In this Section:
In this section, we will begin to learn about word problems. These problems involve setting up and solving linear equations in one variable and are more specifically known as applications of linear equations. In order to solve a word problem, we must be able to decipher information accurately in order to answer the main question. We will learn a simple six step procedure to accomplish this goal. First, we read the problem carefully and determine what we need to find. Second, we assign a variable to represent the unknown; when more than one unknown exists, we model the other unknowns in terms of the variable. Third, we setup an equation based on the information in the problem. Fourth, we simply solve the equation. Fifth, we report our answer using one or many sentences, depending on the depth of the answer. Lastly, we check the solution in terms of the original problem. With word problems, we must ensure that our answer makes sense. As an example, we don’t want an answer of negative two for a question of how many miles did Dan drive to the store. He either went zero miles, or some positive amount.