Now that I have my points, I need to draw my axes. To draw the axes, I must use my ruler! If I don't use a ruler, I will have messy axes and inconsistent scales on the axes, and it would be highly unlikely that my points would line up nicely.
(Don't "fake it" when drawing your graphs. Get in the habit now of drawing neatly. It will save you so much trouble down the line! (And, no, using graph paper is not the same as, nor does it replace, using a ruler!)
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Let's return to the exercise. To refresh, the question was:
On the previous page, I'd completed my T-chart:
Now I have to draw my graphing area (that is, I have to put on paper what would be the "window" on a graphing calculator). I must make sure that I draw my axis system large enough that my graph will be easily visible. On a standard-sized sheet of paper (8.5 by 11 inches, or A4), I will be able to fit two or three nice, clear graphs on a page. If I am fitting more than three graphs on one side of a sheet, then I'm probably drawing them too small.
Here is my axis system:
Once I've drawn my axes, I have to label them with an appropriate scale.
"Appropriate" means " a scale that is drawn neathly and that suits the numbers with which I'm working". For instance, considering the values I'm working with in the T-chart above, I'll count off by ones on the axes. But if I were doing a graph for a word problem about government waste, I would probably count off by millions or maybe even by billions. I adjust the scales and axes to suit the case at hand, and I always use a ruler to make sure that my tick-marks are even!
Here's my axis system with the scale added to the two axes:
Note that I've made every fifth tick-mark a bit longer. This isn't a rule, but I've often found it helpful for counting off the larger points; it's more of a time-saver than anything else. It's similar to how yardage is marked on American-football fields (as distinct from the fields for the-rest-of-the-world football, which Americans call "soccer"):
I draw my one-unit tick-marks on only one side of the axis, but that's just so they don't run into each other near the origin, where the two axes cross. Otherwise, it can get crowded in there. But this style is just my personal preference.
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Now I'll plot (draw) the points I'd computed in my T-chart:
...and then I'll finish up by connecting the dots:
Since "linear" equations graph as straight lines, we might as well use your ruler for this part, too. The blue line, together with the graphing area, is the answer they're looking for. Once we've connected our dots, we're done with the exercise.