# How to Determine the Area of a Trapezoid

A trapezoid is a four-sided figure with one pair of parallel sides. Because a trapezoid can be dissected into a rectangle and two identical triangles, find it’s area is easy.

### Instructions

- Step 1:
**Sum the length of the two parallel sides**Add the lengths of the two parallel sides of the trapezoid. - Step 2:
**Multiply by the height**Find the height of the trapezoid. Using a calculator, multiply the sum of the lengths by the height. - Step 3:
**Divide by two**Divide the product by two. This is the area of the trapezoid. - TIP: For example, if the height of a trapezoid is 20 inches and two parallel sides of the trapezoid measure 13 and 15 inches, the area is given by = ½ × 20 × (13 + 15), or 280 square inches.
- Step 4:
**Look for similar examples**Be on the lookout for other polygons whose areas can be determined more easily if the polygons are composed of simpler shapes. - FACT: The word trapezoid comes from the Greek word for table.

### You Will Need

- The dimensions of the trapezoid
- A calculator