You may want to review multiplication of many numbers first.

Powers look like this: 5^{3}. That means you multiply 3
copies of 5 together, like so: 5 * 5 * 5. The big number on the
bottom (5 in this case) is called the *base*, and the small
number up top (3 in this case) is called the *exponent*.

The base could be a negative number or a fraction. The exponent, though, will (for the moment) always be a whole number.

If the base is a negative number or a fraction, we usually write
it in parentheses, like so: (−3)^{2}. This means
(−3) * (−3), which is 9. Without the parentheses,
−3^{2} means −(3 * 3), which is −9.
Remember: minus signs not in parentheses are applied to
your *final* answer.