Footnotes: (1) This approach is based on Polya's approach to problem solving in maths, which I always think of as a 'Weapon of Maths Deconstruction', but is a good general approach to problem solving.
State your solution to the problem by writing it down. If, however, there is some doubt about the value, or quality, of your response after going through the checks above, you should STOP here and start the problem solving process again, from the beginning, with step 1.
, for example, do you need to use the Periodic Table to find relative atomic masses?
How the unknown is related to the knowns given in the question will determine what you write next to each number in your list of steps.
and read each step in your game plan carefully, making any additions as required, BEFORE you continue implementing the game plan. You can check whether your solution seems reasonable in lots of ways, here are a few: Check that chemical equations are correctly balanced.
If you find there are gaps in your game plan, things you find you still need but haven't included, it's time to Pause! Go back to the start of the problem solving process! One of the most common mistakes students make on exam papers is that they incorrectly, or neglect to, convert units resulting in an answer that is out by orders of magnitude (factors of 10).
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Begin your note with a word like "Use ..." or "Apply ...." Step 5.
Under your statement of the problem, write a brief note which tells you which scientific principle (highlighted) you will apply.