How Do You Graph an Equation?


Quick Answer

To graph a math equation, acquire some graphing paper, draw x and y axes, and decide whether the equation is linear or non-linear. Approach the problem by finding the slope of the linear equation or using a table for a non-linear one.

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Full Answer

  1. Acquire graphing paper, and create the axes

    Graphing paper makes it easier draw straight lines while graphing. If you don't have any, use a straight edge to create the x and y axes on regular lined paper.

  2. Determine if the equation is linear or non-linear

    If the equation is linear, then the x term has no exponent. If it is non-linear, the x term is either squared or has an exponent other than 1.

  3. Graph the linear equation

    Set the y term equal to zero, and solve for x. The answer for x should be graphed into a point on the x-axis. Then set the x term equal to zero, and solve for the y term. The answer for y should be graphed into a point on the y-axis. Connect these two points with a line to complete the graph.

  4. Graph the non-linear equation

    If the equation is non-linear, use a table of x and y terms by setting the x terms, solving for the y terms and then graphing. Use enough terms to complete the shape of the graph.

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