**THE LIZZIE METHOD**

Take, for example, the following quadratic equation: 6x^{2}+13x+6=0

Multiply 6, the leading coefficient, by 6,

the last number in the equation.

6 x 6=36

Find the two numbers that will multiply to 36 and

also add to 13, the middle number.

4 x 9=36 4+9=13

This is the same way the Split Method starts out, but here is where it changes. Now, simply divide each of these numbers by 6, the leading coefficient. 4/6 and 9/6 reduce to 2/3 and 3/2

At this point, rewrite the equation. (x+2/3) (x+3/2)=0

Now find the two possible solutions x= -2/3 and -3/2

To put the equation in its factored form, the fractions must be cleared. Step back to (x+2/3) (x+3/2) +0 and bring each denominator over to its x.

(3x+2) (2x+3)=0

Voila! You have solved for the zeroes of the equation and put it into its factored form.

**THE SPLIT METHOD**

Take the original equation and perform the same first two steps to come up with the numbers 4 and 9.

Split the middle term of the equation using those two numbers. 6x^{2}+4x+9x+6=0

Factor the equation by grouping. This is where most students become confused. 2x(3x+2) + 3(3x+2)=0

To put the equation in its factored form, add the terms outside the parentheses and place them next to the term that is already in parentheses. (3x+2) (2x+3)=0

Ronit Feldman is a Metro Times editorial intern. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com