Algebra I For Dummies

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Overview

Get the right solution every time — algebra the fun and easy wayTM!

Includes a great glossary of algebraic terms for easy reference

The pain-free way to explore algebra—and come out smilin'

Does the word polynomial make your hair stand on end? Let Mary Jane Sterling show you the easy way to tackle algebra. This friendly guide explains the basics—and the tougher stuff—in easy-to-understand,...



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Algebra I For Dummies

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Overview

Get the right solution every time — algebra the fun and easy wayTM!

Includes a great glossary of algebraic terms for easy reference

The pain-free way to explore algebra—and come out smilin'

Does the word polynomial make your hair stand on end? Let Mary Jane Sterling show you the easy way to tackle algebra. This friendly guide explains the basics—and the tougher stuff—in easy-to-understand, no-nonsense language. Whether you want to brush up on your math skills or help your children with their homework, this book gives you power—to the nth degree.

Discover how to:

  • Find out about fractions and explore exponents
  • Figure out factoring
  • Solve Linear equations
  • Factor quadratic equations
  • Graph equations
  • Solve story problems

The Dummies WayTM

Explanations in plain English
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  • A dash of humor and fun

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Author Biography: Mary Jane Sterling has been an educator since graduating from college. Teaching at the junior high, high school, and college levels, she has had the full span of experiences and opportunities while working in education. She has been teaching at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, for the past twenty years.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764553257
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/15/2001
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Jane Sterling has been teaching algebra, business calculus, geometry, and finite mathematics at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, for more than 30 years. She is the author of Algebra Workbook For Dummies, Algebra II For Dummies, and Algebra II Workbook For Dummies.

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Read an Excerpt

http://catalogimages.wiley.com/images/db/pdf/0764553259.excerpt.pdf
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Table of Contents

Introduction.
About This Book.
What Not to Read.
Foolish Assumptions.
How This Book Is Organized.
Where to Go from Here.
Part I: Starting Off with the Basics.
Chapter 1: Assembling Your Tools.
Beginning with the Basics: Numbers.
Varying Variables.
Speaking in Algebra.
Taking Aim at Algebra Operations.
Playing by the Rules.
Chapter 2: Assigning Signs: Positive and Negative Numbers.
Showing Some Signs.
Going In for Operations.
Operating with Signed Numbers.
Working with Nothing: Zero and Signed Numbers.
Associating and Commuting with Expressions.
Chapter 3: Figuring Out Fractions and Dealing with Decimals.
Pulling Numbers Apart and Piecing Them Back Together.
Following the Sterling Low-Fraction Diet.
Fitting Fractions Together.
Putting Fractions to Task.
Dealing with Decimals.
Chapter 4: Exploring Exponents and Raising Radicals.
Multiplying the Same Thing Over and Over and . . . .
Exploring Exponential Expressions.
Multiplying Exponents.
Dividing and Conquering.
Testing the Power of Zero.
Working with Negative Exponents.
Powers of Powers.
Squaring Up to Square Roots.
Chapter 5: Doing Operations in Order and Checking Your Answers.
Ordering Operations.
Checking Your Answers.
Writing Understandable Answers.
Chapter 6: Prepping for Operations.
Realizing Some Restrictions.
Representing Numbers with Letters.
Doing the Math.
Multiplying and Dividing Variables.
Doing It All.
Part II: Figuring Out Factoring.
Chapter 7: Working with Numbers in Their Prime.
Beginning with the Basics.
Composing CompositeNumbers.
Writing Prime Factorizations.
Getting Down to the Prime Factor.
Chapter 8: Sharing the Fun: Distributing.
Giving One to Each.
Distributing Signs.
Mixing It Up with Numbers and Variables.
Distributing More than One Term.
Making Special Distributions.
Chapter 9: Factoring in the First Degree.
Factoring.
Grouping Terms.
Chapter 10: Getting the Second Degree.
The Standard Quadratic Expression.
Reining in Big Numbers.
FOILing.
UnFOILing.
Factoring Several Expressions.
Chapter 11: Factoring Special Cases.
Befitting Binomials.
Tinkering with Trinomials and More.
Knowing When to Quit.
Part III: Working Equations.
Chapter 12: Lining Up for Linear Equations.
Solving with Division.
Solving with Multiplication.
Solving with Reciprocals.
Setting Up Equations.
Chapter 13: Solving Linear Equations.
Keeping Equations Balanced.
Playing by the Rules.
Balancing Fractions.
Solving for Variables.
Getting Impossible Answers.
Chapter 14: Taking a Crack at Quadratic Equations.
Squaring Up to Quadratics.
Rooting Out Another Result from Quadratic Equations.
Factoring for a Solution.
Solving Quadratics with Three Terms.
Applying Quadratic Solutions.
Figuring Out the Quadratic Formula.
Chapter 15: Distinguishing Equations with Distinctive Powers.
Queuing Up to Cubic Equations.
Working Quadratic-Like Equations.
Rooting Out Radicals.
Dividing Synthetically.
Chapter 16: Fixing Inequalities.
Operating on Inequalities.
Solving Linear Inequalities.
Working with More Than Two Expressions.
Solving Quadratic Inequalities.
Working with Absolute Value Inequalities.
Part IV: Applying Algebra.
Chapter 17: Making Formulas Behave.
Measuring Up.
Spreading Out: Area Formulas.
Pumping Up with Volume Formulas.
Going the Distance with Distance Formulas.
Calculating Interest and Percent.
Working Out the Combinations and Permutations.
Formulating Your Own Formulas.
Chapter 18: Sorting Out Story Problems.
Setting Up to Solve Story Problems.
Working Around Perimeter, Area, and Volume.
Making Up Mixtures.
Going the Distance.
Righting Right Triangles.
Going 'Round in Circles.
Chapter 19: Going Visual: Graphing.
Graphing is Good.
Grappling with Graphs.
Actually Graphing Points.
Graphing a Line.
Investigating Intercepts.
Sighting the Slope.
Marking Parallel and Perpendicular Lines.
Intersecting Lines.
Curling Up with Parabolas.
Part V: The Part of Tens.
Chapter 20: The Ten Most Common Errors.
Missing Middle Term.
Distributing.
Breaking Up Fractions.
Breaking Up Radicals.
Order of Operations.
Fractional Exponents.
Multiplying Bases Together.
A Power to a Power.
Reducing.
Negative Exponents.
Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Factor a Polynomial.
Two Terms with a GCF.
The Difference of Two Squares.
The Difference of Two Cubes.
The Sum of Two Cubes.
Three Terms with a GCF.
Three Terms with unFOIL.
Changing to Quadratic-Like.
Four or More Terms with a GCF.
Four or More Terms with Equal Grouping.
Four or More Terms with Unequal Grouping.
Chapter 22: Ten Divisibility Rules.
Divisibility by 2.
Divisibility by 3.
Divisibility by 4.
Divisibility by 5.
Divisibility by 6.
Divisibility by 8.
Divisibility by 9.
Divisibility by 10.
Divisibility by 11.
Divisibility by 12.
Chapter 23: Ten Tips for Dealing with Story Problems.
Draw a Picture.
Make a List.
Assign Variables to Represent Numbers.
Translate Conjunctions and Verbs.
Look at the Last Sentence.
Find a Formula.
Simplify by Substituting.
Solve an Equation.
Check for Sense.
Check for Accuracy.
Glossary.
Index.
Book Registration Information.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2005

