Elementary Algebra (4e) : 9780134566719

Elementary Algebra (4e)

Sullivan & Struve
Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
In stock
Title type
Title type

For courses in Elementary and Intermediate Algebra


Helping Students Innovatively "Do the Math"

Elementary Algebra introduces students to the logic, precision and rigor of mathematics, while building a foundation for success in future math courses.


Known for their hallmark examples that give students extra step-by-step support, the authors have continued their successful text pedagogy and have focused in the revision to translating it to the MyLab™ Math course for a truly dynamic learning and teaching experience.

Table of contents
  • Preface
  • 1. Operations on Real Numbers and Algebraic Expressions
  • 2. Equations and Inequalities in One Variable
  • 3. Introduction to Graphing and Equations of Lines
  • 4. Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities in Two Variables
  • 5. Exponents and Polynomials 
  • 6. Factoring Polynomials
  • 7. Rational Expressions and Equations
  • 8. Roots and Radicals
  • 9. Quadratic Equations
  • 10. Graphs of Quadratic Equations in Two Variables and an Introduction to Functions
  • Appendix A: Table of Square Roots
  • Appendix B: Geometry Review
  • Photo Credits
  • Answers to Selected Exercises
  • Graphing Answer Section
  • Applications Index
  • Subject Index
New to this edition

About the Book


Extra Sullivan-level Student Support

  • Quick Response (QR) codes now appear at each section opener, at section-┬┐level exercises, and as part of the Chapter Tests. They link students to the videos and applets that are available for that section, giving them resources at their fingertips.

Also available with MyLab Math.

MyLab™ Math is an online homework, tutorial, and assessment program designed to work with this text to engage students and improve results. Within its structured environment, students practice what they learn, test their understanding, and pursue a personalized study plan that helps them absorb course material and understand difficult concepts.


  • Video Program gives students just-in-time help at home, in the lab, or to go through a wealth of video resources in the MyLab Math course. Video resources include:
    • Author-in-Action videos feature author Mike Sullivan delivering in-class lectures and interacting with a live student audience. Students have access to a master teacher regardless of where and when they are studying.
    • Example-level solution clips
    • Chapter Test Prep videos help students during their most teachable moment–when they are preparing for a test with  step-by-step solutions for the exercises found in each Chapter Test.
  • How To exercises ask students to test their knowledge and are truly assignable in MyLab Math. These Guided Exercises walk students through each step of the problem-solving process, giving them a guided, step-by-step learning experience. These exercises were written and developed by Jessica Bernards and Wendy Fresh who are contributors to the author team.  Students are required to respond to questions as the steps to solving problems are developed.  This is similar to the Help Me Solve This feature in MyLab Math. They keep students engaged while developing their conceptual understanding.
  • GeoGebra applets have been developed by Jessica Bernards and Wendy Fresh along with discovery activities to allow students to develop understanding of mathematical concepts through experiential learning. These enable students to explore and manipulate math in a visual and tangible way. The Geogebra applets may be found in MyLab Math or directly at www.pearsonhighered.com/SullivanApplets.
  • Quick Response (QR) codes now appear at each section opener, at section-┬┐level exercises, and as part of the Chapter Tests. Each code links students to the videos and applets that are available for that section, giving them resources at their fingertips.
  • Learning Catalytics™ helps instructors generate class discussion, customize lectures, and promote peer-to-peer learning with real-time analytics. As a student response tool, Learning Catalytics uses students’ smartphones, tablets, or laptops to engage them in more interactive tasks and thinking.
Features & benefits

About the Book


Unique Sullivan examples and exercise sets distinguish the text

  • Sullivan Examples are presented in a two-column, annotated format that explains what the authors are about to do in each step, just as a professor would. These examples read left to right, so that students understand what each step is accomplishing as they read through. (Often examples have annotations or pointers after each step, rather than before.)
  • Showcase Examples take the explanations one step further with a three column format that breaks the problem solving process down for students. The left column describes a step, the middle column provides a brief annotation, as needed, to explain the step, and the right column presents the algebra.
  • The Sullivan/Struve/Mazzarella Algebra program is designed to motivate students to “do the math”–at home or in the lab–through a full suite of resources that support a variety of learning environments.
  • Variety of exercise types throughout each section
    • Building Skills exercises develop students’ understanding of the procedures and skills in working with the methods presented in the section.
    • Mixed Practice exercises offer comprehensive skill assessment by asking students to relate multiple concepts or objectives.
    • Quick Check exercises exercises follow the examples, allowing students to apply what they have just learned. These are numbered as the first problems in each section’s exercise set, making them assignable as homework, and giving an easy way refer back to the relevant examples for extra help. Quick Checks include fill-in-the-blank and True/False questions to assess students’ understanding of vocabulary and formulas.


