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Algebra II Workbook For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Mary Jane Sterling

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Chapter 17

Ten Basic Graphs

In This Chapter

arrow Graphing two polynomial functions and a line

arrow Picturing two radical and two rational functions

arrow Graphing absolute value, exponential, and logarithmic functions

Graphing is one way of getting the characteristics of a function out there for everyone to see. The basic graphs are just that — basic. They’re centered at the origin and aren’t expanded or shrunken or jostled about. You can alter the basic graphs by performing translations to the left or right or up or down.

Chapter 4 presents the nuts and bolts of graphing, and you can refer to the earlier chapters in this book for more-specific information on how to change the looks of the basic graphs. Right now, though, sit back and take a look at some of these elegant images.

Putting Polynomials in Their Place

The graph of a polynomial function is a smooth curve that may or may not change direction, depending on its degree. The two simplest polynomials are the quadratic, y = x2 (see Figure 17-1), and the cubic, y = x3 (see Figure 17-2). They both go through the origin and the point (1, 1).

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