MCS-177 Homework Guidelines
- Be sure to write the honor pledge on your paper and sign it if
you believe it's true.
- Type or write (neatly) your assignment on notebook-sized
paper. If you handwrite your assignments, use a pen, since I find
pencilled writing hard to read.
- Make sure that I can understand what the problem is without
having to look it up.
- Be sure to leave plenty of space for comments. Usually you
should leave a fifth of a page per problem, plus nice-sized margins.
- Be sure to staple the pages together. You should
a stapler by now, but if you forget, there is a stapler in the third
floor computer lab.
- Make sure that you cut off the squigglies on paper ripped out of
a spiral notembook.
- Use full English sentences where appropriate (namely almost
everywhere, including in mathematical proofs or
derivations). Proofread what you have written to make sure
it makes sense.
- Show enough work so that any student in the class can follow
solution. Just writing the answer is never enough.
- When the problem is to write a procedure, you should do
more than simply write the procedure. When you're doing the
homework, you should write the procedure, test it, debug it, rewrite
it, test it some more, and so on. When you write up that problem,
you should tell me what the procedure is supposed to do, present the
procedure, explain why you know it does what it's supposed to do, and
show me some convincing testing. Again, just writing the
procedure (answer) is never enough.
- Use diagrams, tables, programs, and calculations as supporting
components of English writing, not in isolation. Remember that your
goal is to communicate clearly, and that the appearance of these
technical items plays a role in this communication process.
- Grading criteria for induction
- Don't try to bluster your way through a proof or a
procedure. Instead, if there is a gap in your proof, acknowledge
it. If you have a bug in your code, tell me what it is and why
you think it happens. Better yet, come talk with me beforehand
and see if I can help you.
- Finally, remember to put your name on your homework.