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I envy other people's handwriting and notes

  1. Jan 29, 2009 #1
    Am I the only one who scrawls all over a piece of paper when writing? My handwriting isn't bad, but I never seem to write in a neat, logical order. Even my math problems never seem to go down the page, which makes my professors incredibly mad. People have told me I'm not a real science student, because they 'are anal about their notes'. Am I the only one with this malady?
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  3. Jan 29, 2009 #2
    I got neater as time went on (my grad school notes and assignments are immaculate compared to my undergrad... and even my undergrad improved over time). I still would often make notes about the oral statements from the professor in my margins or off to the side, however, and that made them a bit sloppy.

    Now that I'm teaching however, I think I'm often back to scrawl. I had to train myself to turn the page when I prepare my notes for in-class notes on the board... since the board is wider than it is longer, and that helped my use of space.

    My dad, an engineer, was anal... he rewrote his notes (adding colored-pencil diagrams) every day after his classes. As a scientist (not an engineer) you're entitled to perhaps be a bit less so. :biggrin:
  4. Jan 29, 2009 #3


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    I used to rewrite my notes after classes. Then I typed most of them up in [itex]\LaTeX[/itex].
  5. Jan 29, 2009 #4
    Being left handed and dyslexic, you couldn't even make out the word "illegible" if I wrote it, but at least you could infer that it was.
  6. Jan 29, 2009 #5
    My handwriting sucks. I just right too fast for it to be legible usually. If I'm writing out something in final draft from though it is at least digestible by most.
  7. Jan 29, 2009 #6
    Once I was writing on paper in class and someone walked by and asked me why I was scribbling on the paper :rofl:

    My handwriting sucks. Some people say it's because I'm left handed, but I figure as long as I can understand my notes (I make sure to write as neat as I can on tests and assignments), that's what matters.
  8. Jan 29, 2009 #7
    I know my handwriting sucks, I've been told that since I was pretty young. In middle school, at one point, I actually wrote how young girls are supposed to write. Yeah, that didn't last too long. A few times I forgot to write my name on a paper, and the teacher was like I think it was a guy, so all the guys went up, and it wasn't any of theirs, it was so totally mine. I also tend to draw alot on my papers and notes. :biggrin:
  9. Jan 29, 2009 #8
    I only like being consistent with my writing style and pen colors.
    I should have same template for each day .. and get pissed if I am different. So, I write the way that doesn't require much effort.
  10. Jan 29, 2009 #9
    I write all my work in the following format. Some teachers require this format or you don't get a grade for your work:

    Problem #123

    Given: Problem Statement

    Find: List parameters (x,y,z)

    Solution: State solution with all steps clearly indicated in descending fashion

    BOX: Final Answer with units

    Don't box your answer, you don't get credit. I personally use this format on ever single homework. My helicopter teacher made us create flow charts for all our code we used in numerical solvers in the homework we turned in. We were not allowed to turn in the code itself.

    I try to be neater and neater with my notes. My class notes are very very neat now. When all you have in the class is notes (no book) you better well take good notes.

    I hate scribble, and I don't write in my books. I underline and highlight stuff with a ruler, and only if vital write on the margin a small clarification if aboslutely necessary. I don't lend my books because I don't like people turning the pages fast causing them to crease, or pointing at something in the box with their pencil tip putting pencil marks on it. I get pissed.

    If anyone asks me for a book for a class, I say I don't have it anymore. :devil:
  11. Jan 29, 2009 #10


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    For engineering and science that works, but for anything else it does not.
  12. Jan 29, 2009 #11
    This is how all our Physics homework has to be written, but that's the only class it seems to work for.
  13. Jan 29, 2009 #12
    I use this format in my math courses as well.
  14. Jan 29, 2009 #13


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    In applied math maybe.

    Let p be a nilpotent group. Then the set of all p-elements of G forms a normal subgroup of G for each prime p.

    Where are the parameters?

    Final answer?!

    I follow a simple format.

    Problem #23 - State it.​

    Solution - Solve it.​

    That's it.

    I highlight my books, I scribble in my books, I drop my books, I turn the pages really fast, I barely write notes, and I lose my notes.

    In class, I sit. I pay attention, ask questions, go in front of the class occasionally and work out the problems myself (prof. always asks me to do it), and just take part in the class.

    Even with no notes students always invite me to study with them. I can't really write notes because it's like impossible because I write out the solution on the board, then go to sit down as the prof. is erasing it. I barely bother. I just write key notes, and learn them.
  15. Jan 29, 2009 #14
    Most of my graduate courses are online. So I get to watch it over again after I get back home from sitting in class. Muahahah.
  16. Jan 29, 2009 #15


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    Just as important as good handwriting is the need to copy the question down correctly.
  17. Jan 30, 2009 #16
    my in class notes are often messy because Im in a rush to get down everything the proff is saying. I usually come home and make some point form notes to add to the slides provided online. I do this for organizational purposes but also because its a great study tool. Sometimes slowing down and rewriting the tricky stuff helps you understand it more fully. At the end of the semester I make exam notes, and these are the only notes I keep. Its usually only a few pages, but it can cover a whole semester.
    I am obsessive about my text books. They are organized by year and the only thing I ever write on is the sticky notes I attach to important pages. I never sell them either, I always tell myself I will reference them later, but I rarely do. I think it is more understandable if you really love what youre studying. I genuinely enjoy all my classes and so I have a fondness for the notes and books associated.
  18. Jan 30, 2009 #17
    I like to use as much of the paper surface area as possible (save the trees, hehe) so I have notes all over the place and calculations all in between. I circle stuff and cross stuff out and box seperate things, but if anyone else tries to make sense of it, good frikkin luck. I'm an engineer and used a blue or black pen for 90% of what i wrote in class, 100% for exams (the only colour they ever had was all the red when I got them back from being "evaluated") and now, at work, I write with whatever instrument is nearest and works: fineliner, permanent marker, pencil, sharpened finger...
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