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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 


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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