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Factoring Polynomials

Now we all know what a polynomial is, right?  Hopefully "we" do (if not, go to the FOIL page).

When we factor polynomials, we break them into monomials or polynomials multiplied by other monomials or polynomials with INTEGER COEFFICIENTS!!!

To do this, we want to take out the greatest common factor...for example...
6x + 3...
What is the common factor in all the terms? 3

So we divide each term by 3.
2x + 1

But, we have to show that it is multiplied by 3, so...
3(2x + 1)

If you want to check, multiply it out...let's do another one:
4x2 + 2x

The GCF (greatest common factor) is what? 2x
So...divide each term by 2x, and then put the result in parenthesis, which is multiplied by 2x:
2x(2x + 1)

So now you know how to do simple factoring polynomials, right?  But we don't often want to do this.  The most common type of expression you will need to factor is called a quadratic trinomial.

Click here to go to factoring quadratic trinomials.
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