A recursive formula for a number pattern is a way to describe each term by referring to the term before it. Notationally, our unknown term is called term n, and the term in the pattern before it is called the "n minus one" term. A recursive formula should always tell us the first number in the pattern. To find the numbers that come next, we start at the first term and then apply the rule in the formula. Then we apply the rule again and again until we have found our desired terms; each one based on the the term before it.
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