Graphing Linear Equations

A very important topic in algebra is graphing linear equations. GradeA will show you how to graph using slope-intercept form and also the two intercepts method.

In either case, the key idea is to find two points on the line, plot them, and then simply connect the dots!

Before you get started, you might want to view some of these introductory lessons:

Once you have those basics down, you will have no problem graphing lines!


Graphing with Slope Intercept Form

The first step you need to take is to recognize the slope-intercept form of a line. This is one of the most recognizable equations in algebra, so you probably already know it.

The name should make sense: in the slope-intercept form of a line, you learn the slope and the y-intercept.


slope-int form:

y = mx + b

m represents the slope of the line. More: Understand slope & Calculate slope.

b represents the y-intercept of the line. More about the y-intercept

Example: y = 2/3x - 1

First, identify in this equation that m = 2/3 and b = -1.

Now, simply follow the 3 easy steps below to complete the graph.

graphing lines with slope intercept

Graphing linear equations is really that simple. First plot the beginning, then make the move, and finally connect the dots. The reason we have equations of lines is so that we can determine two things: the steepness and direction.


Graphing Using the Two Intercepts Method

The intercepts are the points on the line that cross the axes. If we find both the x-intercept and the y-intercept, we can draw our line through those two points. The important thing to remember about intercepts is that they work in reverse of each other. To find the x-intercept, use y = 0, and then to find the y-intercept, use x = 0. If you always remember to write that trick at the top of the problem, you won't make any mistakes.


That is, write...

  x-int: y = 0 and   y-int: x = 0

Example: 3x + 4y = 12

graphing lines using two intercepts


More Information

There's alot more to linear equations than just graphing.

Return from Graphing Linear Equations to Free Algebra Help.

Or visit the GradeA homepage for more free math help resources.


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