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ELEMENTARY ALGEBRA offers a practical approach to the study of beginning algebra concepts, consistent with the needs of today's student. The authors place special emphasis on the worked examples in each section, treating them as the primary means of instruction, since students rely so heavily on examples to complete assignments. Many of the applications (both within the examples and exercises) are also uniquely designed so that students have an experience that is more true to life--students must read information as it appears in headline news sources and extract only the relevant information needed to solve a stated problem. This promotes the text's focus on developing better study habits, problem solving and critical thinking skills along with orienting students to think and reason mathematically. Through Elementary Algebra, students will not only be better prepared for future math courses, they will be better prepared to solve problems and answer questions they encounter in their own lives. Available with InfoTrac® Student Collections

Laura Bracken, Lewis-Clark State College

Laura Bracken, co-author of Investigating Prealgebra and Investigating Basic College Mathematics, teaches developmental mathematics at Lewis-Clark State College. As developmental math coordinator, Laura led the process of developing objectives, standardizing assessments, and enforcing placement including a mastery skill quiz program. She has worked collaboratively with science faculty to make connections between developmental math and introductory science courses. Laura has presented at numerous national and regional conferences and currently serves as the regional representative for the AMATYC Placement and Assessment Committee. Her blog, Dev Math Diary, is at

Ed Miller, Lewis-Clark State College

Ed Miller is a professor of mathematics at Lewis-Clark State College. He earned his PhD in general topology at Ohio University in 1989. He teaches a wide range of courses, including elementary and intermediate algebra. His terms as chair of the General Education Committee, the Curriculum Committee, and the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics have spurred him to look at courses as part of an integrated whole rather than discrete units. A regular presenter at national and regional meetings, Ed is exploring the use of multiple choice questions as a teaching tool as well as an assessment tool.
  • Real Sources. Among the application problems appearing in this textbook are specially developed exercises and examples that reference information taken directly from news articles, research studies, and other fact-based sources.  Many of these applications are set up in two parts with a problem statement given first followed by an excerpt. Since the question appears first and then the  information needed to answer the question follows, students experience problem solving in a more true-to-life way. Though similar in length to texts or tweets, the authentic excerpts often contain more information than is needed to solve the applications. Students will need to think critically to select the relevant information and in doing so, practice the skills needed to solve  problems outside of the classroom.
  • Checking for Accuracy and Reasonableness. To be successful in mathematics and other disciplines, an important skill for students to develop is checking their work for reasonability and accuracy. The explanations of reasonability in examples of the Five Steps and the checking of solutions in many of the worked examples provide a model for students learning to reflect on their own work. Being able to justify an answer helps students develop confidence and self-sufficiency. For those who wish to explore checking answers for reasonableness in more depth, an appendix is included in the back of the book.
  • Using Technology. For instructors who wish to integrate calculator technology, optional scientific and graphing calculator instruction is provided at the end of selected sections, where appropriate. The instruction that appears within the Using Technology boxes includes examples with keystrokes, screen shots, and Practice Problems. Follow-up Technology exercises appear at the end of section-ending exercises for continued practice.
  • End-of-Chapter Study Plan and Review Exercises. This tool offers students an effective and efficient way to prepare for quizzes or exams. The Study Plan, appearing at the end of each chapter, includes study tables for each section that will help students get organized as they prepare for a test or quiz. Each table contains a set of Can I? questions, based on the section objectives, for self-reflection. Can I? questions are tied to one or more Review Exercises that students can use to test themselves. Examples and/or Practice Problems are also linked to each question should students need reference for review.
  • Five Steps for Problem Solving. Based on the work of George Polya, the Five Steps provide a framework for jump starting and organizing student problem solving. Step-by step worked examples throughout the textbook support students as they learn to solve a wide range of applications.
  • Unique Online Homework Problems. Consistent with the authors’ approach, unique features and problem types from the text have been integrated into the Enhanced WebAssign® online homework course that accompanies the text including the 5-Steps framework, Success in College Math, Find the Mistake and Solving Equation Exercises with Checks. Online assignments can be built by selecting from thousands of text-specific problems or can be supplemented with Extra Problems have been carefully selected from other Cengage Learning developmental mathematics series. Enhanced WebAssign engages students with immediate feedback, rich tutorial content and interactive, fully customizable eBooks (YouBook) helping students to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of their subject matter.
