How do I understand a math textbook? Every time I try to read this Calculus textbook its a huge whatthefuck. I feel really stupid. I'm trying to teach myself Calculus. Anybody know how I can do that? I got an A in Pre-Calc.
You have to
>make sure you understand algebra and trig inside and out
>make sure you have a book that doesn't just suck shit
>It's math. It's only fair that you have to think a bit, isn't it?
My Calc III professor recommends Salas and Hille's Calculus. I'm using Swokowski's Calculus, and it isn't terrible.
This. It's either trig or precalc for your prereq in my state.
Everyone in my first Calc class who took precalc spent the semester in extremely loud agony.
Trig is a very nice opportunity to pick up important knowledge AND important skills. It ties together the entirety of your math education up to that point.
Precalc tells you what a logarithm is.
(not OP) It's a required course you shitfuck. And do you expect the knowledge for log properties and manipulating functions to just magically spawn in OP's brain without learning it?
OP get a better book. Stewart's is readable as fuck. Supplement with Khan Academy
>literally just the trig part
Does the trig part not include learning functions inside and out?
You WANT it to be "just the trig part," because there's more to take out of that trig part than just the functions. Random bullshit related to logs and sequences can be picked up a lot more easily than, say, knowing how to manipulate a compound trig function into something that can actually be integrated.
Calculus textbooks are notorious for being badly written. Look for online lecture videos and Dover books. A good (nonstandard) public domain book is Keisler's: https://www.math.wisc.edu/~keisler/calc.html
Paul's online math notes are really nice. Relatively short sections but carefully and intuitively written. He also let's you know what requisite material you should review before starting a new topic.
That still won't help me understand the "language" used in math books. When I say I don't understand I'm talking about the language used to explain shit. If someone tells me how to do a problem it's easy. But I can't be asking people all the time which is why I want to be able to understand the book so that I can teach myself.
I felt that way the whole semester of Calc, until the day before the test, when I forced myself to read every word of every chapter and do as many problems as possible. Amazingly it began to make sense. All you need is will power and energy drinks.
You're going to have to be more specific than that then. Give us an example of a passage you don't understand. Assuming you're reading a text book in your native language, the only thing we can tell you is get better at reading and reading comprehension. Yes reAding math textbooks can be difficult, but they are not impenetrable, especially introductory calculus books