The Math Department has required writeups of multistep, nonstandard
problems (here referred to as "workshop problems") as part of the
general calculus curriculum since 1995. This requirement is a
consequence of our recognition that:
Written and oral communication of scientific work is
important and can be difficult.
What is a writeup?
A writeup is a small essay. It should progress logically and be easy
to read. It will be graded both on mathematical content and on
One very good reference on writing is The Elements of
Style by Strunk and White. It is quite brief. The fourth edition
is a thin, reasonably priced paperback (listed at $10, priced at less
than $7 on the web). An early edition is available online.
- Give explanations in complete sentences.
- Include any information (such as pictures and computations)
that you think is useful.
- Label any pictures.
- Do not include straightforward computational details. For
example, you may just state that if
f(-2)=-87. The details of substitution and evaluation should
not be shown.
- Neatness counts: your workshop report must be written legibly on
standard size paper. Observe margins on all four sides. Please write
on one side only. Please put your name, your section number, the
workshop number, and the page number on each sheet. Please staple
the pages together in the proper order.
Exposition is a skill which can be learned. Comments on your work are
intended to help this process.
While you are encouraged to discuss the problem with other students and
with me, the written work you hand in must be your own. Please
acknowledge any quotes and reference any sources.
is an "official" example of a writeup of a calc 1 workshop problem.
The writeup is somewhat elaborate and lengthy to me, but the
principles displayed there are good. Generally I hope that
writeups will be at most a page or two long.
Each workshop report will be graded on a scale of 0-10. Half the
points are for "mathematical content" and half for "exposition". If
the mathematics is illegible than you cannot get either the content
points or the exposition points. "Exposition" includes the format
described above, the layout of your computations, and the explanatory
sentences. "Content" includes the mathematical appropriateness of
the work you do, and the correctness of the computations (numerical
and symbolic) and any diagrams and graphs you use to motivate, carry
out, and report your work and your results.
Late workshops will be accepted only for good reason.
Roughly speaking scores are given as follows: 0 means nothing legible
is there. 2 means there is some relevant work in proper format, but it
makes almost no progress. 4 means the format is okay and there is some
mathematical progress. 6 means format and exposition is okay and
there is reasonable mathematical progress. 8 means format and
exposition is okay and the mathematics is almost complete. 10 means
there are no important errors in math or exposition. Intermediate
score are intermediate: e.g. 7 is between 6 and 8.
Writeups should be correct and
easy to read.