Emphasis on study skills and self-responsibility--Each chapter presents a study skill essential to success in mathematics called Study Skills in Action, followed by a Smart Study Strategy that offers concrete ways that students can help themselves with the skill. These Study Skills were written by noted study skills expert, Kimberly Nolting.
Cumulative Review exercises--Each exercise set (except those in Chapter 1) is followed by exercises that cover concepts from previous sections. This serves as a review for students and also helps them connect old concepts with new concepts.
Emphasis on learning objectives and outcomes--Every section begins with a list of learning objectives to show what will be covered in each section.
Detailed, titled examples to develop concepts--Each example has been carefully chosen to illustrate a particular mathematical concept or problem-solving technique. The examples cover a wide variety of problems and are titled for easy reference. Many include detailed, step-by-step solutions with side comments that explain the key steps of the solution process.
Real-world applications--A wide variety of real-life applications are integrated throughout the text in examples and exercises, demonstrating the relevance of algebra in the real world. Many of the applications use current, real data.
Straightforward problem-solving approach--The text provides many opportunities for students to sharpen problem-solving skills. In both the examples and the exercises, students are asked to apply verbal, numerical, analytical, and graphical approaches to problem solving. The authors' five-step strategy for solving applied problems begins with constructing a verbal model and ends with checking the answer.
Plentiful exercises and tests--Graded exercise sets are grouped into three categories, offering a diversity of computational, conceptual, and applied problems to accommodate many learning styles. Detailed solutions to odd-numbered exercises are in the Student Solutions Manual; answers to odd-numbered exercises are in the back of the text.
Chapter-ending Review Exercises contain skill-building and application exercises, grouped by learning objectives. Mid-Chapter Quizzes, Chapter Tests, and Cumulative Tests provide additional opportunities to practice skills.
In-text learning aids--Definitions and rules are highlighted, Study Tips offer suggestions for studying algebra and point out common errors, and Technology Tips point out where the use of a graphing calculator is helpful in visualizing concepts and solving the problem.