# Rules and Tips for Writing Mathematics Discrete Math

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4 Rules and Tips for Writing Mathematics Discrete Math Page 4 of 5 only then break out your clean paper to write your final proof carefully. Do not hand in your scratch work! Only sentences that actually contribute to your proof should be part of the proof. Do not just perform a brain dump, throwing everything you know onto the paper before showing the logical steps that prove the conclusion. That is what scratch paper is for. 14. = means equals. Don t write A = B unless you mean that A actually equals B. This rule seems obvious, but there is a great temptation to be sloppy. For example in Calculus a student might write something like this: f(x) = x 2 = 2x when they really mean that the derivative of the function is 2x. 15. Avoid weasel words. There are some notorious phrases that advertise that you don t really understand the logic you need. Be wary of phrases like clearly, obviously, and the only way this can happen is. (There is a time and a place for all of these phrases, but most likely that time and place will not be in your proofs in this class!) 16. In this paper, is the mathematics correct? This is self-explanatory. 17. In this paper, did the writer solve the question that was originally asked? So is this Good Phrases to Use in Math Papers: Therefore (so, hence, accordingly, thus, it follows that, we see that, then ) I am assuming that (assuming, where, M stands for) show (demonstrate, prove, explain why, find ) This formula can be found on page 125 of Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications 2007, Rosen., or the shorter version [125, Rosen 07] (using the formula above, see the formula above, this tells us that...) if (whenever, provided that, when ) notice that (note that, notice, recall) since (because)

5 Summary of Rules/Tips for Writing Mathematics 1. Clearly restate the problem to be solved. 2. State the answer in a complete sentence which stands on its own. 3. The burden of communication lies on you, not on your reader. 4. Clearly state the assumptions which underlie the formulas. 5. Use diagrams, tables, or graphs, to help explain the math and clearly label them (if these are used). 6. Define all variables used. 7. Explain how each formula is derived, or where it can be found. 8. In this paper, are the spelling, grammar, and punctuation correct? 9. Use English words. 10. Use complete sentences. 11. Show the logical connections among your sentences. 12. Use whitespace. 13. Use scratch paper. 14. = means equals. 15. Avoid weasel words. 16. In this paper, is the mathematics correct? 17. In this paper, did the writer solve the question that was originally asked?

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