Graphing Points

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When graphing points, it's important to have an understanding of the x-coordinate and the y-coordinate. Discover how to move along the horizontal and vertical axes with help from a math teacher in this free video on math help and graphing.

Part of the Video Series: Algebra & Math Help
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So how does one graph points? Hi I'm Jimmy Chang. I've been teaching college mathematics for over nine years and when it comes to graphing points there is a couple of things that you want to consider as it relates to your coordinates but once you get past that graphing points can be actually straightforward so here we go, let's review. First of all make sure that you know what the two numbers are in front of you. You have an x coordinate and you have a y coordinate. The x coordinate tells you whether to go right or left. It's the horizontal coordinate. The y is your vertical. It tells you whether to go up or down and as you might imagine there is an x axis and there is a y axis and so with positive numbers for x it tells you to go right, negative numbers go left and with y's positives tell you to go up and negatives tell you to go down. So here are some illustrations as to some points and how you graph them. Suppose you have 3, 2. Now the 3 represents your x so that means you go right 3. The 2, being the y coordinate because it is also positive tells you to go up so to graph 3, 2 you always start from the center when you graph points. So from the center you go right 3 and you go up 2 and then you label a point. Let's call that 3, 2. Now let's suppose you want to graph let's just say negative 4, 1. Now because the x coordinate is negative that means you have to go left 4. Now the 1 because it is still positive you go up 1. So that means again starting from the center, 1, 2, 3, 4 to the left and then up 1, then once you get to the y coordinate then you can label and you have negative 4, 1. Now one more case suppose you want to plot the point, 0, 3. Now any time you have a 0 that tells you to stay put, you go on the other axis. So for example with 0 on the x coordinate that means you do not move on the x axis. You stay where you are. You don't go anywhere horizontally. So the 3 because it is positive, you go up so that means from the center you simply go up three because there is no horizontal movement. So you go 1, 2, and 3 and just go ahead and just label that 0, 3. So I'm Jimmy Chang and those are some examples as to how you graph points.

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