Graph Sketching

A level students (16-18) how good are you at graph sketching?
Firstly, do you appreciate the difference in sketching a graph and plotting points accurately and joining them up as you did in earlier years?

You could use calculus to work out the coordinates of any turning points.
(Click on the image to see this curve on the Desmos Graphing Calculator).

A graph sketch should:

  • Show the correct general shape
  • Indicate important features such as any intersections with the axes (on the x axis y=0 and on the y axis x=0) and where the curve changes direction (use calculus).
There are several free online tools to help you explore graphs. You could for example set up theĀ Desmos Graphing Calculator to explore cubics.
Simply change the sliders to see the effect on the graph. Note that typing in a new value for any variable changes the possible range for that variable.
Note that there are several online graph plotters available – see this Graphs page on the Mathematics tools site.
(There is a link on the right to the Calculators and Tools site.)
By Colleen Young Posted in Graphs

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