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Graphing Quadratic Functions y = ax 2 + bx + c

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y = ax2 + bx + c

The graph of a quadratic function is a parabola.

A parabola can open up or down.

If the parabola opens up, the lowest point is called the vertex.

If the parabola opens down, the vertex is the highest point.

NOTE: if the parabola opened left or right it would not be a function!

y

x

Vertex

Vertex

y = ax2 + bx + c

The parabola will open down when the a value is negative.

The parabola will open up when the a value is positive.

Standard Formy

x

The standard form of a quadratic function is

a > 0

a < 0

y

x

Line of Symmetry

Line of Symmetry

Parabolas have a symmetric property to them.

If we drew a line down the middle of the parabola, we could fold the parabola in half.

We call this line the line of symmetry.

The line of symmetry ALWAYS passes through the vertex.

Or, if we graphed one side of the parabola, we could “fold” (or REFLECT) it over, the line of symmetry to graph the other side.

Find the line of symmetry of y = 3x2 – 18x + 7

Finding the Line of Symmetry

When a quadratic function is in standard form

The equation of the line of symmetry is

y = ax2 + bx + c,

2ba

x

For example…

Using the formula…

This is best read as …

the opposite of b divided by the quantity of 2 times a.

18

2 3x 18

6 3

Thus, the line of symmetry is x = 3.

PracticeFind the Axis of Symmetry for each of the following Quadratic Functions

1. y = x2 – 4x + 3

2. y = x2 – 2x + 1

3. y = -x2 –2x + 3

4. y = -x2 + 4x – 3

5. y = x2 – 2x

6. y = -x2 + 2x

7. y = x2 – 1

Practice - AnswersFind the Axis of Symmetry for each of the following Quadratic Functions

1. y = x2 – 4x + 3

2. y = x2 – 2x + 1

3. y = -x2 –2x + 3

4. y = -x2 + 4x – 3

5. y = x2 – 2x

6. y = -x2 + 2x

7. y = x2 – 1

1. x = 2

2. x = 1

3. x = -1

4. x = 2

5. x = 1

6. x = 1

7. x = 0

Finding the Vertex

We know the line of symmetry always goes through the vertex.

Thus, the line of symmetry gives us the x – coordinate of the vertex.

To find the y – coordinate of the vertex, we need to plug the x – value into the original equation.

STEP 1: Find the line of symmetry

STEP 2: Plug the x – value into the original equation to find the y value.

y = –2x2 + 8x –3

8 8 22 2( 2) 4

ba

x

y = –2(2)2 + 8(2) –3

y = –2(4)+ 8(2) –3

y = –8+ 16 –3

y = 5

Therefore, the vertex is (2 , 5)

PracticeFind the Vertex for each of the following Quadratic Functions

1. y = x2 – 4x + 3

2. y = x2 – 2x + 1

3. y = -x2 –2x + 3

4. y = -x2 + 4x – 3

5. y = x2 – 2x

6. y = -x2 + 2x

7. y = x2 – 1

Practice - AnswersFind the Vertex for each of the following Quadratic Functions

1. y = x2 – 4x + 3

2. y = x2 – 2x + 1

3. y = -x2 –2x + 3

4. y = -x2 + 4x – 3

5. y = x2 – 2x

6. y = -x2 + 2x

7. y = x2 – 1

1. Vertex = (2, -1)

2. Vertex = (1, 0)

3. Vertex = (-1, 4)

4. Vertex = (2, 1)

5. Vertex = (1, -1)

6. Vertex = (1, 1)

7. Vertex = (0, -1)

A Quadratic Function in Standard FormThe standard form of a quadratic function is given by

y = ax2 + bx + c

There are 3 steps to graphing a parabola in standard form.

STEP 1: Find the line of symmetry

STEP 2: Find the vertex

STEP 3: Find two other points and reflect them across the line of symmetry. Then connect the five points with a smooth curve.

Plug in the line of symmetry (x – value) to

obtain the y – value of the vertex.

MAKE A TABLE

using x – values close to the line of symmetry.

USE the equation

2bxa

-=

STEP 1: Find the line of symmetry

Let's Graph ONE! Try …

y = 2x2 – 4x – 1

( )4

12 2 2

bx

a

-= = =

A Quadratic Function in Standard Formy

x

Thus the line of symmetry is x = 1

Let's Graph ONE! Try …

y = 2x2 – 4x – 1

STEP 2: Find the vertex

A Quadratic Function in Standard Formy

x

( ) ( )22 1 4 1 1 3y = - - =-

Thus the vertex is (1 ,–3).

Since the x – value of the vertex is given by the line of symmetry, we need to plug in x = 1 to find the y – value of the vertex.

5

–1

Let's Graph ONE! Try …

y = 2x2 – 4x – 1

( ) ( )22 3 4 3 1 5y = - - =

STEP 3: Find two other points and reflect them across the line of symmetry. Then connect the five points with a smooth curve.

A Quadratic Function in Standard Formy

x

( ) ( )22 2 4 2 1 1y = - - =-

3

2

yx