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Introductory Algebra



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Elayn Martin-Gay firmly believes that every student can succeed, and her developmental math textbooks and video resources are motivated by this belief.Introductory Algebra, Fourth Editionwas written to provide students with a solid foundation in algebra and to help stuents make the transition to intermediate algebra. The new edition offers new resources like theStudent Organizerand now includesStudent Resourcesin the back of the book to help students on their quest for success.

Author Biography

An award-winning instructor and best-selling author, Elayn Martin-Gay has taught mathematics at the University of New Orleans for more than 25 years. Her numerous teaching awards include the local University Alumni Association’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Outstanding Developmental Educator at University of New Orleans, presented by the Louisiana Association of Developmental Educators.


Prior to writing textbooks, Elayn developed an acclaimed series of lecture videos to support developmental mathematics students in their quest for success. These highly successful videos originally served as the foundation material for her texts. Today, the videos are specific to each book in the Martin-Gay series. Elayn also pioneered the Chapter Test Prep Video to help students as they prepare for a test–their most “teachable moment!”


Elayn’s experience has made her aware of how busy instructors are and what a difference quality support makes. For this reason, she created the Instructor-to-Instructor video series. These videos provide instructors with suggestions for presenting specific math topics and concepts in basic mathematics, prealgebra, beginning algebra, and intermediate algebra. Seasoned instructors can use them as a source for alternate approaches in the classroom. New or adjunct faculty may find the videos useful for review.


Her textbooks and acclaimed video program support Elayn's passion of helping every student to succeed.

Table of Contents

Chapter R

Prealgebra Review

R.1 Factors and the Least Common Multiple

R.2 Fractions

R.3 Decimals and Percents

Chapters R Group Activity: Interpreting Survey Results

Chapter R Vocabulary Check

Chapter R Highlights

Chapter R Review

Chapter R Test


Chapter 1 Real Numbers and Introduction to Algebra

1.1     Tips for Success in Mathematics

1.2     Symbols and Sets of Numbers

1.3     Exponents, Order of Operations, and Variable Expressions

1.4     Adding Real Numbers

1.5     Subtracting Real Numbers

1.6     Multiplying and Dividing Real Numbers

1.7     Properties of Real Numbers

1.8     Simplifying Expressions


Chapter 2 Equations, Inequalities, and Problem Solving

2.1 The Addition Property of Equality

2.2 The Multiplication Property of Equality

2.3 Further Solving Linear Equations

2.4 An Introduction to Problem Solving

2.5 Formulas and Problem Solving

2.6 Percent and Mixture Problem Solving

2.7 Linear Inequalities and Problem Solving


Chapter 3 Exponents and Polynomials

3.1 Exponents

3.2 Negative Exponents and Scientific Notation

3.3 Introduction to Polynomials

3.4 Adding and Subtracting Polynomials

3.5 Multiplying Polynomials

3.6 Special Products

3.7 Dividing Polynomials


Chapter 4 Factoring Polynomials

4.1 The Greatest Common Factor

4.2 Factoring Trinomials of the Form x^2 + bx + c

4.3 Factoring Trinomials of the Form ax^2 + bx + c

4.4 Factoring Trinomials of the Form ax^2 + bx + c by Grouping

4.5 Factoring Perfect Square Trinomials and the Difference of Two Square

4.6 Solving Quadratic Equations by Factoring

4.7 Quadratic Equations and Problem Solving


Chapter 5 Rational Expressions

5.1 Simplifying Rational Expressions

5.2 Multiplying and Dividing Rational Expressions

5.3 Adding and Subtracting Rational Expressions with the Same Denominator and Least Common Denominator

5.4 Adding and Subtracting Rational Expressions with Different Denominators

5.5 Solving Equations Containing Rational Expressions

5.6 Proportions and Problem Solving with Rational Equations

5.7 Simplifying Complex Fractions


Chapter 6 Graphing Equations and Inequalities

6.1 Reading Graphs and the Rectangular Coordinate System

6.2 Graphing Linear Equations

6.3 Intercepts

6.4 Slope and Rate of Change

6.5 Equations of Lines

6.6 Introduction to Functions

6.7 Graphing Linear Inequalities in Two Variables

6.8 Direct and Inverse Variation


Chapter 7 Systems of Equations

7.1 Solving Systems of Linear Equations by Graphing

7.2 Solving Systems of Linear Equations by Substitution

7.3 Solving Systems of Linear Equations by Addition

7.4 Systems of Linear Equations and Problem Solving


Chapter 8 Roots and Radicals

8.1 Introduction to Radicals

8.2 Simplifying Radicals

8.3 Adding and Subtracting Radicals

8.4 Multiplying and Dividng Radicals

8.5 Solving Equations Containing Radicals

8.6 Radical Equations and Problem Solving


Chapter 9 Quadratic Equations

9.1 Solving Quadratic Equations by the Square Root Property

9.2 Solving Quadratic Equations by Completing the Square

9.3 Solving Quadratic Equations by the Quadratic Formula

9.4 Graphing Quadratic Equations in Two Variables


Appendix A Factoring Sums and Differences of Cubes

Appendix B Mean, Median, and Mode

Appendix C Sets

Appendix D Review of Angles, Lines, and Special Triangles

Appendix E Tables

Student Resources


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