# 5.4.2 Importance of Proper Math Notation

Writing math correctly is important, especially for two reasons:

2. You can check your own work much more easily for mistakes.

The three most important things to remember are:

1. Explain each step in your working clearly.
2. Lay out your explanation clearly.
3. Use correct math—make sure that what you write is mathematically correct.

Let’s consider the following scenario.

You want to pave a patio that’s 18 feet long by 9 feet wide, with paving slabs that are two feet square. The paving slabs cost \$8 each. How many will you need, and what will they cost in total?

You go to your local contractor who says “Let me see …” and scribbles down the following calculation:

call it 44 to be safe, so = .

## Activity: What’s Wrong with the Math?

Can you see the difficulty with his work and can you suggest any improvements?

### Discussion

Remember that mathematics that has been written well is easy to follow and uses correct notation. List any problems or issues you see. Think about how you have seen math presented in the units so far.