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### Factoring in General

```
Date: 12/22/95 at 14:22:5
From: Anonymous
Subject: Factoring

I have never figured out factoring.  I can sort of do it but I don't
always get it right.  Can you send me information on how to factor
better?

Thanks.
```

```
Date: 6/12/96 at 22:8:55
From: Doctor Gary
Subject: Re: Factoring

This is a very difficult question to answer without knowing
whether you're talking about factoring integers or polynomials
or maybe something else.

However, regardless of what you might be having trouble
factoring, I have a prescription.  Instead of trying to factor
complicated expressions, multiply some relatively simple
expressions instead.  Paying attention to how factors lead to
products will probably help you recognize common factors
"lurking" in bigger expressions.

Remember, always, that an equals sign is a "2-way street".
When we say that:

a(b + c)  =  ab + ac

we're also saying that the right-hand side of the equation can be
factored and re-expressed as the left-hand side.

-Doctor Gary, The Math Forum

```
Associated Topics:
Middle School Factoring Expressions
Middle School Factoring Numbers

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