Need help w/ an absolute value problem where a no. is placed outside the equation within the absolute value signs-what should I do first?
since you chose to be vague, the most i can tell you is that
$\displaystyle |x| = \sqrt{x^2} = \left \{ \begin{array}{lr} x & \mbox{ if } x \ge 0 \\ & \\ -x & \mbox{ if } x < 0 \end{array} \right.$
so you need to split your equation in two to account for the possible change in sign of what's in absolute values.
example. $\displaystyle |3x - 1| = 2$
$\displaystyle \Rightarrow 3x - 1 = 2 \mbox{ or } -(3x - 1) = 2$
and continue
In that case, do NOT multiply the 7 with the expression 3x - 1. That'll change the absolute value! Instead, divide 7 on both sides, and then proceed.
|3x - 1| = 2/7
Now proceed...
I hope that helps.
ILoveMaths07.
P.S. THIS IS MY FIRST POST!!!