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Math Help - Why is a factored answer preferred?

  1. #1
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    Why is a factored answer preferred?

    In many cases the solution in the back of the book is a factored form, and from what i understand. A factored answer is preferred, so i have just been doing it lately out of habit.

    But I don't understand why this is needed in many cases. I do see that it provides a simpler answer in some cases, but in quite a few other answers the complexity of the answer is higher with the factored version.

    So my question is why is it preferred?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Why is a factored answer preferred?

    usually so that one can readily use the zero-product property when finding roots for a function ... used much in calculus for function analysis.
    Last edited by skeeter; December 29th 2012 at 08:20 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Why is a factored answer preferred?

    Quote Originally Posted by mariusg View Post
    In many cases the solution in the back of the book is a factored form, and from what i understand. A factored answer is preferred, so i have just been doing it lately out of habit. But I don't understand why this is needed in many cases. I do see that it provides a simpler answer in some cases, but in quite a few other answers the complexity of the answer is higher with the factored version. So my question is why is it preferred?
    Actually, I did not know that it was preferred one way or the other.
    The answers in the back are most often the work of a graduate student or a course assistant who are paid per solution. Some authors do give some guidance on how an answer should look.

    I think that answers given in a textbook should be left in a form that shows the process of arriving at the answer.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Why is a factored answer preferred?

    One reason a factored form [b]might[b] be perferred (I would not say that it always is) is that it is typically much easier two multiply terms to get the unfactored form than it is to factor. That is, having the factored form more easily gives both forms.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Why is a factored answer preferred?

    Thank you all, I just assumed it was preferred because all the answers where factored.
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