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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/14/2010 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Well, I can't comment too much since I haven't used my textbooks too much but I guess some comment is better than nothing I don't like study guides/revision books etc. or anything that condenses information, I'd much rather go through the book and if I need a quick refresher I just jot down the definitions and equations, it's not like physics has tons of factual information to learn and I'd much rather understand everything and derive the stuff I need rather than memorize. [bias] The first book we got which was Phsyics, 3rd Edition by Gregg Kerr & Paul Ruth (I've never seen a physics book with a creative name =/) pretty much follows the syllabus exactly and covers every option also, so if you're just looking for all the information in one book, it's not bad. It explains almost everything pretty well but I didn't really like because it has almost zero problems. You might get a problem or two or maybe several if you're lucky at the end of each chapter but that's about it, and they're not particularly challenging. I also didn't like the fact that it barely went beyond the syllabus. Maybe that's just me but I don't like when a book talks about a topic only qualitatively. Then again, it does it's job of covering the syllabus so if that's what you want, it's good enough I guess ^^ Other than that, I think I've heard my teacher say that it has it's fair share of errors, or at least more than the usual found in a physics textbook, but it probably wouldn't be anything too significant. Next up is Advanced Physics by Steve Adams & Jonathan Allday. The link has tons of reviews on it (well 14 is a lot compared to most books I check for ) so I won't say much. It's not an IB book so it covers a lot of stuff in and out of the syllabus, most of the stuff is explained pretty well although I still think of it as a review book sort of since each subtopic gets 2 pages or a spread as they call it. Each subtopic gets several questions which is good since you're not gonna learn or physics without tons of problems imo. The best thing I found about it was that the authors aren't writing the book just to make a quick buck like the one in the paragraph above, they are passionate about physics and it shows, some pages get conversational and it's pretty interesting to read about much more than just the why and how + equations. Forgot if it covers options and stuff so might wanna check the table of contents on Amazon. The book I liked the most however was University Physics by Young & Freedman (or Sears & Zemansky for the older editions). Again, there's tons of reviews so I'll just post what I liked about it. Firstly, it explains every last concept in excruciating detail, and I'm not saying the info is scattered and the authors leaves in tons of unneeded info, the info is actually quite condensed. It's really rare for me not to understand something it's trying to say, like I remember not understanding resonance at all but after googling for a bit and then coming back to the book, I finally got it. It also goes through all the detail of how something came to be. The other two books (and the vast majority of physics books for that matter) just give you the equation and explain it, sometimes going through a simple derivation of it or something, but the first equation in most chapters would probably be out of nowhere. In this book however, it goes through all the detail on how each equation was derived in detail, sometimes spending pages just explaining how a simple equation like ω^2=k/m was discovered. It does skip over the derivation of some more complicated and obscure equations, either telling you how to go about deriving it or just simply saying something like there's too many differential equations that it's annoying to derive, but if you want you could do it yourself since it gives you the basis to do so. Other than that, I really liked the huge problem sets it has at the end of each chapter (125 questions on Newton's Laws anyone ?) which really help you get everything in the chapter as well as discussion questions so you get the physics behind stuff and also the math. Some of the questions can get pretty tough and by that I mean hellishly hard lol, especially the challenge problems at the end, but they're always satisfying to solve. Only thing you might not like about it is that it 20% or maybe even less of it's contents are in the IB syllabus, not a bad thing if you ask me, but it might not fit your requirements. Also, I'm too cheap to buy a book like this obviously so I was using my dad's ancient 5th edition until I found the 12th edition online online along with the solutions manual, so that should give you a tip if you're interested in taking a look at this, plus you'll probably want to use the solutions manual a lot. PM me if you're interested. At the end of the day; If you want to get everything and pass nicely, get the first book. If you enjoy physics and want to pass with flying colours, Advanced Physics is probably what you're looking for. If you want to understand everything extremely well and enjoy a more rigorous approach to physics, I'd go for University Physics. [/bias] Hope this helps somehow and that I wasn't too biased. As I said, I've barely used the first two books so can't comment too much so if anyone thinks I've said something unfair about a book, please bash this post EDIT: Forgot to mention to fuel further bias; this post comes from my experiences of self-teaching myself physics from these books, we don't use books in class anyways. But from the sound of your post, you'll be self-studying as well so no problems I guess ^^
  2. 1 point
    IMO the poetry is a lot easier to do than the prose, hands-down. Have you ever attempted it? The way I've always approached these unseen commentaries (and without seeming exceedingly big-headed, it has earned me full marks in things so I have reason to believe it works!) is like so: 1. Read the poem/prose once through 2. Decide what the story/message and major themes are 3. Look through for the major things they do -- for instance, in poetry, this would be whether they have a lot of description, whether it's through choice of words, building up of atmosphere, use of extended metaphors, the way in which the verses are laid out, the rhyme/rhythm of the piece. They should be sufficiently major for you to pick these out first time through. 4. Write an introduction to the effect of "Passage/Poem [name of thing] is about [story/message]. In order to get across to the reader [major theme] they use a variety of methods including [major things they do]." 5. Start with line 1. Pick out all literary features* in line 1, with reference back to [story/message], [major theme] and [major things they do] as appropriate. Say what it is and why it is effective. 6. Move onto line 2. Repeat step 5. 7. Continue in this fashion making sure that you slot in anything which can't be done line-by-line into the poem as well such as comments about over-arching things -- rhythm, layout, rhyme and repetition often fall into this category. I usually slot these in either when I come to a line where there is a good example of this, or simply add in an extra paragraph based on layout, rhyme/whatever. 8. When you see something which matches up with an earlier thing, mention it and say why it's effective that there is matching/repetition and so on so you get more cohesion into your essay in that you can relate things in line 30 to line 3 and so on. 9. Conclude by repeating your introduction. You found that [story/message] and [major theme] were excellently conveyed by [major things they do] because [quick summary of how major things they do helped]. This method was always fail safe for me. * Literary features = formal features such as metaphors, alliteration, onomatopoeia etc. but also things like "the verb constrained is particularly effective here because it is suggestive of a prison and consequently perhaps a wish or a struggle to get out" and that kind of thing -- basically why they may have chosen a particular word and what you TOOK from the word they did choose which made it really good. Bonuses of this method: it is chronological so you don't have to waste time coming up with a "themed plan" and apart from reading it can literally just sit and write like mad. Downsides: you have to work really, really hard all exam and will probably finish in the closing few minutes because you end up going into everything quite in-depth. Guarantees you marks, but you also have to be very sure you're going at a sufficient rate to get to the end of the poem before you run out of time. This could potentially be pretty bad if you don't finish in time but provided you keep checking the clock against how far through the poem/story you are, all should be well. I never had a problem with it anyway!
  3. 1 point
    Nope. I completed ~600 h in total but only documented 200 of them because we had to complete a reflection for every 10 hours, and I didn't want to do more reflections than I had to.
  4. 1 point
    It took me a year to figure out what TOK actually was... It's the academic reincarnation of Socrates (The "we all know nothing" guy.) in disguise.
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