Draw a LARGE diagram. When you start, you have no idea which part you’ll be focusing on, so draw it large to start.
In undergrad, we had a Structures and Materials course with Prof. Collins. I owe a lot to that class. It was first year, first term, and it was our first experience with ‘real Engineering’ (with a capital ‘E’).
Collins talked about (along with how to build bridges and other structures) a number of things which you would actually use every day, no matter what types of things you were designing or calculating or planning.
The biggest one is indubitably ‘draw a Large diagram’. Every time I do this, whether it’s on a whiteboard at work, or in my journal at home, it helps far more often than I expect, especially when you’re drawing a teaching diagram, and people are asking questions.
It helps when you’re drawing a semicircle intersected by many lines, with some angles known, some angles not known, and you need to do a bunch of fancy figuring to get the answer.
Next time, we’ll talk about some other useful tidbits I learned in that class. Stay tuned!
I use notebooks with blank pages. It helps me draw diagrams without extraneous lines, feels freer for thinking.
I think this was a GRE question.