Wording of problem

Geometric formulae, word problems, theorems and proofs, etc.
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:05 am

Wording of problem

Postby mangel » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:36 am


I just want to point out some issues with the wording. I think that it needs to be very clear. Two examples:

The goat on the leash attached to the corner of a shed problem statement does not specify whether the leash is attached inside the shed or outside the shed. Your solution assumes outside. I don't think it is fair or wise to ask the student make an assumption.

The cube problem statement does not specify that the cube is square or rectangular; it only says "cube". Your solution assumes that the cube is square. In addition, given the info provided in the problem statement, it cannot be solved unless the cube is square. Must the student infer that, for cube problems, if there appears to be missing info then the cube must be square? My biggest experience with cubes strongly suggests that they are not necessarily square - that is the ice cube, the only ones I've ever known were rectangular.

I haven't had wording issues on other problems but I haven't looked at all of them. So there may be other examples.

Am I off base here?



PS, I just want to thank you for this site though. I'm sure that it has and will continue to help many a struggling student.

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Postby stapel_eliz » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:43 am

Grass grows outside, in the sun, rather than inside the shed.

"Cube" always means "square sides", by definition. Perhaps, by "rectangular", you mean "prism" rather than "cube"?

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