In coordination with an emergent database on writing-to-learn (WTL) in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), this essay on “Writing-to-Learn in Undergraduate Science Education: A Community-Based, Conceptually Driven Approach” offers an extended rationale and conceptual framework for this database of 324 published sources and a set of implications for future research. 


From the WAC Clearinghouse, a brief description of the project:

The Writing-to-Learn in STEM (Sciences, Technologies, Engineering, and Mathematics) Bibliographic Database represents the contributions of a team of scholars and teachers in STEM research and education. The database is meant to be a tool for

  • STEM teachers seeking improved tools of student learning
  • STEM researchers seeking useful methods and examples for conducting research on teaching and learning
  • scholars of writing in disciplines (WID)
  • WAC and WID program leaders seeking useful classroom methods and assessment techniques for colleagues in the STEM disciplines.

The database was conceived and developed through a grant from the National Science Foundation (2010) to Duke University. The grant brought together a “WTL in STEM Working Group” made up of STEM researchers and educators, who began compiling published resources and designed a full-day workshop for the November 2010 conference of the Reinvention Center in Washington, DC. The Reinvention Center ( ) is a consortium of research universities that focuses on the systematic improvement of undergraduate education