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Using Alternate texts?

  1. Jan 14, 2012 #1
    How many of you end up using an alternate text to study the material. Is this pretty common or uncommon? For instance, my Calc III book (Thomas) are like water and oil, but for some reason I understand the Steward Calc book (what I used for calc 1) so much better.

    My plan is to study the sections from the Stewart book and then do the problem sets from the Thomas book to be used to the types of problems the professor throws at us.

    Does this sound reasonable?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2012 #2
    Sure, that's reasonable. Whenever I take a physics or math class, I almost always go to the library and check out a few additional textbooks on the subject.
  4. Jan 14, 2012 #3
    I am just starting Calc 2 using the Stewart Calculus book, but I'm finding it harder to understand than the book I used for Calc 1 (Calculus by Briggs and Conchran). I wish I still had that book.

    I think I will be buying an additional Calculus book to try and get a different perspective on the subject, but the library sound like a good place to start.
  5. Jan 14, 2012 #4


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    It's probably not common, but only because many students just don't give that much thought to their books and just get whatever is assigned. It's a good idea, and it is true that some authors' styles appeal better to some students than others. There's no harm in exploring other resources if they help. In one course I teach, there's one primary text that's required, but then students will need a secondary text for which we provide a list of acceptable examples, but don't require any specific one. They all contain the same essential information we require the students to learn, but present it in different ways. Some students prefer one, some prefer another, some get multiple books because they like aspects of both, etc.
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