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» » Slope Intercept Form

Graphing a Linear Equation
Using Slope Intercept Form

Now that you've completed a lesson on graphing slope you are finally ready to graph linear equations.

There are several different ways to graph linear equations. You've already learned how to graph using a table of values. That's okay for the beginner, but it can be a little time consuming.

Using slope intercept form is one of the quickest and easiest ways to graph a linear equation.

Before we begin, I need to introduce a little vocabulary. We are going to talk about x and y intercepts.

An x intercept is the point where your line crosses the x-axis. The y intercept is the point where your line crosses the y-axis.

We are only going to focus on the y intercept in this lesson, but you'll need to know x intercept for later.

Let's take a look at intercepts

x and y intercepts

Slope intercept form is used when your linear equation is written in the form:

y = mx+b

x and y are your variables. m will be a numeral, which is your slope. b will also be a numeral and this is the y-intercept.

In this form only (when your equation is written as y = ....) the coefficient of x is the slope and the constant is the y intercept.

Slope Intercept Form

slope intercept form

Let's look at a few examples and I promise that you'll LOVE this new way of graphing!

Example 1

slope intercept form
using slope intercept form

Need a little more clarification? No problem, just check out the following video. Example 1 will be explained again step by step.

youtube channel If you want to see this example on video, click here to visit my You Tube channel.

Let's take a look at one more example.

Example 2

graphing using slope intercept form
slope intercept form

Notice that the slope in this equation is negative. This means that our line must be "falling" from left to right.

Always double check your line and your slope. If your slope is positive, then your line should "rise" from left to right. If your slope is negative, then your line should "fall" from left to right.

Here's a quick summary of this lesson:

Rules for Graphing Using Slope Intercept Form

  • Your y intercept is always the first point that you plot on the line. Your point will always be (0, b).

  • Then use your slope to plot your next point.

  • If you have two points, you can draw a straight line and this is the line that represents your equation. Any point on that line is a solution to the equation.

Tip: You have to be very accurate in plotting your points and drawing your lines in order to be able to read your graph to find other solutions!

If you need more practice, click here to try a few practice problems.

Other Lessons You Might Like on Graphing Equations

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