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Intermediate Algebra 5th Edition
by Elayn Martin-Gay

Supplemental Review of Basic Factoring Techniques


Section FR.1: The Greatest Common Factor and Factoring by Grouping

GCF and Factoring by Grouping

When used as a noun the word factor refers to the individual parts of a product. When used as a verb (to factor) it means to write something as a product.

For example, in many arithmetic situations recognizing the number 136 as the product of 8 and 17 is a benefit. In such situations it is customary to claim that to factor 136 as (8)(17) is a simplification. In the same way factorizations of polynomials is usually a simplification. There are several methods for factoring polynomials. No single one of these methods is sufficient for all occassions, but in combination they can yield a factored (simplified) form of seemingly complex polynomials.

The very first step when factoring any polynomial is to identify the GCF of the terms of the polynomial and to write the polynomial as a product with the GCF as one of the factors. The Distributive Property is used to verify that the factorization is correct. A common phrase used to refer to this procedure is "to factor out the GCF".

About GCF and Factoring by Grouping


Section FR.2: Factoring Trinomials

Factoring Trinomials

About Factoring Trinomials

Factoring is a SKILL that can be quite helpful. This is one of the few topics in mathematics where practice is really beneficial. Practice by working as many exercises as time permits.


Section FR.3: Factoring by Special Products

Factoring by Special Products

About Factoring by Special Products


Section FR.4: Solving Equations by Factoring and Problem Solving

Solving Equations by Factoring

About Solving Equations by Factoring