What are the Perceptions of STEM Students Regarding Writing Practices in a University in Kazakhstan?


  • Ayaulym Dyussembekova Nazarbayev University
  • Ti Wu Nazarbayev University




STEM writing, Writing Center, University writing, Student perceptions, Writing


Undergraduate students in STEM fields often lack writing experience as their majors usually do not require intensive writing courses. Therefore, many STEM students do not engage in writing as much as students in humanities and social sciences. In order to better understand and help STEM students writing, it is important to investigate STEM students’ perceptions regarding their writing practices in the university. The research was conducted in a research university located in Central Asia, Kazakhstan. Two qualitative research methods were used in the study, namely, qualitative interview and paper observation. Five students from different majors in the STEM fields were interviewed, and five of their writing assignments were collected and analyzed. Findings demonstrated that students in the chosen university have similar struggles and opinions about writing as revealed in the literature. STEM students understand that writing is significant; however, due to the lack of experience, they do not always see the importance of writing in their own majors. It was also found that, in terms of building their perceptions, the roles of STEM faculties and the University Writing Center are crucial factors. They can contribute to students’ writing in both positive and negative ways. The implications of the research can be beneficial for constructing and adjusting policies and regulations in the university curriculum to help STEM students build more positive perceptions about writing.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Ti Wu, Nazarbayev University


Instructor in the Writing Center, School of Sciences and Humanities 

References or Bibliography

Diehl, S., McComas, C., & Owens, S. (2016). Improving STEM students’ writing tutor handbook. Marshall University Department of English. https://www.marshall.edu/ctl/files/ImprovingSTEMStudentsWritingTutorHandbook1.pdf

Dinitz, S., & Harrington, S. (2014). The role of disciplinary expertise in shaping writing tutorials. The Writing Center Journal, 33(2), 73-98. www.jstor.org/stable/43443372

Harris, M. (2015). Teaching one-to-one: The writing conference. WAC Clearinghouse Landmark Publications in Writing Studies. The WAC Clearinghouse. https://wac.colostate.edu/books/landmarks/harris/

Lawrence, S., & Zawacki, T. (2019). Re/Writing the center (2nd Ed.). Utah State University Press.

Leki, I. (1992). Understanding ESL writing: A guide for teachers (1st Ed.). Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook Publishers.

Mathison, M. (2019). Sojourning in disciplinary cultures (1st Ed.). Utah State University Press.

Narendra, N. (2018). STEM education and social issues: Perceptions and pedagogy. (Ph.D. thesis, The State University of New Jersey, The USA). https://rucore.libraries.rutgers.edu/rutgers-lib/57268/PDF/1/play/

Okuda, T. (2017). What a generalist tutor can do: A short lesson from a tutoring session. Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie, 27(2), 58-68. https://doi.org/10.31468/cjsdwr.580

Sharma, S. (2018). Internationalizing writing in the STEM disciplines. Across The Disciplines, 4(1), 26-47. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329139939

Tebeaux, E. (2016). Whatever happened to technical writing?. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 47(1), 3-21. https://doi.org/10.1177/0047281616641933

Walker, K. (1998). The debate over generalist and specialist tutors: Genre theory's contribution. The Writing Center Journal, 18(2), 27-46. www.jstor.org/stable/43442046



How to Cite

Dyussembekova, A., & Wu, T. (2022). What are the Perceptions of STEM Students Regarding Writing Practices in a University in Kazakhstan?. Journal of Student Research, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.47611/jsr.v11i1.1569



Research Articles