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How do I find the General Term of a Sequence?

  1. Jun 6, 2014 #1
    1. Write down the general term of each of the following sequences in simplest form:
    So far I have been using guess and check to find the solutions, but it doesn't seem much use when you get to a sequence more complicated like this: 1, -4, 7, -10, 13, ...

    I really need to find an equation that I can use to determine the general term for any given sequence.


    2. Relevant equations? Umm trying to find one ...



    3. The attempt at a solution: tn = -n
    and that's about as far as I got ...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2014 #2

    Zondrina

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    There really is no general formula to find the general term of a sequence. You essentially have to look for a pattern in the numbers.

    Notice the terms in your sequence are alternating positive and negative. This tells you ##(-1)^n## will be part of the general term. What else do you notice?
     
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