    Wonderful, simple and clear explanations

    I am 55 years old and re-taking math classes so I can take Trigonometry and Calculus. I was scared to death (like many other older students) going into my college Elementary Algebra class because I had done so miserably in Algebra in high school 40 years ago. Our college textbook for Elementary Algebra didn't always explain things clearly enough for me. I went to this Dummies book a lot. It is easy to read as well as humorous in places. I found it particularly helpful in learning to solve word problems and I have that chapter in this book marked up as much as my textbook! If you already know Algebra pretty well you may find this book too easy. But, for someone like me who was scared to death because of my past failure this book was a godsend. Like any subject you are trying to conquer, you must put in the study time. I learned many years ago that using supplemental books like this give me a little bit of a different perspective on a subject that just may help tweak something in my gray matter to cement a concept in. Please note that I also used this along with the two other books I recommend below.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliant guide for both the first time student, and the returning grad looking for review.

    This is an absolutely brilliant book for those who desperately need a guide in Algebra II. I have a very bad history with mathematics, to put it simply-my education was pretty badly torn off track somewhere around 7th grade. I'm now a senior in high school, and just got back on track last year. (To give an example of just how badly I was behind-Until my junior year, I didn't know how to distribute or how to solve relatively easy equations.)

    My point is, if this book helps *me*, it can help anyone! I'm currently in a Algebra II class, however I want to finish it early and go on to precalc. I went through the Algebra II book, took notes, did problems, and generally studied it. It took me around two months to go through the whole thing and make sure I actually knew it. Tomorrow I'm going to take the test-out option to jump directly into precalc, and I'm very sure I'll pass it.

    Not only did this book teach me Algebra II, but it also taught me techniques for doing things I've done before, but in a clumsy way. For example, I've always used a slow method of handling exponents, but the book taught me the proper method to manage exponents quickly and properly.

    Finally,the best thing about this book-It makes math FUN. I can't describe how great that is, but trust me, it's wonderful. Having the math explained in a "human" way, with all the relevant information but none of the dry textbook "voice" is brilliant. It lets you jump directly into the math, without feeling like you have to crack a code to understand.

    Over all, 5/5, and definitely worth the money.

