How to calculate the area of a square or rectangle

By Tom Kantain
Counting squares gives the area.
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Area is an important concept in physics, engineering, science and everyday life. Area determines how much solar energy can be collected from a solar panel, how much grain can be grown in a plot of land, and how much paint you need to cover a wall. Calculating area can be complicated for some shapes, but they are measured in square feet, square meters or square miles because the area of a square is the most basic of all to calculate.

Step 1

Find the length of the first side of your square or rectangle in linear units, and call this length X.

Step 2

Find the length of a side adjacent and perpendicular to the first side, and call this length Y. If you know your shape is a square, you can just set Y equal to X.

Step 3

Multiply X by Y to get the area of the rectangle in square units. So if the length of one side (X) is 6 inches, and the other side (Y) is 7 inches, then the area of the rectangle is 42 square inches.

About the Author

Tom Kantain has been writing and editing in various forms for over 20 years. He has written a regular magazine column on the philosophy of games. Kantain holds a Master of Arts in philosophy as well as a Bachelor of Laws.