Dear Uncle Colin,
I keep being told my work needs to be tidier, but I’m not really sure how to go about that. Do you have any suggestions?
– My Exercises Skew Scruffy
Hello, MESS, and thanks for your message. I totally feel your pain. In honesty, this is like asking Bob Dylan for advice on how to sing better – I once had a comment on my homework saying it worked as a piece of maths, but not as a piece of calligraphy. I do have some tips, though:
- Try to give yourself space. Leave space between lines.
- If you need to delete something, cross it out neatly (don’t scribble).
- Anticipate how much space you will need. If you’re going to run out of room on a line, don’t try to cram it in. If you’re going to run out of room on a page, come up with a plan for where to go next!
- Draw diagrams big. They’re much easier to interpret and label.
- When rewriting (assuming you have time to), try to organise as you go. Split your work up into logical groups.
- If you can, label each quantity you’re working with. If you’re working out an area of a triangle as part of a complicated question, put “(area of triangle)” after it.
I hope there’s something there to help!
– Uncle Colin