  • InfoTrac® Student Collections are specialized databases expertly drawn from the Gale Academic One library. Each InfoTrac® Student Collection enhances the student learning experience in the specific course area related to the product. These specialized databases allow access to hundreds of scholarly and popular publications - all reliable sources - including journals, encyclopedias, and academic reports. Learn more and access at:
  • Success in College Mathematics. To help students transition to college-level mathematics, Success in College Mathematics appear at the beginning of each chapter and address topics such as personal responsibility, study skills, and time management. Follow-up exercises appear at the end of each section to help students reflect on their own attitudes and habits and how they can improve their performance. This feature also helps instructors identify issues outside of mathematics that may affect student success and retention.
  • Examples with Step-by-step Explanation. Each step of the worked examples is accompanied by an annotation that explains how the solution progresses, from the first line to the final answer. Color-coding and boldface are also used to help students easily identify the operation that occurs in each step, enabling the text to act as tutor when students are not in the classroom.
  • Side-by-side Examples. To help students apply their knowledge of arithmetic to algebra, some of the worked examples are set up side-by -side with shared annotations. In this format, students can more readily see how certain principles and procedures are used repeatedly in both arithmetic and algebra.
  • Practice Problems. Following a set of worked examples in each section are a set of Practice Problems that mirror the examples. Students can use the Practice Problems to check their understanding of the concepts or skills presented.
  • Problem Solving: Practice and Review. Beginning in Ch. 2, each section-ending exercise set includes a short set of applications-based exercises called Problem-Solving: Practice and Review. Because these problems do not involve the concepts or skills taught in the section, students need to think critically about the information and relationships in the problem. Even in sections that have few or no applications, students can continue to practice their problem-solving skills by completing one or more of these exercises.
  • Find the Mistake. The section-ending exercise sets include Find the Mistake exercises. Each exercise is a problem and a step-by-step solution which includes one mistake. Students are asked to identify the error and then rework the problem correctly. These exercises help students learn how to find errors in their own work which improves student persistence and self-sufficiency.
  • Learning the Language of Math. Vocabulary matching exercises that appear before the section-ending exercises help students improve their knowledge of vocabulary and notation.
Pretest. Evaluating Expressions and the Order of Operations. Signed Numbers. Fractions. Decimal Numbers, Percent, and Order of Operations. Study Plan for Review of Chapter R. Post Test.
Chapter Introduction: Success in College Mathematics—The Culture of College. The Real Numbers. Variables and Algebraic Expressions. Problem Solving with Percent. Units of Measurement and Formulas. Irrational Numbers and Roots. Study Plan for Review of Chapter 1. Chapter Test.
Chapter Introduction: Success in College Mathematics—Time Management. The Properties of Equality. More Equations in One Variable. Variables on Both Sides. Solving an Equation for a Variable. Inequalities in One Variable. Study Plan for Review of Chapter 2. Chapter Test.
Chapter Introduction: Success in College Mathematics—Learning Preferences. Ordered Pairs and Solutions of Linear Equations. Standard Form and Graphing with Intercepts. Average Rate of Change and Slope. Slope Intercept Form. Point-Slope Form and Writing the Equation of a Line. Linear Inequalities in Two Variables. Relations and Functions. Study Plan for Review of Chapter 3. Chapter Test. Cumulative Reviews Chapters 1-3.
Chapter Introduction: Success in College Mathematics—Using Your Textbook. Systems of Linear Equations. The Substitution Method. The Elimination Method. More Applications. Systems of Linear Inequalities. Study Plan for Review of Chapter 4. Chapter Test.
Chapter Introduction: Success in College Mathematics—Taking and Using Notes. Exponential Expressions and the Exponent Rules. Scientific Notation. Introduction to Polynomials. Multiplication of Polynomials. Division of Polynomials. Study Plan for Review of Chapter 5. Chapter Test.
Chapter Introduction: Success in College Mathematics—Learning from Tests and Quizzes. Introduction to Factoring. Factoring Trinomials. Patterns. Factoring Completely. The Zero Product Property. Study Plan for Review of Chapter 6. Chapter Test. Cumulative Review Chapters 4-6.
Chapter Introduction: Success in College Mathematics—Math Anxiety. Simplifying Rational Expressions. Multiplication and Division of Rational Expressions. Combining Rational Expressions with the Same Denominator. Combining Rational Expressions with Different Denominators. Complex Rational Expressions. Rational Equations and Proportions. Variation. Study Plan for Review of Chapter 7. Chapter Test.
Chapter Introduction: Success in College Mathematics—-Learning from Tutors. Square Roots. Adding and Subtracting Square Roots. Multiplying Square Roots. Dividing Square Roots and Rationalizing Denominators. Radical Equations. Higher Index Radicals and Rational Exponents. Study Plan for Review of Chapter 8. Chapter Test.
Chapter Introduction: Success in College Mathematics--Studying for Final Exams. Quadratic Equations in One Variable. Completing the Square. The Quadratic Formula. Quadratic Equations with Non-Real solutions. Quadratic Equations in the Form _y_ = _ax_^2 + _bx_ + _c_. Study Plan for Review of Chapter 9. Chapter Test. Cumulative Review Chapters 7-9. Cumulative Review Chapters 1-9.
1. Reasonability and Problem Solving.
2. Deriving the Quadratic Formula.
Each WebAssign online product offers the full textbook combined with a flexible and fully customizable online instructional assignments and tools.

