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  1. Factor and simplify each expression below. Homework Help ✎

    1. Justify each step in simplifying the expression in part (a).

Factor and then reduce.

For the numerator, what numbers multiply to −6 and add to −5?

Put these numbers in a generic rectangle (these create your "middle term") along with the first and last terms.
Now find the greatest common factors of each row and column.

See the generic rectangle.
2x2 − 5x − 3 = (x − 3)(2x + 1)

Now factor the denominator and simplify.