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Is the initial value always provided in a table of values like [link] ?

No. Sometimes the initial value is provided in a table of values, but sometimes it is not. If you see an input of 0, then the initial value would be the corresponding output. If the initial value is not provided because there is no value of input on the table equal to 0, find the slope, substitute one coordinate pair and the slope into f ( x ) = m x + b , and solve for b .

A new plant food was introduced to a young tree to test its effect on the height of the tree. [link] shows the height of the tree, in feet, x months since the measurements began. Write a linear function, H ( x ) , where x is the number of months since the start of the experiment.

x 0 2 4 8 12
H ( x ) 12.5 13.5 14.5 16.5 18.5

H ( x ) = 0.5 x + 12.5

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Graphing linear functions

Now that we’ve seen and interpreted graphs of linear functions, let’s take a look at how to create the graphs. There are three basic methods of graphing linear functions. The first is by plotting points and then drawing a line through the points. The second is by using the y- intercept and slope. And the third method is by using transformations of the identity function f ( x ) = x .

Graphing a function by plotting points

To find points of a function, we can choose input values, evaluate the function at these input values, and calculate output values. The input values and corresponding output values form coordinate pairs. We then plot the coordinate pairs on a grid. In general, we should evaluate the function at a minimum of two inputs in order to find at least two points on the graph. For example, given the function, f ( x ) = 2 x , we might use the input values 1 and 2. Evaluating the function for an input value of 1 yields an output value of 2, which is represented by the point ( 1 , 2 ) . Evaluating the function for an input value of 2 yields an output value of 4, which is represented by the point ( 2 , 4 ) . Choosing three points is often advisable because if all three points do not fall on the same line, we know we made an error.

Given a linear function, graph by plotting points.

  1. Choose a minimum of two input values.
  2. Evaluate the function at each input value.
  3. Use the resulting output values to identify coordinate pairs.
  4. Plot the coordinate pairs on a grid.
  5. Draw a line through the points.

Graphing by plotting points

Graph f ( x ) = 2 3 x + 5 by plotting points.

Begin by choosing input values. This function includes a fraction with a denominator of 3, so let’s choose multiples of 3 as input values. We will choose 0, 3, and 6.

Evaluate the function at each input value, and use the output value to identify coordinate pairs.

x = 0 f ( 0 ) = 2 3 ( 0 ) + 5 = 5 ( 0 , 5 ) x = 3 f ( 3 ) = 2 3 ( 3 ) + 5 = 3 ( 3 , 3 ) x = 6 f ( 6 ) = 2 3 ( 6 ) + 5 = 1 ( 6 , 1 )

Plot the coordinate pairs and draw a line through the points. [link] represents the graph of the function f ( x ) = 2 3 x + 5.

This graph shows a decreasing function graphed on an x y coordinate plane. The x axis runs from negative 4 to 7 and the y axis runs from negative 2 to 7. The y axis is labeled f of x. The function passes through the points (0, 5), (3, 3) and (6, 1)
The graph of the linear function f ( x ) = 2 3 x + 5.
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Graph f ( x ) = 3 4 x + 6 by plotting points.

This graph shows a decreasing function graphed on an x y coordinate plane. The x-axis runs from negative 8 to 10 and the y-axis runs from negative 8 to 8. The function passes through the points (0,6), (4,3) and (8,0).
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Graphing a function using y- Intercept and slope

Another way to graph linear functions is by using specific characteristics of the function rather than plotting points. The first characteristic is its y- intercept, which is the point at which the input value is zero. To find the y- intercept, we can set x = 0 in the equation.

Questions & Answers

Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
Simone Reply
what is the coefficient of -4×
Mehri Reply
-1
Shedrak
the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
An investment account was opened with an initial deposit of $9,600 and earns 7.4% interest, compounded continuously. How much will the account be worth after 15 years?
Kala Reply
lim x to infinity e^1-e^-1/log(1+x)
given eccentricity and a point find the equiation
Moses Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Alexandra Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Akash
College algebra is really hard?
Shirleen Reply
Absolutely, for me. My problems with math started in First grade...involving a nun Sister Anastasia, bad vision, talking & getting expelled from Catholic school. When it comes to math I just can't focus and all I can hear is our family silverware banging and clanging on the pink Formica table.
Carole
I'm 13 and I understand it great
AJ
I am 1 year old but I can do it! 1+1=2 proof very hard for me though.
Atone
hi
Adu
Not really they are just easy concepts which can be understood if you have great basics. I am 14 I understood them easily.
Vedant
find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
salma
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
Abhi
If f(x) = x-2 then, f(3) when 5f(x+1) 5((3-2)+1) 5(1+1) 5(2) 10
Augustine
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
make 5/4 into a mixed number, make that a decimal, and then multiply 32 by the decimal 5/4 turns out to be
AJ
how
Sheref
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
ninjadapaul
20/(×-6^2)
Salomon
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
ninjadapaul
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
ninjadapaul
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
Salomon
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
Salomon
I got X =-6
Salomon
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
ninjadapaul
oops. ignore that.
ninjadapaul
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
ninjadapaul
hmm
Abhi
is it a question of log
Abhi
🤔.
Abhi
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
salma
But this is not salma it's Faiza live in lousvile Ky I garbage this so I am going collage with JCTC that the of the collage thank you my friends
salma
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
hello
Sherica
im all ears I need to learn
Sherica
right! what he said ⤴⤴⤴
Tamia
hii
Uday
hi
salma
hi
Ayuba
Hello
opoku
hi
Ali
greetings from Iran
Ali
salut. from Algeria
Bach
hi
Nharnhar
what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, College algebra. OpenStax CNX. Feb 06, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11759/1.3
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