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In math class we have been assigned to answer the following question:

How do you solve an equation? Please provide an example.

I know how to solve an equation if it is given to me, but I do not know how to describe how to solve any equation. I hope you can help.

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Solving an Equation

To solve an equation, you apply inverses to each side of the equation until the variable you want to solve for is alone by itself on one side of the equation, and appears nowhere on the other side.

What is an inverse? An inverse is an operation that 'undoes' another operation. Suppose you have something like

x + 5 = 10

The additive inverse of 5 is -5, so you can 'invert' the addition by
adding -5:

x + 5 + -5 = 10 + -5


Solution Summary

By example, this solution explains the steps to take to solve an equation in mathematics.