Richard W. Fisher’s approach throughout this book is as straightforward and practical as his advice to students. Early on, he states, “Learning requires repetition. Just ask any athlete or musician. You have to practice to get good at anything.”
No-Nonsense Algebra is written in a manner that is very easy to understand. The book is divided by sections on different algebraic topics. Within each section the material is covered in the following sequence: an explanation of the concept; a helpful hints section; example problems; practice problems; and a review. In addition to the text, there are corresponding online videos. Access to the website comes with the purchase of the book.
Fisher explains and illustrates the algebraic concepts well. All of the lessons are written in the same format—simple prose in basic terms. The example problems are worked out step by step, and answers to the practice problems are provided in the back of the book so that students can check their work.
Each lesson is presented with a similar, straightforward approach. When addressing ratios and proportions, Fisher writes: “A ratio compares two numbers or groups of objects…The ratio can be written in the following ways: 3 to 4, 3:4, and ¾. Each of these is read as ‘three to four.’ ” The author goes on to give examples of how ratios are used and how to solve problems using them.
Although the book does build up algebra skills sequentially, some students do not learn best from just reading a math text. This is where the online video lessons can really be valuable. Watching the author solve the problems while hearing him explain exactly what he is doing can be a great help to a student who learns best in an audio-visual environment.
No-Nonsense Algebra offers the tools and information necessary for learning algebra skills. It is recommended for students at the junior high, high school, or college levels of algebra. It can also be a helpful tool for tutors, and for anyone looking for an algebra “refresher.”