Roger Weller, geology instructor

wellerr@cochise.edu

**
Rules for Solving Word Problems
**

**
The
following is a suggested list of rules for solving word problems.
Some steps may be eliminated depending upon the nature of the
problem.
The sequence of steps is also not fixed. **

**
**

**
1. Make a
simple sketch of the problem (if reasonable and practical).**

**
**

**
2. Assign
variables to quantities.**

**
**

**
3. Identify
knowns and unknowns and put these values
in proper units
(do conversions).**

**
**

**
4. Write
down the equations that may pertain to the problem.**

**
**

**
5. Solve
problem algebraically first and then plug in the numbers.**

**
**

**
6. Check
answers and units.**

**
**

**
7. Ask the
question, "Does the answer seem reasonable?"**

**
**

**
8. Circle
or highlight the answer so someone can find it.**

**
**

__
Additional hints for solving word problems__:

**
**

**
1. Check to
make sure that there is sufficient information available in
order to
solve the problem.**

**
**

**
2.
Eliminate superfluous information.**

**
**

**
3. Identify
hidden assumptions.**

**
**

**
4. Work
only on the front side of a piece of paper.**

**
**

**
5. Work on
one step at a time; don't skip steps.**

**
**

**
6. Don't
crowd steps; put a blank line or space between each step.**

**
**

**
7. Work
downwards along the left side of the paper.**

**
**

**
8. Don't
crowd problems. Put several lines or spaces between
problems or only
do one problem per page.**