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Elementary Algebra 2e by OpenStax

Elementary Algebra 2e by OpenStax PDF

Author: OpenStax

Publisher: XanEdu Publishing Inc


Publish Date: April 22, 2020

ISBN-10: 197507646X

Pages: 1332

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Welcome to Elementary Algebra 2e, an OpenStax resource. This textbook was written to increase student access to high-quality learning materials, maintaining highest standards of academic rigor at little to no cost.

About OpenStax

OpenStax is a nonprofit based at Rice University, and it’s our mission to improve student access to education. Our first openly licensed college textbook was published in 2012, and our library has since scaled to over 35 books for college and AP courses used by hundreds of thousands of students. OpenStax Tutor, our low-cost personalized learning tool, is being piloted in college courses throughout the country. Through our partnerships with philanthropic foundations and our alliance with other educational resource organizations, OpenStax is breaking down the most common barriers to learning and empowering students and instructors to succeed.

About OpenStax Resources Customization

Elementary Algebra 2e is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY) license, which means that you can distribute, remix, and build upon the content, as long as you provide attribution to OpenStax and its content contributors.
Because our books are openly licensed, you are free to use the entire book or pick and choose the sections that are most relevant to the needs of your course. Feel free to remix the content by assigning your students certain chapters and sections in your syllabus, in the order that you prefer. You can even provide a direct link in your syllabus to the sections in the web view of your book.
Instructors also have the option of creating a customized version of their OpenStax book. The custom version can be made available to students in low-cost print or digital form through their campus bookstore. Visit your book page on for more information.

Art attribution in Elementary Algebra 2e

In Elementary Algebra 2e, most art contains attribution to its title, creator or rights holder, host platform, and license within the caption. For art that is openly licensed, anyone may reuse the art as long as they provide the same attribution to its original source. Some art has been provided through permissions and should only be used with the attribution or limitations provided in the credit.


All OpenStax textbooks undergo a rigorous review process. However, like any professional-grade textbook, errors sometimes occur. Since our books are web based, we can make updates periodically when deemed pedagogically necessary. If you have a correction to suggest, submit it through the link on your book page on Subject matter experts review all errata suggestions. OpenStax is committed to remaining transparent about all updates, so you will also find a list of past errata changes on your book page on


You can access this textbook for free in web view or PDF through, and for a low cost in print.

About Elementary Algebra

Elementary Algebra 2e is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of a one-semester elementary algebra course. The book’s organization makes it easy to adapt to a variety of course syllabi. The text expands on the fundamental concepts of algebra while addressing the needs of students with diverse backgrounds and learning styles. Each topic builds upon previously developed material to demonstrate the cohesiveness and structure of mathematics.

Coverage and Scope

Elementary Algebra 2e follows a nontraditional approach in its presentation of content. Building on the content in Prealgebra, the material is presented as a sequence of small steps so that students gain confidence in their ability to succeed in the course. The order of topics was carefully planned to emphasize the logical progression through the course and to facilitate a thorough understanding of each concept. As new ideas are presented, they are explicitly related to previous topics.

Chapter 1: Foundations
Chapter 1 reviews arithmetic operations with whole numbers, integers, fractions, and decimals, to give the student a solid base that will support their study of algebra.
Chapter 2: Solving Linear Equations and Inequalities
In Chapter 2, students learn to verify a solution of an equation, solve equations using the Subtraction and Addition Properties of Equality, solve equations using the Multiplication and Division Properties of Equality, solve equations with variables and constants on both sides, use a general strategy to solve linear equations, solve equations with fractions or decimals, solve a formula for a specific variable, and solve linear inequalities.

Chapter 3: Math Models
Once students have learned the skills needed to solve equations, they apply these skills in Chapter 3 to solve word and number problems.
Chapter 4: Graphs
Chapter 4 covers the rectangular coordinate system, which is the basis for most consumer graphs. Students learn to plot points on a rectangular coordinate system, graph linear equations in two variables, graph with intercepts, understand slope of a line, use the slope-intercept form of an equation of a line, find the equation of a line, and create graphs of linear inequalities.
Chapter 5: Systems of Linear Equations
Chapter 5 covers solving systems of equations by graphing, substitution, and elimination; solving applications with systems of equations, solving mixture applications with systems of equations, and graphing systems of linear inequalities.
Chapter 6: Polynomials
In Chapter 6, students learn how to add and subtract polynomials, use multiplication properties of exponents, multiply polynomials, use special products, divide monomials and polynomials, and understand integer exponents and scientific notation.
Chapter 7: Factoring
In Chapter 7, students explore the process of factoring expressions and see how factoring is used to solve certain types of equations.
Chapter 8: Rational Expressions and Equations
In Chapter 8, students work with rational expressions, solve rational equations, and use them to solve problems in a variety of applications.
Chapter 9: Roots and Radical
In Chapter 9, students are introduced to and learn to apply the properties of square roots, and extend these concepts to higher order roots and rational exponents.
Chapter 10: Quadratic Equations
In Chapter 10, students study the properties of quadratic equations, solve and graph them. They also learn how to apply them as models of various situations.

All chapters are broken down into multiple sections, the titles of which can be viewed in the Table of Contents.

Changes to the Second Edition

The Elementary Algebra 2e revision focused on mathematical clarity and accuracy. Every Example, Try-It, Section Exercise, Review Exercise, and Practice Test item was reviewed by multiple faculty experts, and then verified by authors. This intensive effort resulted in hundreds of changes to the text, problem language, answers, instructor solutions, and graphics.
However, OpenStax and our authors are aware of the difficulties posed by shifting problem and exercise numbers when textbooks are revised. In an effort to make the transition to the 2nd edition as seamless as possible, we have minimized any shifting of exercise numbers. For example, instead of deleting or adding problems where necessary, we replaced problems in order to keep the numbering intact. As a result, in nearly all chapters, there will be no shifting of exercise numbers; in the chapters where shifting does occur, it will be minor. Faculty and course coordinators should be able to use the new edition in a straightforward manner.
Also, to increase convenience, answers to the Be Prepared Exercises will now appear in the regular solutions manuals, rather than as a separate resource.
A detailed transition guide is available as an instructor resource at

Key Features and Boxes

Examples Each learning objective is supported by one or more worked examples that demonstrate the problem-solving approaches that students must master. Typically, we include multiple Examples for each learning objective to model different approaches to the same type of problem, or to introduce similar problems of increasing complexity.
All Examples follow a simple two- or three-part format. First, we pose a problem or question. Next, we demonstrate the solution, spelling out the steps along the way. Finally (for select Examples), we show students how to check the solution. Most Examples are written in a two-column format, with explanation on the left and math on the right to mimic the way that instructors “talk through” examples as they write on the board in class.
Be Prepared! Each section, beginning with Section 2.1, starts with a few “Be Prepared!” exercises so that students can determine if they have mastered the prerequisite skills for the section. Reference is made to specific Examples from previous sections so students who need further review can easily find explanations. Answers to these exercises can be found in the supplemental resources that accompany this title.

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