Students learn that when solving an absolute value equation, such as 2 + I x + 1 I = 8, the first step is to isolate the absolute value by subtracting 2 from both sides to get I x + 1 I = 6. The next step is to split the equation up into two separate equations in the following way: x + 1 = 6 or x + 1 = -6. Notice that in the second equation, the 6 becomes negative. Finally, the last step is to solve each of the remaining equations to get x = 5 or x = -7.

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