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To understand proportion, think of a perfect 8"x8" square that you want to reduce. When reduction occurs, the width of the square will be exactly the same as the height. For example, if you reduce your square by 50%, the finished size will be 4"x4".
One of the most common errors for those new to reduction is a 50% reduction of 17"x22". The correct answer is 8-1/2"x11", but many often give 11"x17" as an incorrect answer.