Is there a shortcut to foiling an equation?

I always thought that FOIL WAS a shortcut.

I've never heard of "foil" before :)

FOIL (First Inner Outer Last)

Does this just specify an order in which you are supposed to multiply?

I think the order is unintended, and although useful, is not necessary. I think the point is to make sure all of the "parts" are multiplied. I had never heard of FOIL until about two weeks ago. I remember from about 50 years ago when my algegra II teacher told us how to expand to a polynomial. Multiply the ends (front end and back end) to get the first and last term, and sum the product of the extremes (inner and outer) to get the middle term. Students today don't get that at all; they apparently understand the FOIL acronym better.

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