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Chegg Experts Blog: What's Your Solution Authoring Strategy?

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Monday, December 3, 2012

What's Your Solution Authoring Strategy?


As some of you may know, we've been working hard to improve
the quality of our engineering solutions authoring program. We
actually conducted a short survey for our engineering authors
about six weeks ago, and we learned all kinds of tactics and
approaches that some of you take to tackle the problems
assigned to you.
We were so impressed by some of the feedback that we've
decided to share it with everyone here. Read on for tips and
tricks, and then share your strategies in the comments! If you
work differently, we'd love to hear how you attack the difficult
stuff.

http://www.theamazingsolutionsrace.com/2012/12/whats-your-solution-authoring-strategy.html

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6/30/2013

Chegg Experts Blog: What's Your Solution Authoring Strategy?

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We hope you're not using a typewriter...

Best free program for creating diagrams:


DrawPlus (http://www.serif.com/free-graphic-design-software/). Once you are familiar with how to use this program, it
becomes very easy to use. Our authors say it is just as useful as CorelDraw.
For geometry, try Geogebra.
Best way to approach problem-solving:
1. Solve on paper first quickly, grouping similar problems so that you can concentrate on one topic/equation/method at once (if you
need to explain these concepts more than once, you can even copy-paste your descriptions).
2. Then begin to create any helpful diagrams you need. If a problem does not require that you manipulate the diagram at all, save
time by referring to the diagram in the text. Say something like, See the diagram of the pulley-system with a length of 5 ft. and.
Do not refer to page numbers, figure numbers, or problem numbers, as these change from edition to edition while many of the
problems remain the same.
3. Finally, begin typing up the solutions.

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4. Save time by creating a universal introduction template and/or filling in the blanks in a template for similar problems.
5. Start by inputting just the MathType equations, and then decide the best places to add in student-friendly explanations. Place
delimiters (steps) before each short written explanation.

POP

6. Never include more than 4 lines of MathType. Instead, break up these lines and add written explanation between them, separating
each step with delimiters.
7. Always box the final numeric answer.

Some tactics from our authors that help them work more quickly:

Ex

Derive on scratch paper before typing.


Try to use the best suited equation for given parameters of the problem.
If the problem is very simple, dont use scratch paper! Instead, type directly in order to minimize the time it takes to write the
problem.
For harder problems, quickly solve the solution on paper first and then transfer to Word.
Verify the final answer with the available software that you have.
Work on one section or topic at a time.
Type the solutions in the same section on the same day so your brain is all warmed up for that particular type of problem,
rather than typing one problem a day.

http://www.theamazingsolutionsrace.com/2012/12/whats-your-solution-authoring-strategy.html

6/30/2013

Chegg Experts Blog: What's Your Solution Authoring Strategy?

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Spend time creating meaningful


diagrams
sketches,
Share
0 More and
Next
Blog because they help to make the solution easier to understand for the
student. This initial time investment will also save you from getting sent back solutions and having to create them all over
again.
Provide a logical order to the solution process so that the reasoning behind the solution is easy to follow.
Break up lengthy solutions into logical, modular segments, in a similar fashion as writing very lengthy software. This makes it
easy to review the solution and to spot mistakes.

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You might also like:

Templates: The
Secret to Writing
Quick, Quality
Solutions

10
Ea

How To Create a
Template in Word
(.dot)

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Sent Back
Solutions

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Answers in Word

How to Write
True/False, Multiple
Choice, and
Matching ...
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Posted by Carrie Jones at 3:16 PM

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Labels: approach, authoring, best practices, creating, engineering, how-to, process, share, strategy, survey, tactics, writing
Location: Santa Clara, CA Chegg HQ, Santa Clara, CA, USA

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