The factors of 32 are 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32. Factoring in mathematics is the process of disassembling a number or expression into constituent parts that, when multiplied, result in the original. In this case, 32 can be reached by multiplying 4 with 8, 2 with 16, and 1 with 32.
The most elementary method of factoring is to divide the original number sequentially by all whole numbers approaching it, including 1. All numbers, prime and composite, are divisible by 1 and themselves.
A person can determine the factors of 32 by making a list beginning with 1 and ending with 32 and attempting to divide 32 by the next whole number after 1, which is the number 2. The answer, 16, is another whole number. Therefore, 2 and 16 can be added to the list between 1 and 32. Dividing 32 by the number 3 reveals that the result is not a whole number, so that number and 3 should not be added to the list.
A person can continue this process step-by-step until the number 16 is reached again. Since there can never be a whole number factor between the original number and half the original number, there is no need to continue any further.