning mathematics, analysis on common errors in mathematical writings has not received sufficient attention. This study aimed to provide an account of the students’ procedural explanations in terms of their commonly committed errors in mathematical writing. Nine errors in mathematical writing were pre-defined namely, misuse of mathematical terms, misuse of mathematical symbols, incorrect notation, incorrect grammar, incorrect capitalization, no or incorrect punctuation, vague term, incorrect term, and lack of term or phrase. This study used qualitative method of research to keep a record of errors in mathematical writing. Conducted in the College of Education Arts and Sciences of De La Salle Lipa, the study involved twelve BS Mathematics students enrolled in Advanced Calculus 1 class as respondents. Results revealed that the most committed errors done in mathematical writing are incorrect grammar and misuse of mathematical symbols. Certainly, intervention programs on mathematics writing will bring favorable outcomes. Language courses in the students’ curriculum which tackle proper grammar usage may be integrated with writing about mathematics as part of the student activities. Such will provide the students with writing experiences fitted to their discipline.


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