Homework Guidelines

  1. Problem write-ups are your permanent record of your understanding of the material covered. This is especially true in a course such as this in which there is not a final exam.

  2. Solutions should be clearly and logically presented. This means that:
    1. Your method should always be clear. It should be easy to figure out what you're doing and why.
    2. Use a lot of space. I recommend using unlined paper; there's an almost unlimited supply of this in the recycling bins, and not having lines encourages you to write large and give yourself space. If you are unable to liberate yourself from lined paper, try skipping some lines.
    3. Equations should usually be accompanied by prose. Before plunging into algebra, state what it is you're solving for. If there are any non-obvious steps in a calculation, explain them.
    4. Write equations in a logical order.

  3. Solutions should stand on their own; they should be understandable to someone who hasn't read the problem. This means that you should paraphrase the question before writing your response.

  4. I will not give numerical grades on HW assignments. Instead, I will give a letter grade and try to include as many comments as I can. I'm mainly interested in seeing that you thoughtfully attacked the problem and wrote it up in a clear and coherent way.

  5. Finally, a few minor requests:
    1. On the top of the homework, please write the assignment number and course name.
    2. Please do the problems in order. It's very time-consuming to have to hunt around for your problems.
    3. If you don't have a stapler, that's ok. But please don't mangle and fold over the corner in an attempt to get the pages to stick together. Just write your name or initials on all pages and I'll gladly staple them together.
    4. Please don't hand in problems on paper that has been torn out of a spiral notebook.