MCS-177 Homework Guidelines
Type or write (neatly) your assignment on notebook-sized paper. If
you handwrite your assignments, use a pen, since penciled writing is
often hard to read.
- Make sure that the grader can clearly 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 own 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 notebook.
- 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
- Show enough work so that any student in the class can follow
your 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 say
what the procedure is supposed to do, present the procedure, explain
why you know it does what it's supposed to do, and describe clearly
how you tested the code. 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, say what it is and why you think
it happens. Better yet, go talk with your professor beforehand and see
if they can help you.
- Finally, remember to put your name on your homework.