In this Section:
In this section, we will begin talking about a process that is crucial to the rest of our career in mathematics: factoring. Factoring is essentially the reverse of the distributive property. We are pulling out what is common to all terms and placing this outside of a set of parentheses. Here we will focus on factoring out the GCF. To do this, we look at our polynomial that we are trying to factor. We find the GCF and place it outside of a set of parentheses. We then divide each term of the polynomial by the GCF to obtain what goes in each spot inside of the parentheses. Once we have factored out our GCF, we can check the result using the distributive property. This should give us our original polynomial back.