Extra Sullivan-level Student Support

  • NEW! Quick Response (QR) codes now appear at each section opener, at section-level exercises, and as part of the Chapter Tests. They link students to the videos and applets that are available for that section, giving them resources at their fingertips.
  • “Are You Prepared for this Section” problems test students’ grasp of the prerequisite material for each new section.
  • Explaining the Concepts problems ask students to explain concepts in their own words.
  • Various exercises to assist students’ understanding
    • Applying the Concepts exercises ask students to apply the mathematical concepts to real-world situations.
    • Extending the Concepts exercises go beyond the basics, using a variety of problems to sharpen students’ critical-thinking skills.
    • Synthesis Review exercises help students grasp the “big picture” of algebra–once they have a sufficient conceptual foundation to build upon from their work in Chapters R through 4. Synthesis Review exercises ask students to perform a single operation (adding, solving, and so on) on several objects (polynomials, rational expressions, and so on). The student is then asked to discuss the similarities and differences in performing the same operation on the different objects.
    • Technology exercises are included at the close of a section’s exercise set, allow for the use of graphing technology, such as graphing calculators, GeoGebra, or Demos to solve problems. These exercises are entirely optional.
  • Problem Icons flag selected problems to denote that:
    • Problems whose number is green have complete worked-out solutions in video found in MyLab Math.
    • Problems with a triangle icon focus on geometry concepts.
  • Section R.1: Success in Mathematics focuses the student on basic study skills, including what to do during the first week of the term; what to do before, during, and after class; how to use the text effectively; and how to prepare for an exam.
  • In Other Words helps to address the difficulty that students have in reading mathematically precise definitions and theorems by explaining them in easier to understand language.
  • Work Smart provides “tricks of the trade” hints, tips, reminders, and alerts. It also identifies some common errors to avoid and helps students work more efficiently.
  • Work Smart: Study Skills reminds students of study skills that will help them to succeed at various points in the course. Attention to these practices will help them to become better, more proficient learners.
  • Chapter Tests help students to make sure they understand the key topics in the chapter. The exercises in the Chapter Tests have been crafted to reflect the level and types of exercises a student is likely to see on a classroom test.


Helping Students Tie the Ideas Together

  • The Big Picture: Putting It Together (Chapter Opener) features are based on how we start each chapter in the classroom–with a quick sketch of what we plan to cover. These sections tie concepts and techniques together by summarising material covered previously and then relate these ideas to upcoming material.
  • Putting the Concepts Together (Mid-Chapter Review) are groups of exercises in each chapter, at the appropriate point in the chapter, which serve as a review–synthesising material introduced up to that point in the chapter. The exercises in these mid-chapter reviews are carefully chosen to assist students in seeing the “big picture.”
  • Cumulative Review Learning: Algebra is a building process, and building involves considerable reinforcement. The Cumulative Review exercises at the end of each odd-numbered chapter, starting with Chapter 1, help students reinforce and solidify their knowledge by revisiting concepts and using them in context.  Answers to all cumulative review problems appear in the back of the text.
Author biography

With training in mathematics, statistics, and economics, Michael Sullivan III has a varied teaching background that includes 27 years of instruction in both high school and college-level mathematics. He is currently a full-time professor of mathematics at Joliet Junior College. Michael has numerous textbooks in publication, including an Introductory Statistics series and a Precalculus series, which he writes with his father, Michael Sullivan.


Michael believes that his experiences writing texts for college-level math and statistics courses give him a unique perspective as to where students are headed once they leave the developmental mathematics tract. This experience is reflected in the philosophy and presentation of his developmental text series.When not in the classroom or writing, Michael enjoys spending time with his three children, Michael, Kevin, and Marissa, and playing golf. Now that his two sons are getting older, he has the opportunity to do both at the same time!


Kathy Struve has been a classroom teacher for nearly 35 years, first at the high school level and, for the past 27 years, at Columbus State Community College. Kathy embraces classroom diversity: diversity of students’ age, learning styles, and previous learning success. She is aware of the challenges of teaching mathematics at a large, urban community college, where students have varied mathematics backgrounds and may enter college with a high level of mathematics anxiety.


Kathy served as Lead Instructor of the Developmental Algebra sequence at Columbus State, where she developed curriculum, conducted workshops, and provided leadership to adjunct faculty in the mathematics department. She embraces the use of technology in instruction, and has taught web and hybrid classes in addition to traditional face-to-face emporium-style classes. She is always looking for ways to more fully involve students in the learning process. In her spare time Kathy enjoys spending time with her two adult daughters, her four granddaughters, and biking, hiking, and traveling with her husband.


Born and raised in San Diego county, Janet Mazzarella spent her career teaching in culturally and economically diverse high schools before taking a position at Southwestern College 25 years ago. Janet has taught a wide range of mathematics courses from arithmetic through calculus for math/science/engineering majors and has training in mathematics, education, engineering, and accounting.


Janet has worked to incorporate technology into the curriculum by participating in the development of Interactive Math and Math Pro. At Southwestern College, she helped develop the self-paced developmental mathematics program. In addition, Janet was the Dean of the School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering, the Chair of the Mathematics Department, the faculty union president, and the faculty coordinator for Intermediate Algebra. In the past, free time consisted of racing motorcycles off-road in the Baja 500 and rock climbing, but recently she has given up the adrenaline rush of these activities for the thrill of traveling in Europe.

Jessica Bernards and Wendy Fresh of Portland Community College have worked extensively with the author team to create the How to exercises, new Geogebra applet exercises, and have made the assignments for the New MyMathLab courses.

Student supplements