Don’t Forget the One When Factoring


A very common mistake when factoring an algebraic expression is to “forget the 1”. For example, consider the following factoring problem: Factor

We know that to factor means  to write multiple terms as a single term or a product. So  which is two terms becomes a product if we write 

So where did the 1 come from in ?  Probably the best way to answer this question is to realize the equation has to be reversible. What if  were the original problem?

What I mean is, if we start with we get which was the original problem.


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