Elementary Algebra

(8 reviews)


John Redden, College of the Sequoias

Pub Date: 2011

ISBN 13: 978-1-4533009-2-3

Publisher: Saylor Foundation

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Reviewed by Mel Taylor, Mathematics Faculty, Ridgewater College, Willmar, Minnesota, on 6/11/2015.

The text covers all areas of Elementary Algebra appropriately and covers some areas of Intermediate Algebra. There is so much material in this text … read more



Reviewed by Laurence Stone, Math Instructor, Dakota County Technical College, on 6/11/2015.

Presently (March 2015) the book has neither table of contents nor index. I had to build my own table of contents by hand before I could settle down … read more



Reviewed by D Bobzien, Mathematics Instructor, Central Lakes College, on 6/11/2015.

The textbook covers all of the chosen topics very thoroughly.… read more



Reviewed by Harmony Richman, Mathematics Instructor, Dakota College at Bottineau , on 1/8/2016.

The book covers a wide variety of topics, in detail that I cover in my current Algebra Prep 1, Algebra Prep 2 and Algebra Prep 3 course. Each course … read more



Reviewed by Wendy Rawlinson, Mathematics Instructor, Lane Community College, on 8/22/2016.

This book provides very clear and comprehensive coverage of the usual Elementary Algebra topics, as well as some Intermediate Algebra material. The … read more



Reviewed by Kristin Lassonde, Mathematics Faculty, Klamath Community College, on 8/22/2016.

The book covers almost every topic one might use in the course and many topics which are frequently covered in the next course. Small lacking in … read more



Reviewed by John Salisbury, Mathematics Instructor, Rogue Community College, on 8/22/2016.

The book covers all usual topics in an elementary algebra text book, commencing with integers and continuing through linear expressions, linear … read more



Reviewed by Berri Hsiao, Faculty, Lane Community College, on 8/22/2016.

This book is the most comprehensive Algebra textbook that I have seen as an OER material. The book covers sections and topics that are appropriate … read more


Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Real Numbers and Their Operations
  • Chapter 2: Linear Equations and Inequalities
  • Chapter 3: Graphing Lines
  • Chapter 4: Solving Linear Systems
  • Chapter 5: Polynomials and Their Operations
  • Chapter 6: Factoring and Solving by Factoring
  • Chapter 7: Rational Expressions and Equations
  • Chapter 8: Radical Expressions and Equations
  • Chapter 9: Solving Quadratic Equations and Graphing Parabolas
  • Chapter 10: Appendix: Geometric Figures

About the Book

It is essential to lay a solid foundation in mathematics if a student is to be competitive in today’s global market. The importance of algebra, in particular, cannot be overstated, as it is the basis of all mathematical modeling used in applications found in all disciplines. Traditionally, the study of algebra is separated into a two parts, elementary algebra and intermediate algebra. This textbook, Elementary Algebra, is the first part, written in a clear and concise manner, making no assumption of prior algebra experience. It carefully guides students from the basics to the more advanced techniques required to be successful in the next course.

This text is, by far, the best elementary algebra textbook offered under a Creative Commons license. It is written in such a way as to maintain maximum flexibility and usability. A modular format was carefully integrated into the design. For example, certain topics, like functions, can be covered or omitted without compromising the overall flow of the text. An introduction of square roots in Chapter 1 is another example that allows for instructors wishing to include the quadratic formula early to do so. Topics such as these are carefully included to enhance the flexibility throughout. This textbook will effectively enable traditional or nontraditional approaches to elementary algebra. This, in addition to robust and diverse exercise sets, provides the base for an excellent individualized textbook instructors can use free of needless edition changes and excessive costs! A few other differences are highlighted below:

  • Equivalent mathematical notation using standard text found on a keyboard
  • A variety of applications and word problems included in most exercise sets
  • Clearly enumerated steps found in context within carefully chosen examples
  • Alternative methods and notation, modularly integrated, where appropriate
  • Video examples available, in context, within the online version of the textbook
  • Robust and diverse exercise sets with discussion board questions
  • Key words and key takeaways summarizing each section

This text employs an early-and-often approach to real-world applications, laying the foundation for students to translate problems described in words into mathematical equations. It also clearly lays out the steps required to build the skills needed to solve these equations and interpret the results. With robust and diverse exercise sets, students have the opportunity to solve plenty of practice problems. In addition to embedded video examples and other online learning resources, the importance of practice with pencil and paper is stressed. This text respects the traditional approaches to algebra pedagogy while enhancing it with the technology available today. In addition, textual notation is introduced as a means to communicate solutions electronically throughout the text. While it is important to obtain the skills to solve problems correctly, it is just as important to communicate those solutions with others effectively in the modern era of instant communications.

About the Contributors


John Redden earned his degrees at California State University–Northridge and Glendale Community College. He is now a professor of mathematics at the College of the Sequoias, located in Visalia, California. With over a decade of experience working with students to develop their algebra skills, he knows just where they struggle and how to present complex techniques in more understandable ways. His student-friendly and commonsense approach carries over to his writing of Elementary Algebra and various other open-source learning resources.