- Topics At a Glance
- Exponents
- Negative Exponents
- Fractional Exponents
- Irrational Exponents
- Variables as Exponents
- Defining Polynomials
- Degrees of a Polynomial
- Multivariable Polynomials
- Degrees of Multivariable Polynomials
- Special Kinds of Polynomials
- Evaluating Polynomials
- Roots of a Polynomial
- Combining Polynomials
- Multiplying Polynomials
- Multiplication of a Monomial and a Polynomial
- Multiplication of Two Binomials
- Special Cases of Binomial Multiplication
- General Multiplication of Polynomials
- We'll Divide Polynomials Later!
**Factoring Polynomials**- The Greatest Common Factor
- Recognizing Products
- Trial and Error
- Factoring by Grouping
- Summary
- Introduction to Polynomial Equations
- Solving Polynomial Equations
- In the Real World
- I Like Abstract Stuff; Why Should I Care?
- How to Solve a Math Problem

We've already talked about factoring expressions, or breaking them down into parts or factors. We practiced finding the greatest common factor (GCF) of a collection of terms, and pulling it out of an expression, as if it were an impacted molar. Since polynomials are expressions, we can also find the greatest common factor of the terms of a polynomial. Have your anesthesia and forceps at the ready.

There are also some other factoring techniques we can use to break down a polynomial. The idea of factoring is to write a polynomial as a product of other smaller, more attractive polynomials. We know this makes us sound shallow, but we don't care if these smaller polynomials have good personalities. They only need to be really, really, ridiculously good-looking.

While the coefficients of polynomials can be any real values, usually when we talk about factoring polynomials we're breaking down polynomials with integer coefficients into products of other polynomials with integer coefficients.