Algebra Tutorials!
Rational Expressions
Graphs of Rational Functions
Solve Two-Step Equations
Multiply, Dividing; Exponents; Square Roots; and Solving Equations
Solving a Quadratic Equation
Systems of Linear Equations Introduction
Equations and Inequalities
Solving 2nd Degree Equations
Review Solving Quadratic Equations
System of Equations
Solving Equations & Inequalities
Linear Equations Functions Zeros, and Applications
Rational Expressions and Functions
Linear equations in two variables
Lesson Plan for Comparing and Ordering Rational Numbers
Solving Equations
Radicals and Rational Exponents
Solving Linear Equations
Systems of Linear Equations
Solving Exponential and Logarithmic Equations
Solving Systems of Linear Equations
Solving Quadratic Equations
Quadratic and Rational Inequalit
Applications of Systems of Linear Equations in Two Variables
Systems of Linear Equations
Test Description for RATIONAL EX
Exponential and Logarithmic Equations
Systems of Linear Equations: Cramer's Rule
Introduction to Systems of Linear Equations
Literal Equations & Formula
Equations and Inequalities with Absolute Value
Rational Expressions
Steepest Descent for Solving Linear Equations
The Quadratic Equation
Linear equations in two variables
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Literal Equations & Formula

A literal equation is an equation which consists primarily of letters.
Formulas are an example of literal equations.
Each variable in the equation "literally" represents an important part of the whole relationship
expressed by the equation.

For example,

The perimeter of a rectangle is expressed as P = 2L + 2W

The "L" represents the length of one side of the rectangle. We see "2L" in the formula since there
are two sides in a rectangle.

The "W" represents the measure of the width. There is a "width" at opposite ends of the
rectangle, hence "2W".

Solving Literal Equations

To solve a literal equation means to rewrite the equation so a different variable stands alone on
one side of the equals sign. We have to be told for which variable we want to solve.

For example,

If we were asked to solve the equation P = 2W + 2L for W,
we would get W = ( P - 2L ) / 2

We started with " P = ..." and ended with " W = ... ".
That's what it means to "solve a literal equation."

1. Identify the variable that you want to have alone.
2. Treat all other letters as if they were numbers.
You can add, subtract, or multiply by a letter.
You can also divide by a variable as long as it is never zero.
3. Use all of the rules of algebra that you learned to solve equations in the past.
You may need to add the opposite of a variable to both sides of an equation.
You might have to multiply both sides by the reciprocal of the variable.
All rules of algebra apply.
4. Get the variable you want by itself on one side of the equation.

Example 1:

Solve 5x + 2y = 7 for "y".


Identify "y" as the variable you want alone.
Add the opposite of 5x to both sides.
Divide all terms on both sides by the coefficient of "y"
Here is your solution.

Rewritten for "y": y = ( 7/2 ) - ( 5/2 )x

Example 2:

Solve T = 2πR(R+h) for h


Identify "h" as the variable you want alone.
Divide both sides by the factors 2πR.
To solve for h, add the opposite of R to both sides.
You are done.

Hence, h = [ T / ( 2πR ) ] - R

If we want to write the answer using a single fraction, we need to express R in terms of the
common denominator 2πR.

Write R over the denominator of 1
Multiply the numerator and denominator of R by 2πR.
Simplify. R times R is R2.
We do not use the distributive law since there is no
addition inside the parentheses.
Write answer over the common denominator 2πR.

Rewritten for h, h = ( T - 2πR2 ) / ( 2πR )

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