# Factoring(2): Factoring the Difference of Squares

Recall:

1) “__Difference__” means the result of *subtraction*.

2) A perfect __square__ is formed by multiplying a term by itself

3) Conjugates are two binomials – one sum, and one difference – that begin and end with the same expression.

**HOW TO FACTOR THE DIFFERENCE OF SQUARES:**

**1)** Make sure that the polynomial is, in fact, a * difference *of

__squares__. (It is not possible to factor a sum of squares!)

**2)** Determine the square root of the first and last term.

**3)** Write the binomial factors – these will be conjugates that begin and end with the square roots you found in step #2.

(**Note:** Because of the commutative property, the order of the factors doesn’t matter)

**EXAMPLES WITH EXPLANATIONS: **(Click here to enlarge)