# Working With Expressions

## Objectives

After completing this unit, you should be able to:

• Use exponential notation.
• Apply addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in algebraic terms.
• Apply addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to algebraic expressions.
• Apply the rules of grouping symbols to algebraic expressions.
• Apply the order of operations to algebraic expressions.
• Evaluate algebraic expressions.

## Introduction

One of the important algebraic procedures you will be called upon to do is evaluate expressions. That means reducing the expression to a numeric value, or its simplified form. Evaluating expressions is not always simple. There is a systematic way to evaluate expressions to ensure you get the correct answer. If you are given an expression that contains a variety of different operations, there is a specific order in which these operations must be performed. This order is called the order of operations.

In this unit, we will review the notation, concepts, and procedures required for evaluating expressions. Since it is critical to understand exponents in order to understand later procedures, we will start there. We will follow with multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction of algebraic terms, and then discuss the use of parentheses and other grouping symbols. We will then apply all of these as we review the order of operations.

This unit contains 5 sections that are somewhat lengthy. You can select which sections you wish to review from the list below. You may wish to try the practices for this unit (see link at the bottom of this page) to help determine which sections you wish to review.