Writing the Terms of a Polynomial in Descending Order
The terms of a polynomial in one variable are usually arranged by degree,
in descending order, when read from left to right.
For example, this polynomial
contains one variable, x.

x^{3} + 7x^{2}  4x + 2 
The terms of the polynomial
are arranged by degree in
descending order. 

Example
Arrange the terms of this polynomial in descending order and determine
the degree of the polynomial: 7x^{3}  8 + 2x  x^{4}
Solution
Write 8 as 8x^{0}. Write 2x as 2x^{1}.
Arrange the terms by degree in descending order (4, 3, 1, 0).
The last two terms may be written without exponents. 
= 7x^{3}  8x^{0} + 2x^{1}  x^{4}
=  x^{4} + 7x^{3} + 2x^{1}  8x^{0}
=  x^{4} + 7x^{3} + 2x  8x 
The term of highest degree is x^{4}. The degree of x^{4} is 4. So, the degree
of this polynomial is 4.
