How to Plot a Graph With a Graphing Calculator

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Graphing calculators continue to come out with newer versions, not unlike video game boxes. Depending on which version of what calculator you have, directions can vary some. The good news is they all share function similarities, so you may have some options not mentioned here if your graphing calculator is newer than the TI-83, which is what these directions are based on.

  • Choose "STAT."

  • Use your arrow keys if necessary to highlight the "Edit" menu and hit enter to engage the "Edit" menu.

  • Highlight "L1," enter the number for the X plane, and then press "Enter." Move the cursor over to "L2" and repeat for the Y plane.

  • Hit the "stat plot" key.

  • Enter "Plot 1" by highlighting it and pressing "Enter." Turn on "Plot 1" by highlighting "On" and pressing "Enter" once you have opened the "Plot 1" menu.

  • Name X and Y manually under the "Plot 1" menu. Generally, X is already named "L1." On the TI-83, move the cursor over a blank area above Y and choose "L2" on the calculator pad. You must engage the "2nd" button to get to this option.

  • Select "Window," scroll down to "Zoom Stat" and hit enter so that your plotted points appear within the window after the next step.

  • Graph the scatter plot by depressing the "Graph" key.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose what type of dots you want for your plotted points under the "Plot 1" option by using your arrows to highlight your choice and hit enter.
  • Clear an old set of numbers from the Lines by moving your cursor up to highlight the "L1," hit "Clear" and then enter.
  • If your graph does not appear in the window, start by selecting "Window" again and choosing "Zoom Stat." Most likely, your graph is there, but out of your view.
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