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If there is an increase in volume is the system inside always doing work (so therefore negative work) and if there is a decrease in volume the system inside is it always getting work done on it (so work is positive)?
For irreversible expansions, keep the equation w=-PΔV in mind. If there is an increase in volume (+ΔV), work will be negative, meaning work was done by the system. If there is a decrease in volume (-ΔV), work will be positive, meaning work was done on the system.
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