LaTeX is a typesetting system that allows for the easy creation of technical documents. It differs from traditional text editors in that you’re simultaneously offered complete customization of your document and the choice to not be concerned with formatting, allowing you to focus on the content of your writing. Integrated math typesetting, easy bibliography generation, and efficient styling are just some of the benefits of LaTeX over text editors like Word and Google Docs. Most of the scientific papers and textbooks you’re familiar with were probably written in LaTeX! 


Getting LaTeX working on your computer is a bit more involved than installing Word, but it’s well worth the effort. If you want a desktop-based TeX editor, the easiest way is to install both a:

  1. TeX distribution and;

  2. a TeX editor. If you don’t feel like writing LaTeX documents from your desktop, Overleaf is a great web-based option.


Some useful packages for STEM subjects have been compiled by CRAN. These packages may also be included in the distribution you downloaded.

  • siunitx – A comprehensive (SI) units package

  • listing – Produce formatted program (code) listings

  • graphicx – Enhanced support for graphics

  • natbib – Flexible bibliography support

  • Useful math packages: mathtools, amsthm, theorem, verbatim, amssymb, amsmath, gensymb

You can also find a sample assignment template here