# 5.1: Factoring When the Leading Coefficient Equals 1

**Practice**Factoring when the Leading Coefficient Equals 1

The area of a rectangle is . What are the length and width of the rectangle?

### Watch This

Watch the first few examples in this video, until about 12:40.

Khan Academy: Factoring Quadratic Expressions

### Guidance

In this chapter we will be discussing quadratic equations. A
**
quadratic equation
**
has the form
, where
(If
, then the equation would be linear). For all quadratic equations, the 2 is the largest and only exponent. A quadratic equation can also be called a
**
trinomial
**
when all three terms are present.

There are four ways to solve a quadratic equation. The easiest is
**
factoring
**
. In this concept, we are going to focus on factoring when
or when there is no number in front of
. First, let’s start with a review of multiplying two factors together.

#### Example A

Multiply .

**
Solution:
**
Even though this is not a quadratic, the product of the two
**
factors
**
will be. Remember from previous math classes that a factor is a number that goes evenly into a larger number. For example, 4 and 5 are factors of 20. So, to determine the larger number that
and
go into, we need to multiply them together. One method for multiplying two polynomial factors together is called FOIL. To do this, you need to multiply the FIRST terms, OUTSIDE terms, INSIDE terms, and the LAST terms together and then combine like terms.

Therefore . We can also say that and are factors of .

### More Guidance

Now, we will “undo” the multiplication of two factors by factoring. In this concept, we will only address quadratic equations in the form , or when .

#### Investigation: Factoring

1. From the previous example, we know that .

FOIL .

2. This shows us that the
**
constant
**
term, or
, is equal to the
product
of the constant numbers inside each factor. It also shows us that the
**
coefficient
**
in front of
, or
, is equal to the
sum
of these numbers.

3. Group together the first two terms and the last two terms. Find the Greatest Common Factor, or GCF, for each pair.

4. Notice that what is inside both sets of parenthesis in Step 3 is the same. This number, , is the GCF of and . You can pull it out in front of the two terms and leave the .

We have now shown how to go from FOIL-ing to factoring and back. Let’s apply this idea to an example.

#### Example B

Factor .

**
Solution:
**
Let’s use the investigation to help us.

So, from Step 2, will be equal to the sum of and and will be equal to their product. Applying this to our problem, and . To organize this, use an “ ”. Place the sum in the top and the product in the bottom.

The green pair above is the only one that also adds up to 6. Now, move on to Step 3 from our investigation. We need to rewrite the term, or , as a sum of and .

Moving on to Step 4, we notice that the term is the same. Pull this out and we are done.

Therefore, the factors of are . You can FOIL this to check your answer.

#### Example C

Factor .

**
Solution:
**
We can approach this problem in exactly the same way we did Example B. This time, we will not use the “
.” What are the factors of -28 that also add up to 12? Let’s list them out to see:

The
pair above is the one that works. Notice that we only listed the factors of
*
negative
*
28.

By now, you might have a couple questions:

- Does it matter which term you put first? NO, order does not matter. In the previous example, we could have put followed by . We would still end up with the same answer.
- Can I skip the “expanded” part (Steps 3 and 4 in the investigation)? YES and NO. Yes, if No, if (the next concept). If , then such that and . Consider this a shortcut.

#### Example D

Factor .

**
Solution:
**
This is an example of a quadratic that is not a trinomial because it only has two terms, also called a
**
binomial
**
. There is no
, or constant term. To factor this, we need to look for the GCF. In this case, the largest number that can be taken out of both terms is an
.

Therefore, the factors are and .

**
Intro Problem Revisit
**
Recall that the area of a rectangle is
, where
*
l
*
is the length and
*
w
*
is the width. To find the length and width, we can therefore factor the area
.

What are the factors of –28 that add up to –3? Testing the various possibilities, we find that and .

Therefore, factors to , and one of these factors is the rectangle's length while the other is its width.

### Guided Practice

1. Multiply .

Factor the following quadratics, if possible.

2.

3.

4.

5.

#### Answers

1. FOIL-ing our factors together, we get:

2. Using the “ ,” we have:

From the shortcut above, and .

3. Let’s list out all the factors of -30 and their sums. The sums are in red.

From this, the factors of -30 that add up to 7 are -3 and 10.

4. There are no factors of 6 that add up to 1. If we had -6, then the trinomial would be factorable. But, as is, this is not a factorable trinomial.

5. The only thing we can do here is to take out the GCF.

### Vocabulary

- Quadratic Equation
- An equation where the largest exponent is a 2 and has the form , .

- Trinomial
- A quadratic equation with three terms.

- Binomial
- A quadratic equation with two terms.

- Factoring
- A way to break down a quadratic equation into smaller factors.

- Factor
- A number that goes evenly into a larger number.

- FOIL
- A method used to multiply together two factors. You multiply the FIRST terms, OUTSIDE terms, INSIDE terms, and LAST terms and then combine any like terms.

- Coefficient
- The number in front of a variable.

- Constant
- A number that is added or subtracted within an equation.

### Practice

Multiply the following factors together.

Factor the following quadratic equations. If it cannot be factored, write
*
not factorable
*
. You can use either method presented in the examples.

**
Challenge
**
Fill in the
’s below with the correct numbers.

### Image Attributions

## Description

## Learning Objectives

Here you'll learn how to factor a quadratic equation in standard form, when
*
a
*
= 1.