Cengage provides a seamless user experience for Learning Management Systems (LMS) integration. Please contact your Cengage Learning Consultant for ordering information and visit our Learning Management System Integration web page on WebAssign for general information.

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"The text effectively covers the skills traditionally found in a developmental algebra book with the added emphasis on problem solving. I appreciate the inclusion of graphing calculator aids without requiring them. The writing style and level are appropriate for a developmental math student. This text fits my own philosophy of developmental mathematics education quite well."

"I love [the Find the Mistake end-of-section questions]. I have used such in my own classes many times. They are surprisingly hard to write and [I] would definitely assign them to my students."

"The authors' approach is definitely obvious in the text. Problem solving is clearly a focus, and the variety of applications is immediately evident. The fact that the applications include excerpts from current research and reports provides the real-life context that the author's desire as well as increasing student interest and the number of problems with extraneous information will force students to read carefully for important information. These problems do not appear periodically; they are intentional and consistent. The Problem Solving Practice and Review (Mixed Applications) demonstrates the authors' desire to provide opportunities for students to think about problems, not merely follow a formulaic problem type. The extra support for students is also carried out through the entire text. The examples continue to show all steps in later chapters as thoroughly as they do in the early ones."

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


PowerLecture with ExamView®

ISBN: 9781111574918
This CD-ROM (or DVD) provides the instructor with dynamic media tools for teaching. Create, deliver, and customize tests (both print and online) in minutes with ExamView® Computerized Testing Featuring Algorithmic Equations. Easily build solution sets for homework or exams using Solution Builder's online solutions manual. Microsoft® PowerPoint® figures from the book are also included on this CD-ROM (or DVD) along with the PowerPoint versions of the parallel Classroom Examples available in the Annotated Instructor's Edition. Additional support materials for use specifically with the textbook are also included.

Complete Solutions Manual

ISBN: 9781133935322
The Complete Solutions Manual provides worked-out solutions to all of the problems in the text.

College Prep Algebra: Instructor’s Resource Binder for Algebra Activities 2011

ISBN: 9780538736756
Each section of the main text is discussed in uniquely designed Teaching Guides containing instruction tips, examples, activities, worksheets, overheads, assessments, and solutions to all worksheets and activities. The community site for this FREE Instructor’s supplement provides more detail for instructors. In addition, the puzzles and activities are included in a Student Workbook that are saleable.

Student Solutions Manual

ISBN: 9781133941354
Contains fully worked-out solutions to all of the odd-numbered exercises in the text, giving students a way to check their answers and ensure that they took the correct steps to arrive at an answer.

Student Workbook

ISBN: 9781285067360
The Student Workbook contains all of the assessments, activities, and worksheets from the Instructor's Resource Binder to help your students maximize their study efforts.


Student Solutions Manual

ISBN: 9781133941354
Go beyond the answers--see what it takes to get there and improve your grade! This manual provides worked-out, step-by-step solutions to the odd-numbered problems in the text. This gives you the information you need to truly understand how these problems are solved.

Student Workbook

ISBN: 9781285067360
Get a head start with this hands-on resource! The Student Workbook is packed with assessments, activities, and worksheets to help you maximize your study efforts.