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Trouble drawing physics problems

  1. Mar 21, 2007 #1
    In physics problems is very important to draw, sketch up the problem well. I am what is a not right-hander nor left-hander, I do some activities with my left hand (writing, for exemple) and other with my right hand (play tennis...) I have more force on the right hand, but more accuracy in my left. Because of that, altough I have a beautiful writting, I cannot draw a straight line, and have dificulties to draw nicely what I am imagining. What are your advices?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2007 #2


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    Drawing a straight line is simple...get a ruler or other straight edge to guide you. Most of what you need to draw in physics does not require artistic ability, just simple lines, arrows and shapes.
  4. Mar 21, 2007 #3


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    If you have the opportunity, take a drafting class.

    In grade school, my drawing skills were terrible in art class. (I recall seeing the teacher throwing away my admittedly poor drawing attempt from the stack of submitted drawings [supposedly to be continued in a later class].) However, after taking a drafting class in high school, my sketching and visualization skills for 2- and 3-D objects improved greatly. In that class, I learned to use drafting tools like a straightedge, t-square, triangles, compass, and templates [aka stencils] for circles and ellipses. Nowadays, in daily life, I mainly freehand sketch geometrical objects, with occasional use of a straightedge, if needed. If I need a neater sketch, I use those drafting tools. For something more professional, I write software [in Maple or Python].
  5. Mar 21, 2007 #4


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    There is a difference between drawing and sketching. You'll mosty need sketching (for FBDs, for example), which definitely doesn't require the ability to draw perfectly straight lines.
  6. Mar 21, 2007 #5
    You're just ambidextrous, which many of us lefties are. Nevertheless, the reason most people draw like 5 year olds is because they don't draw much after around that age. So practice, and using a nice mechanical pencil with rulers and what others recommended, you should do well. I know some don't think this is important, but I can tell you that when i get stuck I start drawing more and more in 3-d and eventually the physics click.
  7. Mar 22, 2007 #6
    I am a right-handed and along with amateur level drawing skills. But, once I wish to change and would like to becomes a left-handed, I realises that I might possible lost this skill that have learned many years ago.
    Since I can probably write with my left hand, however also can't draw a simple straight line though. Should I just forget about to become left-handed, because I dont like ambiguous hand using.
  8. Mar 24, 2007 #7
    I don't think it would hurt to try to be a lefty. Seems smart, you never know when you might hurt your right hand and be unable to use it. For the record, I'm an artist, of the painting near exact copies skill. However, I suck at drawing straight lines. I don't think they should be a measure. How many straight lines exist naturally anyways. :)
  9. Mar 24, 2007 #8
    My old Geography teacher was temporarily forced to use his left hand after having broke his right hand in an accident. He said it took him about an hour to learn how to write neatly with his weak hand. He would always spring this fact on any student who used the excuse of having temporarily 'lost use' of their dominant hand for getting out of doing work.
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