    PS-I'd highly suggest that anyone buying this book get the workbook with the same title. It'll give you problems to try and practice on. This is the absolute best way to learn, so don't pass it up!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2007

    Setting Expectations is Key . . .

    note: The '...' in the title are an algebra pun! O) p When I hear or read a book title that includes the phrase, 'for Dummies', I easily pull together the concepts that this book is not likely a foundational text for building one's doctorate upon, and that there might very well be some non-standard methodology in its construct. How is it possible to mistake a book titled, 'Algebra for Dummies' as something other than that?!? p In any event, had my high school algebra teacher(s) approached the subject in this vein, I would have never developed a fear of the subject, and by now, my adult income would [approximate] be about quadruple what it is/was/has been. It took more than twenty years and three math-gifted offspring to discover that I have an aptitude for algebra, but was too afraid to pursue it. I have successfully and convincingly discussed 4-plane time and space theory with literal rocket scientists - naturally figured how to solve for a proportional unknown, blah-blah-blah. In other words, I had the goods, but was delusional about being any good at it. p I say this to point out that most everyone that lives in fear of 'higher mathematics' need not do so. That most all those folks could be and would be hysterically excited to discover that their understanding of math is there, just waiting to be coaxed along a bit. p The author's assertion that the knowledge of algebra is power is not far off the mark, if off at all. Even if you never use it (although you will, or will have the opportunity to do so), the provable fact that you are not a math retard after all is worth considerably more than this book costs. That you will be able to pursue algebraic exploits without fear is just gravy.

    6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2005

    Buy this book but read what I have to say.

    I have already learned more within the first week of having this book than I did within the last month. The bad thing is that the author strays too much from what she should be talking about. If you can look past the fact that almost every other paragraph isnt about math then buy the book. If it is going to piss you off, dont buy the book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2003

    Not worth the money

    This book is impossible to understand. It has been 15 years since I have taken an algebra course and bought this to brush up on math, before a chem course this summer. I thought I understood the basics, then I read this and became completely confused. My husband who is a scientist and works with algebra on a daily bases, agreed that the teaching technique in this book does not make sense. There are no examples to test what you have learned. All the examples are worked out for you step by step.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    This book has good math problems

    This book has a way of teaching you before you actualy have too do the problem, the math problems are great too

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Can someone please reply?

    I know this isn't for chatting but I need help with some work. I am in 8th grade algebra 1 but im supose to be in pre-algebra but im in a advanced class . The textbook we're using at my school is Beginning Algebra Sixth Editon; Gustafson Frisk I dont understand alot in it sometimes when the teacher explains it I dont underdstand her clearly. Right now we are learning point-

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    I need some feedback please!

    I took the advice of some of the reviewers and purchased the hardcopy and the workbook that goes with it. I'm really surprised and proud of how far I'm come in just a few days! I'm on Chapter 9 in the workbook and think/hope I've come across a typo because simplifying and factoring algebraic fractions has caused me to hit a wall. I'm looking at problem #9 in the ninth chapter. They show where they work it out and my answer agrees with that, but what they show as the answer in bold differs by one power in the variable. Can anyone verify this? Many thanks.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Where are the problems?

    I, like many people, learn by doing. As far as I can tell this book does not offer any practice problems to test your knowledge. It seems to just spout off concepts and rules but doesn't offer the reader a chance to apply what they've learned. This book could be improved greatly if there were worksheets at the end of each chapter. This book reads more like an informational textbook instead of a lesson book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2010

    watch out for switch

    I recently purchased this book but returned it because I paid $14.36 for it and it came used with a bargain book price of $5.95. Customer service refused to reimburse me the different claiming that it was no longer a bargain book yet if you go to the website it clearly says that you can buy the book used( which I did not) So watch you bill closely because they do not honor their charges or claims

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    It's so well written. In a normal textbook you have to spend tim

    It's so well written. In a normal textbook you have to spend time trying to decipher what half the material means and how it relates to the rest of the book, but in this book it's almost as though you are listening to a person explain it to you at a party. The book also makes it very easy to understand the way algebraic expressions, equations, and formulae are written.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    NEED HELP

    Will this help my sis she is in 5 th grade and gets bad grades in math she got an 8% in matg on a 10 qusetion plz tell me if it workz

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Didnt have half the stuff i needed to learn about algebra1

    Didnt have enough problems or didnt show me examples so i could get better @math

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2009

    Should I buy this book???

    I am a high school student and I'm currently taking Algebra 1. I am really interested in this book, but I don't know if I should buy this one or the Algebra 2 book. I just need to know the difference so I don't waste my money on buying something I already know a lot about.
    -Thank you.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2005

    No Galois theory?

    How can you call it an algebra book if it doesn't include Galois theory?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2004

    NOT COMPREHENSIVE ENOUGH

    Too general in its explainations. Does not go deep enough to really give reader an understanding of the concepts.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2004

    my review

    this book rocks! It really helps me with Algebra! This book is great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews

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