Discussing Percents/Decimals/Fractions and Conversions

Part I: Discussing Percents/Decimals/Fractions and Conversions

Task Background: There are different ways of representing the same value of a number. For instance, 0.5 (a decimal) is equivalent to 50% (a percentage) and to 1/2 (a fraction). Conversions such as these are needed in many applicable areas, such as interest on a loan, calculating savings on discounts, measuring an amount of medicine administered to a patient, and buying a certain amount of carpet.

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 3–4 paragraphs that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.


Task Assignment: There are specific procedures to convert a value from a decimal to a percentage (and vice versa), from a fraction to a percentage (and vice versa), and from a decimal to a fraction (and vice versa). Below, you will find four problems in the following areas: Criminal Justice, Business, Medical, and Real Life. Please select any TWO for completion of the task. You must show all steps and every single calculation. Thoroughly explain how and why you did each calculation with complete sentences. Include discussion relating the problem to your own personal experiences or to the real world.

Criminal Justice

There are many important formulas that are used in the field of criminal justice. For example, the Widmark formula is used to calculate the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at a particular time for an individual. Widmark’s research found that the average man’s body can hold alcohol in even distribution in 73% of its weight. In other words, 73% of a 150-pound man’s body holds all the alcohol he consumes, in even distribution. 73% of 150 pounds = 0.73 × 150 = 109.5 pounds. Widmark found that the average woman’s body can hold alcohol in even distribution in 66% of its weight. 

  1. Convert 66% to a decimal and then to a reduced fraction.
  2. Give an example of a particular weight for a woman, and find the average portion of the body that holds the alcohol. 


Many interest rates, such as those on car loans, credit cards, and home loans, are given as a percent. If you need to make any calculations with the percent interest rate, however, you must convert the percent to a decimal. 

  1. Research and find the interest rate, as a percent, for a particular credit card.
  2. Convert the interest rate percent to a decimal and then to a reduced fraction.
  3. You want to compare your researched rate to another credit card’s interest rate of 12 1/5%.
    • Convert this interest rate percent to a decimal.
    • Compare the 12 1/5% to your researched interest rate, and explain which interest rate is better. 


It is important that physicians know how long a medicine will stay in a patient’s body in order to prescribe dosing instructions so that the patient does not overdose. For example, a patient takes a pill that has a dosage of 50 mg. (milligrams) and wakes up the next day with a particular percentage of the medication washed out. 

  1. Demonstrate your knowledge of conversions by first choosing a percentage of the medicine that is washed out the next day, and then convert this percentage to a decimal and then to a reduced fraction.
  2. How much medication remains in the body after the percentage amount of your choosing is washed out? 

Real Life

When buying mulch for your lawn, you find that it is ordered in square yards. You have the area measurements of your lawn in square feet, which you found by multiplying the length of your yard (in feet) times the width (in feet). 

  1. Demonstrate with an example by first giving the length and width of a yard in feet. Since lawns may not have exact whole-number length and width measurements, you must provide an example where the length or the width contains a fractional amount.
  2. Find the area of the yard in square feet.
  3. Convert the amount of square feet to square yards so that you can order the mulch. (Hint: Research how many square feet equals one square yard.) 
  4. Please include citions and references.

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