Problem Solving

When solving the homework problems to be turned in for a grade, please include the following steps:

1. Read the question more than once. In fact, read it many times over until you are absolutely sure what is being asked.

2. When appropriate, draw a picture or pictures for what the question is asking.

3. Write down all the known quantities with their symbols, values, and units.

4. List the unknown variables that you need to "find" with their associated units. Be sure you clearly understand what you need to solve for.

5. Determine which equation(s) contain the unknown variable as a function of the knowns.

6. Solve the equations using the known or assumed values, being sure to carry along the units. Show the intermediate steps.

7. Clearly identify your final answer by underlining it, or drawing a box around it.

8. Check your answer. Are the units correct? Does it make sense?

Check out this example for how to go about this process........

last updated: 09/02/02