Writing good comments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

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There are many forms a reading comment can take. One is asking questions about the text and another is answering other students’ questions. These are elaborated on in the table below. Several other useful types of comments will be discussed later.

Type How to write this type of comment High-quality examples by real students
Ask a question State what you understand as well as what you don't. For example: “I understand ... but I don't understand...” I understand that as the displacement gradually gets higher, the velocity gets higher, but I don't understand how the slope in the velocity graph correlates to the acceleration graph?
If possible, suggest answers to your question. E.g., “I don't understand why .... Could it be because ...?” Why would the third ground be placed so far away? Is this a precaution for problems with the generating plant that could affect the device rather than problems with the device itself?
Answer a question Answer the question clearly and concisely. Hi @Jon, good question. It is your choice on whether you want to make upwards or downward positive or negative. We usually use downwards as negative, but if you want to use upwards, you have to mention that when you are doing the problems.
If the help-seeker has also proposed an answer, evaluate the answer, providing additional explanation. I think you somewhat answered your own question Krishna. Yes, it is for safety reasons. If all the connections to the ground were at the same place in the circuit, this could possibly cause problems with the distribution of current. Spreading them out more evenly could prevent the wire from getting too hot.
Refer the help-seeker to another part of the text or provide a link to another helpful resource (e.g., a video) - but also provide an explanation in your own words. @ Sophie, this example I've highlighted here could help you understand your previous question. You can see that the person walking walked an excess of 0.75 km passed the initial position which makes the displacement negative. Hope this helps!
Speak directly to the “asker,” remembering that they are a person. For example, quote their name using the @ symbol and give a positive comment. (See above examples)

Here are three more useful ways you can comment on the reading.

Type How to write this type of comment High-quality examples by real students
Clarify Explain differently:
  • Find different/new ways of expressing an idea, don't just shuffle words around.
So what the text is saying that when the time increases for a given impact, the net force is less powerful due to its magnitude being reduced over a matter of seconds.
  • Restate the key ideas from a section of the text in your own words, leaving out the less important details
I guess we just need to know that in elastic collisions, the kinetic energy is conserved and in inelastic collisions, it is not. Also, in perfect inelastic collisions, all of the kinetic energy is lost.
Give additional useful info:
  • Provide info to help clarify what is meant, e.g. give missing info or extra examples
Helpful reminder! An eV measures energy not voltage. More precisely, it is the amount of energy that one electron needs to have 1 Volt. In this case, 1 kV is that but multiplied by 1000.
Connect Connect to another part of the text or another part of the course. I find this formula really enforces Kirchhoff's Loop Rule. We do not only apply it for resistors but for capacitors too. Just like we know Ohm's Law, Kirchhoff's Laws seem to have been the base and foundation of many discoveries in this field.
Connect to other courses:
  • Remember to discuss relevant science.
It is interesting to note the crossover that occurs here between the physics we are learning and the chemistry behind it, the argon gas's electrons are being energized to an excited state, releasing photons and creating light.
Connect to your life:
  • Remember to discuss relevant science.
This is really cool! I knew there was a correlation between how a car took an impact in an accident and its safety rating. What I find interesting is the material it is made out of is the main variable in how the car can take that impact. I originally thought the heavier car would have been better in an accident.
Extend Take the ideas beyond what is expressed in the text or build on a classmate's ideas.
  • Give extra explanation or question going beyond what is taught in the text.
  • Get creative - imagine and hypothesize.
  • Provide links to other resources.
  • Remember to discuss relevant science.
Just thinking about this out of interest: imagine if there was a third object with which the two other will collide. I think we would say that the third object would travel on the z-axis if it was coming in a direction which is out of the paper while the other two objects are traveling from different sides of the x-axis.
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