Physics III: Homework Write-Ups
Here are some guidelines and other thoughts on homework solutions.
- 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 are no exams.
- Solutions should be clearly and logically presented. This means
- Your method should always be clear. It should be easy to figure
out what you're doing and why.
- Use a lot of space. I recommend skipping some lines if you use
- 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.
- Write equations in a logical order.
- More than in other physics classes, in physics III I want to
emphasize clearly presenting logical arguments and explanations. This
means that for many problems you should pay particular attention to
clearly explaining your answers. There will also be some homework
questions whose answer will require you to write a few paragraphs or a
- 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.
- 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.
- Finally, a few minor requests:
- On the top of the homework, please write the assignment number.
- 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.
- Please don't hand in problems on paper that has been torn out of a
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