Geometry: The Given Information: Use It or Lose It!

The Given Information: Use It or Lose It!

Whenever you set out to prove a theorem, it's vitally important that you use the given information. If you can prove a statement without using all of the given information, you should be suspicious. Mathematicians are not overly generous. They are happy to answer questions and share their knowledge, but they don't usually give more information than is needed or asked for.

When constructing a proof, it's best to start with the given information. That will serve to remind you of your assumptions. Somewhere along the way you will use premises that you either take on faith (postulates) or have previously proven (theorems).

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Geometry © 2004 by Denise Szecsei, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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